Robots, Games, IoT, and Tiny Computers – Example Applications from the Embedded Systems Conference in Boston

 

Last week was a busy one.  We started off the week by announcing the newest member of the OSD335x family, the OSD335x-SM.  This new device has even more integration than the OSD335x but in a package that is 40% smaller with an easy to route ball map.

As if that wasn’t enough excitement for the week, a group of us also made a trip to Boston to attend the Embedded Systems Conference.  We met a lot of interesting engineers and designers that were excited to see how System-In-Package (SiP) technology could help with their designs.  While we were there we showed off some applications powered by the OSD335x SiP.  We also highlighted the wide range of development platforms that are available today.  For those of you that couldn’t visit us in Boston, here is a recap of what we showed:

Robots Powered by the BeagleBone® Blue and the OSD3358

OSD3358 Powered RobotsThe demos that attracted the most interest were our robots!  We had two that were both powered by the BeagleBone® Blue Robotics platform which features the OSD3358-512M-BAS.

The first was an inverted pendulum, a robot that balances on two wheels like a Segway.  This guy drew a lot of people to the booth as it moved back and forth on our table and couldn’t be knocked over.  The robot showcases the Programmable Real-Time Units (PRUs) in the OSD3358 which execute the real-time control loops that are required for it to keep its balance.  It also leverages the motor drive, encoder inputs, and IMU on the BeagleBone® Blue to fully control the system.

The other robot was a rover that has a USB webcam attached to it.  This robot spins around and sends video from the webcam to a laptop through WiFi.  This demo leveraged the Wireless capabilities of the BeagleBone® Blue to transmit video.

Whac-A-Mole Breadboard Powered by the GHI OSD3358 BeagleBone® TH Module

Whak-A-Mole game on a breadboard with the OSD3358This fun game was developed by our Applications Manager, Erik Welsh.  It is a version of the classic Whac-A-Mole game with 4 LEDs that sit next to buttons.  When the LED lights up, the player has to press the corresponding button before the LED turns off to get a point.  The game lets a player test their reflexes for 30 seconds.

This demo highlights how easy it is to prototype with the OSD3358 leveraging the GHI OSD3358 BeagleBone® TH Module.  The module allows you to attach headers so it can be used to bread board applications.

The board also runs the standard BeagleBone® Debian Linux distributions so you can be up and running in a matter of minutes.  Because it runs Linux you can prototype your application in whatever programming language you like.  This game was written in Python!

IoT – Wireless Sensor Network with the BeagleBone® Blue and the BeagleBone® Black Wireless

BeagleBone Blue and BeagleBone Black Wireless IOT DemoThe OSD3358 is ideally suited to be part of wireless networks that are associated with the Internet of Things (IoT).  This demo highlights this ability.  It captures different sensor data from the BeagleBone® Blue and charts it in real-time.  The BeagleBone® Blue is powered from a lithium ion battery pack and the IMU (Gyro, Accelerometer, Magnetometer, Temperature) and Barometer (Altimeter, Pressure, Temperature) are polled every second.  This data is transmitted wirelessly to a BeagleBone® Black Wireless that is acting as a WiFi hotspot.

The BeagleBone Black Wireless collects the data and displays it on different graphs that were updated in real-time.

Tiny Computers – The OSD3358 Based PocketBone Project

OSD3358 PocketBone in Mini-Altoids TinThe integration the OSD335x provides allows designers to build some cool things.  We featured one of the smallest full functioning Embedded Linux based computers.  The PocketBone is a community project created by Michael Welling.  It features the OSD3358-512M-BAS on a board that fits into a Mini-Altoids Tin.  Besides the OSD3358 the board has a SD card slot for the operating system, 2 USB ports, UART, I2C, a couple of buttons and some LEDs.  All of this is on a single sided 4-layer PCB.

 

Other Reference Platforms

 

We also had some of our other development platforms on display.  Mainly, the GHI OSD3358 BeagleBone® Development board.  It has a 5-inch capacitive touch LCD display that allowed vistors to browse the Octavo Systems website.  Along with the dev board we had the OSD3358 BeagleBone® System-on-Module which is an effortless way to integrate the OSD3358 into a development system.

