A20-OLinuXino-LIME2 now with PCB revision G

a20-olinuxino-lime2

A20-OLinuXino-LIME2 now is assembling on same PCB Revision G as A20-OLinuXino-LIME2-eMMC.

What are the improvement:

  • Ethernet PHY is changed to RTL8211E replacing the obsolete RTL8211CL no need for kernel patches;
  • we drop the odd shape which was necessary to fit LIME2 in the plastic box as we now have range of metal boxes;
  • the four mount holes now have grounding for better contact with chassis;

Meantime we silently work on further improvement for next revision (to be released March 2017):

  • adding SPI boot Flash;
  • replacing RTL8211E to industrial grade PHY, so the board can be produced completely in -40+85C operating temperature;

 

Pre-Christmas Crazy times – Expansion of production capacity with three new Samsung machines

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Probably many of you wonder why we are so silent recent months and nothing new is posting on the blog. The reason is quite casual – we are overwhelmed with work!

Starting from September something odd happens. Our OLinuXino customers went in crazy mode and we start getting almost twice more orders than usual. All who have been dealing with production know that to double capacity needs time.

This is the reason for the delay with iCE40HX8K-EVB, A64-OLinuXino, TERES release – there is simple no free window on the SMT assembly machines and testers to may run them, the machines are busy with OLinuXino and SOM assembly.

The small orders are shipping on time i.e. in 1-3 working days, but all bigger OLinuXino and SOM orders for 50+ boards are now shipped with a bit of delay as we have quite backlog for these boards.

We apologize to all our established customers which do wonder why the orders which we usually shipped to them in 1 week before, now are shipped with delay of 3-4 weeks.

We assure you that we do everything humanly possible to ship all orders ASAP.

To add little more crazyness the three new Samsung machines arrived two weeks ago. We wanted to build new space for them and working more than year on this, but the lazy and ignorant Bulgarian administration still didn’t issued us permit to start building, so we have to install them in the old building where we run out of space.

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One SM471 and  two SM482 with printers, loaders, unloaders, conveyors, packed in 20 wooden boxes were unloaded from the containers:

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Immediately we start to break walls, extend doors, and other funny things so the big machines may enter the building.

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We did same 1 year ago when our first Samsung came, but shortsighted decided to rebuild the walls with intention the new machines to be installed in the new building, without taking into account how long and difficult the building permit is to get in Bulgaria.

Now the three machines are installed and testing, but as you guess they will not run alone, so we will need new employees to train.

New Year – new luck we say here, I hope things will go back from crazy to normal mode in January!

EDIT:

Some words about the machines SM471 is the Samsung fastest and greatest from SM series. It has two heads with 10 nozzles each and dual rail conveyor which allow two different boards to be assembled at same time. With maximal performance 75000 csp (which you never reach on real boards). The machine can place down to 01005 components which are with size 0.4 x 0.2 mm (400 x 200 microns)!

SM482 is flexible mounter which can place both small and big components, we already have one such machine and it performs very well. The listed maximal speed is 28000 cps.

Each SM482 machine comes with full set of 8, 12, 16, 24, 32 mm feeders and tray changer which can hold up to 80 trays with components.

Both SM471 and SM482 support the new splice-less tape feeders which can be load even with component stripes without need to have initial empty cells on the tapes.

A20-OLinuXino-MICRO works hard inside Open Source Rover Octanis project in freezing Antarctica!

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One year ago we got request for sponsoring 5 pcs A20-OLinuXino-MICRO for Octanis project from group of students at EPFL, who are making an open source rover (http://octanis.org/rover) that will go to Antarctica.

Their goal was to use A20-OlinuXino-MICRO as a communications base station with LoRaWAN and to use it for onboard image processing of their stereoscopic camera images.

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Needless to say the magic words “open source rover project” closed the deal 🙂 We shipped the boards in December 2015 and yesterday got e-mail that the rover operates since February 2016, but he was moved to Antarctica in November and will stay there till February 2017.

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You can track the rover position right now at http://octanis.org/constellation/

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On GitHub you can see their 3D parts CAD files and all firmware running on the rover. You can reproduce this project with 3D printer.

