A powerful, open hardware ECP5 FPGA dev board

Jul 06, 2021

Project update 18 of 20

Slowly Approaching v3.1.7

by Goran Mahovlić

Hi to all!

Sorry about the update delay - but we are trying to figure out our options for the next batch.

Current situation is that we have 100 85F chips and all parts, but we are in the middle of a new version, so emard needed to confirm few things.

200 of the 85Fs that were expected from CS/Mouser did not arrive, and delivery ETA has now moved to end of the year.

From FER, we received parts for a few panels so we can experiment with panels and new PCB versions.

A new thing with panelisation is that we no longer have mouse bytes. First experimental panel was done by Končar and it was great, that was version 3.1.6. On this version emard noticed small bug in startup when we use ESP32 WROVER, and we figured out that we would need an additional resistor. For 85Fs, we did not want to have this additional hand-placed resistor with small wire, so we decided to produce 3.1.7 version.

As a 100-pcs batch is too little for Končar, we needed someone who can make smaller batches. Luckily we already have good relationships with e-radionica.

They produced all our PMODS so we agreed on production of ULX3S. First try was with Končar 3.1.6 panels and it was successful (except for the HW bug I already described)!

As this is another company, we cannot ask Končar to make us 3.1.7 panels.

So some other news is that panelisation of 3.1.7 with https://github.com/yaqwsx/KiKit by emard. Panelisation is now on the ULX3S GitHub. 3.1.7 panels have been ordered from JLCPCB. Once 100 pcs are done we will send them to CS - if 3.1.7 panelisation is ok, that will be sent in July.

You already know everything about chip shortages, so I will just say it is almost impossible to get anything. When parts started getting limited in March, we also placed an order for 180 pcs. of ECP5 from D&M - they should be ready in October.

As there will be low quantity of boards (that have already been pre-ordered) we will move the next delivery date to November.

Some changes on 3.1.7:

Other news:

Envox ULX3S BB3 - we fixed some bugs and picture of recent board is here: https://www.envox.eu/bb3-ulx3s-integration/

We are also helping on new version of MegaPhone: https://c65gs.blogspot.com/2021/06/megaphone-pcb-re-spin.html

First milestone for ULX4M is done - Paula is making big progress in learning how to use blender for PCB animations.

You can read more about that on lemilica: http://lemilica.com/archives/3158, http://lemilica.com/archives/3141

Until next update!


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