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The ABCs of the BeagleBoard-xM. Gerald Coley Find the right ARM ® Solution for you. Comprehensive developer ecosystem. DSP DSP+ARM . 32-bit ARM MCU for Safety-Critical Applications. 32-bit ARM Cortex ™ -M3 MCUs. ARM Cortex-A8 & ARM9™ MPUs.

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the abcs of the beagleboard xm

The ABCs of the BeagleBoard-xM

Gerald Coley


Find the right ARM® Solution for you

Comprehensive developer ecosystem



32-bit ARM MCU for Safety-Critical Applications

32-bit ARMCortex™-M3



Cortex-A8 &ARM9™ MPUs




& ARM9




ARM Cortex-R4™



Digital Media processors

375MHz to >1GHz

Cache, RAM, ROM


Industrial automation, POS & portable data terminals

$5.00 to $25.00

Upto250DMIPS/ 160 MHz

2 MB Flash, 160 KB RAM

FPU, ECC, Timer/PWM Co-Proc,12bitADCs,CAN, EMIF, LIN, SPI, Flexray

Transportation, Motor Control, Certified for use in safety critical (SIL3) systems

$7.00 to $18.00

Up to 80 MHz

Flash8 KB to 256 KB


Connectivity,Security,Motion Control, HMI,Industrial Automation

$1.00 to $8.00

300MHz to >1Ghz +Accelerator




Floating/Fixed Point

Video, Audio, Voice,

Security, Conferencing

$5.00 to $200.00

Development tools

Software support

Responsive design support

MPUs – Microprocessors


Introduction to

Meet the Beagles

BeagleBoard-xM Walkthrough

Qt Demo

Working with the Community

OS and Distro Options


what s in the name beagle
What’s in the name…Beagle

Bring your own peripherals

Entry-level cost

ARM Cortex-A8 (superscalar)

Graphics and/or DSP accelerated

Linux and open source community

Environment for innovators

beagle community
Beagle Community

Active & technical community

Freedom to innovate


Opportunity to tinker and learn

Wikis, blogs/RSS, promotion of community activity

Personally affordable

> 3,200 participants and growing

Addressing open source communityneeds

Open access to hardware documentation

Multiple OS and distribution support, applications

why such an active community
Why such an active community?
  • $149/179 for same core processing as used in more expensive, yet popular, commercial products
  • Focus on open source, open hardware and DIY
    • Tens-of-thousands of boards sold exclusively in small quantities
    • All design, test, web, etc. materials shared
  • Teaching tool for high-level OS on embedded
    • Ubuntu, Debian, Angstrom, Gentoo, WinCE, Symbian, QNX, and many others
  • The BeagleBoard community shares
    • Over 150 registered projects on
    • Part of the Google Summer of Code with 6 on-going projects to improve Linux, XBMC, and other open source
    • Average of around 5 articles or blog posts a day
    • Over 3,200 English-language mailing list subscribers with additional dedicated mailing lists in Japanese and Portuguese and numerous project oriented mailing lists in dozens of languages
    • Hundreds of followers on each of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn
  • Rich ecosystem using the design materials
    • Compatible or enhanced system-on-module/computer-on-module designs
      • See
    • Innovative mobile computers (TouchBook)
    • Radios (BeagleBrick)
    • Modular rapid prototyping development systems (Bug2.0)
    • And many add-ons…


Freedom to tinker at all levels

Lots of open starting points

Large and experienced community

Open ecosystem provides real options

open source do it yourself and pro developers embracing the beagleboard
Open source, do-it-yourself, and pro developers embracing the BeagleBoard

