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Beaglebone board

Featuring double-DSP with CAN

The first available member of the Beaglebone AI family comes with two Classical CAN interfaces. Versions with CAN FD support are planned.

The Beaglebone AI family addresses “artificial intelligence” applications (Source: Foundation)

The Beaglebone AI boards fill the gap between small single board computers (SBCs) and more powerful industrial computers. Leveraging the Texas Instruments (TI) Sitara AM5729 processor, developers have access to powerful machine learning capabilities with the ease of the Beaglebone Black header and mechanical compatibility.

The launched board-level product hosts TI C66x digital-signal-processor (DSP) cores and embedded-vision-engine (EVE) cores on the Sitara AM5729 processor. An optimized TI Deep Learning (TIDL) software framework and pre-installed software tools support machine learning. Downloading and running the latest examples of edge inference algorithms and applications is only a few clicks away.

"This board is the answer to our community's request to see the next major advancement in the Beaglebone family," said Jason Kridner, co-founder of the Foundation. "Its feature set is jam packed and offers capabilities unparalleled by any other single board computer, open hardware or not."

The TI Sitara AM5729 processor features two 1,5-GHz Cortex-A15 cores, two C66x digital signal processors, four embedded vision engines (EVEs) supported by the TIDL software framework library for machine learning, two dual-core programmable real-time units (PRU) for ultra-low latency control and software generated peripherals. The board comes with an 1-GiB RAM capacity and a 16-GiB eMMC flash memory capacity. It features multiple interface including USB (Type A and Type C), Gigabit-Ethernet, Wifi, Bluetooth, microHDMI, etc. There are also two Classical CAN ports. Next versions will also support CAN FD.

The CAN cores on the Sitara processor provide 64 frame buffers with individual identifier masks. The receive buffers are organized as FIFO memory. There is a programmable loop-back mode for self-test operations and a suspend mode for debug support. The cores support an automatic bus-on feature triggered by a programmable 32-bit timer after bus-off state. In test mode, a direct access to the buffers is possible. The Rx/Tx pins are configurable as general-purpose I/O pins. For CAN FD, I/O pins with a low latency and a high symmetry should be used.

"We believe this board will excel in everyday automation in industrial, commercial, and home applications," stated Christine Long, Executive Director of the Foundation. "And at an extremely competitive price point we've made this board available to everyone. It's an industry game changer."