Use Raspberry PI as Iceprog programmer for iCE40HX1K-EVB or iCE40HX8K-EVB

icepiprog

Andreas Seltenreich sent us message how he is using Raspberry PI to program his iCE40HX1K-EVB and we add to the wiki section.

How to get in the News? Tell people that you will make and sell something which cost you $20 for $9!

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Probably everybody heard for the next big thing after Raspberry Pi – the C.H.I.P. computer which sells for only $9.

What?? Single board computer with 512MB RAM and 4/8GB Flash and WiFi for only $9?

When Raspberry Pi foundation advertised they will make Linux computer for $25 very few believed this is possible, then after some time hitting rocks on the road they made partnership with Farnell and RS and made this happen. Actually lot of Android TV sticks in this price range were available so the technology was there just nobody from Western world had explored it.

The Rpi got quite successful, so lot of companies followed in the aim to make the next better Raspberry Pi (we at Olimex also 🙂 went to this route with OLinuXino OSHW Linux computers fixing the fact that RPi is closed source design).

The $35 was the magic number if you come close to it more chances to attract people you have.

Then few weeks ago there was the next big thing – computer with the specs of Raspberry Pi for only $9 on Kickstarter.

This blew people’s mind – they start fantasies like how Allwinner produce 1Ghz SOCs for $1 like on this thread on G+.

These guys plan was set for sale of 5000 computers, we purchased more than 150K SoCs chips from Allwinner last year alone and I know the DDR and Flash memory market, so I was quite skeptical this $9 is achievable even for the Bill of Materials not for sale price.

I asked Allwinner for quote and got $4.80/5K order (which is the original Kickstarter goal of Next Thing Co. guys). I assumed this price is for the module they use with the 512MB RAM and 4GB Flash (despite just the DDR and Flash exchange market price is higher than this number, well I hoped Allwinner manufacturing this module have some magic prices not applicable for mortals with the million of units they sell :).

Today I got datasheet of R8M and price of it is $16 including the PMU. Whaaat? Just the module is $16 but these guys sell this module on board with connectors and WIFI for $9 how this is possible?

I asked Allwinner again if there is mistake and they confirmed there is no mistake, R8 price is $4.80, R8M module price $16. Allwinner confirmed R8 just SOC cost $4.80 but this makes not much sense either this is the price of A33 quad core SOC why they price so expensive obsolete A13 Cortex-A8 SOC???

On my question how then Next Thing Co. sell this computer for $9 Allwinner response is:

“CHIP 9$ computer launched a big advertising campaign to promote their new development board, their actual cost is higher than 9$. After the Kickstarter their computer will sell for 39$.”

So, sorry guys to break your dreams for 1Ghz SOCs costing $1, maybe in future this would be possible, but not now.

The C.H.I.P. is just CHEAP marketing. At least for me R8 is not interesting at this price, better use A33 Quad core or H3 for your next design they are in same price range.

EDIT Update 08-06-2015: On the question why R8 cost is same as for quad core processor the response from Allwinner is:

R8 is new IC just published especially on IoT, it is not like A33 this one had used on a large scale forTablet PC.

So R8 is more expensive as produced in lower quantities than A33 which is selling for tablets in big volumes.

Who fears from the competition? RPi Foundation pressed Broadcom to stop selling BCM2835 to competing projects.

Odroid

On July 29th I blogged about the Raspberry Pi Clones which now exist and the new Odroid project which actually makes better hack friendly module based on BCM2835 including better power supply, LiPo battery support etc features.

This is pure example that no matter if your project is open or closed hardware it could be cloned if there is enough interest to do so.

Also I made speculations that due to the bad financial condition which Broadcom faces due to the Chinese SOC competitors they start selling their BCM2835 to anyone with money.

Well this must have upset RPi Foundation a lot and they should have start to pess Broadcom about stop selling the BCM2835 to others than RPi.

Today Odroid guys wrote on their G+ account: “We have to stop ODROID-W project soon since Broadcom will not supply the SoC to Hardkernel anymore.
When the first trial batch is sold out, you can’t buy the ODROID-W anymore. Sorry for the inconvenience.”

The Raspberry Clones attack

the-attack-of-the-clones

 

I got interesting email this morning:

Hi Mr. Tsvetan Usunov,
How are you?
This is David from XXX which is a professional manufacturer of the credit card sized computer Raspberry Pi .
I find you are doing the business of embedded computers in your website,I guess  you would have the interest in our products.
Now we can provide you the latest version of Raspberry pi (type B+) with the competetive price and good service.and we serve several distributor in your country now.you can see that the companies in your country sell the Pi in their website .http://www.snapdeal.com/brand/raspberry-pi .
If you have the interest in this products ,please kindly let me know.thank you
Best Regards, 
David


Well, I'm definitely not interested to re-sell Raspberry Pi, and far away from India, but out of the curiosity I asked about the pricing, the answer was immediately:


Hi Tsvetan,
Thanks for your reply.
For type B: USD 31 ,
For type B+:USD 32
FCA HK ,Delivery time: 4~7 days.
Please review the attached file for the difference between type B and type B+.
Anything you wanna know ,please feel free to contact me. thank you.
Best Regards,
David

So company in HK is manufacturing and selling clones of Raspberry Pi -> so far about the closed source designs which prevent you from being copied 🙂

No matter if your design is OPEN or CLOSED this do not stop others to copy and clone your design, this is not rocket technology after all, if they have one of your boards they can de-solder all components, then strip the board layer by layer and copy it 1:1.

