BBAI end of life?

I have developed and produced A-LVR (auto Vaginal Rejuvenation) using BBB.

In addition, using BB_AI, a needle type RF system was developed and is being produced.
Recently produced 30 units.

Now, using BB_AI, I implemented Semantic segmentation with YOLO module, developed a “pepper harvesting robot”, and is about to produce it, I hope that the BB_AI Board will be produced steadily.

I recommend switching to BeagleBone AI-64 that has better model support, but we do plan on building more BeagleBone AI boards as well.

Hey jasson. Its a pleasure to be able to converse with you. This post has me a little worried. I was starting a project with the bealgbeone AI. But it looks like as of right now, there are no production plans. Any idea when or if that could change? Any other boards coming out with this or similar chip to the am5729?

I think they won’t because of the lack of interest in this board.

In my opinion it is too expensive and too feature-loaded. The success of BBB and BBG is due to its price and simplicity. So I would guess, a BBB AI which is more slim and lean (means contains less fancy interfaces nobody needs) but therefore is more price-sensitive, would be a solution.

On the other hand, I see the BBB AI-64 is totally the opposite: more expensive and not even the form factor is the same like for the successful BBB/BBG. I would guess, this will not work too.

The RasPI is that incredible successful because it does NOT become more and more expensive, why should that work for a successor of the BBB?

Digging further into it now, there have been requests from distributors. It is now up to getting parts and providing distributors to expected shipping dates. We have a couple of parts that have crazy long lead times (USB, Ethernet PHY).

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I seem to recall that the RPi folks have a “compute module” thing where the minimum amount of stuff is on a board about the size of a Pocketbeagle with two M.2 edge connectors on one side. All the peripherals are on an external carrier board that has two M.2 sockets.

Given that the Beaglebone flavors (BBB, BBAI, BBAI-64) really aren’t doing very well with pin compatibility, perhaps this would be a better path? It would minimize the amount of stuff on the compute module (SoC, power converters, uSD card, and maybe USB-C) which would cut costs and increase volumes on the main module (the same compute module would be used for the black, green, blue, etc. while the “flavors” are permutations of the carrier boards).

It would allow faster spins on the carrier boards as well as put the connectors on the carrier boards. And it would decrease the cost of the connectors considerably (The 2x46 .100 headers are quite expensive relative to M.2 or SODIMM conectors nowadays–but you could have a 2x46 based carrier board if you want to maintain the form factor). And it would allow quite a bit better signal integrity on higher-speed signals.

Let’s define the requirements much simpler: how about a BeagleBone-Green-like device but with a newer, more powerful SoC? So no on-board-video, no Wifi, no Bluetooth and all this other stuff (and perhaps not the groove-connectors, but they for sure are not that expensive)?

Hello @jkridner,

Do you still plan on having more BBAI boards built? I generally utilize Enhanced Beagle Blacks but they are having supply chain issues. The original AI is closer in spec to the enhanced for some of my projects.

Thanks!

Any update on a timeline for BB-AI manufacturing? I’m looking for 110 units in the near-term, and plan to place an order with Allied Electronics since they are accepting backorders. Most places have listed these as obsolete or discontinued.

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Is BeableBone AI discontinued? Is it going to be manufactured?

@jkridner - It says in tinkersphere ($136.99 - Beaglebone AI - Tinkersphere) that the product is discontinued. We are planning a project that requires ~200 units. I wanted to make sure that BeagleBone AI will continue to manufacture before committing to it.

Allied Electronics has discontinued this product.

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Thanks. That’s what Is see from many distributors. I wonder if it is complete discontinued or is this due to supply chain delays.

I also tried contacting Tinkersphere. They initially replied, but then stopped when I gave them a quantity to quote. Also tried having the BB-AI quoted by another manufacturer, but it’s very expensive in lower volumes. Plus, some of the components are hard to find and two are obsolete. A redesign would be needed to handle the obsolete components.

Any further progress on BBAI availability? It wasn’t a stated supply issue for the BBAI, but I see the AM5729 has become an orderable part again for us mere mortals. Maybe other part supply issues are also resolved?

Historically it seems the BeagleBoard group has done a fantastic job of making the various boards available over many years. Maybe it is time to obsolete the BBAI officially if it isn’t viable so that people aren’t left in limbo.

We have parts now!

Unfortunately, we need to go back through FCC/CE testing and distributors have gotten away from orders. Do you have anything on backlog with a particular distributor?

We don’t have a current backlog order in place. I think we did have 12 or so on backlog mid-2022 but purchasing probably cancelled it because of being marked as “obsolete” at some suppliers. We generally use one of the big three in USA - DigiKey, Mouser or Newark with DigiKey as a common default. I could probably get an order placed if a supplier would take a new one, if that somehow helped “prime the pump” so to speak.

We currently use the BBAI and have enough in stock to hold us over for a while. With everyone showing it as out of stock for over a year, we figured we’d have to eventually upgrade to the BBAI64. If the BBAI starts being made again, though, that would make things easier.

Unsolicited advice, but I’d recommend getting a BBAI64 in your hands before figuring it’s a good fit for BBAI replacement. It’s awesome computationally but it is physically larger and puts out quite a bit of heat - we had a tight area to fit the processor board and it wouldn’t work without a mechanical redesign.
I can only wish we had anticipated the parts shortage better in general and specifically for the BBAI. We had a system running with the BBAI and the PRUs and were hoping to use one or more of the C66 DSPs. We dropped back to the BB Black, then I spent weeks battling SPI and I2C device changes and code space issues on the PRUs (BBAI 12k instruction RAM, BBB 8k). I haven’t expended that much effort for 2-3Kbytes of space since the 90s.

I appreciate the advice! We did plan ahead for the size of the BBAI64 and I imagine we’ll be able to handle the extra heat it puts out.