OLinuXino roadmap 2015 :)

RT5350-OLinuXino-DIN

Many people ask us about what we do with Open Source Hardware OLinuXino project. Indeed we didn’t blog about OLinuXino boards often, but this doesn’t mean we do not have fun and working on them.

So let’s make brief update:

RT5350F – the DIN rail version is already complete and wait for assembly, the issue is trivial the plastic box, it will take us most of the time to complete.

Other OpenWRT boards:

We completed and now prototype MT7620N @580Mhz with some more RAM – 64MB and two WIFI bands 2.4G + 5G and 5 10/100Mb Ethernet and prepare board with MT7620A @580Mhz and little bit more RAM 256MB, x2 Gigabit and x4 10/100Mb Ethernets.

When these will be released – we don’t know, RT5350F software took us about year to get NDA info about WiFi tunning, we don’t know what it will be with MT7620, so do not hold your breath :)

Allwinner:

A33-OLinuXino (Quad Cortex-A7) now is complete and on prototype stage, still had no time to check if Linux-Sunxi community have Linux for A33 and at what stage it is.

Now we route H3-OLinuXino (with Quad Cortex-A7 and which have Ethernet and HDMI) and A64-OLinuXino (with Quad Cortex-A53, HDMI, Camera, MIPI/LVDS/RGB, Gigabit Ethernet).

Why we stopped to blog or announce so often the new boards we working on?

Because when we blog that we start working on new OLinuXino board many people start to make commercial plans with them and how they will obtain OSHW designs for free for their commercial idea/project. Sure this have nothing wrong, if some of them didn’t became too impatient, annoying and noisy if the release time do not match their expectations. They forget that we do this for fun and we do not have any firm release dates, so they try any forms of social engineering posting challenging or abusive messages thinking they would influence us somehow this way, well soon or later they realize they can’t but anyway this is annoying for us as we want to work in rest calm environment and enjoy what we do.

We learn while we do this stuff, AM3352 software support took us year and half, we couldn’t find vital info for RT5350F for more than year, I have no idea when MT7620, A33, H3 or A64 will have proper Linux support, so please do not hold your breath, these boards will be released when they are ready, if you are capable to help with Linux on these please let me know, we can send you preliminary prototypes, so we can work together to speed up the release.

 

New Open Source Hardware KiCAD project – MOD-MPU9150 9-axis motion tracking device with gyroscope, accelerometer, magnetometer

MOD-MPU9150

MOD-MPU9150 is 9-axis motion tracking device with 3-axis gyroscope, 3-axis accelerometer and 3-axis magnetometer in small 4×4 mm package.

Possible applications: Motion-enabled game and application framework, gesture recognition, portable gaming, 3D remote controls, 3D mice, wearable sensors for fitness and sports, toys, navigation, electronic compass.

Features are:

  • 3-axis gyroscope ±2000°/sec
  • 3-axis accelerometer ±16g
  • 3-axis magnetometer ±1200μT
  • I2C interface

The female connector can connect directly to boards with UEXT creating small wearable devices which can track gestures etc:

MOD-MPU9150-2

 

PCB files are designed with KiCAD and the project is Open Source Hardware with files on GitHub released under Apache 2.0 Licensee

New Open Source Hardware KiCAD project board in stock: MOD-OLED-128×64

MOD-OLED-128x64-3

MOD-OLED-128×64 is low cost, low power, high contrast LCD display with UEXT connector which allow to be used with any of our OLinuXino and Arduino boards.

The LCD panel control is done via I2C thus only 4 wires are necessary Vcc 3.3V, GND, SCL and SDA.

The power supply required is only 1 uA in sleep mode, 200 uA in operating mode and 7mA in display ON mode.

View area is 21 x 11 mm.

MOD-OLED-128×64 can be used on Breadboard too. For this purpose 4 pin header is provided which could be soldered on the back of the board.

MOD-OLED-128x64-2

 

 

KiCAD files are on GitHub, Python code to work with any of our OLinuXino Linux board is provided, also code for Arduino.

New KiCAD OSHW PCB project – Getting rid of FTDI – BB-CH340T USB to Serial converter

BB-CH340T-3

Many of you probably remember the FTDI nasty drivers they released just to mess up with the FTDI clones.
This caused lot of trouble to people who use FTDI devices, we have been also affected.
We try to buy FT232RL from local distributor and they had no stock, then we look around and found the chips from other supplier, but unfortunately we got clone FTDI chips.
We made production with these chips and sent boards to customers, then at one point of time we start to get complains (only from Windows users) that boards stop working.
All these windows users were affected by the evil drivers released by FTDI which make VID/PID as zero if the chip is recognized to be not FTDI original.

We try to help our customers who have been affected on our forum and got nasty message from FTDI lawers to remove all the help instructions from our forum and pull back all boards which use these clone FTDI chips from customers and distributors. WTF?