FFmpeg BeagleBoard Video Wall


ARM DS-5 for the BeagleBoard


Ubuntu 10.04



Angstrom Distribution





MontaVista MVL6 and Montabello

TimeSys LinuxLink

RidgeRun SDK


Halcon machine vision

BeagleBoard video wall (>1080p video)

beagle is open source hardware
Beagle is Open Source Hardware
  • Every component used in the design of the BB is available for purchase
  • Schematics are provided in:
    • OrCad
    • Altium
    • PDF
  • PCB files are provided in:
    • Allegro
    • Altium
    • Gerber
  • Bills of materials are provided in Excel
  • Anyone is free to use the design material in their product
where can i get a beagle
Where can I get a Beagle?
  • Digi-Key (World-wide)
  • Mouser (World-wide)
  • IDA Systems (India)
  • SparkFun
  • Special Computing
  • Watterott Electronic (Germany)
  • Liquidware
  • ..more online soon (Brazil and China)
meet the beagles a tail of two beagles
Meet the Beagles…..A Tail of Two Beagles

Original Version Rev C

ARM CortexTM-A8 @ 720MHz

Commonly known as the BeagleBoard Rev C

Launched August of 2008

21,000 shipped

Newest Version -xM

ARM CortexTM-A8 @ 1GHz

Launched August 2010

Ramping production

2,000 shipped to date

fast low power flexible expansion rev c
Fast, low power, flexible expansion Rev C


  • Peripheral I/O
  • DVI-D video out
  • SD/MMC
  • S-Video out
  • USB 2.0 HS OTG
  • I2C, I2S, SPI,MMC/SD
  • JTAG
  • Stereo in/out
  • Alternate power
  • RS-232 serial
  • OMAP3530 Processor
  • 720MHz Cortex-A8
    • NEON+VFPv3
    • 16KB/16KB L1$
    • 256KB L2$
  • 430MHz C64x+ DSP
    • 32K/32K L1$
    • 48K L1D
    • 32K L2
  • PowerVR SGX GPU
  • 64K on-chip RAM
  • POP Memory
  • 256MB NAND flash


  • USB Powered
  • 2W maximum consumption
    • OMAP is small % of that
  • Many adapter options
    • Car, wall, battery, solar, …
and more
And more…
  • Peripheral I/O
  • DVI-D video out
  • SD/MMC
  • S-Video out
  • USB HS on-the-go
  • I2C, I2S, SPI,MMC/SD
  • JTAG
  • Stereo in/out
  • Alternate power
  • RS-232 serial
  • Other Features
  • 4 LEDs
    • USR0
    • USR1
    • PMU_STAT
    • PWR
  • 2 buttons
    • USER
    • RESET
  • 4 boot sources
    • SD/MMC
    • NAND flash
    • USB
    • Serial


beagleboard xm

2,000 Dhrystone MIPS performance with ARM® Cortex™-A8

512MB POP memory enabling

Native builds of Ubuntu and other distros

More multitasking with complex apps like Firefox or

Robust expansion with more direct connectivity without external hubs;

On-board Ethernet

Five USB 2.0 ports

USB-powered board via low power processor integration


xM meansExtra MHzandExtra MB


beagleboard xm details
BeagleBoard-xM details

Desktop-style USB peripherals and embedded style expansion

Laptop-like performance


  • DM3730 processor(AM37x-compatibile)
  • 1GHz superscaler ARM® Cortex ™-A8
  • More than 2,000 Dhrystone MIPS
  • Up to 20 Million polygons per sec graphics
  • 512KB L2$
  • HD video capable C64x+™ DSP core
  • LCD Expansion
  • I2C, I2S, SPI, MMC/SD Expansion
  • DVI-D
  • Camera Header
  • S-Video
  • JTAG
  • 4-port USB 2.0 Hub
  • Stereo Out
  • Stereo In
  • 10/100 Ethernet
  • USB 2.0 HS OTG
  • Alternate Power
  • RS-232 Serial
  • microSD Slot


beagleboard xm details15
BeagleBoard-xM details
  • Ships with 4GB uSD card with diagnostic Linux load
    • No desktop
  • Wiki Diagnostic page
    • Diagnostic image (Ships with board)
    • Full desktop Angstrom demo image
    • Source code w/Build instructions
use your beagleboard like a desktop
Use your BeagleBoard like a desktop



