First PIC32-EMZ64 boards for Embedded World are now testing

PIC32-EMZ64

This board was made from the design idea to mass production in just few weeks:)

The PIC32 microcontroller model was choosen January 21st, so we had 1 week to design and PCB layout the board, 1 week to produce the blank PCB, make stencils, prepare software demo code and one week to setup the assembly line and run the PCBs for asssembly.

Today we got first batch of the assembled boards.

PIC32-EMZ64-2

For these who do not remember this board is using the new PIC32MZ2048EFH064 with 2MB of Flash, 512KB RAM, Ethernet, CAN and fast 18Msps 12bit ADC!

On the board you can see:

  • USB-OTG
  • USB Host
  • Ethernet 100Mb
  • Audio input
  • Audio output
  • OLED LCD 128×64 pixels
  • microSD card
  • CAN driver
  • 3x buttons
  • Reset
  • LEDs

all this in compact credit card size format.

At Embedded World in Nurenberg 23-25 of February we will give away these boards but only to registered/approved developers. If you want to take your board at the show please send us e-mail and write what projects you have done, so we can confirm that your board is reserved. Important: we will not give away boards to Embedded world visitors who have no reservation/approval from us in advance.

You can’t visit Embedded World? Do not worry you still have chance to receive free board – just send us e-mail and tell us what projects you have done with PIC or Olimex boards before. We can decide to send you by post one of these free of charge.

New OSHW iCE40 FPGA evaluation board project

FPGA

iCE40HX1K-EVB is small 5×5 cm development board for Lattice iCE40 FPGAs.

For these who do not know yet, this is the only FPGA which has Open Source tools -> Icestorm which allows you to program iCE40.

Above you can see the preliminary PCB component arrangement. Here is the schematic:

ice40

The development board have these features:

  • iCE40HX1K-VQ100
  • 16Mbit Serial Flash for the FPGA configuration and user data
  • SRAM 256K x 16 bit
  • two LEDs
  • two buttons
  • 100Mhz Oscillator
  • power supply with DCDC 1.2V/1A and 3.3V/1A
  • Male EXT connector with 34 pin containing 24 FPGA signals, 5V, 3.3V, CLK, 2x LEDs
  • Programming 10 pin adapter

The purpose of the male right hand 34 pin connector is to allow additional expansion modules to be connected.

The additional modules with have FEMALE 34 pin connector on left hand side and MALE 34 pin connector with all signals on the right hand side, so many modules could stack together.

We work on these modules now:

  • 2×5 centimeter fast ADC board with ADC08100 100Msps 8bit ADC, as we will make ADC addressable, many ADCs could stack together to make multi channel fast ADC digital storage oscilloscope
  • 2×5 centimeters fast DAC board with THS5641A 100Msps 8bit DAC, also addressable
  • 4×5 centimeters board with VGA and PS2 for experimenting with video generation and keyboard inputs
  • 2×5 centimeter board with level shifter 1.2-5.5V with adjustable levels 8/16 bit for logic analyzer with wide working levels
  • 4×5 centimeter board with buttons, LEDs for user interface

The main board is already uploaded on GitHub

The FPGA programming on original Lattice icestick development board is done with FTDI USB to SPI converter, but we avoid this unreliable company in our designs.

You can run the Icestorm on A20-OLinuxino-MICRO and we preparing patch which to allow iceprog to run on OLinuXino and program the iCE40 via the UEXT connector.

For these who want to use USB programmer we prepare patch for using OLIMEXINO-32U4 (or any other Arduino) as programmer, sure OLIMEXINO is most convenient to be used as programmer as already have UEXT connector which to wire directly to iCE40 10 pin programming port.

 

EDIT: At TuxCon in July we will have FPGA workshop with this board – we will teach you FPGA basics, how they are programming and first steps with verilog, at the end you will make your own first Verilog program and program it at iCE40HX1K-EVB. We are going to prepare examples how to use the ADC/DAC/VGA/PS2 etc add-on boards.

H3-OLinuXino-NANO is only 50×50 mm but has everything one computer must have

H3-NANO

H3-NANO-2

Nice to meet you! I am H3-OLinuXino-NANO, ultra small 50×50 mm Linux computer with

  • H3 quad core Cortex-A7 processor
  • 512MB of DDR3 RAM
  • 2x USB hosts for mouse and keyboard
  • Ethernet 100Mb interface
  • HDMI Full HD output
  • 4 buttons
  • micro SD card
  • UART console
  • USB-OTG which also is used to power the board
  • 4 mount holes
  • 2x 40 pin connectors (optional) which carry lot of GPIOs

We now try the software and test all peripherals if everything is OK will proceed with production, but we overall are very proud that managed to shrink in this space the complete board i only 6 Layers.

We learned our lessons from the first H3-OLinuXino prototypes, now this board consumes less power, DDR3L memory is used at lower voltage 1.35V and this helps the processor to not overheat like on our first proto.

