MSX HDMI mutlimedia card

Page 3/56
1 | 2 | | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

By msxegor

Master (183)

msxegor's picture

29-01-2014, 07:13

Max, is that you?
Nice to see you creating something for MSX.
The question is - FPGA seems large enough to host VDP and sound, but will it be ok for CPU as well? Maybe a fatter FPGA? Not sure about xilinx, but guess there are bigger chips with same pinouts.
And, BTW, i WANT such board (and know at least five who would opt for it)

By maxis

Champion (512)

maxis's picture

29-01-2014, 10:39

msxegor wrote:

Max, is that you?

Indeed Cool

This FPGA is fine to host the CPU too. As a benchmark example, popular Z80 model (Daniel Wallner's T80), takes about 1/4 of this FPGA. STA reports, that the T80 core can run faster than 50 MHz. OCM fits too.

Choosing bigger FPGA will push the layout to 4 layers, automatic/semiautomatic BGA assembly and testing (expensive). BGA assembly still can be done at home, but requires the skill and experience.

There is another design based on the XC6SLX25 in the 484FBGA package with the same 16 bit SDRAM but also in BGA package. Can be adapted to the MSX cartridge outline too if necessary. (PCB cost penalty + LC stencil + oven reflow required).

I could propose, however, to start with Procyon, and if it becomes too limiting, then jump to another system (100% compatible but bigger).
The goal here was to manage the signal integrity on 2 layers (very low cost) with the LVDS (HDMI) lines running beyond 1GBit/s and no BGA components. From the start it wasn't clear whether the signal integrity is feasible (2 layer layout violates the HDMI spec). Now, the answer is - yes it is feasible, it works.

About small series:
Batch of 5+ will require a bit of logistics: manufacturing, component procurement, assembly, test & packaging.
Also I've got to improve the PCB design at first (there are a few little errors).

The timeline I see the following:
1. Card debug - make sure, that it works like planned (in progress).
2. PCB improvements, DFM must be included for the automated assembly.
3. Documentation for the automated assembly.
4. Then, either we have to find a low cost manufacturer, which can make the PCBs, assemble, test and distribute them. Otherwise the participants of the PCB POOL will get the bare PCBs, docs, order themselves the component kits @ Digikey or Mouser and voila - soldering @ home for a few days.

What do you think?

By mtn

Master (248)

mtn's picture

29-01-2014, 16:58

Impressive, to say the least.

And your intention of publishing and sharing the schematics and layout is very generous and even more impressive.

I'd be interested in a PCB if there will be a batch made, dont mind having to order components and soldering myself.

By maxis

Champion (512)

maxis's picture

29-01-2014, 20:41

mtn wrote:

I'd be interested in a PCB if there will be a batch made, dont mind having to order components and soldering myself.

I've never organized the PCB pool before.
What I could suggest is to create somewhere (on this site for example or on the mine), the list of people interested to get the fully assembled board or the bare PCB. Then, we will see how big would be the batch (where to order it).

Thank you

By ivke2006

Resident (53)

ivke2006's picture

29-01-2014, 22:10

If you manage to deliver full assembled boards with the functionality you describe on your website, you have a killer product! No problem at all to find enough people....
And a MSX2+ with extra fast CPU and VDP would give developers new possibilities to explore. :-)

By msxegor

Master (183)

msxegor's picture

30-01-2014, 07:49

maxis wrote:

The timeline I see the following:
1. Card debug - make sure, that it works like planned (in progress).
2. PCB improvements, DFM must be included for the automated assembly.
3. Documentation for the automated assembly.
4. Then, either we have to find a low cost manufacturer, which can make the PCBs, assemble, test and distribute them. Otherwise the participants of the PCB POOL will get the bare PCBs, docs, order themselves the component kits @ Digikey or Mouser and voila - soldering @ home for a few days.

What do you think?

Sounds reasonable. I guess we can cut PCB costs starting from batch of about 20 - let's call it public beta-testing. From response I guess we can have this amount of orders quickly. I shall take a board for sure (don't mind soldering).

