Forums

MicroZED

Started by John Larkin October 19, 2013

Has anybody used the MicroZED? It looks like a good subassembly to use
on a controller board. The documentation, especially on mechanicals,
is spotty.

We have an upcoming project that needs a uP, FPGA, Ethernet, DRAM, all
that stuff. It's tempting to buy a little board that has all that done
and working, running Linux out of the box.



-- 

John Larkin         Highland Technology, Inc

jlarkin at highlandtechnology dot com
http://www.highlandtechnology.com

Precision electronic instrumentation
Picosecond-resolution Digital Delay and Pulse generators
Custom laser drivers and controllers
Photonics and fiberoptic TTL data links
VME thermocouple, LVDT, synchro   acquisition and simulation
John Larkin wrote:
> > Has anybody used the MicroZED? ...
No, only the big ZED at our church. This one: http://www.allen-heath.com/uk/products/pages/productdetails.aspx?CatId=ZEDSeries&ProductId=ZED428
> ... It looks like a good subassembly to use > on a controller board. The documentation, especially on mechanicals, > is spotty. >
A common problem with open source community projects.
> We have an upcoming project that needs a uP, FPGA, Ethernet, DRAM, all > that stuff. It's tempting to buy a little board that has all that done > and working, running Linux out of the box. >
Now I really don't want to belittle community-based projects, they are excellent tools to get youngsters into tinkering again and our society really needs that. But I never use one of those products in designs that have to run for years or decades. There usually isn't much of a long term supply chain guarantee. -- Regards, Joerg http://www.analogconsultants.com/
Joerg wrote:
> > Now I really don't want to belittle community-based projects, they are > excellent tools to get youngsters into tinkering again and our society > really needs that. But I never use one of those products in designs > that have to run for years or decades. There usually isn't much of a > long term supply chain guarantee.
If it's open-source can't you just make your own if they stop selling them? -- Reply in group, but if emailing remove the last word.
On Sat, 19 Oct 2013 18:15:35 -0400, "Tom Del Rosso"
<td_03@verizon.net.invalid> wrote:

> >Joerg wrote: >> >> Now I really don't want to belittle community-based projects, they are >> excellent tools to get youngsters into tinkering again and our society >> really needs that. But I never use one of those products in designs >> that have to run for years or decades. There usually isn't much of a >> long term supply chain guarantee. > >If it's open-source can't you just make your own if they stop selling them?
All the schematics and PCB layouts are published, open-source. Ditto lots of code. We could make our own if we had to... if the parts were still available. -- John Larkin Highland Technology, Inc jlarkin at highlandtechnology dot com http://www.highlandtechnology.com Precision electronic instrumentation Picosecond-resolution Digital Delay and Pulse generators Custom laser drivers and controllers Photonics and fiberoptic TTL data links VME thermocouple, LVDT, synchro acquisition and simulation
John Larkin wrote:
> On Sat, 19 Oct 2013 18:15:35 -0400, "Tom Del Rosso" > <td_03@verizon.net.invalid> wrote: > >> Joerg wrote: >>> Now I really don't want to belittle community-based projects, they are >>> excellent tools to get youngsters into tinkering again and our society >>> really needs that. But I never use one of those products in designs >>> that have to run for years or decades. There usually isn't much of a >>> long term supply chain guarantee. >> If it's open-source can't you just make your own if they stop selling them? > > All the schematics and PCB layouts are published, open-source. Ditto > lots of code. We could make our own if we had to... if the parts were > still available. >
It can be done but that requires time and effort, for a project that was never planned to even happen. -- Regards, Joerg http://www.analogconsultants.com/
> > All the schematics and PCB layouts are published, open-source. Ditto > > lots of code. We could make our own if we had to... if the parts were > > still available. > > It can be done but that requires time and effort, for a project that was > never planned to even happen.
And can you make it as cheaper as they claim? Z7010 $50 + SDRAM $15x2 + ... BOM is at least $100. Conservative multiplier of 3 gives a reasonable retail price of over $300. Even if you make them yourself, you have to compare with what you can buy.
On Sat, 19 Oct 2013 17:06:32 -0700, Joerg <invalid@invalid.invalid> wrote:

