Codename Black Sand is an initiative within the Embedded Group to enable an ecosystem of developers, scholars, students, hackers and hobbyists adding hardware and software support for a related series of low cost Embedded Atom Boards. Current Intel customers are welcome also, but the main idea behind Codename Black Sand is to engage with like minded individuals and groups  who are currently using alternatives to Atom devices, and to work with the embedded community to promote existing solutions.

 

If the solutions don't exist, then this is the place to come to engage with these individuals and groups and foster a community to help develop the solutions.

 

 

There are  several overlapping sub-projects, but the common gathering point for all of these is the Embedded Development Center (edc.intel.com), and that is where the public face of Codename Black Sand can be seen.

 

Sub Projects that I'm working on right now include.

  • Atom Starter Kit #1 : This project is adopting a next generation Atom Processor, IEEE beyond menlow, development board as its first hardware instantiation. The board is in debug right now, and I'll be posting regular updates as it progresses.
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-This means until we launch the silicon you will need private access to view schematics and most of the technical info.  Follow this link to request private access.

 

 

  • University Enabling : The Embedded Team are working with the Intel Higher Education team to help develop research and curriculum based on Embedded Atom.

-I expect to have a version of the Atom Starter Kit #1 available for selected universities before the end of the year.

 

 

  • EDC Seed Board #2: As part of the Avnet* Embedded Revolution Seminar Series the Low-Power Embedded Processor Division (LEPD) got together with one of the co-sponsors,  Advantech*, to enable a mini-ITX board, also based on next gen Atom, as a giveaway for attendees.

-The web page to request a board is due to go live end of October on EDC, and we will have around 200 boards to give away. UPDATE Nov 20th Link is live, goto Seedboard Interest from Avnet show is good, but there will be some available for general enabling. Preference will be given to developers wishing to make something fun, interesting or novel, particularly if you wish to post about it on EDC, or if you have your own blog, or site. 

 

Build Your Own Embedded Systems Class at Embedded Systems Conference, San Jose.Intel and Techinsights are working with Microsoft to sponsor the BYOES class in April at the San Jose Embedded Systems Conference. 

Update Dec 22nd 2009

 

The Dual Core D510 Atom Processor, announced in December and launched in Q1 2010 will be featured along with Microsoft's  Windows Embedded Standard 2011 code name "Quebec". This processor features Hyperthreading, and supports four execution threads.  http://bit.ly/Pineview has the tech specs on the processor. 

 

  • Books:

-The Embedded Computing Group (ECG) is developing an Atom Book, we will be posting excerpts from the book on EDC, and soliciting feedback.

-The Embedded Linux Primer is being updated by its author; and this projects involvement includes removing all the old Intel XScale content:smileysad:, and adding/reviewing new Atom content.:smileyvery-happy: Again I hope to have excerpts posted on EDC as it goes along.

 

  • Co-Marketing, Blogs, White Paper, ECG Ambassadors.

-There's not much point in doing all this without getting the word out there, so part of the initiative is to enable User Developed Content on EDC. As we launch , the EDC content is pretty much all from Intel, or ECA vendors, or paid Blog Authors.  All of the above sub-projects include a component that encourages and rewards content from Users, Scholars, Customers, and others, to be posted on EDC. 

I can't offer monetary awards, as I have none, but I can offer free boards, free support, free software, free hosting and publicity for your project. But I am working on getting some money too.:robotwink:

 

  • Other ideas: Robots, you can never have enough robots.

Matt Bunting, a research assistant at University of Arizona h123iFDCB13F621AAD194as built a great robot using an embedded Atom design to run the reverse kinematics algorithms that allow this six legged hexapod to walk. As I am working on this project , (and I am the decider), I have decided to add this as the first example, of fun projects, so there's a separate blog post with links to the YouTube videos of this great device. Intel's Embedded Group is sponsoring the next version of this robot, and this rendering shows the proposal for the new legs.

 

If you would like more info, or feel you would like to get involved, in any of the sub-projects, please contact me at stewart.christie@intel.com, or via twitter at @intel_stewart or go to the public page on EDC at http://bit.ly/blacksand and hit the reply button.