Author Topic: Kickstarter "Crystal Board: FPGA - Arduino - ARM SoC in a single device"  (Read 9470 times)

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Offline xuio

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look what I just found: http://kck.st/1d83nda
 

Offline Jon86

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Re: Kickstarter "Crystal Board: FPGA - Arduino - ARM SoC in a single device"
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2013, 09:41:22 pm »
If they can get this all done for $150, that's pretty awesome. Depending on what the final project actually looks like, I'll probably buy one.  :-+
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Offline filip_cro

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Re: Kickstarter "Crystal Board: FPGA - Arduino - ARM SoC in a single device"
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2013, 09:46:51 pm »
So you are saying: Quad-core 1.8 GHZ ARM, Spartan 6 and (Arduino) ATmega328  :palm:

Is possible to use it with standard tools from Xilinx ?
 

Offline Jon86

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Re: Kickstarter "Crystal Board: FPGA - Arduino - ARM SoC in a single device"
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2013, 09:51:20 pm »
So you are saying: Quad-core 1.8 GHZ ARM, Spartan 6 and (Arduino) ATmega328  :palm:

Is possible to use it with standard tools from Xilinx ?

I wondered that, do you think they'll just give you some really weird programming tool that somehow utilizes all of them? This is a weird concept, but a very interesting one  :-+
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Offline filip_cro

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Re: Kickstarter "Crystal Board: FPGA - Arduino - ARM SoC in a single device"
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2013, 10:04:12 pm »
They have "premium software pack" for 30$. Arduino IDE is c**p and using something similar for FPGA will be hell. But why use ATmega anyway, when you have ARM ??

They write that they give us JTAG pins, but you will need debugger.
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Kickstarter "Crystal Board: FPGA - Arduino - ARM SoC in a single device"
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2013, 10:05:35 pm »
Just an SPI link between SoC and FPGA seems a pretty serious and unnecessary limitation.
Really can't see the point of the  ATMega on there.
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Offline Jon86

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Re: Kickstarter "Crystal Board: FPGA - Arduino - ARM SoC in a single device"
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2013, 10:09:18 pm »
I don't think I really understand this dev board to be honest. Is it just an integrated version of all the different types of dev board out there? Or is it just supposed to be for projects involving all types of device linked together?
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: Kickstarter "Crystal Board: FPGA - Arduino - ARM SoC in a single device"
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2013, 10:34:54 pm »
I was wondering why they needed $200K for this, then I saw they need software developers.
 

Offline wkb

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Re: Kickstarter "Crystal Board: FPGA - Arduino - ARM SoC in a single device"
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2013, 10:36:40 pm »
I was wondering why they needed $200K for this, then I saw they need software developers.

Heck.. they want to hire product-liability lawyers...

<shiver>
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Kickstarter "Crystal Board: FPGA - Arduino - ARM SoC in a single device"
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2013, 10:51:07 pm »
I'm really struggling to see why you'd want this combination of things on one board - it's rarely going to be a good fit compared to using more dedicated boards for the bits you need. There are plenty of different, cheap  boards for all the 3 major functions, so why would you not just choose the best fit from these?
 
 
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Offline Jon86

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Re: Kickstarter "Crystal Board: FPGA - Arduino - ARM SoC in a single device"
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2013, 11:27:15 pm »
I'm really struggling to see why you'd want this combination of things on one board - it's rarely going to be a good fit compared to using more dedicated boards for the bits you need. There are plenty of different, cheap  boards for all the 3 major functions, so why would you not just choose the best fit from these?

The FPGA bit is drawing me in, I've been struggling to find an affordable, good dev board for FGPAs.
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Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Kickstarter "Crystal Board: FPGA - Arduino - ARM SoC in a single device"
« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2013, 11:52:36 pm »
I'm really struggling to see why you'd want this combination of things on one board - it's rarely going to be a good fit compared to using more dedicated boards for the bits you need. There are plenty of different, cheap  boards for all the 3 major functions, so why would you not just choose the best fit from these?

The FPGA bit is drawing me in, I've been struggling to find an affordable, good dev board for FGPAs.
You can't have been looking very hard - there are hundreds of FPGA boards out there  covering pretty much all price ranges and feature sets
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Offline Jon86

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Re: Kickstarter "Crystal Board: FPGA - Arduino - ARM SoC in a single device"
« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2013, 11:58:08 pm »
I'm really struggling to see why you'd want this combination of things on one board - it's rarely going to be a good fit compared to using more dedicated boards for the bits you need. There are plenty of different, cheap  boards for all the 3 major functions, so why would you not just choose the best fit from these?

The FPGA bit is drawing me in, I've been struggling to find an affordable, good dev board for FGPAs.
You can't have been looking very hard - there are hundreds of FPGA boards out there  covering pretty much all price ranges and feature sets
I have, honest  :-\
Is there anything you could recommend for a beginner to FGPAs? In maybe the sub £100 range?
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Offline trackman44

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Re: Kickstarter "Crystal Board: FPGA - Arduino - ARM SoC in a single device"
« Reply #13 on: December 25, 2013, 12:19:43 am »
Not too long ago people had PDAs and regular old cell/mobile phones, then one day Steve Jobs combined the two and gave us the iPhone. I think this is a great idea. As long as all the parts communicate well together (FPGA with ARM processor and/or Arduino) it should cover all the basics and bases.

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Offline Spikee

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Re: Kickstarter "Crystal Board: FPGA - Arduino - ARM SoC in a single device"
« Reply #14 on: December 25, 2013, 12:41:22 am »
Mojo V3 is a nice fpga board for ~70 euro
« Last Edit: December 25, 2013, 11:26:17 pm by Spikee »
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Offline chickenHeadKnob

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Re: Kickstarter "Crystal Board: FPGA - Arduino - ARM SoC in a single device"
« Reply #15 on: December 25, 2013, 01:17:32 am »
I'm really struggling to see why you'd want this combination of things on one board - it's rarely going to be a good fit compared to using more dedicated boards for the bits you need. There are plenty of different, cheap  boards for all the 3 major functions, so why would you not just choose the best fit from these?

