Beagle Boards at ESC

Today was the first day of the Embedded Systems Conference in San Jose, California.  I spent the day in a class learning about the extraordinary Beagle Board.  The Beagle Board in small 3-inch by 3-inch PCB with a TI OMAP3530 processor (1,200 MIPS plus graphic acceleration and DSP), 256MB RAM, 256MB NAND Flash, an SD socket, USB, DVI-D, SVideo, and much more.  Power consumption is less than 2 watts and it can run off USB power.  It is open source hardware, meaning you can download the specs, schematics, gerber files, etc. and can modify it and commercially build your own version.  The board currently runs multiple Linux distributions and Android.  The price for this little marvel? $150!

The class itself was very hands-on.  Each student brought their own Beagle Board to work with – except me.


I was fortunate to meet Todd Fischer from RidgeRun, a company that provides support for Linux on the Beagle Board.  Todd just happened to have a spare board which he allowed me to play with.

Using the on-board USB and DVI-D ports, we were able to connect the Beagle Board to a keyboard, mouse, and LCD monitor.

The Beagle Board
The Beagle Board

Besides a discussion of the specs and manufacturing challenges of the board, student were taught about the boot process and how to change the boot sequence and, about many of the applications that already run on it.  The slides from the presentation can be found here.

The Beagle Board was the center of three additional classes.  They were “Introduction to Creating 3D UI with the Beagle Board”, Understand Linux Components, Kill Bugs, and Fix Wasteful Code”, and, “Taking Advantage of Bluetooth for Communications and More”.

Looking at my schedule, I see tomorrow will be a much longer day at the Embedded Systems Conference.

1 comment

  1. I think I see myself in the photo of the class!

    I attended this track at ESC and enjoyed it. This was my first time attending ESC. I had just achieved Ubuntu bootup on BeagleBoard before attending the conference, and had not considered Android for the Beagle-based project I’m working on. However, after seeing Android demonstrated, and discussed, it’s now a solid contender.

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