No prototypes for GamesCom, but a Wifi Chip and a Pyra in the dark!


_wb_

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We definitely need ED's advice on that case. All I can reply is that the 4G module is seperated from the PCB, so that it's not making two versions of it. The WiFi chip is not.

Only ED will tell if he's willing to pay for the extra performance.
Is there any difference between the wifi chip and the 4G chip in terms of how it gets populated to the PCB?

I'm not a hardware person, but as far as I understand, all of those components (wifi chip, 4G chip, eMMC, etc) get populated to the PCB in an automatic process where you basically give a machine lots of unpopulated PCBs and some reels with components on them, and then it automatically puts the components where they have to be, based on high-precision robot placement of every single part. At least that's how it looked in those Pandora ReBirth production videos.

There would essentially be one production run where the 4G component reel is present, and another run where it is not present, so there are then two different versions of the populated PCB.

What I'm proposing is to get one reel with 14 EUR wifi chips, and one reel with 28 EUR wifi chips, and use the 28 EUR reel in the production run where the 4G chip gets populated, and the 14 EUR reel in the production run where it doesn't.

Since those two wifi chips are basically identical in terms of pin layout etc, it should be as simple as that. Since there are two distinct production runs needed anyway, this does not really add any significant complexity.

I think both of these versions need to be available right away from the start. If there's sufficient demand, then ED can always make intermediate models in later batches: cheap wifi plus 4G, expensive wifi without 4G, different sizes of the eMMC etc. But for the first batch, I think it makes sense to make only the cheapest and the most expensive models. I suspect that early adopters generally either want the cheapest or the best, not some subtle mix.
 

AirplaneRandy

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Is it possible to open up the case and rearrange the ABXY buttons so that we can get either Nintendo's standard layout, or Microsoft's standard layout?
 

_wb_

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Is it possible to open up the case and rearrange the ABXY buttons so that we can get either Nintendo's standard layout, or Microsoft's standard layout?
You could do that, but I think that unlike the Pandora ABXY buttons, the Pyra ABXY buttons will be part of the keymat (so they're also backlit), which means that you'll have to cut up the keymat.

Also rearranging ABXY in different orders will put Home/End/PgUp/PgDn in a weird order, and of course you'll have to remap stuff in software if you want the labels to remain correct.

But I guess it can be done, just like Askarus changed his Pandora keymat from QWERTY to QWERTZ by cutting it up.
 

pablocrossa

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We definitely need ED's advice on that case. All I can reply is that the 4G module is seperated from the PCB, so that it's not making two versions of it. The WiFi chip is not.

Only ED will tell if he's willing to pay for the extra performance.
Is there any difference between the wifi chip and the 4G chip in terms of how it gets populated to the PCB?

I'm not a hardware person, but as far as I understand, all of those components (wifi chip, 4G chip, eMMC, etc) get populated to the PCB in an automatic process where you basically give a machine lots of unpopulated PCBs and some reels with components on them, and then it automatically puts the components where they have to be, based on high-precision robot placement of every single part. At least that's how it looked in those Pandora ReBirth production videos.

There would essentially be one production run where the 4G component reel is present, and another run where it is not present, so there are then two different versions of the populated PCB.

What I'm proposing is to get one reel with 14 EUR wifi chips, and one reel with 28 EUR wifi chips, and use the 28 EUR reel in the production run where the 4G chip gets populated, and the 14 EUR reel in the production run where it doesn't.

Since those two wifi chips are basically identical in terms of pin layout etc, it should be as simple as that. Since there are two distinct production runs needed anyway, this does not really add any significant complexity.

I think both of these versions need to be available right away from the start. If there's sufficient demand, then ED can always make intermediate models in later batches: cheap wifi plus 4G, expensive wifi without 4G, different sizes of the eMMC etc. But for the first batch, I think it makes sense to make only the cheapest and the most expensive models. I suspect that early adopters generally either want the cheapest or the best, not some subtle mix.
I'll start by saying I know nothing about HW and assembly line.

