Early October 2010, Texas Instruments (TI) released the PandaBoard, the first community-driven embedded board featuring TI’s OMAP4 SoC, that everyone will see as BeagleBoard‘s successor. PandaBoard is a very nice piece of hardware, featuring a dual-core Cortex-A9 CPU, PowerVR SGX540 GPU, IVA-HD Ducati DSP capable of 1080p hardware video decoding and encoding, 1GB RAM, FastEthernet, Bluetooth, WiFi, HDMI, FM Radio and so much more. OMAP4 SoC will definitely reached 2011′s Smartphones and Set-Top-Boxes (at least!) but no doubt they’ll be integrated in so much more devices. PandaBoard is the first low-cost (174$ only) available mobile software development platform featuring OMAP4.
Early shipments of the board have barely started at DigiKey and it’s yet really hard to get your own but the OpenBricks project has been sponsored a couple boards from TI as early adopters. As a result, we’re proud to announce that OMAP4 SoC and PandaBoard is now fully supported by our cross-toolchain, with complete support of all of its peripherals, including all of its multimedia parts. It is then very easy for everybody to build your own customized distribution for this board and tune it to your taste, including X-Loader, U-Boot and root filesystem.
Some ready-to-flashed SD Card images of GeeXboX distribution with full-featured MediaCenter will be made available in the next days to come.
The OpenBricks team is happy to announce the “Day 1″ of the OpenBricks Embedded Linux Framework project. Formed by members of the GeeXboX multimedia distribution, OpenBricks is an enterprise-grade embedded Linux framework that provides easy creation of custom distributions for industrial embedded devices. It features a complete embedded development kit for rapid deployment on x86, ARM, PowerPC and MIPS systems with support for industry leaders.
OpenBricks is a complete OpenSource and non-profit project which aims at bringing a coherent Linux distribution to run on as many embedded devices and architectures as possible. As much as possible, it tries to rely on standardized technologies, protocols and FOSS as to provide the most code re-usability. It can be used as a framework basis to build your very specific Linux distributions, corresponding to your exact and specific needs, whichever you’re trying to build a Set-Top-Box, a touchscreen based multimedia tablet, a NAS, a router or whatsoever. Porting your board to Linux and adding your specific programs never has been so easy and one can easily create its own distribution flavour.
The OpenBricks project targets various hardware architectures on runs on most of the embedded boards reference design. It has been sponsored and helped by various semi-conductor manufacturers such as Texas Instruments (TI) on OMAP3 and OMAP4 chips and nVidia with Tegra250. We’re continuously looking for new devices and boards to be supported by OpenBricks and sponsoring is the way to go. Having your board or SoC supported by the OpenBricks project is only a matter of sponsoring reference designs. We’re currently looking ahead to support some additional chips, including but not limited to Intel CE4100 and CE4200, Marvell Dove and Armada, Freescale i.MX5x and Qualcomm SnapDragon. If you can provide us any help with accessing to such devices and reference boards, we’ll be glad to have them supported.