Finally, the OSD3358 SBC reference design was on display.  This is a completely open source reference design that is available on product page.  This design highlights some of the best practices for designing with the OSD3358.

 

GHI OSD3358 BeagleBone Development Board OSD3358 SBC Reference Design

 Video

Now that you know all about the demos here is a quick video showing everything that we had.  Enjoy!

New Smaller More Flexible OSD335x-SM System-In-Package

Octavo Systems Announces 40% Smaller SiP to OSD335x Family

OSD335x-SM on top of the OSD335xAustin, Texas (May 2, 2017) – Octavo Systems LLC (Octavo) today announced a new addition to its popular OSD335x family of System-In-Package (SiP) devices, the OSD335x-SM.  The OSD335x-SM, like the OSD335x, provides designers a platform to quickly create production-ready systems based on the Texas Instruments (TI) Sitara™ AM335x processor with an ARM® Cortex®-A8 core.  However, the OSD335x-SM offers this in a package that is 40% smaller than the original OSD335x and adds new functionality.

OSD335x-SM Block DiagramThe OSD335x-SM adds a 4KB EEPROM to the existing TI AM335x processor running up to 1GHz, TPS65217C power management IC (PMIC), TL5209 low-dropout (LDO) regulator, DDR3 memory, and passive components that are integrated into the original OSD335x.  The OSD335x-SM packs all of this functionality into a much smaller (21mm X 21mm) 256 ball BGA package.  The new OSD335x-SM not only removes the complexity of interfacing with DDR and power sequencing but also uses 60% less space than a comparable discrete design.

The OSD335x-SM also delivers new flexibility to the user who wants more control over their design.  Designers are now able to assign the I/O voltage levels and set the ADC voltage range allowing them to better tailor the device to their needs.  It also provides the designer with more options to control and monitor the power of the OSD335x by providing access to the PMIC’s analog multiplexing (mux) functionality that allows access to critical system voltages.

OSD335x-SM Optimized Pin Map LayoutThe OSD335x-SM also features a new highly optimized Pin Map. “The pin placement has been completely rethought to allow board designers to easily route all of the application signals from the BGA in a single layer,” explains Erik Welsh, Applications Engineering Manager for Octavo Systems. All the necessary application signals are placed in the outer three rows/columns of the BGA.  The OSD335x-SM uses the standard OSD335x 1.27mm ball pitch, allowing the outer three rows to be escaped using trace width and spacing of 0.15mm (6 mils).  Erik adds, “Having this ability makes routing a printed circuit board (PCB) a simple task and significantly reduces the cost of the PCB.”

“The OSD335x-SM is a welcome addition to our OSD335x family.  It is built for the designer that requires the most flexibility in a small footprint.  The new features really allow system designers to tailor the part to meet their specific needs while using the smallest possible form factor,” says Bill Heye, President of Octavo Systems. “We believe the OSD335x-SM is an excellent example of the many benefits of SiP technology”

The OSD335x-SM will be available in Q3 through Octavo’s distribution partners.  If you would like more information, please contact Octavo Systems at sales@octavosystems.com.

Octavo Systems will have a booth at the Embedded Systems Conference on May 3rd and 4th at the Boston Convention Center.  Visit them at booth #1166 to get more information on the OSD335x-SM and the rest of the OSD335x family.

PocketBone: The Linux Computer that Fits in a Mini-Altoids Tin – Designed in KiCad – Featuring the OSD3358

This article was guest written by Michael Welling, the developer of the KiCad PocketBone Design.  Michael is an Embedded Design Engineer with over 10 years of experience.  He owns an electronic design consulting firm, QWERTY Embedded Design, LLC.  He has an MS in Electrical Engineering, was an instructor at SIUC and a 12-year member of IEEE.  He is also a mentor for Beagleboard.org Google Summer of Code.

Motivation

As an embedded systems design engineer, I am always on the lookout for the latest technology. When the Octavo Systems OSD3358 was announced I was very excited to see something mainstream using System-In-Package (SiP) technology.

