Using Pyra CPU Board for other purposes

Ligachamp

Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2009
Messages
209
Hello guys,

maybe some of you already know the concept of a SOM (System on a Module). Basically it's the same concept as ED tried to realize in the Pyra: creating a module which contains all the main parts of a computer. In this way all needed peripheral devices can be placed on a separate daughterboard.

As the Pyra CPU Board will be very powerful compared to other available SOM's, the idea now is to sell Pyra CPU Boards seperately, to get a bigger audience on the market. I could imagine lots of use cases. An example might be creating a relatively cheap and compact, but powerful server-cluster (like some created with raspberry pi's). Also intresting for those applications would be a SO-DIMM formfactor, but I understand that creating a new layout would end in much higher product costs, so this might be secondary.

Ligachamp
 
Last edited by a moderator:

levi

Still fresh, damnit!
Joined
Oct 6, 2008
Messages
11,381
Location
Somewhere off the coast of the EU
There's nothing stopping ED selling CPU boards on their own, provided he can release the pinout for the connectors.  Whether he does or not depends on how many can be produced and how fast compared to the peripheral boards, and how many Pyra orders are coming in I guess.

And a SO-DIMM interface would be nice to have for non-pyra users; the connector is widely available and comes in many different mounting styles (though I've not been able to find a thru-hole SO-DIMM socket through a quick search); and it's only one connector to mount, not two that you need to mount in exactly the right places relative to each other.  But don't expect it to be compatible with the Rasp-Pi compute module pinout, as the different SoCs expose radically different interfaces.  I also don't know how many lines are the Pyra design has between the CPU board and peripheral board, while SO-DIMM is limited to 200 lines.

If there is significant interest in that connector, I expect ED could manufacture a dumb passive CPU board to SO-DIMM adaptor relatively cheaply.
 

Ligachamp

Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2009
Messages
209
There's nothing stopping ED selling CPU boards on their own, provided he can release the pinout for the connectors.  Whether he does or not depends on how many can be produced and how fast compared to the peripheral boards, and how many Pyra orders are coming in I guess.
I think releasing the pinout should be absoludely possible.

And a SO-DIMM interface would be nice to have for non-pyra users; the connector is widely available and comes in many different mounting styles (though I've not been able to find a thru-hole SO-DIMM socket through a quick search); and it's only one connector to mount, not two that you need to mount in exactly the right places relative to each other. 
Yep, the single-connector-design is the best option for those who want to create their own daughterboards.

But don't expect it to be compatible with the Rasp-Pi compute module pinout, as the different SoCs expose radically different interfaces.  I also don't know how many lines are the Pyra design has between the CPU board and peripheral board, while SO-DIMM is limited to 200 lines.
I never expected it would be compatible to the Raspi pinout. ;) But it would be nice to know if the present connectors pass through all connections of the SoC. Also there are SO-DIMM's that have 260 lines, usually used for DDR4 RAM. So I believe there would be enough room for passing through all pins.

If there is significant interest in that connector, I expect ED could manufacture a dumb passive CPU board to SO-DIMM adaptor relatively cheaply.
There would not even be the need of selling such a board. It would be enough to release the schematics and the layout files, so everybody who needs that board could easily create it themself and ED wouldn't have to organize another mass production.
 

TrashyMG

Sarcasm Dispenser
Staff member
Joined
Jan 18, 2010
Messages
10,610
Well EvilDragon stated as soon as Manufacturing starts all designs and such will be open-sourced, I predict at some point he will offer the CPU board for sale on its own... However I doubt ED will create a SO-DIMM version of the daughterboard unless he had some other device it was going to go into.
 

levi

Still fresh, damnit!
Joined
Oct 6, 2008
Messages
11,381
Location
Somewhere off the coast of the EU
I say ED is the best person to create a CPU connector to SO-DIMM adaptor because he's already got access to machines and precise dimensions that work.  Somebody else could do that, but ideally you want relatively few people with access to precision machines to do it, otherwise you pass the problem of lining up the connectors to everyone who wants to use a SO-DIMM connector, and losing the advantage of having an easy to align SO-DIMM socket as the only thing to worry about.
 

TrashyMG

Sarcasm Dispenser
Staff member
Joined
Jan 18, 2010
Messages
10,610
I say ED is the best person to create a CPU connector to SO-DIMM adaptor because he's already got access to machines and precise dimensions that work.  Somebody else could do that, but ideally you want relatively few people with access to precision machines to do it, otherwise you pass the problem of lining up the connectors to everyone who wants to use a SO-DIMM connector, and losing the advantage of having an easy to align SO-DIMM socket as the only thing to worry about.
No doubt, I'm just questioning his motivation to do it if he has no plans to make a device that uses that connector, not to mention it's not difficult to source the connectors that we're already using on the Pyra.
 

levi

Still fresh, damnit!
Joined
Oct 6, 2008
Messages
11,381
Location
Somewhere off the coast of the EU
No doubt, I'm just questioning his motivation to do it if he has no plans to make a device that uses that connector, not to mention it's not difficult to source the connectors that we're already using on the Pyra.
Yes, I was replying to ligachamp's last quote to be clear, but put off from making a quote myself by the dodgy edit box at the time.
 

EvilDragon

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 4, 2003
Messages
29,245
Age
42
Location
Ingolstadt
Nikolaus plans to offer the CPU board for other projects as well.

Everything will be opened, and I would be happy if someone used that and it would turn into some kind of standard.

IF it would turn into a standard, we probably would get 3rd party CPU boards for the Pyra as well, which would be nice.

I doubt anyone will really pick that up, but it won't be us standing in the way.
 

fusion_power

Advanced Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2005
Messages
13,040
Location
germany
Website
Visit site
Nikolaus plans to offer the CPU board for other projects as well.

Everything will be opened, and I would be happy if someone used that and it would turn into some kind of standard.

IF it would turn into a standard, we probably would get 3rd party CPU boards for the Pyra as well, which would be nice.

I doubt anyone will really pick that up, but it won't be us standing in the way.
This would be indeed great. :) Imagine these third party companies spread the core system even more than you ever could. It would surely make the Pyra more popular.
 

TheOldOne

Fallen Paladin
Joined
Jul 22, 2015
Messages
401
Location
California
I'd love to see the CPU board turn into some sort of standard if only so I can use an old board for something else when upgrading the Pyra in a few years.
 

Ligachamp

Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2009
Messages
209
Nikolaus plans to offer the CPU board for other projects as well.

Everything will be opened, and I would be happy if someone used that and it would turn into some kind of standard.

IF it would turn into a standard, we probably would get 3rd party CPU boards for the Pyra as well, which would be nice.

I doubt anyone will really pick that up, but it won't be us standing in the way.
That's really nice to hear! :D But I have doubts that this type of connection will turn into a standart. The SO-DIMM factor seems to be that one, which is mostly used for such computing boards. Sure, there are custom ones too (which also seem to use the same connector as the pyra board, just another alignment), but those doesn't seem to be very popular... :(

As you say everything will get opened, I don't expect Nikolaus to provide some basic schematics for the creation of a simple "adaptor board" to SO-DIMM? If that's the case, it would be nice to have at least some layout files for the connector alignment, to gain 100% fit on a custom daughterboard. Basically he could give us the plain layout files of the actual pyra daughterboard, with only the (CPU board) connectors placed?


Damn... I should stop immaginating all the possibilities we will have with this board... *micro server cluster for absurd purposes* xD :D
 
Top