So, what's the big deal about the Beagleboard and us building it? If you aren't familiar with it, check out www.beagleboard.org for all the details.
In short, it's an open source hardware design development board / embedded system utilizing the Ti OMAP processor and a Micron memory chip in a POP (package on package) form factor. The POP is the significant point here. Well, that plus some 0.4mm pitch BGAs.
We assembled this one. The image below left is AbiWord running on the board pictured here.
The Ti processor is a 0.4mm pitch BGA and the Micron chip that goes on top of it is a 0.5mm pitch BGA. The power management / audio chip on the Beagleboard is also a 0.4mm pitch BGA. That's some pretty tough stuff and not a lot of folks can build it. Not only can we build it, but we can build it in small prototype quantities - as few as one at a time. We're proud of our capabilities and dedication to both quality and on-time delivery. (So, yes, there is a bit of self-horn blowing here.)
If you're primarily a software person and just want a working beagleboard, the least expensive route is to go to Digi-Key or Special Computing and buy one preassembled. But, if you want a derivative design, or just any old design using a POP part, you'll need someone that can build it properly. We've been assembling small volume prototypes of difficult designs for over six years now and we love doing the tough stuff. From 0201 passives, flex boards, rigid-flex and now POP. We also do easy stuff.
The beauty of the open source design is that Ti, through the Beagleboard organization, has made the Gerber files, the schematics and the CAD files available open source. That can give you a significant head-start in getting your custom design up and running. And, then, once you're done and need someone to put all of those parts on the boards and chips, connect up with us. We can assemble it for you. This is considered a special process, so you'll need to get confirmation from us on what turn-times we can support for your specific board before placing the order.
Quaffing root beer with Bill Mauldin