System-In-Package represents a new way to overcome many design challenges in the highly integrated mixed signal system space.   The OSD3358, in particular, piqued my interest because I had done a few designs using the Texas Instruments Sitara® series System on Chips (SoC), the same one at the core of this Octavo SiP. This urged me to design something around the SiP.  I really wanted to compare the design process of the SiP to that of a typical SoC.

The benefits of having the DDR memory integrated into the package are obvious to anyone that has done work with typical SoCs with external RAM. DDR memory routing and design rules are quite complex and require a substantial amount of work at design time. From trace equalization to differential pair routing, the DDR routing process usually has the engineer rolling up their sleeves.

The integration of the power supplies and passives removes many of the SoC design challenges. Most SoCs require several power supplies that must be enabled in a very specific and timed sequence. Typically, integrated power management ICs (PMIC) are used to meet these requirements but they still require sourcing of passives, including the appropriately sized inductors for the embedded switching regulators.

As a bonus, the SiP even integrates the bypass capacitors that are typically sprinkled all over the opposite side of the PCB from the SoC. This leaves more area on the bottom of the PCB for placement when doing highly space-constrained designs. With all of this built into the SiP, I knew the design process was going to be a breeze.

So when I was approached to do a community reference design with the SiP, I knew it was time to step forward.

The History of PocketBone

TPocketBone Done In Eaglehe PocketBone started out as a small reference design in Eagle CAD developed by Jason Kridner of the Beagleboard.org foundation. It was meant to provide a starting point for the community to take and create their own designs. The original board broke out USB, MicroSD, and a few LEDs. The form factor was truly impressive, a Beagleboard in a small Altoids tin.

At the Linux Plumbers Conference, the design was brought to my attention after I expressed interest in doing a design with the Octavo SiP to Drew Fustini. Drew had recently become a board member for Beagleboard.org and said that they were looking to hand off the PocketBone project to someone.

Drew explained the state of the project and the desire to convert the project from Eagle to KiCAD to make the design more accessible to the community. We discussed documenting the design process and the possibility of doing home assembly of the units. Furthermore, the final assembly would be recorded and posted as a reference for aspiring hardware hackers.

Needless to say, I took the challenge and started work soon after returning home from the conference.

The Schematics

The schematic was translated rather quickly from Jason’s design. One thing that accelerated the translation was the existing KiCAD component symbol and footprint provided from a library by Alex Hiam, a fellow Beagleboard.org GSoC mentor.

While pulling the schematic across from Eagle a few errors in the original design were discovered and corrected as necessary. The original design had various issues with the crystals and USB. I also added a 10 pin header which broke out SPI, I2C, and UART0 to add a bit more functionality.

All of the design files were pushed to Github and are publically available at https://github.com/mwelling/pocketbone-kicad

Once I completed the design it was reviewed by some other BeagleBoard.org community members.  The design was so simple there really wasn’t much to review and I moved onto routing.

Routing

For the first pass at routing, I attempted using 2 layers to route the design. Though it was possible to route in 2 layers I wasn’t completely satisfied with my attempt.  First, I had concerns about routing USB traces in 2 layers and not having the proper impedance.  Also, some of the components placements I chose made it difficult to make cases for the PocketBone.

Finally, a request was made that I put all the components on the top side of the board.  I had originally put the MicroSD and expansion header on the bottom.  Moving everything to the top side makes populating the board simpler (and more cost-effective) because it only takes a single pass through the reflow oven.

PocketBone 2 Layer Routing Top Layer
PocketBone 2 Layer Routing – Top Layer

PocketBone 2 Layer Routing Bottom Layer
PocketBone 2 Layer Routing – Bottom Layer

With all of this feedback, I decided to pull up all the routing and completely rework the component placement.  After some shuffling and part swapping, the placement was consolidated to a single side and sent off for approval. As a bonus, the new placement even left enough room for a battery header to be added. Once the component layout was approved, the second pass at routing commenced.

