iCE40HX8K-EVB OSHW prototypes are ready to test

iCE40-8K

What you see is our new iCE40HX8K-EVB prototype.

It has same layout as our first iCE40HX1K-EVB board with same 34pin bus connector where iCE40-IO, iCE40-DIO, iCE40-ADC and iCE40-DAC modules could snap together.

We made all connections backward compatible so all code for 1K will work on 8K too. just here you have much more resources and more GPIOs which are wired to 4 small 40 pin 0.05″ step connectors. These can be connected to external boards either with cable either with female matching connectors which are in our shop.

Now we are testing for silly mistakes, if everything is OK will run it in production next month.

The price will be EUR 39.95

 

A64-OLinuXino update, the Rev.B design will be possible to produce in industrial grade -40+85C, dual voltage eMMC 3.3/1.8V

А64-1cut

A64-OLinuXino first prototypes were made in March and lot of people wonder why we do not release for mass production this board yet🙂 so we got lot of e-mails and I see there is need for blog post with update.

Here is the recap from the first prototypes:

  • RAM memory works at amazing 667Mhz clock much more than A20 and other boards and the board works stabile under stress tests for many hours
  • eMMC works fine, we didn’t test NAND Flash due to the missing Linux support probabbly this will stay just as option and we will assembly the boards with eMMC which is faster, better and in industrial temperature
  • Linux Kernel is 3.10.65 and works fine, we managed to run all peripherials
  • Audio In and Out is working
  • HDMI is working
  • USB host is working
  • USB-OTG is working
  • WiFi+BT is working
  • MIPI interface – no display which to use to test, any ideas?
  • HSIC interface – don’t know how to test, any ideas?
  • LiPo charger and step up works
  • LCD works
  • Ethernet Gigabit interface works just in master mode

While we worked on this board we found new PHY from Microchip which can be ordered in industrial temperature, we tested it with A20 and it works fine (we already have LIME2 version with it which is on prototype), so we decided to re-design the Ethernet part of A64-OLinuXino with it, this will allow us to produce A64-OLinuXino in industrial temperature grade -40+85C.

Another major upgrade for Rev.B is around eMMC interface, we re-designed it as per your feedback to be possible to work on programmable 3.3V and 1.8V thus to allow faster transfers.

Rev.B is routed at 90% we need 1 more week to complete it and run new prototypes. If everything goes smoothly we will be ready by end of the month.

 

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🙂

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