A few weeks ago I purchased a Pocket Beaglebone from Microcenter for about $25. The attraction was the promise of a miniature Linux based system with a variety of IO ports available. Here is some text from their website:
“PocketBeagle is built around Octavo Systems’ OSD335x-SM System-In-Package that integrates a high-performance Texas Instruments AM3358 processor, 512MB of DDR3, power management, nonvolatile serial memory and over 100 passive components into a single package. This integration saves board space by eliminating several packages that would otherwise need to be placed on the board, but more notably simplifies our board design so we can focus on the user experience.
The Octavo Systems OSD3358-512M-BSM System-In-Package (SiP) is part of a family of products that are building blocks designed to allow easy and cost-effective implementation of systems based in Texas Instruments powerful Sitara AM335x line of processors. The OSD335x-SM integrates the AM335x along with the TI TPS65217C PMIC, the TI TL5209 LDO, up to 1 GB of DDR3 Memory, a 4 KB EEPROM for non-volatile configuration storage and resistors, capacitors and inductors into a single 21mm x 21mm design-in-ready package.
With this level of integration, the OSD335x-SM family of SiPs allows designers to focus on the key aspects of their system without spending time on the complicated high-speed design of the processor/DDR3 interface or the PMIC power distribution. It reduces size and complexity of design.”
Here is what the version that I purchased looks like, front and back. Note the micro-SD card reader, the single module, and lack of headers. The back side is silk screened with the port descriptions, not the front. You can put the headers on so the silk screen is on top and have the chips be on the bottom. I put the headers so the connectors were on the top which makes it hard to decipher the functions.
Here are the internals of processor.
The Pocket Beaglebone has the promise of a very small but functional embedded linux machine that could be used for image processing, image capture
using a USB connected webcam or digital camera, or possibly other uses. The PRU included raise the option of deterministic processing for real time data
acquisition without the hassle of another computer. Time will tell as I test out the interfaces or I2C and SPI on this little board.