I wanted to route this layout in 2 layers as well. However, it was becoming difficult and I still had concerns about the USB impedance. After a few attempts, I made the executive decision to switch to 4 layers. This calmed my concerns about the USB routing. USB has strict requirements for trace impedance which cannot be easily met with a standard thickness 2 layer PCB.

Switching to 4 layers was not a problem because I was using KiCAD.  Unlike the free version of Eagle CAD, KiCAD has no layer and board size restrictions.

Once the routing was complete, the design was posted for another review.

PocketBone 4 Layer Routing - Top Layer
PocketBone 4 Layer Routing – Top Layer

PocketBone 4 Layer Routing - Bottom Layer
PocketBone 4 Layer Routing – Bottom Layer

PocketBone 4 Layer Routing - Power Layer
PocketBone 4 Layer Routing – Power Layer

PocketBone 4 Layer Routing - Ground Layer
PocketBone 4 Layer Routing – Ground Layer

Somewhere in the middle of the process of routing the board, I created a Hackaday.io page to document the design in progress and get more community feedback. Hackaday.io is a relatively new forum for aspiring hackers to share projects that they are working on. Hackaday.io is hosted by Hackaday.com, known for its daily hacker blog started in 2004. The PocketBone Hackaday.io page is a good place to find the latest status of the project.

Building The Board

With the routing completed, I started working with Drew Fustini to get the PCB’s from OSH Park, a low-cost batch PCB manufacturer. Drew works at OSH Park and the got me the first PCBs free of charge. In exchange, I created a special edition with the OSH Park logo on it. OSH Park is known for their high-quality purple PCBs and reasonable low volume pricing. While in Portland for the Embedded Linux Conference I had the pleasure of visiting OSH Park to pick up the boards in person.

First PocketBone PCB courtesy of OSH Park
First PocketBone PCB courtesy of OSH Park

The original and OSH Park version of the design were posted publicly to OSH Park’s site for anyone who would like to order the boards and attempt assembly.

Meanwhile, Jason Kridner took initiative and put in a turn-key order of the PCBs assembly with Circuithub. He sent me one so I could finish testing everything out.

PocketBone Assembled - Top Side
PocketBone Assembled – Top Side

PocketBone Assembled - Bottom Side
PocketBone Assembled – Bottom Side
PocketBone Assembled - Cool Side View
PocketBone Assembled – Cool Side View

Board Bring Up

The first prototype assemblies worked without issue! The latest Debian image from Beagleboard.org supports the PocketBone thanks to the work done by Robert C. Nelson and Jason. Robert, another Beagleboard.org board member, is the driving force behind the Debian images provided on all of the Beagleboard products.

All that was required was the initial EEPROM programming and the board was ready to go.  Once the EEPROM was programmed I plugged it in and voilà!

PocketBone - It's Alive!
PocketBone – It’s Alive!

That is it.  A Linux PC the size of a Mini-Altoids tin.  All of the board designs are freely shared on the Circuithub site for anyone to order.

What’s Next

In the upcoming weeks, I will be attempting to hand-assemble one of these. Stay tuned for another installment detailing the procedure for home prototype assembly.

I would like to thank Jason, Drew, and Alex for the idea and support along the way.

Visit Octavo Systems at the Embedded Systems Conference 2017 in Boston

Octavo Systems at ESC Boston May3-4 Booth # 1166

Octavo Systems is heading to Boston!  We will be attending the 2017 Embedded Systems Conference on May 3rd and 4th in the Boston Convention Center.  We will be there to discuss all the ways System-In-Package (SiP) Technology can help you create new and exciting products faster than ever before.  We will also be showcasing a handful of different applications for the OSD3358, from simple computers to robots.  If you are planning to be at the Embedded Systems Conference make sure you stop by booth 1166 to see what we can do for you.  If you want to set up a meeting please contact us through our online form.

Not going to the Embedded Systems Conference but are in the Boston Area and want to talk to us?  That is great!  Please contact us through the online form and we will work out a time to get together.

We are really looking forward to meeting all the innovators in the Boston area and figuring out how we can help you achieve your goals.  See you soon!

