BeagleCore will launch a COM version of the BeagleBone Black in April, via Conrad Electronic. The “BeagleCore BCM1” will be supported by an optional carrier board.
Last summer, German startup BeagleCore failed to fund its eponymous BeagleBone-based module on Kickstarter. Yet, the open source computer-on-module will be reborn in April as the similar BeagleCore BCM1. BeagleCore announced an exclusive worldwide distribution partnership with Germany’s Conrad Electronic to sell the module starting at $55, as well as a starter kit version with carrier board starting at $129.
BeagleCore front (left) and rendering of back showing board-to-board solder pads
(click images to enlarge)
Last year, the popular, open source BeagleBone SBC spawned a BeagleBoard.org approved BeagleBone Green variant from Seeed Studios, and a crowdfunding campaign will begin soon for SanCloud’s souped up version of the BeagleBone called the BeagleBone Enhanced. The BeagleCore, however, should be the first COM version to reach market.
BeagleCore Starter Kit with BeagleCore COM (left) compared to the BeagleBone Black
(click image to enlarge)
The idea behind BeagleCore is that you can prototype with the BeagleBone or BeagleCore Starter Kit, and then move directly to production with the BeagleCore module. Both the COM and baseboard are open source, supported with full schematics via Creative Commons 3.0. Despite the COM and baseboard’s claimed BeagleBone Black compatibility and detailed open source documentation, neither the BeagleCore COM nor the combined kit currently appear on BeagleBoard.org’s “BeagleBoard compatible” list, in contrast to the Seeed and SanCloud offerings.
The BeagleCore BCM1 appears to be identical to the planned Kickstarter version of the module, although it’s listed as being a millimeter smaller at 48 × 31 × 3.5mm. The module is equipped with the same 1GHz, Texas Instruments AM335x Cortex-A8 Sitara SoC found on the BeagleBone Black. Once again, you get 512MB of DDR3 RAM and 4GB of 8-bit eMMC flash. Software compatibility includes Debian, Ubuntu, Android, and Cloud9 IDE on Node.js with BoneScript.
Supported extensions continue to include Land Grid Array solder-pads assigned to a 10/100 Ethernet port, USB 2.0 host and client ports, and an SD slot. The module also supports a UART connection, a JTAG debug interface, and up to 59x GPIO for “HDMI, CAN, I²C, etc.” The company is considering building an extended temperature version.
The Starter Kit appears to be almost identical to the BeagleBone-like baseboard listed for the Kickstarter project, although the dimensions are slightly altered to an 89 x 55 x 15mm. Once again, there’s an Ethernet port, a USB 2.0 host port, and a mini-USB 2.0 client port. You also get an HDMI port with audio support, as well as a microSD port, a 6-pin serial UART interface, and dual 46-pin GPIO headers. LEDs are also available.
There was no mention of the previously noted $6 BeagleSuite application. This web-based program was previously said to help program and coordinate IoT sensor inputs for the BeagleCore or BeagleBone Black.
The BeagleCore ($55) and BeagleCore Starter Kit ($129) will go on sale in April via Conrad Electronics with 1,000 and 500 units respectively. No volume pricing was listed for the module. BeagleCore will officially unveil the BeagleCore BCM1 at Embedded World in Nuremberg, Feb 23-25. More information may be found at the BeagleCore website.