Has anyone build a commercial product using the Particle Boron 402/4/x development board?
Yes, we have several large enterprise customers who have deployed tens of thousands of Borons in the field.
Do you have any specific concerns with the Boron?
Was wondering at what point should someone start looking at the B-SoM board since the Boron is marketed as a development board. Any issues with using the Boron for larger rollouts?
Hi @oraclerouter -
My 2 cents worth...
Agree with what @no1089 said.
There is no reason I can see disqualifying Boron as uC to go into the production with. Having said that, there are couple of advantages using B-SoM though, e.g. more control of your PMIC. I suppose (even though debatable) it might be considered 'better practise' to use B-SoM on custom PCBs rather than dev boards on headers. It looks nicer if that helps
Depends on your needs I suppose.
The Boron meets my need and I wasn't sure if using it for larger deployments has its limits. If you are at large volumes the cost savings will make a difference.
I am fairly sure if it is currently meeting your needs, it will continue do to so unless you are expecting major hardware changes in the near future.
There are factors to consider when opting to go with B-SoM. The hardware design can a little more involved as you now have to design your own PMIC. In addition to this, there are some costs involved as you will need some extra components e.g. System Led, System buttons, Edge Connector, Spacer(Standoff) etc.
The major downside for me to using Dev Boards is physical size and constraints. I am not someone that is 'in love with' THP's (to put it mildly, hehe) and using SMD headers can be quite expensive. There is also the fact that it is protruding quite high off the board. Another thing might be that you are now set on where the USB port is on your design, whereas with the B-SoM you can place it wherever it is most convenient. These are just a couple of things from design point, but if none of those are problematic for you, then it is besides the point
Having said all of that, it remains my personal preference to use B-SoM as I guess it just looks a little more 'professional' than putting a dev board on a PCB and gives me a bit more design freedom. There is nothing wrong with using a dev board though, if it works, it works. In fact, I am doing a tutorial for Particle now using the Photon 2 on a PCB
I would not suggest changing just for the sake of changing. But this is just my opinion
Friedl mostly covered it, but yes, no real downsides to the Boron, except for possible cost savings if you don't use a battery for example.
The BSOM affords you complete control over the power circuit, and it's on the M.2 form factor, and that's our future-proof form factor.
If you are at meaningful volumes though, it's better to speak to the sales team about possible discounts on HW etc.
Having read this thread am I right to assume it applies to the USA market? I have been using the BRN314 to develop a product in Europe. This is now classed as NRND and is 'sold out' on the Particle Shop. I have a dwindling stock of BRN314's and would prefer not to go down the B SOM route at this stage - with or without the development board. Is there a development / pinned board to replace the BRN314 in the global market? Will the BRN404X ever be useable in the non-American market?
The problem is that the cellular modem on the BRN314 (u-blox SARA U201) is no longer available, which is why the Boron 2G/3G is NRND and only available until the existing stock on Boron units that we have built is depleted.
The cellular modem on the B524, B Series SoM, LTE Cat 1 with 2G/3G fallback for EMEAA, the Quectel EG91-E, it physically too large to fit on the Boron module with the Adafruit feather form factor.
Since the areas where 2G/3G only is a viable solution are limited, there won't be any new Particle device that only has 2G/3G support.
There is a possibility that the BRN404X will be offered in Europe in the future. The number of carriers that support LTE Cat M1 in Europe is increasing, and there seems to be movement to LTE Cat M1 from LTE Cat NB1, which was previously more popular in Europe, but cannot be used with Particle devices.
Hi @Jasper61 -
I have been using the B524 in South Africa without any issues. Even is very poor signal areas. Hope this helps.