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BeagleBone Green Wireless adds WiFi, BLE, USBs

May 16, 2016 — by Eric Brown — 1,777 views

SeeedStudio has launched a $45 “BeagleBone Green Wireless” SBC with four USB 2.0 ports, 2.4GHz 802.11n WiFi, and Bluetooth 4.1 LE.

Last August, SeeedStudio, which is known for its Grove family of IoT sensor and I/O modules, launched its BeagleBone Green clone of the BeagleBone Black. The Green featured a lower $39 price, added a new micro-USB port and dual Grove sensor interfaces, and removed the micro-HDMI port.

BeagleBone Green Wireless
(click images to enlarge)

SeeedStudio’s new BeagleBone Green Wireless is much the same as the Green, with the same additions and HDMI subtraction relative to the BeagleBone Black. It also adds four USB 2.0 ports, plus WiFi and Bluetooth via a Texas Instruments WiLink 8 module. The BeagleBone Green Wireless is available for pre-orders now for $44.90, and will be “officially released” at Maker Faire Bay Area on May 21st, with shipments due on May 31.

While the BeagleBone Enhanced doubles the USB 2.0 host ports to two, the BeagleBone Green Wireless ups the ante by quadrupling it to four ports. The TI WiLink8 module offers 2.4GHz 802.11a/b/g/n with 2×2 MIMO and two antenna connectors. The WiFi feature supports AP + STA communication modes, so “you don’t need to drive installations but develop directly after connecting Wi-Fi with your devices,” says SeeedStudio.

BeagleBone Green Wireless with antennas
(click image to enlarge)

The module also includes Bluetooth 4.1 Low Energy (BLE) with support for Bluetooth Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) for stereo-quality audio control in automation projects. The Green Wireless SBC also supports Node-RED for wired IoT, and it integrates with the MRAA library, “so users can program with more Grove modules,” says the company.

Features borrowed from the BeagleBone Green and Black include the ability to run Linux on a 1GHz, Cortex-A8 TI Sitara AM3359 SoC with an Imagination PowerVR SGX530 GPU and a programmable PRU subsystem for industrial I/O. The 3.4 x 2.1-inch SBC similarly supplies 512MB of DDR3 RAM, 4GB of eMMC flash, and a microSD slot.

The Green Wireless is further equipped with BeagleBone basics such as a Fast Ethernet port and dual 46-pin extension connectors. Like the Green it has a micro-USB port and dual Grove sensor interfaces.

The BeagleBone Green Wireless is billed as “the first Wi-Fi + Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) board from the BeagleBone community.” This is true, although the wireless-enabled BeagleBone Blue robotics version, which offers BLE, is now listed with a summer availability date.

SanCloud’s BeagleBone Enhanced with WiFi and BLE is expected to ship to Indiegogo backers in September. SanCloud raised only a quarter of its $32,500 flexible funding, but it plans to go ahead with the board anyway. In the latest update last week, the company said it would offer a new choice of onboard wireless, instead of the originally announced USB-based wireless module. In either case, wireless costs extra.

Further information

The BeagleBone Green Wireless is available for pre-order at $44.90, with shipments on May 31. More information may be found at SeeedStudio’s BeagleBone Green Wireless product page. At the Maker Faire Bay Area, SeeedStudio will showcase a demo called Home Control Center, based on the SBC.

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