Stereo in


Stereo out



expand your beagleboard
Expand your BeagleBoard





Stereo out

Turn innovations into mass-produced products to share with the world

Photo by Philip Balister


beagleboard xm demo boot the xm
BeagleBoard-xM DemoBoot the -xM
  • A short demo walkthrough of the Beagle in action
    • Production BeagleBoard-xM version
  • Setup:
    • Connect the LCD monitor (Projector) using HDMI-to-DVI-D cable
    • Connect your keyboard and mouse to the board
    • Insert your SD card (comes inserted from the box)
    • Connect the power
    • Watch it boot
    • Watch the blinking LEDs


beagleboard xm demo ti matrix gui
BeagleBoard-xM DemoTI Matrix GUI

Show Me

Click 3DGraphics

Click Chameleon

Close window

Select Main

Select Exit

Web browser with HTML code served up from the board

Written in Qt

Includes ability to launch apps

beagleboard xm demo gnome desktop
BeagleBoard-xM DemoGnome Desktop

Show Me Applications

Click Applications

Scroll down the Menu

Close window

Just one of the desktop options as part of the Angstrom Distribution

Menu bar at top gives list of installed programs

Add other applications using ‘opkg’

beagleboard xm demo system monitor
BeagleBoard-xM DemoSystem Monitor
  • Monitors the system performance
  • Displays CPU loading

Show Me System Monitor

Select Applications

Select System Tools

Select System Monitor

Select Resources Tab

beagleboard xm demo frequency scaling
BeagleBoard-xM DemoFrequency Scaling
  • Monitors the system performance
  • Gnome Media Player

Show Me Freq Scaling

Select 1GHz Icon

Select 600MHz

Select 600 MHz Icon

Select 1GHz

Close window all windows

beagleboard xm demo gnome mplayer
BeagleBoard-xM DemoGNOME MPlayer
  • GNOME Multimedia player
  • Comes standard in Desktop Image
  • Big Buck Bunny is an open source project from the Peach Open Movie Project.

Show Me GNOME MPlayer

Select BigBuck Icon

the linux command line
The Linux command-line

Show Me Terminal

Select Applications

Select Terminal

There is a shortcut on the desktop to open a terminal

Can also use an external debug port over the serial port

gui building with qt

GUI building with Qt

Qt C++ framework is just one option for creating graphical applications, but it is fast, flexible, cross-platform and well-supported by an open source community

Thanks to Gregg Lebovitz of ICS

qt creator http qt nokia com
Qt Creator
  • Integrated development environment
    • Runs on Windows, Mac, or Linux
    • Designer for your GUIs
    • C++ editor and debugger
  • Build your GUI on your PC, then move it over to the BeagleBoard to add I/O, etc.
    • Angstrom Linuxdistribution hasthe compiler andlibraries readyto build Qt appsnatively on yourBeagleBoard
qt demos
Qt Demos

Show Me Qt

Select Applications

Select Terminal

Type qtdemo

Select Graphics View

Select Ported Asteroids

Select Launch

Close and select Back Select Desktop

Select Screenshot

Select Launch

Close all windows

Descriptions not compiled in here

Lots of different GUI tools

Many other programming tools, like networking, IPC, 3D, database,…

working with the community order of resources
Working With The CommunityOrder of resources
  • Search,, the mailing list archive, and IRC logs
  • Read and search BBSRM_latest.pdf
  • Check the link
  • Search the web
  • Try something
    • Gives you some perspective on what to ask
  • Ask on IRC and be patient/polite
    • Don’t disrupt everyone
  • Mailing list
    • Individual developers will go away if load isn’t shared
    • If you can help, please do!


working with the community how to ask for help http catb org esr faqs smart questions html
Working With The CommunityHow to ask for help

