New BeagleBone Open Source Hardware Platform is Doggone Affordable at $89

Paul Lilly

A company called BeagleBoard invites you to meet BeagleBone, an $89 open source hardware platform about the size of a credit card. It's intended for electronic enthusiasts looking for a fast, easy, and affordable way to build things like wireless networked autonomous robots, self-teaching electronics education kits, intelligent digital signage, retro gaming devices, home automation, and the list goes on.

The $89 device consists of a development board based on a Texas Instruments (TI) Sitara AM355x ARM Cortex A8 processor clocked at 1GHz. It's a barebones hardware platform with a 10-second Linux boot, giving electronics hobbyists access to interface signals for sensors with nothing more than a single cable.

"It's exciting to see developers release more amazing open-source hardware for the community to use and share," said Limor Fried , engineer, Adafruit Industries. "BeagleBoard, and now the BeagleBone, are fantastic platforms for any open-source hardware developer to learn from and build upon."

BeagleBoard says it's incredibly easy to develop projects on the BeagleBone thanks to a flexible Linux kernel that takes the complication out of learning input/output (I/O) through the use of existing drivers and interface applications. It runs a full-featured version of Linux with native scripting and compilation tools, and provides on-chip Ethernet-MAC, USB with PHY and A/D converters, and other peripherals.

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