At first glance, zOrigin is a full-featured, wireless fitness tracker that is so small it could easily go unnoticed among the coins in your pocket. However, it is also the first proof-of-concept of a new chip-stacking technology called zGlue that enables engineers and product designers to create and manufacture custom chips in a matter of days. Our goal is to make chip design as easy and accessible as printed circuit board (PCB) design. Whether you use zOrigin as is for daily health and fitness monitoring, integrate the custom zOrigin chip into your own product, or use zOrigin as the basis of your very own chip design, we hope you’ll join us in being among the first to make use of what zGlue has to offer.
zOrigin on a bracelet
Out of the box, zOrigin is a compact, ready-to-use fitness monitor in a durable enclosure. Install the phone app and you’ll be ready to monitor your heart rate, temperature, and number of steps taken.
Want to develop your own product based on the chip that powers zOrigin? No problem — we offer a complete dev board and actual chips. See below for details.
Using the same ZiP technology we used to design the zOrigin chip, you too can design and manufacture custom chips in a matter of days. Every backer of this campaign will get a free trial of our zCAD software for designing their own chips. See below for details.
We’ve developed some example Android mobile apps that interface with zOrigin via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). Of course, you can also develop your own apps for use with zOrigin. We will soon release the source code for the mobile apps as a reference.
At the heart of zOrigin is the ZGZL1BA, the first commercially available example of creating a chip using ZiP technology. We designed the chip with zOrigin in mind. Inside, the ZGLZ1BA integrates the following components:
ZGLZ1BA block diagram
zOrigin dev board block diagram
The zOrigin is based on the zGlue Integration Platform (ZiP), which lets anyone use software tools to design a custom, affordable, ultra-small, power-efficient chip for their own device or project, and have it manufactured at volume within days.
ZiP is based on zGlue’s 2.5D active integration technology, which allows designers to stack chips on demand by combining the essential building blocks required by modern devices — processing, sensing, memory, and communications — into one chip. zGlue’s flexible silicon platform delivers the most cost-effective approach for individual customization and feature selection.
As a token of thanks to our early supporters, every backer of this Crowd Supply campaign will get a free trial of our zCAD software for designing their own chips. We anticipate zCAD being released before the end of 2018. The price tag for similar software for system-in-package (SiP) design can easily run into six figures.
We are in the process of finalizing a full datasheet and reference design, which we’ll release as soon as possible. Datasheets and other supporting material will be posted on the zGlue website as they become available.
1. Will you be releasing the zCAD files for zOrigin, and the STL file for the 3D-printed enclosure?
The zCAD software and associated files will be released after the shipment of zOrigin. Each backer will receive a free trial of zCAD software to design their own chips. When released, zCAD software will allow you to select chiplets from the library and place them on our Smart Fabric. Users can then check design rules and fine-tune the design through simulations, and the system will help validate their optimized design.
The pogo pins of the 3D casing are custom made, and we used a high precision 3D printing service to create the new production quality enclosure. We will share the file along with the zOrigin release, and can also advise you along the process of making your own enclosure if you like.
2. Can zOrigin be used as a beacon/ tracker for my cat?
Of course! Your fur-kid can use zOrigin too!
3. Can zOrigin be reprogrammed by the user to track movements other than steps?
Yes, you can re-program DA14585 MCU to track other movements. Maybe some cool dance moves?
4. Does the zOrigin work independently or only while actively connected to a smartphone?
zOrigin requires a smartphone to display data. However, it can be adapted to be independent with additional peripherals.
5. Does zOrigin compute data or store ‘raw’ data that is later used in the app?
zOrigin computes the data before sending it to your smartphone. However, if you write your own firmware, you can store raw data in the DA14585 RAM before sending it to your end-point.
6. Can I connect zOrigin to my own App?
Of course! You can design your own Android or IOS App to communicate with zOrigin. We plan on sharing the zOrigin SDK, so you will have all the information you need to get started on making your app.
7. How long can it be used until the memory is full?
The stacked memory stores the DA14585 code. You can temporarily store the data in the DA14585 RAM. How much data you can store really depends on your usage. If you want to store larger data, you may want to consider adding a Memory Chip on your board.
8. Can I control the vibration strength of zOrigin?
Yes, you can. The DA14585 MCU has a PWM timer that allows you to tune vibration strength.
We have an extensive partnership ecosystem that will bring zOrigin to life. The production, assembly, and test process for zGlue’s ZiP technology is fully qualified by the largest foundry and outsourced semiconductor assembly and test (OSAT) facility in the world. We already have the first batch of ZiPs assembled and tested.
We manages the procurement and sourcing of all the components used in zOrigin. Since these are standard components, we anticipate a normal lead time of 8 to 12 weeks. We’ve been working with trusted partners in China to build the prototypes. The PCB design and component procurement efforts will take place in parallel to ZiP assembly. We will post regular manufacturing updates — please stay tuned!
Our prototypes and the first batch of silicon are back from manufacturing. We have a lot of work to do to fully test and qualify the zOrigin system, but it is currently progressing nicely.
Crowd Supply is our fulfillment partner. For information on checking the status of your order, changing your shipping address, or otherwise updating your order, please see The Crowd Supply Guide.
"zGlue launches a configurable system-on-a-chip to help developers implement customized chipsets"
"An open platform and chipset aim to make a new world of custom-made smart shoes, clothes, trackers, watches and who knows what else."
"zGlue’s zOrigin reference design... is the startup’s first product using its low-cost 2.5D chip-stacking technology."
"Developers, makers and hobbyists searching for an affordable low power wireless wearable development board with chip stacking technology may be interested in the zOrigin."
"The ability for anyone to create their own custom ICs has remained out of reach for the Average Joe hardware hacker. zGlue is the solution to this problem."
"[zOrigin] te dará la posibilidad de hacer tus propios smartwatches, pulseras de actividad o monitores de ritmo cardíaco."
"Such custom chips should mostly be interesting in space-constraints applications, as you’d be able to design much smaller PCB with an all-in-one chip."
"In addition to the hardware rewards, backers will also receive a free trial of the zCAD software."
"The ZiP (zGlue Integration Platform) is essentially a Raspberry Pi or Arduino of wearable technology."
"ZGlue’s secret sauce is its use of a silicon substrate, with a grid of fine wires for reprogrammable connections between the chips, and some resistors, capacitors, and gates for built-in power management, system management, and memory."
Produced by zGlue in Mountain View, CA.
Sold and shipped by Crowd Supply.
An incredibly small, ready-to-use fitness tracking fob that measures heart rate, temperature, and footsteps. Comes with 3D-printed enclosure, battery, charging cable, quickstart guide, and smartphone app.
This dev board breaks out and makes easily accessible all the pins and functionality of the ZGLZ1 chip, the custom ZiP that powers the zOrigin. Includes a PMOD connector, and two electrode pads and cables for heart rate monitoring.
Prototype your own projects using the same chip as used in zOrigin. Each chip is ten-by-ten, 0.8-mm-pitch BGA package measuring 8.7 mm x 9.1 mm.
Includes one of each of the above pledge levels: one zOrigin, one zOrigin Dev Board, and one Five-pack of ZGLZ1BA Chips.
Mountain View, CA · zglue.com
We stack chips on demand by integrating the essential pieces of any connected things - processing, sensing, memory, and communication into one chip - giving unlimited freedom for creating things that are smaller, faster, and cheaper than what standard SoC and PCB integration technologies can offer. We help you build you next big thing, with quality, speed, and scalability.