Internet of Things is not just some fancy buzzword anymore, but everyday reality: more and more usual home appliances get Internet access and become smarter and handy. Networking provides an ability to build mutual interaction between various devices, create new usage scenarios, complicated inside and handy outside — to make devices that surround us smarter, to make them learn our needs instead of making us learn their limitations.
Black Swift is an ideal choice for the Internet of Smart Things, be it new developments or upgrade of existing appliances. Easiness of implementing wireless network connection, easiness of developing new software in half a dozen available languages, high performance — just a few of Black Swift's advantages in the new IoT realy.
Everyone got used to modern home appliances — compact, beatiful, and elegant. But for us, electronics engineers, it is as much of a problem as achivement - way too often there are no any additional space inside those devices to put some more electronics there.
That's where Black Swift — just 25×35×4 mm in size — shines. And it's not just tiny — it is functionally finished and ready to work with only power supply connected, without any additional mandatory external modules. This means there's no such problem as free space deficit with Black Swift — the board can be easily integrated into almost any design, and even Wi-Fi connection in most cases doesn't require external antenna.
Smart Things should be smart, and Black Swift is based on MIPS 24K 32-bit processor core with 400 MHz default frequency — so every bit of functionality you need, from complex algorithms to device's own Web interface, can be easily implemented using Black Swift alone. Unlike Black Swift, most traditional solutions are based on at least two separate parts — CPU and Wi-Fi adapter — thus requiring more efforts from both engineers and programmers to bring everything together and make it work.
Moreover, there are 64 MB DDR2 RAM and 16 MB NOR flash on-board — more than enough not only for the Linux-based OS itself, but most solutions you will ever need as well. And if this is not sufficient for you — memory can be expanded to gigabytes with USB storage or standard SD cards.
There are a lot of devices that can benefit of Black Swift — which means we have to offer a lot of options to fit the board inside specific device. And we did our best.
Depending on conditions, Black Swift board can be used as fully independent device, or connected to other peripheral devics with wires, or placed on some kind of motherboard — aligned with it or perpendicular, soldered or removable. With Black Swift, you are not limited in options while designing your devices. Further still, it makes Black Swift an ideal platform to learn — you can start using it even without any serious experience in embedded electronics development.
It doesn't matter if you are professional programmer or not. Black Swift can be programmed using different languages — C, C++, Python, Perl, PHP... You wouldn't need any additional specialized devices to upload and debug newly created software — all you need to work with Black Swift is regular PC or laptop, connected to the board via Wi-Fi. And to make your life easier, we will provide some modifications to the base system as well as additional utilities and programming guides on specific problems.
Despite tiny size, there are two voltage regulators on-board — so Black Swift not only can be powered from +3,6...6 VDC, but it will provide stable +3.3 VDC and +2.75 VDC voltages to external peripheral ICs, with up to 700 mA total current, making Black Swift based designs even simplier and allowing to use it in the wide range of devices without additional external voltage regulators, sometimes bulky and inconvenient.
Though Black Swift is not designed to operate as battery-powered device, it can be used this way too — with a single Lithium cell or 3-4 AA/AAA cells. 18650 Li battery will be enough for up to 24 hrs on a single charge with Wi-Fi enabled.
We intend to make Black Swift fully open for everyone — be it schematics, printed circuit board or software additions. We are not afraid of competition; we want to share our experience with other electronics engineers, want them to be able to develop new devices upon Black Swift design and idea, suiting their own needs in the best possible way..
We are working hard on ironing out various software and hardware quirks — how to work with different interfaces, different peripherals, overcome software and hardware limitations — and will share with the world everithing we discovered.