Gumstix launches Version 2.0 of online custom board design tool

December 17, 2014

Bernard Cole-December 17, 2014

Computer on module developer Gumstix, Inc. has just made available a more advanced Version 2.0 of its free Gepetto 2.0 online build-to-order tool for designing and constructing custom boards specific to developer specifications is now up and running.

According to Gordon Kruberg, President and CEO of Gumstix, the tool makes use of the company's recommended (Tux) mappings for buses, ensuring optimal compatibility between customer-created hardware and standard Linux images. In addition, 2.0 offers an expanded module selection, improved dimensioning, faster UI, and video tutorials.

Via the free online tool (Figure 1, below), he said, developers are guided through the process of developing a customized design, including a 3-D view of board, guidance with connecting parts, a palette of available modules that can be dragged and dropped onto a virtual workspace, and the ability to share and clone board designs in a community library. The price of the design is made visible in the GUI, so the user can see the price go up or down depending on the modules added to the board and the board's footprint.




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Figure 1. Geppetto uses simple color coding to show when modules are correctly connected.

Once the online process is complete, said Kruberg, the system allows developers to save their board designs by logging in and ordering them. The company manufactures the boards using their own manufacturing capabilities--the boards are all assembled in the U.S. Turnaround time to receive the ready-to-use boards is three weeks, including quality assurance: Gumstix tests all devices to verify functionality.

He said that with a manufacturing setup priced at just $1999,and affordable per-unit costs, Geppetto offers electronics designers an inexpensive way to reduce time-to-market and design costs for their custom embedded systems.

“We have been excited to see the evolution of Geppetto, as it has clearly benefitted our customer base," said Kruberg. "With 2.0, we have seen superior benefits to customizing and building our own Gumstix boards.”

Two examples if its use are the just introduced Geppetto-designed AeroCore 2 MAV Control Board and the Geppetto-designed Pepper DVI-D single-board computer (SBC), which are now available.

Designed to power intelligent, next-generation micro-aerial vehicles (MAVs), the AeroCore 2 offers enhanced flexibility compared to its predecessor, he said. Compatible with Overo COMs, the AeroCore 2 gives MAV developers greater selection in finding a computing solution tailored to their needs. The AeroCore 2 (priced at $149 USD) has also offloaded GPS functionality onto a separate module using an industry-standard connector, thus enhancing functional modularity and choice while reducing cost.

The Pepper DVI-D SBC likewise, he said,  brings a wider range of functionality to an existing line of Gumstix SBCs. Featuring the Texas Instruments Sitara AM3354 processor, the Pepper DVI-D (priced at $119 USD) adds high-definition video output to the Pepper family of SBCs.

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