Black Swift is a coin-sized computer with integrated Wi-Fi adapter and antenna — created for IoT and Smart Home applications. It was designed to be friendly and well-suited for both enthusiasts and professional engineers — small and versatile enough for embedded needs and simple enough for DIY. It comes with Linux-based OpenWRT to provide well-known software environment. Finally, Black Swift will be released as open source — both hardware and software.
In spite of its size — just 25×35 mm — it is based on 32-bit MIPS 24K processor core running at 400 MHz, 16 MB DDR2 RAM and 64 MB flash memory, as well as integrated Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n adapter with PCB antenna.
Besides performance characteristics, its size and available interfaces render Black Swift perfectly suitable for professional embedded applications, especially as computing and communication core in the Internet of Things and Smart Home devices. And at the same time, it can be easily used by DIY enthusiasts even without serious skills in modern electronics.
Speaking of competition, one can divide existing solutions into two distinct categories. First, designed for DIY enthusiasts — very simple to connect and use, with decent set of standard external connectors, but not really usable for embedded applications due to relatively large size. Second, designed for embedded professionals — compact and versatile, but too complicated for enthusiasts as they often require specific connectors, surface mounting and external components to work.
Black Swift combines the best of both worlds. On the one hand, it is extremely simple when it comes to first start — users need nothing but 5 VDC power adapter with microUSB connector, i.e. regular smartphone charger. On the other hand, it is ultra-compact and has interfaces and connectors needed for embedded applications, including commercial-grade products.
Two integrated microUSB connectors allow Black Swift users to use basic USB peripherals, be it external storage, webcamera, printer or audio card, without any soldering at all. At the same time, all interface, including USB 2.0, two Ethernet ports, and more than 25 GPIOs, are available on the standard 2-row 1.27 mm connectors — so Black Swift can be easily mounted on the motherboard with additional peripheral devices and ICs. Standard 1.27 mm connectors also provide engineers with different ways of assembling Black Swift-based devices — in contrast to competing surface-mounting solutions.
Black Swift comes with custom-built Linux-based OpenWRT operating system, providing its users with well-known environment, utilities, and development tools. Black Swift can be programmed in a bunch of languages, from C/C++ to PHP, Python, and Perl, and has an enormous list of available software, up to such complex solutions as databases and dynamic web server.
Black Swift is open source. All the documentation will be published on official website, including schematics, bill of materials and PCB design files, to share the experience and help electronics engineers develop their own devices.
The company expects to finish design and preliminary testing in February, and first mass-produced batch to be available to its Kickstarter backers in May-June 2014.
Black Swift comes in two versions: basic, priced at $26 USD, and PRO version, designed for firmware and bootloader developers and priced at $34 USD.
Official Black Swift website: http://www.black-swift.com
Kickstarter campaign: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1133560316/black-swift-tiny-wireless-computer
Distributed by CrowdfundingPR
Company Name: Black Swift
Country: Russian Federation