Failure Rate of Beagle Boards

Hi all,

I was wondering if anyone has any statistics on average failure rate and reliability of Beagle Bones. The failures can be due to either hardware or software.

Thank you very much,


Does that also include human beings, which is the number one cause of failures? Which boards are you interested in?.


Hi Gerald,

We’re primarily using the Beagle Bone Black. Obviously it has a lot of electrical components, each with its own failure rate and failure mechanisms. I’m wondering if there has been any statistics collected or tests run to gauge the reliability of these boards.


Each component has a MTBF rate. You could collect all that data and add it all up. But a the en of the day, it is really determined by the application and the software.

As an example for the processor., How much time will be spent at 200MHZ, 400MHZ, 800MHz and 1GHZ?
What does the ambient temperature curve look like?
How many times will it be power cycled?
How many writes will be done on the eMMC? On the SD card?

It would take a huge excel spreadsheet to calculate all that. So, you look at the most likely part to fail. The eMMC or the SD because of the writes. But, if there aren’t a lot of writes, something else will be the highest fail part.

I have not set down and calculated all this because I don’t have the use case that each person would use. So, any number I published would not be accurate for all cases.


I have worked with several BBxM, BBW, and BBB. Generally all are very reliable. Greatest hardware problems I have experienced are either human (PEBKAC), or SD cards. Also I have noticed that relatively slow rise (>500us) power supply may cause startup failure issues.


I have been managing 9 beaglebones as a part of a project I am working on, and so far, all 9 of them have initially worked, but I now have 6 functional units. 2 of them succumbed to the power failure issue (plug in beaglebone, power led blinks, nothing happens, pressing power button blinks the power led), and one of them fails to read from the SD card. I am relatively disappointed that 3 out of 9 has failed over the course of a few months, but i dont think I represent a big enough sample set to reflect the reliability of all beaglebones. I think there should be some well defined statistics to define the reliability of these platforms…

So... What shows up over the serial port when booting these "failed"
boards? the serial log...


Our return rate is .02%. Where 75% of the failures are customer damage. It also depends a lot on how they are being used, what is connected if it meets the requirements) and the power supplies used to power them.


The power related issues are not necessarily the fault of the device its self. It could be a bad ground on your part, or other “new” software that you’ve installed or started to use.

When the BBB has blinking LEDs ( CPU heartbeat ) this implies that it does in fact work. SO either you’re not waiting long enough, or dropbear( assuming ssh ) has lost its mind again. Yet there are other possible causes as well.

Get a serial debug cable as Robert suggests, and see what is happenign at the console / uboot prompt.

Not really scientific, but I have used around 50 Beagles of various pedigree/version. I have only had to return one for repair, and that was I think due to accidentally applying 5V to a GPIO pin. :frowning:

Keep up the good work Gerald et al. :slight_smile: