snickerdoodle

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Jun 29, 2018

Important piSmasher Announcement - Action Required

Attention, snickerdoodlers! Two important updates. First, if you still want a piSmasher, you need to take action now. Second, we will soon have a new website for hosting documentation and other snickerdoodle resources.

Finally, piSmasher is going to production!

The time has come. The good news is we have the final, FINAL revision of piSmasher ready to go production. The bad news is we had to change the specs and increase the price to make it happen at all. As a result, if you’ve ordered a piSmasher, you’ll need to decide whether you want to receive a refund or pay the difference between the original price and the new price ($195). If you ordered a giggleBits (baseboard or sIO card), those purchases can be refunded or applied toward a piSmasher (or other krtkl product). The end of this update has the details of how we got to this point, but first things first:

piSmasher and giggleBits customers: fill out this form by July 31, 2018

Whether you want to upgrade or want a refund, if you have a piSmasher or giggleBits on order, you will need to fill out the form. The only way to do either is to fill out the form. It will only take two minutes. Responses are due July 31, 2018. If we don’t get a response from you by then, horrible things will happen. Some logistics:

  • Once you’ve completed the abovementioned form, Crowd Supply will be in touch to wrap up the final piSmasher payment/refund details.
  • You can continue to check on your Crowd Supply order status by visiting your account page.
  • You will receive a shipping confirmation email with tracking information when your order has shipped.
Final piSmasher specs (v4.1)
  • 1 x standard HDMI Type A receptacle supporting 1080p60 3D video output
  • 1 x standard HDMI Type A receptacle supporting 1080p60 3D video input
  • 2 x RJ45 1000Base-T gigabit Ethernet jacks (routed through programmable logic)
  • 4 x USB 2.0 Hi-Speed standard-A host receptacles
  • 1 x 3.5 mm stereo audio line-in
  • 1 x 3.5 mm stereo audio line-out
  • 1 x 3.5 mm headset jack (stereo audio, mono microphone)
  • 1 x male 40-pin TFM header for access to 25 snickerdoodle JC1 reconfigurable I/O
  • 1 x 14-pin 2 mm Xilinx JTAG header
  • I2C identification and configuration EEPROM
  • 2.5 mm x 5.5 mm DC power jack
  • 4 x adhesive-base locking PCB supports
  • Dimensions: 3.5” x 5.663” (88.9 mm x 143.8 mm)
piSmasher status
  • All (re)development work is complete.
  • The v4.1 PCBs are being fabricated right now. We expect to have them around mid July.
  • Parts are on order and we do not anticipate any further delays due to part shortages.
  • Assuming the parts and boards arrive on time, we will have first articles ready by mid-August.
  • Pending the results of the first article tests, we will resume assembly and work towards shipping product ASAP (as early as end of August).
  • We are now taking piSmasher pre-orders again on Crowd Supply.
  • You can find the latest (v4.1) piSmasher schematics here. And a hardware supplement here.
  • We will be posting more documentation, downloads, and other resources on the krtkl site and GitHub in the coming weeks.
  • We will provide more updates throughout the final piSmasher assembly and test processes.

New snickerdoodle resources

The new krtkl site is going live on July 6. Aside from being a significantly more useful resource, the only immediate impact may be seen in the forum, as it will take a few days for us to migrate to the new system.

If you’re interested in putting together a blog post, we’d be happy to feature/host it on the new site. Just email marketing@krtkl.com.

We’re going to be featuring a number of commercial snickerdoodle-based products. Let us know if you’d like some publicity for any products you have launched by emailing marketing@krtkl.com.

Similarly, we are looking for projects to showcase on our Hackster.io project hub (also linked on the new site). If you’ve built something cool with snickerdoodle, don’t be shy and share it with your fellow snickerdoodlers! We’ll be adding our own projects there as well.

Speaking of which, if you haven’t already you should check out our HLS Data Mover repo on GitHub – it has a pretty handy parameterizable Vivado HLS project for implementing a master and slave AXI-Stream to AXI-Memory-Mapped data mover on snickerdoodle.

What the heck happened?

For some additional piSmasher background (if anyone is still reading this), you may notice this specification is largely in line with the most recent piSmasher (v4.0) specification, with the only notable difference being the elimination of the battery charger. And yes, this is basically the same product for which we had first articles around this time last year. So what gives? What’s with the 1+ year delay?

