In this chapter, you are introduced to the BeagleBone platform hardware and its variant boards. The chapter focuses in particular on the BeagleBone and PocketBeagle boards and the various subsystems and physical inputs/outputs of these boards. In addition, the chapter lists accessories that can be helpful in developing your own Beagle-based projects. By the end of this chapter, you should have an appreciation of the power and complexity of this computing platform. You should also be aware of the first steps to take to protect your boards from physical damage.
Introduction to the Boards
Beagle boards are compact, low-cost, open-source Linux computing platforms that can be used to build complex applications that interface high-level software and low-level electronic circuits. These are ideal platforms for prototyping project and product designs that take advantage of the power and freedom of Linux, combined with direct access to input/output pins and buses, allowing you to interface with electronics components, modules, and USB devices. The following are some characteristics of the single-board computing (SBC) boards:
- They are powerful, containing a processor that can perform up to 2 billion instructions per second.
- They are widely available at relatively low-cost, as little as $25–$90 depending on the board chosen.
- They support many standard interfaces for electronics devices.
- They use little power, running at between 1 W (idle) and 2.3 W ...