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daniel3000
post Jan 15 2007, 06:56 AM
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QUOTE(Da_Blitz @ Jul 28 2006, 05:57 AM)
Q: when do you expect to finalize the design and begin production?
A: as soon as posible, current goal is no latter than the end of 2006 but dont hold us to that smile.gif


Unfortunately, I don't have enough time to follow the very interesting discussions about the Pocketpenguin. I'd love to help and give my ideas etc. but have too many own projects running...

When do you plan to be ready, now that end of 2006 has passed biggrin.gif

All the features sound very promising. However, in order to produce such a device in even small amounts, you need to have some very sophisticated and probably expensive production tools. So how do you plan to keep the price for the device as low as a few hundered dollars?

Just curious. Of course I understand if you can't give details...

Now that Sharp accounced the end of the Zaurus line, even if there will be used units for a long time to come, it may be good to reorientate slowly.

daniel
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Da_Blitz
post Jan 15 2007, 09:23 PM
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well in an ideal world an OSS company would sponser me but that wont be happening

so i am going to have to do it the tough way, it means the prototypes wont be fully populated, only with what will be tested and i will be hand soldering and butchering the prottypes (ie recycling them) to keep costs down

i also hawe a fpga board on the way (http://cgi.ebay.com/XILINX-USB-FPGA-BOARD-SPARTAN-3-200K-ETHERNET-WEBSERVER_W0QQitemZ220069714762QQcategoryZ50913QQcmdZViewItemQQisPrinterFriendly
1QQpvZ1) that will allow me to build virtual hardware for some things (ie looking at buses and doing logic analysis) and emulate some parts in softhardware

i entend for it to cost as much as the top range PDAs, but for each country the price is diffrent and for each individual, what is considered top end is diffrent

from my perspective i am looking at $1000 AUD for a final price as a maximum but even making 100 units will bring down the price, in fact 20 or more units will shave about $20 to $40 off of the price due to a lower retooling cost for PCB creation

at the moment i have a rapid prtotype manufacturer in china that i use (the US stuff is 10x more expensive, gives a lowwer quality product and forces me to wait 3 months instead of 3 weeks. not to mention the chinese people have better english skills than i do)

so they make it and i test it, repeat. you guys wont pay for dev costs in the final price. you will pay ONLY for raw hardware costs. so that saves a bit

but basically it comes down to my ability to debug without fancy tools and lukily the fact that the hard stuff is only RF which there are established practicies for and high speed busses which includes the ddr ram which is accounted for as well (more best practicies)

but yeah it comes down to skill and i hope i have it. i just have to remeber that along time ago when SDram came out they didnt have all these fancy tools so they had to inovate, the fpga helps but the thing that helps the most is old electronic magazines and infomation on old design practicies and debuggining teqnieqes

sure i wont have a 100Mhz ossciliscope but i will have a high speed logic analyser that i could wire a high speed ADC to to make a Digital storage ossciliscope
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adf
post Jan 15 2007, 11:21 PM
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good luck!
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Ragnorok
post Jan 26 2007, 08:43 PM
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- Is the first post in this thread accruate wrt to hardware at this time?
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Da_Blitz
post Jan 27 2007, 06:58 AM
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fairly, things change and i drop some things i consider "minor" and add them back all the time, it depends on the moment.

at least its a rough draft, basically things that change are mainly cameras and "gadget" features. the core ram and cpu stuff as well as conectivity options will stay the same

i would love to throw a small fpga in there but it will most likly be a cpld instead and non hackable, upgradable yes but not somthing you can change at a whim (it will be doing alot of interfacing and "language" conversion

biometrics look to be dropped as there are better ways of authenticating and i belive it will be abused. there is an option however that if a camera is included that it could do iris verefication.

anyone still want IR? also mini sd or full sized, i cant remeber every ones postion on that (or mine for that matter) or one full sized and one micro?. the micros are ones that shouldnt be pulled out to ofteen as they are a PITA to remove (ie this is the rootfs)
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stampsm
post Jan 27 2007, 12:46 PM
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QUOTE(Da_Blitz @ Jan 27 2007, 06:58 AM)
fairly, things change and i drop some things i consider "minor" and add them back all the time, it depends on the moment.

at least its a rough draft, basically things that change are mainly cameras and "gadget" features. the core ram and cpu stuff as well as conectivity options will stay the same

i would love to throw a small fpga in there but it will most likly be a cpld instead and non hackable, upgradable yes but not somthing you can change at a whim (it will be doing alot of interfacing and "language" conversion

biometrics look to be dropped as there are better ways of authenticating and i belive it will be abused. there is an option however that if a camera is included that it could do iris verefication.

anyone still want IR? also mini sd or full sized, i cant remeber every ones postion on that (or mine for that matter) or one full sized and one micro?. the micros are ones that shouldnt be pulled out to ofteen as they are a PITA to remove (ie this is the rootfs)
*



1 gig micro-sd ( or even 512MB, any size over 128MB should be enough) holding the rootfs and the basic operating system files sounds good. for security reasons you can always do a crc32 checksum on all the data on the card to verify it has not been tampered with or even sign it with a private key and have the public key in the processor's memory. that way you can have upgrades released and still be able to make sure it is secure. upgrading the operating system would be much easier since all you have to do is pop the card into any card reader and do a image onto it without having to worry about flashing the device itself (this can make it really hard to brick your device), you can even have two partitions on the card, one for the operating system that can be checked for integrity and another that is user rw and holds the /home directory.

for lower volume production the micro-sd would actually be cheaper than buying flash chips and having that much more board design work, since you can get 512MB micro-sd for less than 10 USD.

the whole design goal would be to make the hardware as flexible as possible while still making it simple to design and be cost effective. (when you get down to it these are not easy goals to hit)
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Da_Blitz
post Jan 27 2007, 10:32 PM
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i like it because it futre proofs it smile.gif
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Ragnorok
post Jan 29 2007, 05:20 PM
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- Hard to argue with stampsm, but I'd like one full-size slot as well, unless we can get three or four micros and do that Raid thing. (wolfish grin) I think I prolly want a full 'cause they go to 4Gb, and with SDIO there are non-memory peripherals available for it. Not that I own any, mind you, because the Z uses CF for this, but the PP won't have CF. Seems like a nice thing to have, though.
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Da_Blitz
post Jan 29 2007, 06:37 PM
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the huge flash on the iphone is tempting but its somthing that can bite you on the arse unless you go all out (like apple did). at lesat with the slots you can chose or reuse what you have

im guessing the full sized will be the external one wink.gif might as well make the micro one externaly acsesible for devs or does that partially defeat the security, must think about that. probelly not however

CF is nice and i cant cemeber where i am at with it (if its in or not) i think its really a case of lets see how much room we have left. if it did go in it would most likly not be removable for some reason (there was somthing technical holding it back, somthing to do with the ata mode)
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stampsm
post Jan 30 2007, 05:43 PM
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QUOTE(Da_Blitz @ Jan 29 2007, 06:37 PM)
the huge flash on the iphone is tempting but its somthing that can bite you on the arse unless you go all out (like apple did). at lesat with the slots you can chose or reuse what you have

im guessing the full sized will  be the external one wink.gif might as well make the micro one externaly acsesible for devs or does that partially defeat the security, must think about that. probelly not however

CF is nice and i cant cemeber where i am at with it (if its in or not) i think its really a case of lets see how much room we have left. if it did go in it would most likly not be removable for some reason (there was somthing technical holding it back, somthing to do with the ata mode)
*


make the micro one an internal one like on the ROKR cell phone. it makes for a very small size holder with no mechanics needed to eject it. if it has operating system files you do not want the user to "accidentially" take it out while it is running anyways. it is easy to make it secure while still making it easy to remove if you have an asymetric encryption system(like pgp) that has a private and public key running in the small firmware (rom) inside the device. you just check the keys on the main files or file clusters and if they match up with the private key you know the files have not been tampered with (well there are ways around this, but NO security is foolproof). if the files are detected to be tampered with you can make the device do whatever you programed it to do from continuing to run to "scorched earth policy" (wipe the device clean of certain files set as secure.
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stampsm
post Jan 30 2007, 05:46 PM
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QUOTE(Ragnorok @ Jan 29 2007, 05:20 PM)
- Hard to argue with stampsm, but I'd like one full-size slot as well, unless we can get three or four micros and do that Raid thing.  (wolfish grin)  I think I prolly want a full 'cause they go to 4Gb, and with SDIO there are non-memory peripherals available for it.  Not that I own any, mind you, because the Z uses CF for this, but the PP won't have CF.  Seems like a nice thing to have, though.
*

yep full size slot and micro one would work. full size for user access and micro for operating system files (or something like this). and CF would be nice IF you can find the space to squeeze it in, or use the CF (actually IDE) port on the processor for peripherals.
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Da_Blitz
post Jan 30 2007, 06:14 PM
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i think you misunderstand pgp encryption. it only uses rsa or dsa for encryting a key that was used for a symectrical cypher on the data (such as AES) security is covered elsewhere, but its encrypted and tamper proof (no bit flipping allowed) but for the kernel and initrd only as all other data is changable so i expect that you rely on the fact that the initrd and kerenel are garenteed to be correct and use them to verify the rest of the device.

i want to provide a secure path of high assurence booting to the kernel, what the kernel does afterwards is its problem but i also want to leave the kernel to do the security stuff rather than the bootloader/bios the only way to do this in a secure manner is to ensure the integrity fo the kernel and then let the kernel ensure the integrity of the filesystem you boot from

the rokor idea is a good one. i dont know how devs would like it wink.gif i guess put it at the edge and allow 2 diffrent sockets to be used and provide a cut out on the case

oh well glad the size thing is sorted, best of both world really. if there is a Cf card in there it would be IDE and not CF so non removable (unless the chip has hotplug support for ata drives) this is so that you can give it an ata drive if you wish from an ipod for eg
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stampsm
post Jan 30 2007, 11:17 PM
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well since SD has only 9 pins it would not be to hard to have a one of those flexible brown cable thingies (not sure what they are called) that break out the internal micro-SD slot into a regular SD card holder. it would be less work for the devoloper to keep swapping out cards since you do not need to take out the battery just turn the device off. and you can have 4-5 different SD cards you just turn the device off and plug a different one in and boot into a whole new operating system configuration. plus you can have up to 4 gigs of space (plus possibly 4 more gigs in the other SD slot) to work with and possibly even have enough space to do native compilation of the programs (some programs like openoffice.org need to be natively compiled, though i have heard it can take a few days to compile on an ARM system) . basically you take the same case the consumer gets (or close to the same) and just make a breakout cable to plug in a full size SD card holder externally.
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stampsm
post Jan 30 2007, 11:22 PM
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QUOTE(Da_Blitz @ Jan 30 2007, 06:14 PM)
i think you misunderstand pgp encryption. it only uses rsa or dsa for encryting a key that was used for a symectrical cypher on the data (such as AES) security is covered elsewhere, but its encrypted and tamper proof (no bit flipping allowed) but for the kernel and initrd only as all other data is changable so i expect that you rely on the fact that the initrd and kerenel are garenteed to be correct and use them to verify the rest of the device.

i want to provide a secure path of high assurence booting to the kernel, what the kernel does afterwards is its problem but i also want to leave the kernel to do the security stuff rather than the bootloader/bios the only way to do this in a secure manner is to ensure the integrity fo the kernel and then let the kernel ensure the integrity of the filesystem you boot from
*


i guess in my madness i did not explain myself very good as that was exactly what i was thinking. you do some sort of check to verify the kernel and key system files have not been tampered with then load them and hand over control over to them. then they can be configured to do as little or as much security checks of their own on the rest of the system as you boot it.
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Da_Blitz
post Feb 1 2007, 12:13 AM
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yep its the whole verify the kernel and initrd thing in a nut shell. only problem is it then means you have to have some change detection in the initrd. however if your / filesys is RO then you can just cheksum/hash the raw block device. might want to keep it small or do the zaurus thing and not reboot many times (people were amazed when i told then i hadent rebooted the thing in 6 months)

nice idea with the breakout part.

well compiling is not much of an issue. i have been thiniking about "blades" o these things or stripped down versions with only a serial port ram, and basic flash. does a net boot and then does distc over the network. i was thiking plain ethernet but i thoght it would be easier to build it all into a high performance backplane and connect that to the blades via a fpga thats mmaped as sram

means if you are doing unique things (like running a modified sql server that offloads the search to a distribtued search engine that take a single cycle regardless of entries less than its maximum) then you could quite easily chuck some hardware at it

gives me an ecscuse to egineer a fpga interface in the linux kernel that supports dynamic loading of "programs" or hardware designs while running
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