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Electronic Design
Build With A Bug

Build With A Bug

Buglabs provides slick, modular, prototyping systems. Buglabs has improved on its original BUGbase modular system with Bug 2.0 (Fig. 1). The $499 base is 5.1-in by 2.55-in by 0.765-in that holds Texas Instruments 600 MHz OMAP3530 processor. This ARM Cortex A-8 processor can access up to 64 Gbytes of flash memory using a pair of MicroSD cards. The 30-pin BUGstinger connector exposes a USB host port, Ethernet and a serial port replicator.

A wide range of Bug modules (Fig. 2) is available including everything from wireless connectivity to display interface. The base has three general module interfaces and one display interface that can handle the BUGview or BUGvideo modules. The video slot handles 24-bit, 720p data. BUGmodule interface connector includes I2C, I2S, SPI, UART and JTAG/ICE support. The BUG Stinger (Fig. 3) provides access to Ethernet and USB ports.

Wireless support is built-in. The 802.11b/g Wi-Fi interface supports mesh, AP, ad-hoc, and managed modes. There is also Bluetooth 2.0 support with EDR wireless technology. Cell phone 3G modules can be added. This makes is extremely easy to build up wireless mobile multimedia devices. Power is provided by a rechargeable 3.7V, 1500 mAh lithium-ion battery.

The Buglabs approach targets prototyping, hobbyists and it can be applicable deployment of low volume applications. The latter works well when a designer can provide their own custom module or software.

A range of development environments and tools can be used with the Bug 2.0. The system comes with Linux and the OpenJDK JVM. There is a wide range of applications available including web servers and a web-based interface for installing and managing applications. The open source Eclipse IDE is available along with developer resources at the BUG Community site.

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