Houston—Texas Instruments (TI) today announced four new development kits for its OMAP35x family. The boards include a $149 open-source kit, an evaluation module for DaVinci video codecs, and a pair of third-party development boards.
The $149 development kit, known as the Beagle Board, is an open source design created by TI and its partners. The Beagle Board is a 3" X 3" single-board computer based on the just-released OMAP3530. It offers common interfaces like DVI-D, S-Video, SD/MMC+, and USB 2.0 HS OTG. The board can connect to standard PC USB peripherals, enabling it to be used as a stand-alone Linux computer. The board can also be accessed through JTAG and serial ports for a more traditional development process. (See video below for details.)
The Beagle Board's $149 price tag is impressive. Similar development boards usually cost ten times as much. However, the low cost comes with a trade-off: TI does not offer tech support for the board. Instead, the board is supported through the open-source community beagleboard.org. Although the open-source support model makes the board a riskier buy, the Beagle Board is likely to be a big success. Because its price is so low, engineers can buy the board without management approval—something they can't do with pricier boards. Thus, the Beagle Board dramatically lowers the barriers to starting OMAP35x development.
TI also announced the OMAP35x DaVinci Software Development Kit (DVSDK) today. This kit is a free software add-on to the OMAP35x Evaluation Module (EVM). The DVSDK lets developers try out the DaVinci audio and video codecs. The codec engine works on the Linux 2.6.22 kernel today and is scheduled to support Windows Embedded CE 6.0 in the near future.
In addition to these boards, TI also announced two small-for-factor boards from third-party vendors. The following table summarizes the features of the boards announced today. All boards except Gumstix board are available now. The Gumstix board will be available late 2008. These boards join the Zoom medical development kit announced earlier this year.
The Beagle Board is available for $149. The TMDXEVM3503 is available for $1495. The Zoom Medical OMAP35x Development Kit (TMDXMEVM3503-L) is available for $995.
OMAP35x EVM & DVSDK
Integrated power mgmt., analog, peripherals
VGA touch screen LCD
128 MB memory
Portable media player, portable navigation, Internet
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.