 

 

BeagleBone® Blue and OSD3358: The Fastest Way to Build Your Own Robots

 

Robots are everywhere. Self-guided vacuums cruise across our floors.  Manufacturing robots construct cars and appliances with speed and precision. Self–driving cars are only a few years away from commercial viability. The R2 Robonaut has been helping astronauts on the space station for years. A little closer to Earth, drones help people take stunning overhead photos and videos. Soon, drones may even deliver packages or rescue lost hikers.

Even with the explosion of robots all around us, building them can be challenging. For a robot to complete a task safely and correctly, the robot needs to interact and sense its environment and know how to react.  This requires complicated mechanical, electrical, and software functions all working together with precision. With so much complexity, robot development might seem the sole province of well-funded institutions and companies.

Not any longer.

Enter BeagleBone®  Blue

BeagleBone® Blue

The BeagleBoard.org® Foundation in partnership with Octavo Systems has developed BeagleBone® Blue, an open-source robotics controller platform that allows anyone to quickly and easily build their own robots. The controller is LINUX-enabled, community-supported, and fully open-source. Octavo Systems’ OSD3358 System-in-Package (SIP) technology provides BeagleBone®  Blue’s primary computing power and RAM.  The board also provides 4GB of on-board flash storage. BeagleBone®  Blue is compatible with Debian, ArduPilot, ROS, and features the Cloud9 IDE.

BeagleBone® Blue includes powerful high-performance connectivity interfaces, including USB 2.0 client and host connections. The controller also provides wireless connectivity using 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1, and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). Through the pre-configured WiFi access point you can begin your code development simply by connecting a battery and opening your web browser.

BeagleBone Blue Detail Featuring the OSD3358But this is a robotics controller, so it must be prepared to do real things in the real world. BeagleBone® Blue includes multiple motor control options including four DC motor drivers, four quadrature encoder inputs, and eight servo motor controllers.  It also has a variety of power source options from a microUSB, to a two-cell LiPo battery connector, and  9-18V DC jack. On-board sensors include a barometer and a 9-axis inertial measurement unit (IMU).

BeagleBone® Blue utilizes the active and engaged BeagleBoard.org community to help support you through all phases of the development process. Also, with BeagleBoard.org® focusing on education they intend to provide a full curriculum for BeagleBone® Blue via a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). Whether you’re a newbie, or an experienced developer, BeagleBone Blue can help jump start your next robotics project.

The OSD3358 and BeagleBone® Blue

The OSD3358 enabled BeagleBoard.org to provide this powerful robotics platform in a small, low-cost package. It integrates the TI Sitara™ AM3358 ARM® Cortex® A8 processor running up to 1GHz, 512MB of DDR3 RAM, and two power supplies into a single IC package. At roughly the size of a quarter, the OSD3358 uses 35% less space than separate components. OSD3358’s compact System-In-Package form enables BeagleBoard.org to fit all this functionality into a small form factor that still fits in an Altoids-tin. Its small size and powerful features (6 PWMs, 3 Quadrater Encoders, ADCs, PRUs, etc.) make the OSD3358 a perfect fit for drones and other robotics platforms where size and weight are key concerns.

OSD3358 the Size of a Quarter

The OSD3358 and the Future of Robots

Now, with BeagleBone® Blue and the OSD3358, robot designers have an easy and clear path to building their own robotics systems. BeagleBone® Blue is a low-cost prototyping platform that allows you to spend less time developing a controller and more time focusing on the mechanical and software design aspects of your robot. Using the OSD3358, you can quickly build your customized solution and get into production faster.

Find out more about our OSD3358 SIP technology and related development boards at OctavoSystems.com.

