Who Will be Prop2's Biggest Competition?

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  • Here is a picture. You can see that the LED doesn't have any pins protruding from the sides. Also, the place where it fits on the PCB has solder on the pads. Sorry for the blurry picture. I couldn't get a better one with my phone.

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  • Seems very strange, it's almost like the part was accidentally left off and when they found out they simply included the led after. Considering the very cheap price I'd say that they are not doing it for the money, only for the love of it, so they can't afford to bin a whole batch because an led was left off. Personally, i wouldn't even worry or bother about the led at all.
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  • Seems very strange, it's almost like the part was accidentally left off and when they found out they simply included the led after. Considering the very cheap price I'd say that they are not doing it for the money, only for the love of it, so they can't afford to bin a whole batch because an led was left off. Personally, i wouldn't even worry or bother about the led at all.
    But I'm addicted to blinking LEDs! :-)

  • David Betz wrote: »
    Here is a picture. You can see that the LED doesn't have any pins protruding from the sides. Also, the place where it fits on the PCB has solder on the pads. Sorry for the blurry picture. I couldn't get a better one with my phone.

    Shouldn't be too hard to solder that on the board. Pre-tin the led contacts, place it in contact with the solder on the pads, and put the tip in the corner formed by the pad and led contact. Best done with a fine tip and 35W temperature controlled iron, but I have done a few with an old Weller WTCP60 and a fine (1/16th iirc) tip.
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  • The last two UPDuinos I got had the LED not soldered. I have the same suspicion as Peter J. But you can solder it faster than writing an Email.
    There are contacts visible at the side of the LED in your picture. Just use tweezers to press it onto the pads and heat the leads on the side shortly. Mine endet a bit aslope, but who cares.

    You anyway need to solder a few things to make the UPDuino usable. I always add a few more bypass caps. If you want to use the PLL you need to add a bypass cap at the Vpll.
    For a breadboard you have to solder pinheaders, and for 5V supply and programming anyway.

    How do you want to program it?
    Cluso99 wrote: »
    Fairly sure the pcb is the same as I bought last year. If so, I dont recall the RGB LED at all. If it was there it was fitted, else it wasnt present. Definately didnt solder anything. I havent used it though.

    Yeah for not using it, you don't need to solder anything ;-)
    I wonder how many have bought one and don't use it, I guess over 90%.

    Andy
  • David Betz wrote: »
    Here is a picture. You can see that the LED doesn't have any pins protruding from the sides. Also, the place where it fits on the PCB has solder on the pads.

    That looks very much like a J-Lead PLCC package to me - that should solder easily. I can see the start of the J-bend of 2 leads, in the photo.

    Example from Kingbright
    AAA3528SURKCGKS_sml.jpg

    the drawing shows 1.9mm hi, with 1.1mm of lead formed / bent along side, then 0.8mm under the package. 3.5 x 2.8mm body.
    Should be very easy to solder, as the heat travels around the bend.
  • Ok, I just dug out my pcb. The RGB LED is soldered to the pcb.

    jmg is correct - the LED has leads bent under the body (J leads) ready for smt soldering. These will also provide a little thermal relief while soldering and you can touch the pad and leg concurrently with the soldering iron. These legs go half way up the body.

    Its sitting on the shelf waiting for me to try P1V on it :( Been too busy with other things.

    Best not to solder/tin the underside of the pins first as this will raise the LEd off the pcb making it a little harder to solder as the legs will not be even thickness. Same reason, don't solder/tin the pcb pads. I originally did this but found it made it more difficult, not easier.
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  • Okay, I'll try soldering it on myself. I assume that the pin with the small black mark next to it should align with the corner of the LED with the diagonal?
  • I have soldered a lot of those with Smt and there is a failure rate especially if they are not dried well first. Hand soldering is easy but you have to be fast and not linger around. I always opted to tin the bottom pins first and there was already solder in the pads from the smt attempt. Hold in place and tack one side. Use a very fine pitch tip. They will pop if you don’t hit it quick. If you use the side of the tip you will transfer more heat faster meaning less time required. More than a second or two and it is ruined. Also rotating the tip at the junction between pad and pin makes for a quicker heat transfer. Flux can help too.
  • Mine also had the uninstalled LED, and there wasn’t any padding to protect the board in the envelope. Board plus headers and LED in a pink plastic bad inside a normal letter envelope.
  • KeithE wrote: »
    Mine also had the uninstalled LED, and there wasn’t any padding to protect the board in the envelope. Board plus headers and LED in a pink plastic bad inside a normal letter envelope.
    Same here. I still can't believe they can sell these for only $8 even taking into consideration that the LED isn't solder on. In any case, I soldered the LED. It is physically attached to the board now and I believe it is in the correct orientation. I have no idea if it works though. I'm going to have to hook up the board and try the LED demo to find out.