By Buleste

Master (158)

Buleste's picture

30-01-2014, 11:10

This sounds an awesome project. I for one would be up for either a self assembly or fully assembled board when finished. Can't wait to turn my HX-10 into a MSX2+.

By Hydlide

Master (171)

Hydlide's picture

30-01-2014, 11:24

Hi guys,

I'd buy one of your boards if it would be pre-assembled (not interested in assembling myself :-))

But:
I am wondering why there is no consideration to start a kickstarter? This is not just for this idea, but in general there are plenty of cool ideas and projects, but none of them get further than die-hard nerdy projects that only the biggest hardcore fans like.

You could use kickstarter to actually finance a project that makes it into an actual product that even more casual fans would buy.
Possibly, in this case the focus should then be more towards generic Z80 based systems, not just MSX, but I could see a kickstarter with for instance as perks (t-shirts of course!); a dev board like the above which users assemble themselves, a ready to run board, one with a case, etc. each with their corresponding pricing.

Or added to the perks like MSX dedicated FPGA, Amstrad added, Elan Enterprise support, or even early nintendo or SEGAs, etc, etc

Even further along it would be possible to define a new crowd-sourced MSX standard/extension depending on financing of the kickstarter (this could be the top perk possibly). Of course we're talking licensing and stuff here, but can be investigated. and for a generic option there should be consensus across communities as well.

Myself, if I had the capabilities and expertise (which I don't, I am an MSX fan from a user perspective, and a bit from developer perspective) like so many have here, I would certainly consider a kickstarter (or indiegogo or fundanything etc) project to reach beyond the hardcore only devices. All that is really needed is a groups of likeminded people working together to make it a success. Not a big risk, but so rewarding if you succeed.

just my - possibly a bit off topic $0.02 :-)

By maxis

Champion (512)

maxis's picture

30-01-2014, 16:56

msxegor wrote:

I guess we can cut PCB costs starting from batch of about 20 - let's call it public beta-testing. From response I guess we can have this amount of orders quickly. I shall take a board for sure (don't mind soldering).

Yes, the price would drop drastically from 25+ units. +1 bare.

Buleste wrote:

This sounds an awesome project. I for one would be up for either a self assembly or fully assembled board when finished. Can't wait to turn my HX-10 into a MSX2+.

Excellent! +1 bare.

Hydlide wrote:

Hi guys,
I'd buy one of your boards if it would be pre-assembled (not interested in assembling myself :-))

+1 preassembled.

IMHO, there are two types of wishlists:
- Bare board - self-assembly
- Soldered and maybe boxed board

Too early for kickstarter, IMHO. Using Egor's term Wink "public beta testing" should be done before.
I haven't tested yet the AUDIO & SDRAM though (in a week or two).

If bare & pre-assembled shares will be equal - better to go pre-assembled for all. Let's see. Also, this board is generic enough to emulate any 8 bit computer of 80s. It needs a slot adapter though to support atari, ZX, c64, SMS, NES, ....

By Hydlide

Master (171)

Hydlide's picture

30-01-2014, 17:11

maxis wrote:

Too early for kickstarter, IMHO. Using Egor's term Wink "public beta testing" should be done before.
I haven't tested yet the AUDIO & SDRAM though (in a week or two).

Fair enough, just launching some ideas :-)

maxis wrote:

If bare & pre-assembled shares will be equal - better to go pre-assembled for all. Let's see. Also, this board is generic enough to emulate any 8 bit computer of 80s. It needs a slot adapter though to support atari, ZX, c64, SMS, NES, ....

You may want to check http://enterpriseforever.com - an ELAN enterprise forum (mostly Hungarian, but English area) with some hardware geeks around. You could post your board there as well with the specific notes you mentioned. Who knows people will jump on this as well. (of course, this is probably for more z80 based systems, but MSX and Enterprise are the only ones I am really following :))

Page 3/56
1 | 2 | | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8