by krtkl

A palm-sized, reconfigurable Linux computer that connects to the real world: ARM + FPGA + Wi-Fi + Bluetooth + 180 I/O

View all updates Aug 08, 2017

Signs of Life

Attention snickerdoodlers,

Finally some good news…

First, we figured out the snickerdoodle yield issue that’s been plaguing us for months. After chasing down countless leads and testing hypothesis after hypothesis – mystifying even the Xilinx support engineers in the process – we deductively narrowed the problem down to an undocumented function within the Zynq BootROM.

With nearly all of the Xilinx BootROM mechanics being hidden from view for a variety of reasons (generally revolving around high-security functionality), it was extremely difficult to identify the cause as we have no access to the inner workings of the BootROM "black box." In the end, it was a keen observation by an Avnet FAE that finally prompted us to poke in the right location to produce the magical, single-variable pass/fail scenario – the crown jewel of a successful root-cause failure analysis.

As it turns out, manufacturing variations in the PCB fab and 1.8V power supply passives can, under low-temperature conditions, cause the BootROM to consistently delay processor boot on some boards. This condition was being trapped during our rigorous final test and was negatively effecting our yields. The good news is it is easily addressable with a minor passive component change and we expect yields to substantially increase.

Second, we’ve successfully brought up both sides of the network, video, and audio interfaces on piSmasher. Here’s a screenshot of all four (2x wireless, 2x wired) network interfaces “coming to life.”

Over the course of the next week or so, we will be running all these interfaces through the ringer to fully verify functionality and bring any potential hardware bugs to the forefront. There will be some routing optimization for the video interfaces required for the final revision – along with some minor signal reroutes for the Ethernet/MIO – but all in all it’s looking pretty good.

As far as timing goes, we’ll be performing a small batch of snickerdoodle reworks at the CM the second half of this week, testing those, then moving ahead with the rest. If all goes according to plan, another wave should be on its way to Crowd Supply by the end of next week (after rework and test). And once the minor snickerdoodle and piSmasher changes are all fleshed out, we’ll be off to the races again as far as manufacturing goes.

All in all, it’s been a pretty positive couple of weeks. Thanks to everyone for your continued patience; we know it’s been a long road… On a side note, you’ll notice breakyBreakys have been changed to “Add to Cart” (vs. “Pre-order”) on the Crowd Supply page, so those are now shipping out a few business days after order. We should be getting some more components (e.g. cabling, wall warts, etc.) in stock there over the coming weeks as well.

That wraps it up for now. If you have any questions/comments or if you want to share one of your snickerdoodle projects/ideas with us, please feel free to either [email us]( snickerdoodler) or post it in the forum – we’d love to hear from you.

Until next time,

the krtkl crew

$348,940 raised

of $55,000 goal

634% Funded! Order Below

Product Choices


Snickerdoodle Black (Connectors Up)

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.


breakyBreaky breakout board

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


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".


12V/36W International Wall Wart

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


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.


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.


32GB microSD card (pre-loaded)

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


baseboard headers

All seven connectors needed for building your own snickerdoodle baseboard; mates with snickerdoodle connectors “down”.


ten sets of baseboard headers

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



We’re a collection of electrical, mechanical, and software engineers based out of San Francisco. With decades of experience in embedded systems, real-time controls, and robotics, we’ve worked on everything from medical devices to consumer electronics. With the mindset that no detail is too fine and “good enough” never is, we live for building products people love and that will make a difference in the world.

Ryan Cousins

Jamil Weatherbee

Russell Bush


Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) Software

See Also

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