Project update 6 of 20
Hi backers! As mentioned in the last update, Sean and Tim are at Linux.conf.au 2019 this week in Christchurch, NZ. Both uf us are giving talks, and we’ll post links to recordings and slides afterwards. Sean is giving a talk on the Tomu plastic case, including how it will be adapted for Fomu. Tim is giving a talk on Symbiflow and the open source FPGA toolchain that powers Fomu development. Read on to find out more!
Linux.conf.au 2019 is an open source conference centered around Linux, but includes open source hardware and generally cool things you can do with Linux. This year’s theme is Linux of Things, which meshes nicely with the embedded and open source nature of Fomu.
Sean’s talk will focus on designing open source plastic cases with open source tools. The original Tomu campaign had a stretch goal of including an injection molded case, which we met. This case turned out really nicely, and provided a good first experience for customers when their Tomus arrived in the mail. The Tomu case had some nice features such as snap hooks and finger grips. The talk at Linux.conf.au will go over the manufacturing process as well as the design process for the case.
With Fomu, the campaign mentions that "we will reuse most of the mold" from Tomu, but what does that mean exactly? What’s in an injection mold, and how exactly do you "reuse" most of it? The talk will have lots of pictures from the plastics factory, and take you through the process of injection molding. I’ll also point out bits that will be changed, to make the new case fit well with the new circuit board.
Tim’s talk covers the new open source toolchain for FPGAs. He’ll go over SymbiFlow and the process of documenting the innards of various FPGA projects, and how the project aims to be the GCC of FPGAs. FPGAs can turn hardware problems into software problems, and the SymbiFlow toolchain lets you do this in an entirely open source way. This talk will cover the current status of the SymbiFlow project, and ways you can help improve it.
If you’re not able to make it to Linux.conf.au, fret not! All talks are recorded, and we’ll post an update with links to the talk recordings as soon as they go live. We’ll also include links to the slide decks themselves.
As a reminder, the Fomu campaign ends at the end of next week, at which point prices will go up! Keep spreading the word so we