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Get on Board the BeagleBone Black Primer
Catch this free class on BeagleBone Black, a Linux-based development board based on the TI’s AM335x Sitara Cortex-A8 processor.
May 11, 2022
4 Min Read
Image courtesy of Alamy
Starting on May 24 and running through May 28, Design News will present the free class, BEAGLEBONE BLACK PRIMER. Each class runs an hour, beginning at 2:00 Eastern. You can also earn IEEE Professional Development Hours for participating. If you are not able to attend the class schedule, the course will be available on demand.
All About BeagleBone
The BeagleBone Black is programmed using open-source methods and GCC compilers. This CEC course will introduce participants to the BeagleBone Black platform and walk them through all the steps necessary to set up the BeagleBone open-source toolset. The default distribution of Linux for the BeagleBone Black is Debian, which also happens to be the default distribution of Linux for the Raspberry Pi 4B.
Similarities and differences between the BeagleBone Black and Raspberry Pi 4B will be discussed throughout the course. The course will also detail methods that are key to developing BeagleBone applications that interface with external IoT devices. It covers the original Ethernet-based BeagleBone Black as well as the BeagleBone Black Wireless.
The Day-by-Day Content
Day 1: BeagleBone Black Pre-Flight Walk Around
We will begin the course by “walking around” a BeagleBone Black. After examining the BeagleBone hardware, participants will load their BeagleBone with the latest Debian image. Once their BeagleBone Black is up and running, the next task will be to set up an Eclipse-based cross-compilation toolset that targets the BeagleBone Black’s AM3358 Cortex-A8 processor. Our first BeagleBone Black application will verify our BeagleBone hardware and the Linux-based Open-Source cross-compilation environment.
Day 2: BeagleBone Black GPIO
The BeagleBone Black supports a pair of 46-pin I/O expansion headers. This session is dedicated entirely to understanding how to manipulate the BeagleBone Black’s GPIO subsystem. The C programming language coupled with the Eclipse-based cross-compilation toolset will be used to create some GPIO example applications.
Day 3: Riding the BeagleBone Black Bus
The BeagleBone Black was designed to interact with external devices in an IoT kind of way (fast and easy). To realize this interaction, the BeagleBone Black supports I2C and SPI. USB Ethernet and Serial (UART) interfaces. Our mission today is to generate some C source code that will enable and exercise all the aforementioned bus interfaces.
Day 4: BeagleBone Black PRU Programming
The BeagleBone Black supports a pair of 32-bit PRUs (Programmable Real-Time Units) that run independently of the Cortex-A8 at 200MHz. To access the PRUs, participants will install a PRU compilation toolset, which consists of TI’s Code Composer Studio (CCS) and the PRU Software Support Package. The PRUs are intended to provide precise timing for applications that are based on Linux, which is not particularly good at executing precision timing events.
Day 5: BeagleBone Black Wireless
This course concludes by “walking around” a BeagleBone Black Wireless. Participants’ final mission will entail bringing up the BeagleBone Black Wireless Wi-Fi interface and communicating with other IoT devices. Along the way, they will assign a new username and password to a BeagleBone Black Wireless device. Participants will also use built-in Linux tools to bestow upon their BeagleBone Black Wireless device its very own static IP address.
Meet Fred Eady
Fred Eady is the owner of EDTP Electronics Inc. and is the principal engineer at the Georgia branch of Ongoing Systems LLC. EDTP Electronics was established in 1988. In the meantime, Fred has written thousands of magazine articles. He has written for all of the major electronic magazines, including Radio Electronics, Electronics Now, Nuts and Volts, Servo, MicroComputer Journal, and Circuit Cellar. Fred has even done a few short feature articles for Design News. To date, he has authored four books and contributed to a fifth. He currently works as a PIC microcontroller consultant and is a Microchip Authorized Design Partner.
Digi-Key Continuing Education Center
Digi-Key Continuing Education Center, presented by Design News, will get you up to working speed quickly in a host of technologies you've been meaning to study, but haven't had the time – all without leaving the comfort of your lab or office. Our faculty of expert tutors has divided the interdisciplinary world of design engineering into five dimensions: microcontrollers (basic and advanced), sensors, wireless, power, and lighting.
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