Thermal Printing with the PRU-ICSS on the BeagleBone Black Reference Design


Design files


The Programmable Realtime Unit – Industrial Communications Sub-System (PRU-ICSS) is a versatile component of the AM335x SoC that enables real-time, deterministic, fast GPIO control, even when running a non-deterministic operating system. This reference design provides a concrete use case and implementation of the PRU-ICSS to directly control a thermal printer module.  Included are C code examples for ARM to PRU communications, real-time GPIO pin control to drive the thermal print head elements and stepper motors, and pinmux configuration.

  • Directly synthesizes stepper patterns using the PRU-ICSS
  • Highlights Linux to PRU-ICSS communitations
  • Example usage of RPMsg and remoteProc frameworks
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A fully assembled board has been developed for testing and performance validation only, and is not available for sale.

Design files & products

Design files

Download ready-to-use system files to speed your design process.

TIDUB30.PDF (3404 K)

Reference design overview and verified performance test data

TIDCBS3.ZIP (4270 K)

Detailed schematic diagram for design layout and components


Detailed schematic diagram for design layout and components


Complete listing of design components, reference designators, and manufacturers/part numbers

TIDRKC3.ZIP (1488 K)

Files used for 3D models or 2D drawings of IC components


Design file that contains information on physical board layer of design PCB


Includes TI products in the design and potential alternatives.

AND gates

SN74AHC084-ch, 2-input 2-V to 5.5-V high-speed (9 ns) AND gate

Data sheet: PDF | HTML
Arm-based processors

AM3358Sitara processor: Arm Cortex-A8, 3D graphics, PRU-ICSS, CAN

Data sheet: PDF | HTML
Linear & low-dropout (LDO) regulators

LM10853-A, 29-V, linear voltage regulator

Data sheet: PDF | HTML
Monostable multivibrators (one-shots)

SN74LVC1G123Single retriggerable monostable multivibrator with Schmitt-trigger inputs

Data sheet: PDF | HTML
Noninverting buffers & drivers

SN74LVC244A8-ch, 1.65-V to 3.6-V buffers with 3-state outputs

Data sheet: PDF
OR gates

SN74AHC1G321-ch, 2-input 2-V to 5.5-V high-speed (9 ns) OR gate

Data sheet: PDF | HTML
OR gates

SN74LVC1G3321-ch, 3-input 1.65-V to 5.5-V 32-mA drive strength OR gate

Data sheet: PDF
Stepper motor drivers

DRV883310.8-V, 2-A dual H-bridge motor driver with current regulation

Data sheet: PDF | HTML

Technical documentation

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* Design guide Thermal Printing With the PRU-ICSS on the BeagleBone Black Design Guide Nov. 18, 2015

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