Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Introducing the Dual-Core Android 4 Dev Kit for PandaBoard

With dual-core processors and Android 4 (Ice Cream Sandwich, at least) a mainstay of smartphones and tablets, some folks suggested it was about time for the Beagle Embedded Starter Kit and Android Hardware Development Kit to get a big brother…
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After quite a few months of requests, Chris and I got Android 4 running on the PandaBoard, along with an HDMI adapter board and some drivers to get the PandaBoard a “DIY tablet kit” of its own.
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Just as the name suggests, the Dual-core Android 4 Dev Kit consists of the dual-core OMAP 4430 PandaBoard, Android 4 ICS (with Android serial support), 4.3” touchscreen enabled, powered by a laptop-grade battery pack, so it can be remote mounted, portable, or just permanently charging with a backup power supply.
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The popular 4.3” BeagleTouch OLED display now works with the PandaBoard’s OMAP4430 with the help of a carrier board that conveniently brings the BeagleTouch pinouts to an HDMI connector.
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The other side of the PandaBoard sandwich is the BeagleJuice, 2nd Generation, providing smart, laptop-grade battery and power management capabilities to the PandaBoard’s 5V input jack.
I don’t think that a few extra wires ever frightened any readers of this blog (if anything, there probably aren’t enough random wires on these boards!), but it’s fresh off the lab, so some of these extra wires are going to be solidified as the boards ship.
Either way, I’m pretty pumped about having a portable display + battery setup that works with the PandaBoard, but also one that runs Android 4 (ICS) and takes full advantage of Texas Instrument’s dual-core OMAP4430 processor.
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One of the reasons I decided to make the panel remote mount capable (connected by wires rather than headers) is that the PandaBoard has a bigger footprint than the BeagleBoard, and a remote mount would allow the board and battery to be stored or mounted separately, much like most thin clients.
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Here’s a quick demo I just put together:
I think this would make a cool, totally overkill, touchscreen thermostat that I could shove in my wall, not unlike the Nest (who knew thermostats could be so sexy?), but until next time, post questions, comments and project ideas to comments, justin@liquidware.com, or tweet me @liquidware …image

2 comments:

Mike Gionfriddo said...

It took me less than 5 minutes to boot the device in Android4.

Awarru said...

Does this kit also work with the Pandaboard ES