I imagine it's easier to have one machine that populates a chip on demand than one that has to select which chip it's populating from two stacks or having to run two separate assembly lines :)
 

WizardStan

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I just had a thought regarding the wifi chip: isn't it using SDIO? In which case it's limited to 48Mhz, or 48Mbit/s (the high speed MMC ports being for the eMMC and one of the SD slots).

Does that alter anyone's opinions, knowing that, outside of congestion, 5Ghz would not actually add any additional speed over 2.4Ghz?
 

slaeshjag

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SDIO is 4 bits wide, not 1. So the peak bandwidth is four times the bus clock.

EDIT: And if you read the datasheet, there won't be any speed increase from the 5 GHz band anyway. 100 Mbit/s is the quoted max using UDP, and 80 Mbit/s using TCP. This figure applies to both versions.
 
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WizardStan

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SDIO is 4 bits wide, not 1.
hmmm, I could have sworn I read it was using 1 bit mode, not 4 bit. Ok, nevermind that.Like you say though, from the datasheet it still stands that the 5Ghz won't add any extra speed beyond congestion avoidance.
 

Wrath Of Khan

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I'll probably buckle and get the 4g version. It will be my first 4g device.

Technically it could be used as my central internet device, well if speeds and connections are reliable enough.

We should be able to tether a variety of devices to it? Pc's etc?

Or are there any unforseen issues here?
 

levi

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Like you say though, from the datasheet it still stands that the 5Ghz won't add any extra speed beyond congestion avoidance.
I'm not an expert on IEE 802.11 in general, but as far as I can comprehend wikipedia's description of 802.11n, 5GHz wifi over a 20MHz channel gives you the same bandwidth as 20MHz in the 2.4GHz channels. The only benefit of 5Ghz is that it's less congested, meaning you're more likely to be able to double the bandwidth to 40MHz, but provided there's no interference in the 2.4GHz channels, you can do the same there.
I've not looked at the wifi chip datasheet, so I don't know if it can do 40MHz channels, and even if it does I don't know if the CPU can make use of that bandwidth, but it seems to me that even on a PC with as many lanes of PCIe needed, 5GHz isn't intrinsically any faster than 2.4GHz.
 

rygD

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^ But ED will lose my preorder if he does that... I will wait untill I can get the 3/4G model.

He needs to offer both at the outset.
Otherwise he needs to trust he will get enough preorders for the feature stripped model to fund the first batch.

I have no problem waiting if that's what he decides.
^ Same here. I'm getting the 4G version. If it's not available for preorder, then I'll wait.

 
As I have said before, I'm with them (if a US 4G module option is available or planned).
 
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D

d00msmith

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Wifi chip feedback:

I'd really like to be able to have 5ghz onboard to utilize my home network :)
 

benoitb

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I'll probably buckle and get the 4g version. It will be my first 4g device.

Technically it could be used as my central internet device, well if speeds and connections are reliable enough.

We should be able to tether a variety of devices to it? Pc's etc?

Or are there any unforseen issues here?
The wifi chip supports AP mode, there should be no problem using the 4G pyra as a router.
 

Kev2442

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We definitely need ED's advice on that case. All I can reply is that the 4G module is seperated from the PCB, so that it's not making two versions of it. The WiFi chip is not.

Only ED will tell if he's willing to pay for the extra performance.
Is there any difference between the wifi chip and the 4G chip in terms of how it gets populated to the PCB?
As far as I know, the 4G module was meant to be populated on a separate add-on board, put on the main PCB so that we can upgrade a WiFi to a 4G and futureproof it.
 
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sepulep

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I am a bit worried about this talk about different pyra hardware versions..the production run is tiny as it is..or more specifically I wonder what the cost  involved per revision is, i mean.. what is the break even point cost for a component X to offset the cost involved in a seperate production run to build a revision without this component X?? not to mention it increases project risk (how are you going to estimate for the relative demand??)
 
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