  • I see now that I need an FT232H board to program this FPGA. That costs around $15 which is twice what the FPGA itself cost. Anyway, I won't know if my LED soldering worked until I get the FT232H board in a few days. In the meantime, the people who made the FPGA board still haven't replied to my email about the LED.
  • David Betz wrote: »
    I see now that I need an FT232H board to program this FPGA. That costs around $15 which is twice what the FPGA itself cost. Anyway, I won't know if my LED soldering worked until I get the FT232H board in a few days. In the meantime, the people who made the FPGA board still haven't replied to my email about the LED.

    It should be SPI programmable as well. "If the SPI_SS_B pin is sampled as a logic ‘0’ (Low), then the device waits to be configured from an external controller or from another device in SPI Master Configuration Mode using an SPI-like interface." unless that programmer is specific to the board you should be able to avoid it, though you won't get the debug through SPI.
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  • jmgjmg Posts: 11,061
    edited January 10 Vote Up0Vote Down
    David Betz wrote: »
    In any case, I soldered the LED. It is physically attached to the board now and I believe it is in the correct orientation.
    The photo on their website should confirm that orientation.
    I would expect it ships with some test code installed, lattice eval boards do.

    David Betz wrote: »
    I see now that I need an FT232H board to program this FPGA. That costs around $15 which is twice what the FPGA itself cost.

    Possibly other FTDI parts can be used, like FT2232H, FT2232R, and maybe FT4222H
    The 'preferred' part for FPGA development seems to be FT2232H, as that is dual channel, allowing JTAG on one, and a decent 12MBd Debug UART on the other.

    Parallax have Prop as JTAG-Bridge code in the P2 FPGA board, so maybe you can leverage that ?

    IIRC, even some comments about being faster than Altera Byteblaster, which really makes Altera look inept, as their design uses a CPLD - no excuses for a slow link!!.
  • David Betz wrote: »
    I see now that I need an FT232H board to program this FPGA. That costs around $15 which is twice what the FPGA itself cost. Anyway, I won't know if my LED soldering worked until I get the FT232H board in a few days. In the meantime, the people who made the FPGA board still haven't replied to my email about the LED.

    Have you looked at the other programming possibilities? For example:

    http://gnarlygrey.atspace.cc/downloads/UPDuino Programming with RPi 20170626.pdf
  • Ariba wrote: »
    David Betz wrote: »
    KeithE wrote: »
    There’s a guy “Gnarly Grey” selling UPDuino iCE40UP5K boards for $8. Are there many Boards that pair a microcontroller with a low cost FPGA? Parallax could probably make a nice educational product in this space if they thought it was worth it.
    Does the FPGA have enough space for a P1v COG?

    I can fit 2 cogs into the UPDuino if I remove the video generators.
    But it was not fully working. The Propeller got identified by the PropTool, but downloading a code failed with a RAM checksum error.
    Maybe I've done something wrong with the reduction to two cogs, or with the SPRAM blocks.
    The performance was so poor that I don't have invested the time to find the error (about 24 MHz sysclock = 6 MIPs per cog). Two cogs are not enough and you have no free space to implement useful additions.

    Maybe with a single cog you can make it faster, up to 1 cycle per instruction with pipelining, but you can buy a 8 cog Propeller 1 for the same price as the UltraPlus FPGA. So it's not worth the effort.

    Remember the Ultra in UltraPlus stands for ultra low power, and therefore these FPGAs are quite slow. The ECP5 should give us much better performance and the 12k type is even cheaper.
    I also wait for the Flea-Ohm.

    Andy
    Okay, if it's that slow then maybe it isn't worth trying to get P1v working. I'll have to use it for something else. Is there an inexpensive ECP5 board?
  • jmgjmg Posts: 11,061
    edited January 13 Vote Up0Vote Down
    David Betz wrote: »
    Okay, if it's that slow then maybe it isn't worth trying to get P1v working. I'll have to use it for something else. Is there an inexpensive ECP5 board?

    The numbers are not stellar, but may still be workable ?

    Some P1V forks talked about 2 sysclks per opcode, wonder what MHz they would report ?


    The largest ultraplus has the 128kBytes of RAM, so whilst it gives fewer COGS, it does also give 4x the present P1 RAM
  • AribaAriba Posts: 2,173
    edited January 13 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Using such an FPGA to emulate a Propeller is really not the best idea. An UART implemented with a Propeller cog needs about 2k LUTs and 512x32 bits RAM, if you do the same with Verilog, you need maybe 100 LUTs and a few registers, and it runs much faster.

    The UltraPlus has DSP blocks with multipliers and adders, which can be used as the arithmetic part of an ALU. If you do your own processor design, optimized for the FPGA, the numbers looks quite different.
    I think you can fit 8 little 16bit cores easy into an UltraPlus. An there should be enough free space for things like Video, Flash SPI, or USB, implemented in Verilog as peripherals.

    You just need a lot of time, knowledge and motivation to do that.

    Andy
  • If you are at a loss as to what to do with an Ulra Plus take a look at this amazing presentation for inspiration:



    It shows off a tiny board with an Ultra Plus and a 640 by 480 camera.

