The Pyra is crying!


EvilDragon

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Whew - finally, I managed to find the time to make a newspost for you guys!

The last one feels like an eternity away, since so much has happened.

Why is the Pyra crying, you wonder?

Well, I'll come to that later.

First, let's start with...

The GamesCom 2015

As you hopefully know, we attended the GamesCom this year (Hall 10.2, Retro-Area).

Besides other stuff from my shop, we had a Pyra devboard with us and an assembled printed case.

The interest was great and people were stunned of how many things you can run at the same time on the devboard.

I wish I had a final prototype with me, but that didn't work out by a few days.

If you are interested to see some pictures from our booth there, head to this thread.

I also made a small video with the running devboard there - you can find that here:

https://youtu.be/89cZHdEO-p8

So much for the GamesCom, let's see what happened afterwards...

The Pyra PCB CPU Boards

While we were at the GamesCom, the bare CPU PCBs finally arrived!

We got 14 of them, and Nikolaus started to populate them right after he came back from holidays mid August.

barepcb.jpgunpopulated.jpg

Unpopulated PCBs

To test them without wasting too many parts, we didn't immediately populate all of them, but rather only the power circuit first including some switches and other stuff that helps testing the power circuit.

testingstuff.jpg

This is the testing setup stuff.

powercircuit.jpg

PCB with only the Power circuit populated

That way we could check that at least the power circuit was properly working before populating the expensive parts (OMAP5, RAM Chips).

Nikolaus had to add some interim traces manually to the OMAP5 pins to be able to test all power sources - look what he did under the microscope!

manualsoldering.jpg

Some interim traces added manually to the OMAP5 pads

And guess what: Those tests were all successfull!

First step done - meaning: We can populate the important parts onto a few test PCBs!

The OMAP5 didn't cause any issues - but the RAM chips didn't want to stay where they should.

When soldering them, they were floating away, causing short circuits.

twopopulated.jpg

One fully and one partly populated PCB

It took just one question to the manufacturer to find out the issue: It looks like our stencil mask for the solder paste is a bit too thin, therefore there's not enough solder on the pads.

No big deal, just takes a few days to create a new stencil layer.

pcbsandstencil.jpg

Picture of the PCBs with the old stencil layer

But now... the MOST important part:

Nikolaus connected a CPU board which had the OMAP5 but not the RAM chips populated.

Switching it on... connecting the serial output to see the debug output from the OMAP5:

U-Boot SPL 2013.01-gdc6238c (Mar 27 2013 - 14:33:47)
OMAP5432 ES2.0
die_id1: 14fa5e2
Hack! Disabling faulty EMIF1
lisa_map_2: 0x80600200
SDRAM: identified size not same as expected size identified: 4 expected: 20000000
### ERROR ### Please RESET the board ###
The first signs of life from the Pyra prototype!It's working, but it's crying for RAM!

IT'S ALIVE :D

So, yep, we reached a new milestone:

We KNOW the OMAP5 boots and works together with the mainboard. Of course, once we get the RAMs on, we need to check that ALL hardware aspects are actually working, but the most complex stuff is done and confirmed to be working.

Hopefully, this or next week we'll have the RAMs populated properly and then... it's time for the prototype!

Can't wait for this!

Of course, I will keep you informed about all that.

Feel free to ask for any questions here :)
 
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matzesu

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Great progress hear,


Seems like at least the Pyra should work as expectet (as soon the Ram is populatet..)..


Some news on the Keymatt??


Looking forward for the first Prototyphs whit all thing a final Pyra also will have (inkluding run from Batterie)..
 

sepulep

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nice! so, if I understand correctly the boot-up test was the cpu board plugged in the mainboard, booting from an SD card? (so everything working minus the RAM)

small question, what does the:


Hack! Disabling faulty EMIF1

message mean??
 
Z

zoranc

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Awesome! Great news! I am checking for a new Pyra post almost every day. Each of them is a small treat for us Pandora/Pyra fanatics. :-D

It seems that the progres is being made at a rapid pace! So I'm happy to hear it.

Forgive me my ignorance, but didn't OMAP itself include some RAM? I was under the impression that the Pandora RAM was decided from the OMAP itself...
 

TrashyMG

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Awesome! Great news! I am checking for a new Pyra post almost every day. Each of them is a small treat for us Pandora/Pyra fanatics. :-D

It seems that the progres is being made at a rapid pace! So I'm happy to hear it.

Forgive me my ignorance, but didn't OMAP itself include some RAM? I was under the impression that the Pandora RAM was decided from the OMAP itself...
Unlike the OMAP3 the OMAP5 doesn't have a PoP memory that resides on top of the chip. The SDRAM and eMMC memory are separate.
 
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Alperoot

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Omg!! Prototypes sooner than I expected!! Nikolaus surely is a pro at this!
 

Majin Wamu

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Hey, this is absolute great news. Congratulations ED. I can imagine how excited you were when you saw this outcome. I would literally jump with joy, and then run into the other rooms and tell everyone i find about it, even if they had no idea what I was talking about. If I still lived with my brother he would probably stop me mid sentence and tell me "I don't care" haha. I can't wait to see those prototypes when they are ready.
 

Cralex

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Awesome! So, not that the Pyra's EVER gonna crash or anything... But if it ever does, it should display a crying Pyra logo.
 

wardred

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Great news!

I gotta say Nikolaus's soldering exploits impress me.  I always managed to muck things up the few times I tried soldering.

I look forward to seeing it boot with ram when you guys get a stencil in the proper thickness.


@Zoranc - I'm not very active, but confess I still use the the stalker to follow stuff.
 
S

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And the Pyra was born into this world crying. Give it a nice spanking of ram and give it to evil dragon. Congrats its an innovation!

But now we are on the subject. I'm sure 4 ram would pacify it! =p

W6YOG6D.png
To avoid unsatisfied thrashing and swapping, I would pacify it with 8 at once ;-P.
 

levi

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nice! so, if I understand correctly the boot-up test was the cpu board plugged in the mainboard, booting from an SD card? (so everything working minus the RAM)
I don't think so.  That's just the debug output from the processor.  It's got as far as starting uboot, which is nice, but it hasn't got to booting anything from an SD card - it hasn't got any RAM to load a kernel into.  Uboot's probably XIP (eXecute In Place) meaning it can print out that debug information just using the program counter and a few other registers.

But eh, being able to get debug from the board is a good start to resolving any issues in the future.

I'd also be interested if there was any news on the fix for the display tearing?  Is it all doable in software, or might some extra traces still be needed?
 
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