The BeagleBone Black Turns Blue with BlueSteel-Basic, Loses HDMI and Flash

CircuitCo has just introduced BlueSteel-Basic, a development board based on the Beaglebone Black but with a Blue PCB, no HDMI output, and no eMMC flash that’s destined to be used by OEMs in their products. LinuxGizmos also reports that BlueSteel-Basic is to be followed by BlueSteel-IT, an industrial temperature grade (-40 to 100°C) board based on the Beaglebone Black, and Bluesteel-Core, a computer-on-module (CoM) based on Ti Sitara AM335x that are scheduled for July 2014. Let’s checkout BlueSteel-Basic specifications: SoC – Texas Instruments Sitara AM3358BZCZ100 @ 1GHz (2000 MIPS) with PowerVR SGX530 3D GPU (20M Polygons/S) System Memory – 512MB DDR3L @ 800MHz Storage – micro SD slot Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet (RJ45) USB – 1x USB 2.0 host port, 1x mini USB 2.0 port Debugging – Serial header and optional on-board 20-pin CTI JTAG Expansion Connectors Signals: Power 5V, 3.3V, VDD_ADC (1.8V) 3.3V I/O On All Signals McASP0, SPI1, I2C, GPIO (69 max), LCD, GPMC, MMC1, MMC2, 7 AIN …

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$275 HackRF Open Source Software Defined Radio (SDR) Platform

HackRF is an open source hardware project to build a Software Defined Radio (SDR) supporting a frequency range between 30 MHz and 6GHz in both directions (Tx and Rx, half-duplex) with a maximum bandwidth of 20MHz. Jawbreaker (shown below) is a beta hardware that has been tested by several developers and beta testers, and applications such as Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB), Bluetooth monitoring, spectrum sensing, wireless microphones, AIS, FM radio, etc.. have already been ported to the platform. In order to lower the cost of the hardware, Michael Ossmann has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund mass production. There seems to be many SDR enthusiasts as the campaign has already reached its funding target ($80,000) and received for over $300,000 in ledges. What is Software Defined Radio (SDR) and What Can it Be Used for? Before providing details about the hardware and software, it may be useful to provide some general information about SRD and its applications. Here’s how they’ve …

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Raspberry Pi Schematics (Model B) are Available

Now that Raspberry Pi passed all certifications and a few boards are out in the wild, the Raspberry Pi foundation has released the schematics of model B, bringing the Raspberry Pi board closer to becoming an open hardware platform like Texas Instruments Beaglebone or Beagleboard. The Raspberry Pi schematics are available in PDF format, which is a good start and would also people to use the expansion headers (e.g. P1 provides access to GPIOs, SPI, I2C and UART interfaces) and create modules more easily. For the Raspberry Pi to come an open hardware platform, the schematics in .sbk format (so that they can be modified if needed),  Bill of materials,  Gerber files and PCB layout files (they laid out the board with Mentor Graphics Expedition) would have to be released, something which apparently they plan to do at a later stage. Once they do, it will be interesting to see if clones come up. My take is that it’s unlikely …

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