A physical Dummy, Power Usage and MIPI

Discussion in 'Pyra News' started by EvilDragon, Feb 17, 2014.

  1. EvilDragon

    EvilDragon Administrator Staff Member

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    Another week has passed, so it's time to let you know what we've been doing.

    1. Physical Dummy
     

    Right now, we got two main priorities: Getting the case designers a PCB with the most important details so they can work on the case and getting the LCD to work.

    We received three of those dummy PCBs on Wednesday and populated the parts that are important most important for the basic case design - this includes all big parts like the 3G Antenna, the volume wheel, the SIM Card Slot as well as the ports, nubs and shoulder buttons.

    Two of these non-functional PCBs are shipping to the designer in Greece next week.

    dummy.jpg

    As you can see, on the back there are two big USB 2.0 Host Ports as well as a Micro USB 3.0 OTG Port (which will also be used for charging the unit).

    Then you can see a Micro HDMI Port and the headphones / headset port.

    We originally had a USB / eSATA-Combi port planned, but we couldn't find a one that suits our needs (Surface mount).

    Also, size would be an issue - we could either fit normal size USB ports or one USB / eSATA-Combi port.

    It's probably more useful to have two USB Ports (to connect a mouse and keyboard, for example, or two game pads, etc.) than an eSATA Port - especially as most externa harddisks probably use USB.

    2. Qualcomm and AllWinner A80

    As you know from the last blog post, Qualcomm and AllWinner might also be candidates to sell the SoC to us.

    I've explained what we need, etc. to both our contact at Qualcomm and to AllWinner.

    Qualcomm didn't reply yet (I'll let you know once they do!) and AllWinner replied... but the mail sounded to me like they don't know yet when the A80 or any devboards will be available and whether they can sell it in small quantities...

    I'll try to find out more, but right now, it still seems like the OMAP5 is our best guess.

    3. OMAP5 speed and power usage

    Which brings us to our next topic - the OMAP5 speed and power usage.

    Well, that's what my focus was last week.

    We can't do full power comsumption tests yet, as the power saving features are not yet fully optimized and included in the kernel (basically the same as the Pandora was before notaz implemented them (SuperZaxxon with Kernel 3.2)), but I could do some tests and make assumptions.

    Based on my measurements, the OMAP5 uses less power than the OMAP3 for the same processing power.

    So basically, you could limit the Pyra to be the speed of the Pandora and the battery should last longer (this could be some low-power mode).

    Of course, with full processing power, the power consumption is higher than what the Pandora can do.

    Running with full speed and full CPU usage, the battery would probably last 2 - 3 hours.

    Don't worry though - in normal use you normally won't have 100% CPU usage all the time with both cores, so in reality, the battery time will quite a bit longer, probably 6 - 7 hours for more-demanding emulators.

    Still, we are thinking of increasing the battery size a bit to get more capacity into it - without increasing the case size too much, of course.

    With full speed, the Pyra should be about 5 - 6 times as fast as the Pandora (depending on the application), which is pretty neat.

    Enough for a snappy and responsive desktop, fast webbrowsing, graphics editing or PSP, DreamCast and N64-Emulation.

    4. MIPI - getting there!

    Nikolaus was working hard to get the LCD to work - with a some huge steps forward.

    The basic communication with the LCD is now working fine (so MIPI is working).

    He can read out and set registers - but we didn't get the picture yet onto the LCD.

    We're still missing the initialization routine, but hopefully we'll get them from LG this week.

    If not, we have some backup plans (like working together with a member of the MIPI Alliance or - in worst case - become one ourselves. This will give us all documentation and tools we need).

    Well, at least we can now talk to the display and get a reaction :)

    The hardware part is working fine, I'm sure we can get the rest to work as well.

    5. What's next

    With the Dummy PCBs, the case designers can now on the case design.

    Next week, I'll check all the logo suggestions you made on the boards, so that we'll finally have a logo.

    I'll also have a meeting with a company in Munich that produces keymats, so we won't have to go to China to produce those as well.

    I'm also following the boards for any questions that occur and discussions that happen.

    I've seen a discussion about the price - well, it seems that a no one really knows how a price is calculated.

    Since stuff like that is also part of the Pyra experience (follow us and learn how everything works), I'll explain everything about that in one of the next blog posts. It's certainly pretty interesting.

    That's it for today. As usual, if you have any questions, feel free to ask them here :)
     
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  2. SNESFAN

    SNESFAN Retro game fanatic

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    Would now be a bad time to bring up the suggestion of using 2 batteries side by side to make up the bottom of the unit? You can almost fit 2 side by side along the underside of the Pandora now.
     
  3. EvilDragon

    EvilDragon Administrator Staff Member

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    That wouldn't make sense, as you could simply use a wider battery.

    Also, you can't put 2 of them side by side - there's stuff in the areas beneath the battery compartment...
     
  4. Kiga

    Kiga Active Member

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    Thanks for the summary.

    I hope there will be a wider battery, 7h is not bad but not enough.

    Question: Do you mean 3G module by "3G antenna" or 3G antenna is independent to the module? Will it be possible to upgrade from 3G to 4G?
     
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  5. EvilDragon

    EvilDragon Administrator Staff Member

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    Well, that's when you need full CPU power... which I doubt you'll use a lot :)

    The antenna is the antenna, the module is in the space above the antenna.

