A beginner’s guide to BeagleBoard

Developers have become accustomed to the introduction of a new single-board computer, or SBC happening almost every day. Despite the number of new additions to the development family, Raspberry Pi has remained one of the top choices for maker boards. However, the BeagleBoard offers a number of features which make it an excellent alternative.

If you haven’t heard of the BeagleBoard, it’s time to get caught up. Not only does it offer a similar experience as Raspberry Pi, but it is also small and compact enough to make it a convenient choice for building prototypes. In this article, we will explore a little bit more about the BeagleBoard and what you can do with it.

What is a BeagleBoard?

Created by Texas Instruments in association with Digi-Key and Newark element14 in 2008, the BeagleBoard is a single-board computer which offers all the functionality of a basic PC, despite its small size (7.5 mm per side). The Beagleboard has an ARM Cortex-A8 CPU that can run up to 1GHz and can be constructed with 128 MB – 512 MB of RAM.

How can a BeagleBoard be used?

The BeagleBoard is the perfect size for learning electronics and creating prototypes. It’s more complex than a simple microcontroller such as the Arduino and can be used for a variety of different things and with a range of different operating systems, such as FreeBSD, Open BSD, Linux, RISC OS and Symbian OS. The Beagleboard also provides support for Android during active development.

Each BeagleBoard features a USB port and an onboard GPU which supports ES 3D acceleration via OpenGL, as well as two audio jacks which can both input and output sound. Onboard Wi-Fi networking is also available in newly released models.

What is the difference between Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone?

The BeagleBone Black, a smaller, more pared-down version of the BeagleBoard shares some similarities with Raspberry Pi, however there are a few subtle differences which help distinguish the two.

The BeagleBone Black offers ample I/O connections making it better for sensor links than Raspberry Pi. The BeagleBone Black is tailored to IoT projects, as it is a better engineering board. It’s similar to the Arduino, except it also has the ability to run operating systems like Android and Linux. That said, Raspberry Pi beats the BeagleBone Black when it comes to pure computer power. It all depends what you’re after.

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