Where this board could be used?

  • General purpose Linux computer
  • Digital signage
  • Low cost IoT home node server
  • Android TV box to play games and videos
  • Education

Due to the high integration of H3 SoC the price will be below the price of LIME, but no SATA and LiPo charger.

This design is made with Eagle, we have to make few more improvements before run production and put them on Github.

A64-OLinuXino routing completed, but we still have to final touch this and that

A64-OLinuXino

What you see above is the completely routed A64-OLinuXino! Files are push to GitHub as usual.

Now is time to re-check everything and final touch this and that before run the first prototypes.

One issue which we still have not addressed is the dual power supply for MMC card which to allow maximal performance.

We saw there are already patches on Linux-Sunxi for adding this but I do wonder if anyone has try it and if there are already boards with this feature.

There is no problem to add 1.8V and 3.3V mux-ed power supply to MMC card, but which GPIOs to use to enable/disable these?

Any suggestions are welcome!

A64-OLinuXino update

А64

We just got some more information from Allwinner for A64 and the good news is that it have Gigabit Ethernet interface!

So beside the WiFi + BT 4.0 A64-OLinuXino will have also native Gigabit Ethernet interface:)

We work on A64-OLinuXino the first Open Source Hardware 64-bit development board

A64

A64 was announced January this year by Allwinner. It’s a quad core 64 bit Cortex-A53 processor targeting tablets.

Some features are:

  • H.265/H.264 video decoding in hardware
  • HDMI 4K display support
  • DDR3L memory with lower consumption is supported
  • eMMC 5.0 support

Last week we got notice that Allwinner have already A64 in production and we will get some chips with the software SDK for Android 5.1 based on Linux Kernel 3.10 by the end of the month (yes they finally escaped from Kernel 3.4:) ), so we started to work on our A64-OLinuXino.

This chip is with humble peripherials, as Allwinner target and announcement is to sell it for $5 in volume (obviously not for mortals as we have to buy the first chips at higher than this price).

  • LCD parallel RGB, LCD LVDS, MIPI and HDMI video output
  • Camera interface
  • One USB Host
  • One USB-OTG
  • Two SPI
  • Four I2C
  • Six UARTs

As you can see no Ethernet, no SATA, no PCIe, but this is what you get for $5 right ?

What we found is also that although being 64-bit ARM the A64 memory bus is just 32-bit wide, we guess to make BOM smaller.

This will hurt the performance, so we have to see how it will behave compared to A20 and H3 for instance.

A64-OLinuXino initial specs will be:

  • A64 4 core Cortex-A53
  • AXP803 PMU + Audio support
  • 1GB or 2GB DDR RAM
  • 4GB NAND Flash oe eMMC
  • micro SD card connector
  • micro USB-OTG
  • 2Mpix Camera on board
  • USB-HOST
  • HDMI 4K output
  • Audio Output, Input
  • LCD connector to connect with all our LCD-OLinuXino 4.3″ 7.0″ 10.1″ 15.6″
  • RTL8723BS WiFi + BT4.0 on board for connectivity
  • GPIO connector with access to all processor resources
  • 5V power input

This will be our first 64 bit ARM board and also the first OLinuXino we make completely with KiCAD.

If everything goes smoothly we will have first prototypes by end of November and depend on how fast we can test the software we may have these run in production for Christmas:) the goal is to make 64-bit ARM with EUR 64 retail price!

As I expect A64 with 4 cores Cortex-A53 will behave well running Desktop Linux so we are evaluating the option to find some Chinese laptop manufacturer and ask them to supply us just with some light laptop body with decent 10.1-11.6″ LCD display, camera and keyboard with touch-pad. We can re-design A64 board to fit inside this laptop body and to make light under 1 kg laptop running Linux.

One of the problem is that A64 is quite new and no any Linux-Sunxi support, as nobody have seen A64 development boards yet. SO it may pass several months until A64-OLinuXino run anything else than Android 5.1

Don’t you love these Internet Surveys?

2015sbcsurvey_allsbcscores

I love Internet surveys, they are so easy to manipulate:)

Yesterday Drew Fustini posted on G+ the letter he got about one of the few new 64 bit development boards which he ordered.

As you see from the letter this board will go for sale end of November as still didn’t pass necessary tests for FCC – it have cellular modem and WiFi on it.

Screenshot from 2015-10-15 12-56-58

In one of the comments on G+ post is seen that this obviously do no stop people to choose this same board which probably is sampled just to few developers (Qualcomm gave away few on Linux Con and OpenWRT) as #5 in “Top Ten Hacker SBCs” by LinuxGizmos.com.

So people may wonder how do Hackers evaluated this board and selected is as board of choice if it’s still not even shipped to mass users?
It’s a mystery which Qualcomm PR dept may unveil:)

Fact is that all these Internet surveys are easy to manipulate, so always have a bit in skepticism in mind when you read next “which p@nnis is bigger” survey done on the internet.

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