    There's a 4G module that's pincompatible, so upgrades might be possible.

    You'd also need a new antenna as well.
     
  6. Kiga

    Kiga Active Member

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    True.

    I still hope there will be a wider inexhaustible battery :)
     
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  7. Pritchy

    Pritchy Member

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    I hope that Micro USB is really well secured to the board. That is my only concern for the Pyra at all, so far. Other than that, this sounds excellent! is there any potential for a battery that would just be fatter, so that it could still fit in the Pandora, just requiring a new back cover to accommodate it?
     
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  8. rohezal

    rohezal Advanced Member

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    When you make the battery wider, it won't fit into the Pandora right? Is there any chance for a same size battery with an other material (maybe science came with some even better material)?
     
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  9. Natsu

    Natsu Advanced Member

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    1. Physical Dummy

    All usbs are fine for me, I doubt I'll ever use eSATA.

    2. Qualcomm and AllWinner A80

    I'm guessing because a large majority (including me) sided with Arm? :p Are you really

    going to make a x86 version down the line?

    Now about the Linus drivers, does these have to come from Qualcomm?

    3. OMAP5 speed and power usage

    So, are also trying to make it a bit wider along with it being thicker?

    4. MIPI - getting there!

    I didn't realize how hard this thing was going to be. (and still is.)
     
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  10. ShleeDragon

    ShleeDragon Pro-Catflip

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    [​IMG]
     
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  11. kasp

    kasp Very Active Member

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    To me 100% usage lasting 2-3 hours and 6-7 hours with very demanding emulators/ video sounds pretty good.  

    Realistically would it be worth making the design any "chunkier" for the sake of a slightly bigger battery?  How much extra life would a bigger battery give you?
     
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  12. SNESFAN

    SNESFAN Retro game fanatic

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    I was going off the assumption that you still wanted to maintain the original battery. If you make another wider battery+battery well and add a spacer you can have backward compatibility for those that want a lighter handheld at the sacrifice of battery life. Foreword compatibility would be out the window obviously.

    I can't say I didn't see that coming though as I've vocally said so in the SoC thread, all the other cortex a15 devices out there have 7000+mah batteries and are just barely able to get 10 hours in a "barely used cpu" environment (ie low powered emulators etc) based off what you're saying so far I'm guessing the consumption is similar to that of the shield. Things like to tegra note, and nexus 10 etc are a little skewed because of the screen size, but they have big ass batteries in there as well, but their high end usage falls in line with what you're seeing as well. When using the shield as a base, add to that a screen with a higher resolution (your 1080p vs shield's 720p), same physical dimensions etc. The 2-3 hours is inline with the 3-4 hours of 100% useage with a 7350mah on the shield. My real life useage on THAT device is 7-8 hours, but it has 1.75x the capacity. I feel that your estimation on what the real life useage with a 4200mah battery is overoptimistic but that will be told for certain once you actually have a prototype together.

    anyway, cheers for the update, and pretty awesome with the dual full sized usb host, that's freaking cool!

    shut up and take my money!
     
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  13. Natsu

    Natsu Advanced Member

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    We talk about this a bit in the other thread. It seems you will have 3G even with just the 4Gmodule, so you wouldn't need to put them both in there. Also, some companies need 4G just to have

    the full 3G coverage.

    Need some clarification in general.

    Are you still sticking with the idea if the Pyra sells enough there will be 4g or are you still toying with what to do?

    Well, the battery can have a small front and a bigger back. Just like how ZeroLemon does it.
     
  14. Neelix

    Neelix Insecticidal Maniac

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    Is there no chance of shuffling the ports a bit to make room for a barrel jack for charging?   Given my normal usage patterns I doubt I'd be able to keep the pyra charged without a more efficient way of powering it than the USB2 connection I normally use for USB networking.

    - Neelix
     
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  15. ekianjo

    ekianjo Hardcore Member

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    Don't forget to check traylorpark's one. It's not on the boards. 
     
  16. Natsu

    Natsu Advanced Member

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    Nobody wants that. :p

    Partially joking.
     
  17. slaeshjag

    slaeshjag ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    You better be joking. I'd happily give up the USB3 µUSB crap for a barrel jack any day :p
     
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  18. Exophase

    Exophase Nothing good will ever come of Exophase.

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    Why? Wall chargers that can plug into microUSB are really cheap and easy to find, probably a lot more so than PSP-style chargers.. Probably also not too hard finding one that can output comparable current..
     
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  19. slaeshjag

    slaeshjag ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    I find it to be of great benefit to know which of all of my chargers, is the one that has enough to power to charge it while using it, without following the cable down behind my bed to see which one it is.

    µUSB some in many variations, and tablets are the only devices that comes with a charger that has comparable output to a PSP charger. And the PMIC will also have to figure out what the safe amount of current is for the charger used. If not, one low quality charger later and you could have a fire. And no, just because you can buy one in a store, it doesn't mean it's safe.

    Also, with the market here seemingly flooded with poor quality USB chargers, I don't trust anyone anymore :p
     
  20. Neelix

    Neelix Insecticidal Maniac

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    Generic switch mode power supplies at the right voltage and with a range of barrel jack connector bits are usually readily available at hobbyist electronics stores. (at least around here)

    That aside, while I wouldn't give up the microUSB for the barrel jack, I'd rather not have to give up the use of it any time I want to use a wall charger either.

    - Neelix
     

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