Why System in Package Technology Must Replace System on a Chip Technology

 

System On Chip
System On Chip

System on a chip (SoC) technology has got us a long way, allowing for entire electronic systems to be integrated into a single microchip, and SoC technology has long been the driving force behind smaller and smaller electronic systems with higher and higher levels of performance. Like all great technologies, though, SoC technology must eventually give way to something even more innovative and effective. In an article published by Stephan Ohr on EE Times, Ohr discusses how the increasing costs of transistor scaling has made SoC technology less viable and has created a demand for a specialized design process, and we at Octavo Systems completely agree with that assessment. With current manufacturing trends demanding an efficient process to manufacture an entire electronic system at one time and at increasingly smaller sizes, SoC technology is no longer an optimal solution. Fortunately, we have  a replacement–System in Package (SiP) technology.

What is System in Package Technology?

System in Package (SiP) technology is simply combining a number of integrated circuits together in one highly compact module (package) and that function as one unit. In SiP, integrated circuits are attached to a substrate then electrically connected via fine wires within the package. Rather than focusing on how many transistors we can fit onto one piece of silicon, SiP technology aims to develop new and innovative ways to integrate system components into a single package. This is especially valuable in space-constrained designs, and SiP technology has paved the way for smaller and smaller electronic devices by decreasing the complexity of circuit boards and eliminating the need to add a large number of external components in order to make the device function. In this way, SiP technology has been the driving force behind miniaturizing devices that once would have been too complex for SoC methodology to make work.

Why SiP is Replacing SoC

System in Package (SiP) technology was born out of the overwhelming success of Moore’s Law. Moore’s Law has allowed for the production of semiconductors that are less expensive, dissipate less power, and have higher performance. What it has also done, however, is make it so there is no longer one semiconductor manufacturing process that works for all of the components which

Octavo Systems OSD335x SiP
Octavo Systems SiP

make up a system. For SoC to work at a system level, one or more necessary components will need to be severely compromised. As more devices begin to rely on integrating components into a single system, SoC is losing its viability as a cost efficient, functional option for system integration. SiP, however, opens the door for the design of a near limitless variety of complex systems. While SiP is already a popular methodology in a variety of industries, our goal at Octavo Systems is to promote SiP as the go-to technology for all facets of electronic design.

Opportunities SiP Provides

One of the biggest opportunities SiP provides is for the production of specialized sensors that will be affordable enough to have potential on the market. One example of such sensors would be smart sensors placed inside of cups at coffee shops. Many coffee shops already provide free internet, encouraging visitors to linger and hopefully order more coffee. However, for a customer to order more coffee they must get up from their seat, leaving their computer behind and risking losing their seat to go stand in line. In this way, ordering more coffee becomes inconvenient for the customers and hurts the coffee shop’s chances of making a sale.

With a smart cup, however, sensors could be integrated into the cup, alerting the barista when the coffee in the cup is almost gone or has grown cold so they can come by with a fresh cup of coffee. The cup then becomes a sort of an “infinity cup” that is continually replenished, and the customer’s credit card charged, without the customer ever having to leave their seat. If the  cup is sold to the customer as a personal cup, the barista could be alerted as soon as the customer walks through the door with the cup and could begin making the customer’s order. Alternatively, the customer could choose to have a menu of drinks for the day, in which case the barista would wait for the customer to place their order as normal.

As the Internet of Things becomes increasingly more of a reality rather than just a concept, the need for a multitude of affordable, highly functional sensors grows more apparent. The SiP methodologies we are pushing for at Octavo Systems help make those sensors possible.

Another great example of the innovations SiP provides can be found in imaging systems. SiP technology allows for devices as complex as a high-resolution camera to be produced at incredibly small sizes. Several years ago I was involved with a medical research team at USC as they were creating artificial vision. The aspect of their research that encouraged me was their designing a camera that could be surgically implanted into the eye of the patient, and the end goal of the project was to produce a camera the size of a grain of rice. Before SiP technology, a camera of this size would not have been possible. However, using the advantages of a SiP solution, the team at USC was able to conceive a viable design that could provide artificial sight to a blind patient.

These two examples are just a small sample of the opportunities involved with embracing SiP technology. We at Octavo Systems believe that SiP technology is soon to become the new poster-child for technological innovation, paving the way for an unimaginable number of new and innovative designs.

