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Striking a nice balance between price and power, the $149 Beagleboard-xM is the platform of choice for many home-brew electronics and robotics projects. Powered by USB, the BeagleBoard-xM is open-source hardware designed to offer laptop-grade performance and expandability packed into a device just over three inches across.
The board - which supports a range of operating systems including Linux, Risc OS and Windows CE - is suited for use as a low-cost PC or a development platform, with 512MB allowing for software multitasking and compilation of large bundles of code.
BeagleBoard can support equipment ranging from sensors to electric motors, making it well suited to controlling electronics and robotics. The devices are being used as a processing unit in projectsto develop an autonomous ground vehicle, unmanned aerial vehicles and even a robot postman.
Board: OMAP3530 system on a chip.
Processor: 1GHz Arm Cortex-A8.
Graphics: OpenGL ES 2.0 capable 2D-3D graphics accelerator capable of rendering 10 million polygons per second. HD video capable TMS320C64x+ DSP for signal processing at up to 430MHz.
Video/Audio: DVI-D, S-Video out.Stereo audio in and out for a microphone, headphones or speakers.
Connectivity: USB peripherals, MMC+/SD/SDIO interface for memory or wireless connectivity.