The BeagleBoard.org Foundation is a Michigan,USA-based 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation existing to provide education in and collaboration around the design and use of open-source software and hardware in embedded computing. BeagleBoard.org provides a forum for the owners and developers of open-source software and hardware to exchange ideas, knowledge and experience. The BeagleBoard.org community collaborates on the development of open source physical computing solutions including robotics, personal manufacturing tools like 3D printers and laser cutters, and other types of industrial and machine controls.
BeagleBoard.org is the result of an effort by a collection of passionate individuals, including several employees of Texas Instruments, interested in creating powerful, open, and embedded devices. We invite you to participate and become part of BeagleBoard.org, defining its direction.
Support for BeagleBoard.org boards comes from the very active development community through this website, the mailing list, and the IRC channel. Original production funding was provided by Digi-Key, a major international distributor, but distribution has now been opened up to dozens of distributors across the world. On-going funding for board prototypes has been provided by manufacturing partners. Texas Instruments generously allows Jason Kridner, community manager and software cat herder, to spend time to provide support and development of the BeagleBoard.org project as part of their duties at TI. Manufacturing partners pay volume prices for the TI (and all other) components. BeagleBoard.org licenses the use of BeagleBoard.org logos for use as part of the Manufacturer, Compliant and Compatible logo programs . BeagleBoard.org also participates as a mentoring organization for Google Summer of Code which pays a small fee for mentoring students. The first five BeagleBoard.org designs (BeagleBoard, BeagleBoard-xM, BeagleBone, BeagleBone Black and BeagleBoard-X15) where all executed by BeagleBoard.org co-founder Gerald Coley of EmProDesign.
All the designs are fully open source and components are available for anyone to manufacture compatible hardware. We do request contact and permission before considering the use of the BeagleBoard.org name on any products.
The boards are low-cost, fan-less single-board computers based on low-power Texas Instruments processors featuring the ARM Cortex-A series core with all of the expandability of today's desktop machines, but without the bulk, expense, or noise. Initially, development was targeted at enabling Linux distributions to improve support for ARM devices. With tremendous success and support by numerous Linux distributions, development has become more focused on enabling simplified physical computing on advanced GUI-enabled and/or networked-enabled devices with a super-simple out-of-box learning experience and support for development environments familiar to just about every developer, from Ubuntu, QNX, Windows Embedded, Android and web tools to bare metal and even Arduino/Wiring-style programming.
For some additional background, you can look at the BeagleBoard brief.