Your Mobile Development Platform: DragonBoard

Saturday 2/11/12 09:23am
Posted By Brian Spencer
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If you're a developer or component supplier, the only thing better than early access to a test device is early access to the inside of a test device. We've got your number with DragonBoard™.

Snapdragon APQ8060 Mobile Development Platform DragonBoardAt Uplinq 2011, Bsquare announced the release of DragonBoard, the mobile development platform created to help you develop applications and drivers for smartphones and tablets. The board is based on the Snapdragon™ S3 APQ8060 processor (excluding WWAN capability), and Bsquare distributes and supports it. In fact, Bsquare hosted a webinar called Introduction to the Snapdragon APQ8060-based DragonBoard, which describes the board and explains how to write a driver for it. Please note that there has been an update to the software for the DragonBoard, since the webinar. Before you load the software onto your DragonBoard device, please contact Bsquare for the latest build information, so you are sure to load the correct software.

While the Snapdragon Mobile Development Platform (MDP) is made for mobile app development and demonstration, you use DragonBoard to develop, test, optimize and prototype open-source apps and drivers on the APQ8060 application processor, even before devices are available. DragonBoard runs Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), so you can write apps and integrate peripheral devices using its exposed connectors, adapters and expansion headers.

Two kits, docs and support

The main DragonBoard kit is sold by Bsquare for US$299 and includes the main system board, dual-core APQ8060 application processor on a daughtercard, power management integrated circuits (PMIC), daughtercards for sensors and connectivity (Wi-Fi and Bluetooth), keypad, test points and Wolfson audio codec. The main kit also includes several expansion connectors so that component suppliers can test their parts.

Application developers and driver developers who may not have their own displays and cameras may purchase the separate peripheral kit from Bsquare, which costs US$199 and includes the battery, 3.6-inch multi-touch screen display, and two cameras. Both kits together cost US$498.

Bsquare provides documentation with bots kits: a user guide, programmer's guide, schematics and bill of materials. You also receive software updates and 30 minutes of free technical support from Bsquare.

Six steps in developing drivers

In the webinar, Michael Chalupa of Bsquare walks you through the six-step process you'll follow in developing drivers for the DragonBoard on an Ubuntu-based PC. Michael also did a deep dive at Uplinq 2011, called Creating Custom Drivers for the APQ8060 DragonBoard in which he added device drivers for a gyroscope and accelerometer to an Android kernel, installed the kernel on the DragonBoard and demonstrated output from the devices.

Next steps

Find out more about DragonBoard on our QDevNet page and let me know if you have any questions in the comments below. Then, visit Bsquare's DragonBoard page to purchase yours.