Donald Knuth’s MIX computer implemented in iCE40HX8K-EVB

Donald Knuth’s “The Art of Computer Programming” is still a popular monograph which covers many types of programming algorithms and their analysis.

Although the first publishing was back in 1968, the book has been updated many times and is still a good source for learning algorithms.

Inside the book Knuth uses a hypothetical computer named MIX for writing all of his algorithms. The MIX computer has 9 registers and about 70 machine instructions.

Today in our Project section we got a submission of a MIX computer implementation on iCE40HX8K-EVB by Michael Schroeder.

The project is hosted on Gitlab:

https://gitlab.com/x653/mix-fpga

Several examples were created to demonstrate the MIX implementation such as generating the first 500 prime numbers.

The project is well documented and includes a manual: https://gitlab.com/x653/mix-fpga/-/raw/master/manual.pdf

Thanks Michael for the nice project!

Let the RP2040-PICO-PC fun begin!

This is update to our previous post about RP2040-PICO.

We have had the RP2040-PICO-PC prototypes for more than week and have tested all of its peripherals.

It’s amazing what amount of code the Raspberry Pi community generated for such a short time after the launch of RP2040-PICO.

Video, USB keyboard, SD-card storage, Audio, all tested and working. Sure, we did need a few wire patches but hey this is Revision A after all 🙂

What you see above is the RP2040-PICO-PC running from a LiPo battery and moving two sprites on the screen with quite a decent speed!

Code taken from https://github.com/Wren6991/PicoDVI

A small All-in-one pocket computer which can run from a LiPo battery.

Programmable with Python, with video, audio and keyboard.

Perfect tool to teach kids how to make their first Python games. Or just to emulate BBC micro and play all good old games.

Now RP2040-PICO-PC is ready for production!

TuxCon 2019 is this weekend in Plovdiv

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This weekend we are looking forward to welcome you at TuxCon 2019, the Open Source Hardware and Software conference in Plovdiv.

In Saturday we will be in Technical University (ul. Tzanko Dustabanov 25) in Halls “Dennis Ritchie” and “Bjarne Stroustrup”. There will be total 16 talks split in both hall. The event starts 10.30 o’clock, see the program here. At the end of the day there will be Quiz with many prizes, some of them will be Olimex boards.

In Sunday we will be in Olimex trainig building starting 11.00 o’clock. We will have traditional soldering workshop for both total beginners and people with experience who want to polish SMT soldering. It’s good if you have your own soldering iron to bring it with you as we have limited numbers of soldering irons for the workshop.

OpenFest 2018, LoRa technology and OSHW

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First OpenFest was back in 2003, so this year this open source technology event had 15 years anniversary! As always it was nice place to see and talk to interesting people.

Vasil Kolev opened with nice retrospection on how the event started, the challenges to make it (OpenFest is one of the few events which builds all infrastructure, video, networking etc by the organizers and do not use external service providers) and how it evolved in the years to become the most popular open source event in Bulgaria.

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Since 2011 Olimex was making traditional soldering workshop on every OpenFest. Lot of people held soldering iron for a very first time at these workshops, many of them got interested and continued with hardware. One of these guys is Leon Anavi, who got very commited to Open Source Hardware and start releasing his own boards! This year Leon, who is also the major motor behind Tuxcon conference in Plovdiv made the Soldering Workshop at Openfest!

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All the lecture videos will be uploaded soon at OpenFest.org.

My slides are already at Slideshare

 

 

Open Source / Free Software for Effective Industry 4.0 Meetup by Nexedi GmbH and Fraunhofer IAO on November 12th, 2018 in Stuttgart with Amarisoft, Linutronix, Olimex and TĂ©lĂ©com ParisTech

Smart-Factory

On 12th of November in Stuttgart at Fraunhofer IAO (NobelstraĂźe 12, 70569 Stuttgart, GERMANY) will be held “Open Source / Free Software for Effective Industry 4.0 Meetup”  organized by Nexedi GmbH and hosted by Fraunhofer IAO.

Olimex will present there Open Hardware solutions for Industrial Automation.

 

 

New products in stock: ESD proof PCB panel holders

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When you deal with PCB assembly you need to move PCBs or panels through different operations like AOI, Test etc. To move the PCBs you need ESD proof, strong and reliable PCB holders. Most of the PCB Holders on the marked are made by plastic, which scratch, bend when placed in dry oven and so on. We have designed three types of PCB Holders which we use in our own production and now offer for sale.

