As an increasing number of developers utilise development boards for prototyping activity to address amongst others, the opportunity presented by the industrial Internet, the demand for cost-effective yet robust prototyping boards is rising. While a number of products have filled the space from hobbyist to more complex programming projects, a gap has existed for an affordable, locally-produced option with industrial potential.
Enter the Cherry Blossom - Arrow Altech Distribution's development board based on the AM335x reference design from Texas Instruments, similar to their BeagleBone Black, thus accessing the existing resources created to work with the BeagleBone.
The Cherry Blossom has been put through its paces in various companies that are innovating through technology, and user testimonials suggest that it has the potential to be a world-class building block for novel ways to solve problems in the industry and enterprise space.
This quick Q&A looks to address the themes that developers have raised about the Cherry Blossom.
- What is the Cherry Blossom?
The Cherry Blossom is a pocket-sized computer similar to a PC, just smaller, and without some of the hardware associated with a user interface.
- What does the Cherry Blossom do?
From a technical perspective, the Cherry Blossom is a low-cost ARM Cortex A8 processor platform capable of running Windows embedded, Linux or Android. The Cherry Blossom can be integrated into any design with ease. It runs at over 3 million Dhrystone operations per second. The board is capable of interfacing to motor drivers, location or pressure sensors, 2D or 3D cameras (running OpenCV, OpenNI and other image collection and analysis software), HDMI, VGA and LCD displays, Ethernet, USB, Bluetooth and WiFi. It also has a number of IO, PWM, I2C and SPI pins etc.
- How scalable is the Cherry Blossom?
Three versions of the board are available, all of which are fully footprint compatible. These include:
- A AM3352 running @ 600MHz
- A AM3352 running @ 800MHz
- And the AM3358 running @ 1Ghz
- Does the Cherry Blossom have ports?
Yes. It has a number of IO, MMC interface, LCD interface, UART, analogue inputs, Ethernet MII, USB, PWM, I2C and SPI pins.
- What modules are available?
An Ethernet stack and BeagleBone Black adapter stack are available now, and development is currently underway on the LCD, battery and GSM/GPS stacks respectively.
- Can a new module be created for a specific project?
Yes it can, if built upon a solid business case allowing AAD to offset the development cost against the opportunity.
- How does it fit into an IoT solution?
The Cherry Blossom can be used as an intelligent sensor, processing video and making decisions, for example, or it can be used to collect data from multiple smaller sensors, using the various communication interfaces that are available. The collected data can then be easily pushed into the Cloud.
For more information, contact:
Engineer: Field Application
Arrow Altech Distribution
+27 (0) 11 923 9666
+27 (0) 82 339 8648