No wonder from this moment we took decision to avoid dealing with this cheeky and nasty company as much as possible. Re-designing all our boards which were unfortunate to use FTDI chips.

CH340T is nice alternative to FTDI chips and have same features and even more, but cost exactly 1/10th of FTDI chip price.

BB-CH340T is nice small board which takes power from USB and can provide 3.3V and 5V to target together with Serial Tx and Rx (transmit and receive) signals and GND.

Note that by default neither 3.3V neither 5V is selected.

BB-CH340T is specially made to be used easy with breadboard. The design is open source hardware made with KiCAD and files are on Github under Apache 2.0 licensee.

New Product in stock: Open Source Hardware SMT-PROTOBOARD with many SMT component footprints and KiCAD files

SMT-PROTOTYPE-1 SMT-PROTOTYPE-2

SMT-PROTOBOARD is Open Source Hardware prototyping board with these features:

  • FR-4, 1.55 mm, gold plating
  • dimensions: 124.46 x 101.6 mm
  • SMT footprints:
  • LQFP 32, 44, 52, 64 at 0.8 mm step
  • TQFP 32, 44, 52, 64, 80, 100 at 0.50 mm step
  • x4 SOT23-6
  • x3  SOT89
  • x3 buttons 6×6 mm
  • micro SD card
  • mini USB connector
  • JTAG connector
  • UEXT connector
  • x6 LEDs 0805 + R0805
  • TSSOP 2*92 at 25 mils
  • TSSOP 2*32 at 50 mils
  • PROTO x3 16×4 0.1″ step
  • PROTO x2 16×8 0.1″ step

Board is designed with KiCAD and files are available at GitHub

A33-OLinuXino Open Source Hardware Linux SBC with Quad Core Cortex-A7 ARM processor running at 1.5Ghz

A33-OLinuXino

While we stopped the work on A31, we decided that A33 is promising device as it have Mali video and there is chance to have open source drivers and Linux support with hardware acceleration.

A33-OLinuXino is OSHW project and you can see the preliminary files at GitHub.

With size of 70×76 mm it’s small SOM like board, you can see the component arrangement above:

There are two 40 pin 0.1″ connectors: upped for LCD connector, lower for GPIOs, I2C, SPI, etc

A33-OLinuXino have PMU AXP223, A33 Quad core Cortex A7 running at 1.5Ghz, 4/8GB NAND Flash, 1GB RAM

On the left side you can see USB-OTG, LiPo battery connector, debug UART, button, micro SD card on the bottom

On the right side there are Audio IN and OUT connectors and flat cable connector with MIPI and CSI signals.

We still have no idea what it will cost when released as we don’t know how many layers will be the PCB, but we guess it will be in the LIME range i.e. about EUR 30

RMS says: We need Free Digital Designs!

oli

Back in 1999 Richard Stallman had interview commenting on “Free Hardware” for Linux Today, where he says “freedom to copy software is social imperative, but freedom to copy hardware is not so important as hardware is hard to copy”

SO even man with such visionary as RMS didn’t understand quite well why people would have motive to make Free Hardware Designs (also known as Open Source Hardware Designs).

Somewhere else he also have said something like: “We do not need imperatively free hardware, but well documented hardware” to may write proper software for it. Looking from Software point of view he is probably right, but he was missing something important: Free/Open Source Hardware is not done just to allow other to replicate it. It serves much deeper goals.

  • Spreading knowledge – when people have access to the design files they can learn how the original author created this hardware and study the design from inside.
  • Getting vital feed back and improving the design – the author who opens everything can get free expertise from many other people who works on same problem and thus to combine the knowledge of the community about this. In long run product which is collaboratively developed is with better specs and features than the one who is done in closed company.
  • When your hardware is with open specs this gives your customer additional value – they know everything about your hardware, they are not dependent from single source of manufacturing, they can modify and customize for their need. All else being equal OSHW design will be preffered and gives more value to the customer.
  • By opening the designs you give access to the technology to casual people who can innovate and no need to be big companies with lot of money. Just have look at what 3D printing and Arduino did.

This is why it was nice to see the evolution with RMS view on the Open Source / Free Hardware which he published in Wired yesterday named: Why we need free hardware designs?

In this article RMS says:

We need free digital hardware designs!
Free hardware designs offer practical advantages. Multiple companies can fabricate one, which reduces dependence on a single vendor.
Having circuit diagrams or HDL code makes it possible to study the design to look for errors or malicious functionalities (it is known that the NSA has procured malicious weaknesses in some computing hardware).

If you design hardware, please make your designs free.

 

Although naming “Free Hardware Design” what we know more popular as Open Source Hardware, RMS correctly spots the advantages vs closed non-free Hardware Designs.

 

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