PCB-HOLDER-6 can hold up to 39 PCB/Panels they are spaced at 10 mm. The Holder is with total size 400x120mm and there are two wings which hold the PCBs and are 20mm high so you can easily slide your fingers under the Holder and lift it easily:

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We have one bigger size PCB-HOLDER-10 which can hold PCBs which are bigger than 150mm wide:

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PCB-HOLDER-10 also can hold up to 39 panels/PCBs and you can slip your fingers under it:

PCB-HOLDER-102

PCB-HOLDER-Z has Z shape and has additional side holder which prevent PCBs to move during the transportation:

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PCB-HOLDER-Z is very easy to manipulate.

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All PCB Holders are made by Zinc galvanized steel against rusting.

TERES-I Laptop 3D plastic models are on GitHub

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Yesterday we got great news.

One of our customer has been working to 3D capture the TERES-I plastics for a while and he uploaded on GitHub and released the files GPLv3+ and the CC by SA 4.0 License.

Now you can print your own plastics and modify them for your own needs.

TuxCon 2018 teaser ;)

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There are only 12 days to TuxCon 2018!

What you see above is the minibot we will solder on the workshop in Saturdy. It’s only 3×4 cm, Arduino programmable and can follow line or escape labyrinth.

The workshop is free of charge to participate but we have limited 50 seats, so it’s good to register in advance with email to info@olimex.com.

In Saturday at the KiCad workshop you will be able to design and layout your first PCB and we will use the minibot schematic to do this. So you will make your own PCB for this robot and route by yourself.

Dimitr Gamishev will make Home automation workshop in Saturday and will show you how you can switch on and off appliances with Amazon Alexa. For these who do not have this handy device, he will guide you step by step how you can make your own Alexa device with ESP32 or OLinuXino like this one on the video below made with A64-OLinuXino:

 

We have another nice surprise for TuxCon.

Josef Prusa from Prusa Research the inventor of the famous Prusa 3D printers with two colleagues will come to TuxCon and demonstrate their 3D printers.

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Hackaday Belgrade 2018 is this weekend 26th of May. Get ready for Retro Computing BASIC badge hacking.

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This weekend 26th of May Hackaday will have their second conference in Belgrade.

You can see the program here.

The conference badge is cool retro computer running BASIC. There will be badge hacking workshop so we will get with us some PIC-KIT3s .

I will have talk about how we hacked Soldering robot with ugly programming interface with TERES-I laptop and FPGA / Sigrok and how we replaced the soldering robot brain with OLinuXino-MICRO, so now it’s ready to take CAD CNC files and use fiducials and do AOI inspection after soldering.

 

Embedded World 2018 is next week in NĂĽrnberg

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Embedded World is next week in NĂĽrnberg. It’s good place to see many semiconductor vendors at once.

This year is interesting to see Chinese companies like Espressif Systems and Rockchip to  exhibit there. I look forward to meet there face to face people I have communicated only by e-mail!

Some interesting booths I put in my “to visit” agenda:

  • Analog Devices GmbH 4A-629
  • Arm Limited 4-140
  • ASIX Electronics Corporation 3-310
  • ATMEL – Microchip Technology 1-500/510
  • Broadcom Limited 3A-135
  • Espressif Systems 3A-623
  • Intel Corporation 1-338
  • NXP 4A-220
  • ON Semiconductor 4A-260
  • Qualcomm 4A-330
  • Realtek 3-341
  • RISC-V FOUNDATION 3A-419
  • Samsung 3A-438
  • Silergy 2-458
  • Silicon Labs 4A-128
  • SIMCom 3-531
  • STMicroelectronics 4A-138
  • Xilinx 3-311

Olimex used to exhibit at Embedded World three years 2014-2016, but in 2017 and this year we are just visitors. The reason for this decision is that Messe NĂĽrnberg obviously has so much work and can’t offer good service for the smallish exhibitors. They make agreements then break them whenever they want and bear no responsibility. In our case February 2016 we made booking for exhibiting in 2017, Messe NĂĽrnberg offered us booth plan and we choose booth with good location. We made agreement and then in July 2016 someone offered them to pay more for the same location and they assign this booth to them and notified us to go whistle. They offered us to choose from what’s left not booked or we can break the deal and we will not PAY COMPENSATION to them! This really pissed me off enough to decide to not exhibit there anymore. For the three years while we were exhibiting it was always one and same story: we order booth and arrangement and when we go to the show we see that they did something different, we complain then they do last minutes updates to fix the problems… For me it was shock to see things like this in Germany, which everyone praise for punctuality and precision. First year I said to myself oh well things like this happen, second year I though ok we just have bad luck, but when the third year the situation didn’t improve I though something is not right.

Otherwise Electronica, Productronica, Embedded World are among the very small amount of still very active exhibitions in EU. All local electronics exhibitions in our Balkan area like the Fair in Plovdiv, Thessaloniki, Belgrade, Istanbul are with declining functionality. They used to be very important events where people learn about new products and can make contacts, now internet made them less useful.

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