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BeagleBone Green drops the HDMI… and the price

Aug 5, 2015 — by Eric Brown — 8,496 views

[Updated: Aug. 8] — Seeed Studios is close to shipping its $39 “Green” version of the BeagleBone, which loses the micro-HDMI port but adds a micro-USB port and Grove sensor interfaces.

The Raspberry Pi has spawned a number of hardware near clones, including the Banana Pi and Orange Pi SBCs, and now it’s time for the’s Linux-oriented BeagleBone to enjoy the sincerest form of flattery. The BeagleBone Green was announced by Seeed Studios, the company behind the popular line of Grove sensor devices, back in May. This was just in time to mention it in our joint LinuxGizmos/ 2015 hacker survey, in which the BeagleBone Black once again came in second place. Seeed’s BeagleBone variant was expected to ship in mid June, but has only now become available.

BeagleBone Green front (left) and back
(click images to enlarge)

The key enhancement here is the $39 price, which is $11 less than the lowest current BeagleBone Black price at Element14. More typically, the BeagleBone Black sells for $55 to $60. The lower cost is primarily due to the removal of the micro-HDMI port, which was one of the key additions to the Black version compared to the original BeagleBone when it launched in 2013.

BeagleBone Green (left) compared to BeagleBone Black
(click images to enlarge)

While it seemed necessary at the time to keep up with the HDMI-equipped Raspberry Pi, as it turns out, few BeagleBone Black users actually use the port, according to a Hackaday hands-on story that alerted us to the Green’s readiness for shipment. Hackaday quotes co-founder Jason Kridner — which indicates the strong support for the Green from the project — as saying that “nobody used” the port, instead preferring to hook up a display cape via the SBC’s LCD connector.

Another view of the BeagleBone Green
(click image to enlarge)

As Hackaday’s Brian Benchoff puts it: “If you want a media server, you get a Raspberry Pi, and if you want a tiny Linux box to toggle pins very quickly, you get a BeagleBone.”

The BeagleBone Green adds dual Grove System connectors for connecting Seeed’s Grove sensor boards, one via a UART, and the other via I2C. In order to make room for the pair of Grove interfaces, the Green design eliminates the Black’s 5V barrel jack connector and relocates the USB Type A connector (USB1) to where the power jack had been.

BeagleBone Green’s micro-USB power/data port and repositioned USB Type A port
(click image to enlarge)

While they were messing with the power-connector end of the board, the BeagleBone Green’s designers also opted to switch the bottom-mounted USB port from a mini-USB connector (“USB0”) to a more up-to-date micro-USB one, making it usable with today’s most common charging cables. As on the BeagleBone Black, the Green’s micro-USB port is used for both DC power input and host PC connection. Both USB ports are described as USB 2.0 compatible in the System Reference Guide.

BeagleBone Green board details and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

We see no evidence of a previously rumored addition of a battery backed real-time clock (RTC). Otherwise, aside from the new retro green color, the Green appears to be identical to the Black, including the 3.4 x 2.1 inch dimensions. You still get the Cortex-A8 based, Texas Instruments Sitara AM3359 SoC for running Linux, and in a pinch, Android. The 1GHz, 3D graphics ready SoC also provides TI’s unique programmable real-time unit (PRU), which comprises dual 32-bit RISC microcontrollers that enable customization of I/O.

Other features borrowed from the BeagleBone Black include 512MB of DDR3 RAM, 4GB of eMMC flash, and a microSD slot. As with the Black, there’s no onboard WiFi, but you get a Fast Ethernet port. (For more details on the BeagleBone Black, see our initial BeagleBone Black coverage.)

Like the Black, the Green offers dual 46-pin extension connectors with a wide array of industrial I/O for plugging in Capes. In addition, The new Grove connectors let you directly connect sensors without requiring a Cape.

Currently supported Grove sensors are said to include:

  • Grove-3-Axis Digital Gyro (I2C)
  • Grove-3-Axis Digital Accelerometer (I2C)
  • Grove-3-Axis Digital Compass (I2C)
  • Grove-IMU 10DOF (I2C)
  • Grove-Digital Light (I2C)
  • Grove-Temperature& Humidity (I2C)
  • Grove-Barometer (I2C)
  • Grove-Finger-clip Heart Rate (I2C)
  • Grove-GPS UART
  • Grove-IR Distance Interrupter (I/O)

The BeagleBone Green supports the BeagleBone’s large ecosystem of add-on Capes, which pales in comparison only to the Raspberry Pi’s add-on universe. Seed itself sells Capes including a 4DCAPE-43 4.3-inch LCD display with seven pushbuttons.

The BeagleBone Green is not the first BeagleBone clone to be announced, but it’s the first to ship. CircuitCo’s OEM-focused BlueSteel-Basic, which like the Green, removed the HDMI port, never reached market. A BeagleCore COM version of the BeagleBone only has two more days on Kickstarter to miraculously raise about $50,000 more than its current $6K plus of funding.

Meanwhile,’s own BeagleBoard-X15 update to the original BeagleBoard, which pioneered the whole community-backed SBC trend, is due to ship in limited quantities later this month. This larger, fully featured SBC ships with a dual-core TI Sitara AM5728 SoC with 2GB of RAM, dual GbE ports, and eSATA, among other goodies.

Further information

The BeagleBone Green SBC will soon be available for $39. According to an email to LinuxGizmos, Seeed will begin accepting orders for the board on the BeagleBone Green product page of its website around — or slightly before — Aug. 20.

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8 responses to “BeagleBone Green drops the HDMI… and the price”

  1. cnxsoft says:

    Nice news about lower price, but I don’t think it’s shipping yet.
    I can’t find it for sale on SeeedStudio. There’s just the same description page as a few months ago.

  2. LinuxGizmos says:

    We’ve requested clarification regarding the board’s shipment status. Thanks for the comment.

  3. Gary Stewart says:


    I’m a little confused. The BeagleBone Black also has two 2 USB ports on it. The second one is a USB OTG port and although is not normally used to provide power it can do that. Is the uUSB port on the Green a full USB 2 port ?

  4. IkMaak says:

    I have been following the development of the board for most of this year already, and the board will be orderable on the 12th of August, according to information from Seeed. For more info:

  5. Raffaele says:

    Wait… So this is a BeagleBone clone, and BeagleBone is not a registered brand? Or is it a BeagleBoard authorised device?

  6. Lucky5 says:

    For the german market you will find the BBG here:

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