    In the Ultra Plus is RISC V CPU core running at 200 MHz and hardware vector support for accelerating a 32 by 32 pixel neural network person detector.

    Processing is something like 70 times faster than using a plain CPU core and it only consumes 5mW.




  • cgraceycgracey Posts: 8,901
    edited January 13 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Well, at 2W, we could increase that by 400x!
  • Ariba wrote: »
    Using such an FPGA to emulate a Propeller is really not the best idea. An UART implemented with a Propeller cog needs about 2k LUTs and 512x32 bits RAM, if you do the same with Verilog, you need maybe 100 LUTs and a few registers, and it runs much faster.

    The UltraPlus has DSP blocks with multipliers and adders, which can be used as the arithmetic part of an ALU. If you do your own processor design, optimized for the FPGA, the numbers looks quite different.
    I think you can fit 8 little 16bit cores easy into an UltraPlus. An there should be enough free space for things like Video, Flash SPI, or USB, implemented in Verilog as peripherals.

    You just need a lot of time, knowledge and motivation to do that.

    Andy
    Yeah but if you create a custom processor then you need to also create an entire tool chain including compiler, assembler, linker, etc. Using a P1v lets you make use of the Parallax tool chain and, of course, RISC-V has an existing tool chain as well.

  • Heater. wrote: »
    If you are at a loss as to what to do with an Ulra Plus take a look at this amazing presentation for inspiration:



    It shows off a tiny board with an Ultra Plus and a 640 by 480 camera.

    In the Ultra Plus is RISC V CPU core running at 200 MHz and hardware vector support for accelerating a 32 by 32 pixel neural network person detector.

    Processing is something like 70 times faster than using a plain CPU core and it only consumes 5mW.



    Wow! That's impressive.

  • Pretty amazing.

    And no custom tool chain.

    Despite the vector additions they made it still uses the regular RISC-V GCC and all.

  • I love these small boards, I got 6 of them :).
  • Ale wrote: »
    I love these small boards, I got 6 of them :).
    For some reason I've been unable to download the Lattice tools so I haven't been able to try mine. I get an error saying I don't have access. I thought these tools were supposed to be free. I have an email in to their web support people to sort this out.
  • What is the device on that board?

    If it happened to be a iCE40-UP5K-SG48 then it is supported (experimentally) by the IceStorm open source Verilog to Bitstream tools:
    http://www.clifford.at/icestorm

    IceStorm is on my TODO list of things to play with this year. With that and the Icarus Verilog and Verilator simulators and the SpinalHDL language it looks like it's much easier to work with FPGA using IceStorm than any of the vendor tools I have seen so far.



  • Heater. wrote: »
    What is the device on that board?

    If it happened to be a iCE40-UP5K-SG48 then it is supported (experimentally) by the IceStorm open source Verilog to Bitstream tools:
    http://www.clifford.at/icestorm

    IceStorm is on my TODO list of things to play with this year. With that and the Icarus Verilog and Verilator simulators and the SpinalHDL language it looks like it's much easier to work with FPGA using IceStorm than any of the vendor tools I have seen so far.



    It's ICE40UP5K which sounds a lot like what you mentioned. I'll try the open source toolchain. Thanks!
  • TorTor Posts: 1,910
    edited January 13 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Ale wrote: »
    I love these small boards, I got 6 of them :).
    I couldn't figure out what shipping would be.. it said $7.99 free shipping but the 'order' link went directly to a 'pay 7.99' to this person' payme link, and I didn't want to go 'next' without more info. I doubt international shipping is free. Only China ebay is in that category.

    Anyway, to be more on topic for this thread.. the biggest competitor for the P2 is time It's hard to keep people's attention on the P2 for so long, with no P2 yet. But I've had something in mind for a P2 for a long time, so I'm still eager. Something that could be done with an FPGA, but I feel much much more at home with programming a Propeller.
  • Tor wrote: »
    Ale wrote: »
    I love these small boards, I got 6 of them :).
    I couldn't figure out what shipping would be.. it said $7.99 free shipping but the 'order' link went directly to a 'pay 7.99' to this person' payme link, and I didn't want to go 'next' without more info. I doubt international shipping is free. Only China ebay is in that category.

    Anyway, to be more on topic for this thread.. the biggest competitor for the P2 is time It's hard to keep people's attention on the P2 for so long, with no P2 yet. But I've had something in mind for a P2 for a long time, so I'm still eager. Something that could be done with an FPGA, but I feel much much more at home with programming a Propeller.
    Yeah, getting an actual P2 chip is kind of important and also a development toolchain. It seems Chip is working on Spin2 again so that's encouraging.
  • Well, a lot of you guys can take pretty much any device and make it sing and dance. I can't do this but the Prop concept opens up all kinds of opportunities for me and there are more people with my level of expertise than those who live, sleep and breathe microcontrollers. Time isn't gonna change this. Build it and they will come.
    PropBASIC ROCKS!
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