Now Even More Ways to Buy Octavo’s Products

 

I have another exciting announcement to make!  We are expanding our distribution network, giving you even more ways to buy Octavo’s products.  At Octavo, we are continually evaluating how best to reach our customers and give them the support they need.  Today, Octavo Systems is happy to announce that Mouser has joined Digi-Key as one of our distribution partners.  Partnering with these two world-class distributors ensures our customers have easy access to our devices.

Digi-Key

Digi-Key ElectronicsSince our launch, Digi-Key has been the main channel for customers to buy Octavo’s products.  Through Digi-Key, we have been able to reach customers around the world, helping them create new and innovative products.  With Digi-Key’s focus on customer service, technology, and engineering support through every stage of production, they play a key role in getting Octavo products into customer hands.  We are very proud to have them be a part of our team.

.

 Mouser

Mouser ElectronicsToday, Mouser joins the Octavo team.  Mouser is a global electronics distributor headquartered in Texas, not too far from our own headquarters.  They have a strong commitment to both customer service and innovative technology.  Having them as part of our distribution network is a huge milestone for us.  We believe that their values align perfectly with our goals as a company.  We are very excited to have them be a part of the Octavo team.

 

At Octavo, we strive to help designers focus on what makes their design unique by removing the tedious aspects of electrical designs.  This includes the procurement process.  Through our System-in-Package integration, we remove a lot of the complexity around sourcing parts.  However, if you can’t easily access our devices then we haven’t helped much.  That is why having partners like Digi-Key and Mouser is so important.  They ensure anybody who has an idea gets what they need to make it a reality.

We hope that these partnerships set a solid foundation for us and our customers for the years to come!

New OSD3358 Development Platforms from GHI Electronics

 

It has been a busy couple of weeks around here lately with a lot of exciting news.  First we had the announcement of the BeagleBone® Black Wireless which features the OSD3358-512M-BAS instead of the discrete TI AM3358.  Then we went to World Maker Faire at the New York Hall of Science.  Now we have a couple more announcements.

We are happy to let everybody know that GHI Electronics has released two development platforms for the OSD3358.  Both boards utilize the OSD3358-512M-BAS which integrates the TI Sitara™ AM3358 ARM® Cortex® A8 processor running at 1GHz, 512MB of DDR3, 2 power supplies, and passives into a single IC package.  The boards are available to order today from the GHI Electronics website.  Their status is listed as preview.  This means there are some things that haven’t been completely tested yet (all of which are outlined).  It also means there could be some minor changes when the production versions are released.

The GHI OSD3358 BeagleBone® Dev Board

GHI OSD3358 Development BoardThe first platform is the GHI OSD3358 BeagleBone® Dev Board.  This is a full featured development board that includes a capacitive touch screen display and features popular industrial interfaces like RS232 and CAN.  It also has a single 10/100 Mbit Ethernet, USB Host, and USB Client ports. For nonvolatile memory, the board has 4GB EMMC and a SD Card Slot for expansion.  The GHI OSD3358 BeagleBone® Dev Board also boasts an expansion header that allows access to the ADC channels and the remaining GPIOs of the OSD3358 System-In-Package.

With all of the features and connection options, the GHI OSD3358 BeagleBone® Dev Board is the best way to explore the full capabilities of the OSD3358.

 

The GHI OSD33558 BeagleBone® TH Module

GHI OSD3358 TH ModuleThe next platform is the GHI OSD3358 BeagleBone® TH Module.  This is a bare bones system that allows you to easily start integrating the OSD3358 into your designs.  It adds 4GB of EMMC, a MicoSD slot, and USB to the OSD3358 System-In-Package.  It also brings the GPIO, Analog, LCD, and Ethernet pins to a 100mil header footprint making it extremely easy to connect your custom circuitry.

This board is designed to be the next step after the Dev Board.  It provides a natural progression to integrating the OSD3358 into your system.  It has just what you need to boot Linux and start controlling your custom circuitry.

GHI Electronics

We are really excited to release these boards to the community.  We have been working with GHI Electronics for over a year on them to ensure the best possible experience.  GHI’s vision and customer knowledge combined with their in-house, US based, hardware design, software services, and manufacturing allowed us to ensure the best possible quality.  We are proud GHI Electronics is part of our partner network and look forward to working with them to continue supporting the needs of our customers.

