Connectors on the Intel® Edison board

The Intel® Edison board provides a wide range of functionality for communicating with your board, uploading your code, updating the board firmware, and more. Refer to the image below for an overview of the various connectors on your board and what each is used for.

Overview of the connectors on the board

  1. Barrel connector for the external power supply: This connector is used for powering your board with an external power supply. For steps, see Powering your board.
  2. Standard USB port: This port is for regular connections of USB peripherals, such as mice, keyboards, and more. For steps, see Attaching USB peripherals to your board.
  3. Microswitch: You can switch between USB host mode and USB device mode using the microswitch.
    • Device mode: In device mode, you can use your board as a computer peripheral using a micro-USB cable. In device mode, you can program the board over USB, mount the onboard flash memory like a disk drive, and more. For steps to connect the board as a computer peripheral, see Programming, powering, and writing to the onboard flash memory.
    • Host mode: In host mode, you can plug USB peripherals with a standard-sized USB cable (such as mice, keyboards, and the like) in to the board. For steps, see Attaching USB peripherals to your board.
  4. Middle USB port (Micro A type): This port is used for the following:
  5. Edge port (Micro A Type): This port is used to create a terminal connection by serial over USB only. For steps, see Establishing serial communications with your board.

For steps to connect to your board and access the functionality described above, see the appropriate section:

Programming, powering, and writing to the onboard flash memory

You can use the middle USB port on the board for the following:

  • 5V power
  • Programming your board using the Arduino IDE
  • Programming your board using the Intel® XDK or Intel® System Studio IoT Edition via Ethernet over USB (not Wi-Fi*)
  • Writing to the onboard flash memory from your computer

When powering your board using the micro-USB port, keep in mind the following:

  • Certain USB ports on your system might not be able to provide enough power to the board. This will ultimately result in some very unpredictable behavior from the board, especially when using Wi-Fi* or driving motors. To avoid this behavior, power your board using an external power supply.
  • If you are connecting your board to a laptop, be sure to plug in your laptop's power supply to help ensure that your board has enough power.
  1. Find the microswitch in between the USB ports on the expansion board. Switch the microswitch down towards the micro-USB ports.

    Example of the microswitch toggled down

  2. Plug in a micro-USB cable to the middle USB connector on the expansion board.

    Plugging a micro-USB cable into the middle USB connector

  3. Plug the other end of the USB cable in to your computer.

    Plugging the other end of the USB cable into your computer

  4. A green LED should light up on the expansion board. If it doesn't, check your connection.

    Example of a green LED lighting up on the expansion board

  5. Wait one minute for the board to finish booting up.

How do you know when the board is ready?

You know that the board is fully initialized when your computer mounts a new drive (much like inserting a SD card into your computer). The Intel® Edison board needs approximately one minute to go through the entire Linux* startup process. There is no onboard LED to indicate whether or not the board is fully initialized; however, you can watch the full bootup sequence if you are connected to the board in a serial communication session. For steps to create a serial communication session with your board, see Setting up a serial terminal.

Establishing serial communications with your board

You can send serial commands to your board via Terminal or PuTTY using the edge micro-USB port. You can use these commands to flash firmware, configure Wi-Fi settings, or identify the board's IP address.

  1. Power your board by doing one of the following:
    • With an external power supply (recommended): Plug the external power supply in to the barrel connector on the board.
    • With the middle USB port: Plug a micro-USB cable in to the middle USB port on the board. Plug the other end in to your computer.
  2. Plug a micro-USB cable in to the edge micro-USB port on the expansion board.

    Plugging the second USB cable in to the edge USB connector

  3. Plug the other end of the USB cable in to your computer.

    Plugging the other end of the USB cable into your computer

Your board is now connected. For steps to create a serial communication session with your board, see Setting up a serial terminal. For steps to flash your firmware, see Flashing the firmware.

Once your board is online and has an addressable IP address, you may find it more convenient to SSH into your board to run Linux commands. In this case, you will not need the micro-USB serial cable on a regular basis.

Attaching USB peripherals to your board

Use the standard-sized USB port in USB host mode to allow the Intel® Edison board to accept USB peripherals, such as mice, keyboards, and more.

  1. Find the microswitch in between the USB ports on the expansion board. Switch the microswitch up towards the standard-sized USB port.

    Switching the microswitch up.

  2. Plug in the DC power supply to the barrel connector. The USB host mode requires the use of an external power adapter.
  3. Plug a USB peripheral with a standard-sized USB connector in to the standard-size USB port above the microswitch on the expansion board.

    Plugging in a USB peripheral

Powering your board over USB

To ensure that you have access to more power-intensive features such as Wi-Fi, a servo motor, or an Arduino shield, use an external direct current (DC) power supply) to power your board. An external power supply is the preferred way of powering the Intel® Edison board. However, you can power your board over USB if you do not have an external power supply. For details, see Programming, powering, and writing to the onboard flash memory.

Requirements

Your power supply should be rated as follows:

  • 7-15V DC
  • At least 1500mA
  • The center/inner pin should be the positive pole of the power supply

We suggest an EMSA120150 or similar supply:

  1. Plug in the DC power supply to the barrel connector on your board.

    Example of powering your board with an external power supply

  2. A green LED should light up on the expansion board. If it doesn't, check your connection.

    Example of a green LED lighting up on the expansion board

  3. Wait one minute for the board to finish booting up.

For more complete information about compiler optimizations, see our Optimization Notice.