 

 

 

Final updates on A64-OLinuXino GMAC and eMMC, we are ready to launch production

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We complete our test with Rev.B

Good news is that Gigabit interface works well with Micrel/Microchip PHY and result is real Gigabit bandwidth. A20 although having Gigabit interface can’t make more than 700 Mbit I guess this is related to A20 capability to handle the data from GMAC. With A64 the speed is  932Mbit i.e. very close to 1Gb:

root@A64-OLinuXino:~# iperf -s 
 ------------------------------------------------------------ 
 Server listening on TCP port 5001 
 TCP window size: 85.3 KByte (default) 
 ------------------------------------------------------------ 
 [  4] local 10.0.0.4 port 5001 connected with 10.0.0.1 port 41144 
 [ ID] Interval       Transfer     Bandwidth 
 [  4]  0.0-10.0 sec  1.09 GBytes   932 Mbits/sec

 

For eMMC we followed the advice to make it dual voltage 3.3V and 1.8V with aim to have faster transfers and we implemented it in the hardware, but the tests show that transfer is same even at 1.8V is a bit lower. I don’t know if this is due to lame software settings we do in the eMMC drivers, or just the eMMC we use have same transfer on both voltages (we check datasheet and the eMMC we use have same speed quoted on both voltages), so this may be useless for our eMMC chip:

eMMC clock: 52 Mhz

eMMC@3.3V 
root@A64-OLinuXino:/home/olimex# dd if=/dev/zero of=/mnt/output conv=fdatasync bs=384k count=1k; rm -f /mnt/output 
1024+0 records in 
1024+0 records out 
402653184 bytes (403 MB, 384 MiB) copied, 33.0437 s, 12.2 MB/s 
 
eMMC@1.8V 
root@A64-OLinuXino:/home/olimex# dd if=/dev/zero of=/mnt/output conv=fdatasync bs=384k count=1k; rm -f /mnt/output 
1024+0 records in 
1024+0 records out 
402653184 bytes (403 MB, 384 MiB) copied, 37.9408 s, 10.6 MB/s 
 
SDMMC clock: 40MHz 
 
SDMMC@3.3V 
root@A64-OLinuXino:/home/olimex# dd if=/dev/zero of=/tmp/output conv=fdatasync bs=384k count=1k; rm -f /tmp/output 
1024+0 records in 
1024+0 records out 
402653184 bytes (403 MB, 384 MiB) copied, 41.1578 s, 9.8 MB/s 
 

With SDMMC as we don’t know what SD card will be inserted the clock is set to default 40Mhz.

After re-checking that everything works, we make last cosmetic changes to audio part we noticed in the last moment and will run Rev.C in production.

A64-OLinuXino-eMMC rev.B OSHW 64 bit ARM development board prototypes are testing

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What you see is our improved REV.B of A64-OLinuXino. What’s new:

  • Gigabit PHY is now KSZ9031 from MICROCHIP/MICREL which allow board to be produced in both commercial and industrial grade!
  • DDR3 is now DDR3L for lower power
  • we add SPI flash footprint U12
  • Audio input now is jumper selectable between LINE-IN and MIC-IN
  • eMMC now can work on software selectable voltage 3.3V or 1.8V which would allow faster speeds
  • status LED is attached to port PE17
  • size 90×60 mm

Now we do final software tests and if everything is OK we will run production.

 

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

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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.

 

A20-CAN – new OSHW board designed with KiCAD adds CAN networking to A20-OLinuXino and A20-SOM

A20-CAN

Want to sniff your car’s CAN bus or to drive Industrial machines with CAN networking bus?

Allwinner A20 SOCs have CAN but almost no one use it. If I remember correctly it was not even included in the Allwinner documentation just two pins had CAN on their names, so many people doubt if there is or not CAN.

Fortunately some people investigated further and add proper CAN support for A20 Linux, so we decided to make small driver board which to allow A20-OLinuXino and A20-SOM to have CAN. What does this means? Now you can use A20-OLinuXino to talk to other devices with CAN like industrial equipment, automotive CAN bus etc etc.

Current Linux image we have is without CAN support, but we put instructions on our WiKi how to build one with Linux-Sunxi 3.4 Kernel and with Mainline kernel: https://www.olimex.com/wiki/A20-CAN

What you see above on the picture is our first prototype of A20-CAN it works well although we use 5V CAN driver and A20 is 3.3V device. We successfully connected AM3352-SOM-EVB to A20-OLinuXino-LIME with A20-CAN driver and exchanged some messages at the highest speed 1Mbit and it works fine.

All CAD files, Gerbers, BOM are in this Github account: https://github.com/OLIMEX/A20-CAN . The board is done with KiCAD.

The PCBs are now in production and in 2 weeks A20-CAN will be orderable on our web page . While the PCBs are made we will work to add the CAN in our official images, so you do not have to bother with Kernels configurations and re-compiling.

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