BeagleBoard Compatible

beaglecomp_200pxAs the names might suggest, both development platforms are BeagleBoard Compatible, just like the OSD3358 itself.  This means both boards are capable of running the well supported Linux distributions provided by BeagleBoard.org®.  By leveraging the BeagleBoard community and software you can get Linux running in matter of minutes.

Also since the OSD3358 and the development platforms are all BeagleBoard Compatible you can rest assured whatever you build on the platforms will perform the same when you go to an OSD3358 only design.

 

 

We hope these platforms will provide designers an easy way to start developing around the OSD3358 System-In-Package.  As you start designing please give us your feedback on the platforms.  We really want to continue to improve the experience.  Let us know what you think here.

Meet Us at World Maker Faire New York 2016

wmf2016_logo

Hey everybody.  I wanted to let you know the Octavo Team will be attending World Maker Faire in New York this weekend on October 1st and 2nd.  We will be roaming around Hall of Science checking out all of the incredible projects.  We will also be at the BeagleBoard.org booth in Zone 3 and giving a talk on how the OSD3358 and BeagleBoard can simplify the design of embedded Linux systems.

If you are interested in meeting with us please contact us.  We look forward to meeting all of the Makers out there who can use the OSD3358 to create new and innovative products!

See you there!

The BeagleBone® Black Wireless and BeagleBoard Compatibility

 

Today is a very exciting day!  After months of hard work, we are finally ready to make two big announcements.  First, is the release of the BeagleBone® Black Wireless, which features the Octavo OSD3358-512M-BAS System-In-Package.  Second, the OSD3358 is now officially BeagleBoard Compatible!  These developments strengthen our relationship with BealgeBoard.org and make the OSD335x family of devices even easier to use.

BeagleBone™ Black Wireless

We are proud to be a part of BeagleBone® Black Wireless!  It builds on the success of the very popular BeagleBone® Black with two exciting changes.  First, the design was greatly simplified by replacing over 150 discrete components with the OSD3358-512M-BAS.  BeagleBone Black Wireless Featuring the OSD3358Additionaly, the Ethernet peripheral has been replaced with the WiLink8 WL1835 module from Texas Instruments, providing both 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth V4.1.  BeagleBone® Black Wireless is completely compatible with all standard BeagleBone® Black capes.  Finally, like everything in the BeagleBoard family, BeagleBone® Black wireless is completely open source!

BeagleBone® Black wireless now offers developers a low cost evaluation platform for the Octavo OSD335x device.  They can use it to start prototyping on a Linux system in a matter of minutes.  Then, once ready, designers can quickly go from a prototype to a custom board by leveraging the OSD3358 and Beaglboard.org®’s active community, open-source hardware, and software.

The OSD3358 becoming an integral part BeagleBoard.org®’s newest board is a huge honor for us.  We have been collaborating with BeagleBoard.org® since the beginning of the OSD335x.  This is huge validation that we are on the right track, and we are excited to continue to work with BeagleBoard.org® on future products.

OSD3358 is Officially BeagleBoard Compatible

This one is really important if you have a design built on BeagleBone® and want to create your own custom board.  By integrating the processor, DDR3, and power supplies from the BeagleBone® Black into a single device, the OSD3358 already simplified the hardware design required for a custom embedded Linux system.  beaglecomp_200pxMaking it an ideal starting point for any new design.

Now that the OSD3358 is officially BeagleBoard Compatible you have the confidence that the software you developed on BeagleBone® will perform the way you expect when you transition to the OSD3358.  It also means you will be able to get support from the large and active BeagleBoard community that you are already familiar with.

The BeagleBoard Compatible OSD3358 is now the easiest way to create your own BeagleBone® based embedded Linux system.

We are very excited about these two developments.  We look forward to our growing partnership with BealgeBoard.org.  Together we are striving to bring the simplicity of microcontrollers to the world of embedded Linux.

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