Well, we ran into some unexpected signal integrity issues while testing the first articles – specifically with the HDMI input/output, which did not meet the original 1080p spec. Unfortunately, at that point, we did not have the means to re-layout the PCB and run a new set of tooling, assemblies, etc. This was due to a combination of factors, including product underpricing based on actual vs. anticipated volumes, underestimated hard/soft manufacturing costs, serious supply chain constraints, a lack of resources, the unexpected general disinterest of outside capital in embedded systems, unforeseen technical challenges surrounding EMI/signal integrity, and significant complications involving the development and debugging of software for unsupported silicon.

As a result, we took on a number of consulting projects that allowed us to minimally keep the lights on while taking advantage of every opportunity to trickle out snickerdoodles and other backordered products. A few months ago, things were looking much rosier as a larger customer made it to market with a snickerdoodle-powered commercial product, which we seized upon as a chance to finally start moving the piSmasher forward again with a similar-but-revamped design to enable greater modularity and flexibility.

Unfortunately, our customer hit a brick wall and completely halted their production, which had major ripple effects on both snickerdoodle production and piSmasher development. At that point, we came to the realization that: 1) the only practical way to deliver the product we originally promised would be to bring the MSRP more in line with the actual production costs – costs which ultimately far exceeded the purchase price for the vast majority of piSmasher pre-orders, and 2) the only way we could possibly afford to deliver on the 700+ outstanding piSmashers and giggleBits orders would be to charge existing pre-order customers the difference.

This was not an easy decision and was never our original intent, nor was it born out of greed or any other nefarious objective. If there were any other way, we certainly would have opted for that route, but we simply and sadly didn’t have a choice.

Certainly, we’ve learned a lot of things the hard way, but lessons learned are no substitute for shipping a product and we’re not giving up. To all of our backers, thank you for your support and patience so far. To those who, for whatever reason, just want a refund, we completely understand. As always, should you have any questions or comments, you can always email us at orders@krtkl.com.

Sincerely,
the krtkl crew

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Support Us!


$95

snickerdoodle one

Dual-Core 667MHz ARM Cortex-A9 w/430K ASIC gates, 155 reconfigurable I/O, 512MB LPDDR2 RAM, 2.4GHz 802.11n Wi-Fi. Only available with connectors up (benchtop).


$195

snickerdoodle black

Dual-Core 866 MHz ARM Cortex-A9 w/1.3M ASIC gates, 180 reconfigurable I/O, 1GB LPDDR2 RAM, 2.4GHz + 5GHz 802.11n 2x2 MIMO Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Classic & BLE, copperHead heat sink, free SDSoC license.


$49

breakyBreaky breakout board

Full snickerdoodle pinout (270 pins) on 0.1” headers, JTAG connector, DC power jack. Note: order your snickerdoodle connectors "down".


$195

piSmasher SBC

HDMI in AND out, 2x Gigabit Ethernet, 4x USB 2.0 high-speed, audio line in/out, headset, 25 reconfigurable I/O, DC power jack. Note: order your snickerdoodle connectors "down".


$33

12V/36W International Wall Wart

36W/12V wall-mount power supply for use with snickerdoodle baseboards.


$68

cookieJar enclosure

A beautiful enclosure machined out of 6061 aluminum, bead blasted, anodized, and laser engraved. Also serves as heat sink. Note: this enclosure is only compatible with connectors “up” snickerdoodle.


$18

pin housings + jumpers

All seven mating snickerdoodle connectors and a 50-pack of (loose) jumpers - see below for jumper description for benchtop-prototyping; no baseboard needed.


$33

jumpers (150 pack)

7.5" (19cm) long with Samtec pins on one end (for installing into pin housings, above) and 0.1" female “maker” pins/housings on the other. Note: includes jumpers (150 pack) only.


$33

32GB microSD card (pre-loaded)

32GB U3 Speed Class microSD card pre-loaded with snickerdoodle Ubuntu Linux.


$73

ten sets of baseboard headers

Ten sets of all seven connectors needed for building your own snickerdoodle baseboard; mates with snickerdoodle connectors “down”.

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Ryan Cousins

Jamil Weatherbee

Russell Bush


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Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) Software

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