BeagleBone AI-64 active cooling


I am interested in using a BeagleBone AI-64 in one of my projects. Unfortunately, it is a bit too high with its heatsink attached. As such, I would like to know if anyone has some recommendations of some smaller active cooling solutions that could replace the heatsink. Is there an official fan for the BeagleBone AI-64 (I see that there is a fan connector).

If none are available, can the BeagleBone AI-64 be used without a heatsink without damaging it? Will thermal throttling prevent the SoC from being damaged by excessive heat?

Best regards

Given that the board runs at around 60C when idling, I doubt you will be able to run it without a heatsink.

The Ti EVM board uses a much smaller heatsink, a few mm’s larger than the chip, although it looks higher. A bit hard to tell from an image.

How much cooling you will need will depend on what you are doing, ambient temperatures and enclosure.

As far as I am aware there is no inbuilt over temp protection at the hardware level. I don’t think the kernel as is does anything but warn if the temp becomes critical either.

Yes you can fit a fan and you can use the fan header, or just power one from the USB port. I recently create a device tree overlay (BONE_FAN.dtb) with a fan section to automatically adjust the fan speed connected to the header based on the temperature (4 speed settings). This relies on the automatic PWM export script NOT exporting the pwm channel. Alternatively you can not load the overlay and setup the pwm channel yourself and set the speed/adjust the speed yourself.

Thanks @benedict.hewson! Do other chips need a heatsink? Would placing a fan only on the SoC be enough?

J721EXSOMXEVM module

Similar specs to the BBAI64. I assume the heat sink is only required for the processor.

Alright. Thanks @benedict.hewson! :slightly_smiling_face: