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> Build Your Own Linux Powered Pda
Nemuri Neko
post Jul 19 2006, 04:18 AM
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I think 8 layer is going to be realistic. this will have some very finepitch components on it with a small T&G ( not sure at the moment but I will check it out ) I'm not sure what debug provision you are thinking of putting on it but I think you will want 100% via coverage even in the final version. This will take a bit of routing.

I would vote for leaving the CF off and concentrating on the USB and ATA, both waaay faster than the CF.

The pin muxing on this device is complicated isn't it? What I don't understand is why the designers didn't mux the PCMCIA and ATA and leave the flash interface alone!!! Still a lovely device tho'.
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Da_Blitz
post Jul 19 2006, 04:27 AM
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they do, thogh you have to use the flash in 8 bit mode. doing this means thre are no shared pins
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zmiq2
post Jul 19 2006, 04:42 AM
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snnif... what am I going to do with all my cf collection ?

Anyway, I think that it's good to break backwards compatability in order to pursue a slimmer and more efficien device !
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morrijr
post Jul 19 2006, 05:02 AM
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Some comments...

Personally, I prefer the CXXX shape over the sidekick.

I have a DSLR camera which takes CF but I'm willing to carry a USB reader, esp if it makes the final PDA smaller/thinner.

Some requests...

Could we have a socket for an external arial for the wireless? I know that space around the device will be limited, but surely not that much?

Also, was there going to be an internal HDD? I've lost track over all these pages smile.gif

Thanks.
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Da_Blitz
post Jul 19 2006, 05:08 AM
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the CF that we are discussing is the HDD, the idea is tat you can put whatever CF memorey you can find there and use it as /

dont know where people are getting the "lose the CF" from we are mearly talkin amout how to attach it

attenas have been addressed and we will include them
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speculatrix
post Jul 19 2006, 05:34 AM
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well, fitting a gig of flash will be pretty easy now Samsung are producing 8GB chips:
http://www.akihabaranews.com/news-12141-60...ash+Memory.html

if you can't address that much in one chunk, how about splitting into chunks, and switching banks?
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wsuetholz
post Jul 20 2006, 07:57 PM
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Hello, This sounds like it will be a great device when it gets built..

A couple of questions...

My present laptop uses a replaceable small pcmcia card to have the wifi and bluetooth capabilities, I think the modem is on there as well, Is there a way to design things to allow usage of this kind of standard card for wifi and bluetooth? That way when 802.11Z is released (yes I said Z), we could just replace a standard component.

Can you possibly have the Phone portion be a self contained daughter card?
Possibly the same type of card as I suggested for the wifi stuff.

It's not a standard PCMCIA, might be called Compact PCMCIA, and it is entirely internal, and it has wires that plug into it for the antenna, which is in the display portion of the laptop.

On another note, if you had two processors which would give you more USB as well as all the other devices, would that be workable, or too much power and board real estate? It's sounding more and more like a dedicated USB controller/hub is needed.


Is there no way to design the board to fit within the current C3200 case?

Bill
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Da_Blitz
post Jul 21 2006, 04:44 AM
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CF = PCMCIA with diffrent form factor ( i am talking PCMCIA, not cardbus)

PCMCIA, = dead, its very very slow and usb makes wiring the thing alot easier. there are alot of people who want this thing to be modular, i for one dont see thereason. its hard enagh to make small without connectors. when you buy it if you dont want a phone then ruequest the no phone model

i think what you are talking about (used in routors) is mini pci, NO its too big, requires bridging chips and is power hungry (comparativly speaking)

there has been talk of a usb hub in the design. 2 cpu's would be harder than you think unless they were designed for SMP. however the ARM11 is we are discussing if we can go dual or quad core but chaneces are very slim.

if i could find a quad core ARM11 chip i would drop this cpu without hesitation (well there would be some it depens how "workable"the other chip is)

not sure how we will do the flash, that flash chip would cause us headaches. i dont think this is a simple banking hack but i will look into it. at the moment its the last thing on my mind due to its reletive ease

we are still talking about cases. best solution is to design it ourselves however as a fall back we have the Z case
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koen
post Jul 21 2006, 04:56 AM
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QUOTE(Da_Blitz @ Jul 21 2006, 12:44 PM)
if i could find a quad core ARM11 chip i would drop this cpu without hesitation (well there would be some it depens how "workable"the other chip is)
*


The arm MPCore isn't multicore, but a mainboard with 4 cpu modules stacked on top of eachother. It's huge, draws loads of power and currently glibc doesn't support SMP on arm very good.
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wsuetholz
post Jul 21 2006, 01:14 PM
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Ok, now that you mention it, the laptop is indeed using mini-PCI for that card.

What about making the phone portion optional via a daughter card configuration?

Bill
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wsuetholz
post Jul 21 2006, 01:15 PM
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Are you planning to use the mini-USB connectors like what I see on Camcorders and MP-3 players? About 1/2 the size of standard USB connectors.

One of the other nice features of my laptop is, they have a button to manually turn off power to the Wireless card. They
also have a button to turn off that darn touchpad mouse. I think incorporating a power off button for certain power hungry features would be nice. And, from what I've heard the WIFI stuff is very power hungry, and if you were just using the PDA functions you might not need it active. Might also want a way to disable the keyboard backlight as well, although I'm sure that is a very small power usage.

Bill
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wsuetholz
post Jul 21 2006, 01:20 PM
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I might be able to help with the software side of things.

I also have a line on a board fabricator here in Wisconsin that the company I work for has worked with in the past, don't really know their minimums and comparitive costs. I think we mainly worked with them because we had very small hardware design knowledge, and they were willing to work with us to design what we needed, plus they were nearby. We don't have many problems with the devices that they build for us.

The company is SMT Corporation in Appleton, WI
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zmiq2
post Jul 21 2006, 01:28 PM
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uhm.. i really like the idea of having some internal free space and an internal usb hub, so anyone can buy his preferred usb device, dismantle it and incorporate it inside the device.

Nowadays you can find anything working on usb
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Da_Blitz
post Jul 22 2006, 02:24 AM
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Alaws wondered about the MPcore and how they did it, the docs seem to indicate a single chip sullotion, must look into it a bit (i have seen the pics). perhaps this is a chance to push multicore arm support wink.gif i wolud only do it if i could shut down the cores, if the current chipset can do multicore i know i can switch the individual cores to low power mode (deep sleep)

QUOTE
Ok, now that you mention it, the laptop is indeed using mini-PCI for that card.

What about making the phone portion optional via a daughter card configuration?

Bill


how about not soldering the chip on instead smile.gif doing it this way saves space and manufacturing costs and eases development. an add in card would be a nightmare without some significant help

QUOTE
One of the other nice features of my laptop is, they have a button to manually turn off power to the Wireless card. They
also have a button to turn off that darn touchpad mouse. I think incorporating a power off button for certain power hungry features would be nice. And, from what I've heard the WIFI stuff is very power hungry, and if you were just using the PDA functions you might not need it active. Might also want a way to disable the keyboard backlight as well, although I'm sure that is a very small power usage.


the button for turning off the wifi is in software not hardware. under linux you could (with lirc) bind any button you could imagine to turn off wireless

we will be using full sized usb ports (one or two, i have yet to decide and we are discussing cassing)

keyboard backlight is under software control, i would clasify that feature as must have and can only think of a few devices on the market that dont have this feature, power consumtion should be minimal, i could give estimites but it depends on the keyboard and its layout, the lcd screen backlight will consume more power than the keyboard

that link didnt work for me, do you know if they do 6-8 layer boards. what is thier turn around time and do the solder the parts on. i generally dont like using US companies for this type of stuff due to thier exscive cost and slow turn around times, i generally find asia to be significantly cheaper however the only US companies i have seen are the ones with the bugets to advertise

free space in the case is not up to me, its up to the case designer. i con build it to be fleixible or small or powerfull xut not all at onec, there has to be a comprimise. personally i would rather supply the hub to ou rather than you buying it as i know it will work and i can egineer it to fit in propell.

i am using usb as a universal interconnect at the moment and i really really hate having to break out a 1.5m usb cable to plug in a flash disk, why cant i just put a full sized socket in the thing

it sounds like you have done somthing like this before, care to elaborate. you might want to get in contact with me if you want to get up to speed if you dont want to read everything up to this point (alot of i can be skipped)
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Ferret-Simpson
post Jul 22 2006, 04:09 AM
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Ok, full size USB is a must. For the sake of a few MM, no point in using ruddy miniUSB.

I'm still going to agree with Neko, ATA is faster than the 16bit PCMIA CF, USB is faster than the 16bit PCMCIA CF, and it's better to put our main drive on the storage medium with the best "value for money."

If you've still got a zaurus when you get the PPZ, you've still got a home for your CF peripherals. I sure as heck don't plan to throw away Cortana when I get this device. If your Z has a CF wifi card, you can always connect it to the wifi integral to the PPZ and share your 3g connection over the 2 devices. wink.gif

If you make the conectors for Dpad and Trackball diagonal, then they can be placed in both positions without issue, by folding the cable.

Why do you want to remove the Phone? if only a few people want it gone, then it'll be more expensive to set up the second soldering program than to just leave it in and not use it. It won't save you any serious amount of board space, an you can't really use the control IO for much else. Better just to keep it, it's better than that old Nokia 6230i you've been using.

Software power control is more useful than hardware anyway, you can program automatic controls etc. . . So that the wifi shuts down automatically after power reaches a certain level, and restart again when power is restored. Useful for a server application etc.
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