There are number of small developer boards available on the market today that allow people who like to tinker to build all sorts of projects. One of the more common is the Raspberry Pi, which has sold in droves and can be used to create more projects than you can imagine. Another cheap developer board has turned up with a new version of the BeagleBone developer board called BeagleBone Black.
When that particular developer board first turned up in 2011, it sold for $90 and had a 720 MHz processor. The new version gets updated specifications and a lower price tag. The new BeagleBone Black has a 1 GHz Sitara AM335x ARM Cortex-A8 processor from Texas Instruments.
The price for the new version of the developer board is $45 and it has an open hardware design. That means all of the chips and the design of the board are openly and freely available to the public allowing anyone with the capability to make their own version. The processor used on the BeagleBone Black also allows the board to run Ubuntu or other flavors of Linux.
When it comes to I/O capability, the BeagleBone Black falls somewhere between the Arduino Uno and Due. That is to say it has more I/O capability than the Uno, but not as much is the Due. BeagleBone currently has over 30 plug-in boards are compatible with the new Black version. Those plug-in boards allow the connection of all sorts of accessories and other components to the developer board including 3-D printers, lighting controllers, LCD touchscreens, and a lot more. Another nice feature of the new Black edition is a microHDMI port and it comes preinstalled with Linux.