Know the on-line resources

Know the on-line community

Know the manual

Listen to the answers

Share the answers you find


working with the community the community perspective
Working With The CommunityThe community perspective
  • Earn respect by saying what you’ve done and how you’ve tried to find an answer
    • Where did you search?
    • What did you try on the board?
  • You aren’t entitled to an answer
    • Show that you are willing to work for it and the community will feel you are a part of it
    • Impatience implies that your time is more valuable than others in the community


working with the community chat mail forums blogs and wikis
Working With The CommunityChat, mail, forums, blogs, and wikis!
  • All exist because they all solve different problems
  • Chat allows you to know someone’s listening or #beagle on
    • Great for beginner questions and rapid coordination
  • Mail allows you to reach almost anyone
    • Brings larger group into the conversation
    • Provides you with a personal log in your inbox
  • Forums helps get the threads organized activity to avoid disrupting community critical mass)
  • Blogs provide emphasis, filtering, and timeliness and
  • Wikis enable inputs to become documentation and
working with the community order of resources chat on irc
Working With The CommunityOrder of resources Chat on IRC
    • #beagle: discussion of the BeagleBoard
    • #gst-ti: discussion of GStreamer with TI DSP components
    • #ubuntu-arm: discussion of Ubuntu on ARM processors
    • #rowboat: discussion of Android on OMAP & Sitara devices
    • #linux-omap: discussion of OMAP Linux kernel
  • IRC clients
working with the community baseline tools and software http beagleboard org resources
Working With The CommunityBaseline tools and software
  • Hardware verification procedure (
    • GPL x-load, u-boot, Linux kernel, and demo distro for validation
    • Code images, procedure, and sources are provided to verify the board functionality
  • GPL ARM GNU compiler collection (GCC)
    • Code Sourcery version 2009q1 is the latest supported by TI
      • Runs on Linux/Windows and generates ARMv7/Thumb2
    • Angstrom version is utilized in ESC training and demo image on xM
  • Access to C6000 with compilers and open source software
    • Free TI C6000 compiler for non-commercial use
      • x86-Linux hosted (ARM hosted version in evaluation)
    • GPL GCC compiler in progress (
    • C6Run (DSPEasy) project to simplify development model
    • BSD/GPL DSP/Link interface software
  • Free 3D graphics libraries (OpenGLES 2.0)
  • Free production audio/video codecs for the DSP
OS and Distro OptionsAngstrom and Open Embedded
  • Angstrom is what we are running today
  • OE = metadata and bitbake = build tool
    • Used by RidgeRun, Mentor Graphics, MontaVista, WindRiver, and many others
    • Builds many distributions besides Angstrom


os and distro options ubuntu https wiki ubuntu com arm beagle
OS and Distro OptionsUbuntu
  • Most popular Linux distribution
  • Has support for the BeagleBoard
    • Netbook, server, and network installers
  • Builds all packages natively
  • Boots of the uSD card
os and distro options android http arowboat org
OS and Distro OptionsAndroid

Uses most of the Linux kernel, but own versions of user-space applications

Runs applications within a virtual machine

At least half-a-dozen companies provide commercial support for Android on the BeagleBoard

Rowboat is the one endorsed by TI

0xdroid (0x1ab) and Embinux are also interesting and free


os and distro options meego http wiki meego com arm meego on beagleboard from scratch
OS and Distro OptionsMeeGo

The combination of Moblin and Maemo

Maemo was the first of the two and started on OMAP processors

Good support on the BeagleBoard with demonstrations directly from the Linux Foundation

Initially focused on Internet Tablets and Netbooks

Very interesting for automotive infotainment


os and distro options gentoo https www slashorg net 48 gentoo port for beagleboard html
OS and Distro OptionsGentoo

Builds every package from source

The Linux distribution the web server runs

Builds ARM applications both natively and cross


os and distro options qnx http www qnx com products reference design ti reference design html
OS and Distro OptionsQNX
  • See Foundary27
  • Not Linux, but Posix compliant and real-time
  • Great for time critical and high reliability applications


os and distro options symbian http developer symbian org wiki index php beagleboard quick start
OS and Distro OptionsSymbian

Most popular smart phone operating system

Initial open source release was on the BeagleBoard



OS and Distro Options WinCE

  • Real-time
  • Advanced GUI and code tools
  • Lots of code libraries available
  • Low-cost entry through “Spark”


thank you
Thank you!