The real protection for Raspberry Pi was that Broadcom didn’t sell few years their chips to anyone else than the RPF, but with the recent announcement http://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1323198 Broadcom seems didn’t resist and start selling these chips to anyone with cash.

There is one more original design which I saw today again with Raspberry Pi based processor:

ODROID-W_Board

 

Board which run Linux but have no Ethernet connectivity and cost $30. To me at least seems that Raspberry Pi B+  for $5 more gives you +4 USB hosts and Ethernet to be a better deal. This probably try to compete with the recently announced Raspberry Module as have more sophisticated power supply.

There is an interesting discussion about this board on Raspberry Pi forum

Raspberry Pi project – interfacing Wii-Nunchuk with RPi

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Wii Nunchuck  is Wii remote controller with 3-axis accelerometer, joystick and two button combo. Those who have watched old Bruce Lee movies know how dangerous such Nunchaku could be in some hands 😀 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRyDcB7qQFo

Olimex offers Wii-Nunchuck with UEXT adapter board for EUR 6.95 https://www.olimex.com/Products/Modules/Sensors/MOD-WII/MOD-Wii-UEXT-NUNCHUCK/

and now with RPI-UEXT https://www.olimex.com/Products/Modules/Adapters/RPi-UEXT/ you can connect Wii remote to your Raspberry pi

The Python code is on GitHub https://github.com/OLIMEX/raspberrypi when you start it you will see on the console:

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the joystick coordinates, accelerometer XYZ values and two button status

Friday Free Board Quiz issue #25 is RPI-UEXT + MOD-IO2

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RPI-UEXT allow Raspberry Pi to have access to different modules see original blog post we made about it: https://olimex.wordpress.com/2012/11/21/raspberry-pi-gpio-to-breadboard-and-uext-adapter/

MOD-IO2 allow RaspberryPi to control 2 relays and to read/write 7 additional GPIOs, including Analog inputs. On top of this MOD-IO2 is stackable and addressable so you can stack and connect to Raspberry Pi as many relays as you need for your project.

You have chance to win RPI-UEXT + CABLE26-pin + MOD-IO2 today if you answer correctly our quiz question!

Today at 17.00 o’clock our local Bulgarian time (GMT+2) we will post on Twitter our questions.

You have one hour to reply to our tweet with the correct answer.

At 18.00 o’clock we will count the correct answers and ask random.org to generate random number in range then announce the winner and ship the board by airmail in Monday.

Good Luck!

Raspberry Pi can now work with UEXT modules

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In my previous post https://olimex.wordpress.com/2012/11/21/raspberry-pi-gpio-to-breadboard-and-uext-adapter/ I wrote about the Raspberry pi adapter we designed which allow Raspberry Pi to have access to the modules we have like Relay modules, Thermocouple sensor modules, 3-axis magnetometer and accelerometers, Zigbee, WiFi, GSM, GPS etc.

The RPI-UEXT adapter is already in stock and you can wire it to your Raspberry Pi with any 26-pin ribbon cable, we do offer 15 cm cable also which you can use with RPI-UEXT

On this video you can see how Raspberry PI is controlling MOD-IO 4 relays with the help of the RPI-UEXT adapter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuHU2SmLYBI

to make MOD-IO control as on above video with your RPi you should do as follows:

step 1:

sudo vi /etc/modprobe.d/raspi-blacklist.conf
The file should look like:

# blacklist spi and i2c by default (many users don’t need them)
blacklist spi-bcm2708
#blacklist i2c-bcm2708

step 2:

sudo vi /etc/modules

# /etc/modules: kernel modules to load at boot time.
#
# This file contains the names of kernel modules that should be loaded
# at boot time, one per line. Lines beginning with “#” are ignored.
# Parameters can be specified after the module name.

i2c-dev
snd-bcm2835

step 3:

sudo apt-get install python-smbus

step 4:

sudo vi modio.py

import smbus
import time
bus = smbus.SMBus(0)
address = 0x58

while 1:
bus.write_byte_data(address, 0x10, 0x0F)
time.sleep(1)
bus.write_byte_data(address, 0x10, 0x00)
time.sleep(1)

step 5:

sudo python modio.py

and you will see how the relays go ON and OFF 🙂

have fun!

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