>John Larkin wrote: >> On Sat, 19 Oct 2013 18:15:35 -0400, "Tom Del Rosso" >> <td_03@verizon.net.invalid> wrote: >> >>> Joerg wrote: >>>> Now I really don't want to belittle community-based projects, they are >>>> excellent tools to get youngsters into tinkering again and our society >>>> really needs that. But I never use one of those products in designs >>>> that have to run for years or decades. There usually isn't much of a >>>> long term supply chain guarantee. >>> If it's open-source can't you just make your own if they stop selling them? >> >> All the schematics and PCB layouts are published, open-source. Ditto >> lots of code. We could make our own if we had to... if the parts were >> still available. >> > >It can be done but that requires time and effort, for a project that was >never planned to even happen.
The time and effort that I'm trying to avoid is buying a BGA FPGA and an Arm CPU, and designing and laying out a board with DRAM, flash, ethernet, switching regulators, jtag, and all the things you need to make a complex signal processor, and then starting in on the software. -- John Larkin Highland Technology Inc www.highlandtechnology.com jlarkin at highlandtechnology dot com Precision electronic instrumentation Picosecond-resolution Digital Delay and Pulse generators Custom timing and laser controllers Photonics and fiberoptic TTL data links VME analog, thermocouple, LVDT, synchro, tachometer Multichannel arbitrary waveform generators
> The time and effort that I'm trying to avoid is buying a BGA FPGA and an =
Arm
> CPU, and designing and laying out a board with DRAM, flash, ethernet, swi=
tching
> regulators, jtag, and all the things you need to make a complex signal > processor, and then starting in on the software.
How about a soft CPU core? There are IP cores for 8051, 6502, z80, AVR, MI= PS and ARM, as well as non-standard one like ZPU and single customer core l= ike BellMac32. We were just discussing this a few days ago in C.A.E. You = can even make something in-between. Spartian 6 ($20) based evaluation board sells for $400+ I don't believe Zynq ($40) boards will last too long for less than $200.
John Larkin wrote:


> > The time and effort that I'm trying to avoid is buying a BGA FPGA and an > Arm CPU, and designing and laying out a board with DRAM, flash, ethernet, > switching regulators, jtag, and all the things you need to make a complex > signal processor, and then starting in on the software. > >
Do you NEED a BGA FPGA? Xilinx still has plenty of decent FPGAs in TQFP leaded packages. Spartan 3A and 3AN for instance. Also, the Beagle Bone Black is a great board, with excellent support, and a bunch of great peripherals that may make adding an FPGA unnecessary. I just did a project with the Bone Black, and it went very well. I think there are ~65K of these Bone Blacks already sold. Jon
On Sat, 19 Oct 2013 22:55:17 -0500, Jon Elson <elson@pico-systems.com> wrote:

>John Larkin wrote: > > >> >> The time and effort that I'm trying to avoid is buying a BGA FPGA and an >> Arm CPU, and designing and laying out a board with DRAM, flash, ethernet, >> switching regulators, jtag, and all the things you need to make a complex >> signal processor, and then starting in on the software. >> >> >Do you NEED a BGA FPGA? Xilinx still has plenty of decent FPGAs >in TQFP leaded packages. Spartan 3A and 3AN for instance. > >Also, the Beagle Bone Black is a great board, with excellent support, >and a bunch of great peripherals that may make adding an FPGA >unnecessary. I just did a project with the Bone Black, and it >went very well. I think there are ~65K of these Bone Blacks >already sold. > >Jon
We do need an FPGA to do signal processing and a decent CPU, like an ARM, to do the ethernet ans such. We prefer BGAs to leaded parts. -- John Larkin Highland Technology Inc www.highlandtechnology.com jlarkin at highlandtechnology dot com Precision electronic instrumentation Picosecond-resolution Digital Delay and Pulse generators Custom timing and laser controllers Photonics and fiberoptic TTL data links VME analog, thermocouple, LVDT, synchro, tachometer Multichannel arbitrary waveform generators