Some students at the university in Chemnitz: "smoked sausage  with mustard tastes good!" other students nod in agreement, "ya real good". "pickles taste good", "ya real good". "Chocolate cake tastes good", "ya real good". "So lets bake a cake with all that stuff, - YUM!".

Notice how all the parts are connected, it is just a low bandwidth assemblage of chips. Oh and that ARM is a rockchip - I thought those weren't well documented. Not for standard Linux distribution purposes anyway, so you are stuck with Andriod configured by chinese engineers. Good luck with that as sponge-bob square pants would say.

What is missing these days is an old fashioned standard bus  interconnect system/card  cage, where the user can add more or less independent single purpose cards. Rather than these all in one wonder cards or some limited mezzanine-shield expansion elements that cover up the main board.  Those rhombus technology eoma peeps were sort of going in the right direction but they are too slow and clueless in actual execution of the concept.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2013, 05:56:45 am by chickenHeadKnob »
 

Offline MacAttak

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Re: Kickstarter "Crystal Board: FPGA - Arduino - ARM SoC in a single device"
« Reply #16 on: December 25, 2013, 01:34:57 am »
It seems like the only purpose is to not have three different dev boards that are all better individually than the sum total on a single board.

That use case doesn't seem to be very convincing.
 

Offline mrflibble

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Re: Kickstarter "Crystal Board: FPGA - Arduino - ARM SoC in a single device"
« Reply #17 on: December 25, 2013, 03:11:34 am »
I have, honest  :-\
Is there anything you could recommend for a beginner to FGPAs? In maybe the sub £100 range?
My current low cost favorite, the icestick: http://www.digikey.com/catalog/en/partgroup/icestick-evaluation-board/40913
Only $25 at both digikey and mouser.

For a more comprehensive list, see: http://tristesse.org/FPGA/CheapFPGADevelopmentBoards

 

Offline Jon86

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Re: Kickstarter "Crystal Board: FPGA - Arduino - ARM SoC in a single device"
« Reply #18 on: December 25, 2013, 07:54:41 am »
I have, honest  :-\
Is there anything you could recommend for a beginner to FGPAs? In maybe the sub £100 range?
My current low cost favorite, the icestick: http://www.digikey.com/catalog/en/partgroup/icestick-evaluation-board/40913
Only $25 at both digikey and mouser.

For a more comprehensive list, see: http://tristesse.org/FPGA/CheapFPGADevelopmentBoards

Great, thanks  :-+
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Offline Dave

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Re: Kickstarter "Crystal Board: FPGA - Arduino - ARM SoC in a single device"
« Reply #19 on: December 25, 2013, 01:05:26 pm »
Really can't see the point of the  ATMega on there.
It's to lure in the 'tArduino crowd. They are happy to spend lots of money on stuff they don't really know how to use.
<fellbuendel> it's arduino, you're not supposed to know anything about what you're doing
<fellbuendel> if you knew, you wouldn't be using it
 

Offline marshallh

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Re: Kickstarter "Crystal Board: FPGA - Arduino - ARM SoC in a single device"
« Reply #20 on: December 26, 2013, 02:58:08 am »
It's a generic chinese ARM SoC board with a tiny QFP minimum size spartan-6 hanging off it. (6 series = you must use ISE webpack)
If there isn't a high bandwidth link between the two (as there should be) the devs are truly hopeless.

Just get a beaglebone black and stick one of various fpga boards (capes?) on it and you'll come out ahead both in price and actual usefulness.
If you want a beginner FPGA board you couldn't do much worse. (did they even bother putting a ftdi xilinx platform cable on it? doubt it, which means you'll need to spend $50 on such a cable)

Really can't see the point of the  ATMega on there.
It's to lure in the 'tArduino crowd. They are happy to spend lots of money on stuff they don't really know how to use.
yes that's all it is.
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Offline mrflibble

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Re: Kickstarter "Crystal Board: FPGA - Arduino - ARM SoC in a single device"
« Reply #21 on: December 26, 2013, 03:55:15 am »
It's a generic chinese ARM SoC board with a tiny QFP minimum size spartan-6 hanging off it. (6 series = you must use ISE webpack)
If there isn't a high bandwidth link between the two (as there should be) the devs are truly hopeless.
Judging by the block diagram there's only an SPI link. Primarily for SPI config, and then as an afterthought maybe possibly some communication after the configuration phase is complete. Because who needs bandwidth anyways? Oh wait, I do. And lots of other people. Well, guess we won't be backing this one then. :P

Quote
Just get a beaglebone black and stick one of various fpga boards (capes?) on it and you'll come out ahead both in price and actual usefulness.
No kidding. Cheaper, higher bandwidth interconnect, and oh yeah you can buy it now.

Quote
If you want a beginner FPGA board you couldn't do much worse. (did they even bother putting a ftdi xilinx platform cable on it? doubt it, which means you'll need to spend $50 on such a cable)
Of course not. Surely spi config is sufficient during development? Chipscope or some actual debugging? Pfffrt.

Quote
It's to lure in the 'tArduino crowd. They are happy to spend lots of money on stuff they don't really know how to use.
yes that's all it is.
*grin* That is exactly how I read that <plonk_in_avr> as well. At least there the lack of "high" speed integration doesn't matter so much.. But they couldn't find an Arm SoC with DMA capable GPIO so you can at least connect that to a fifo in the fpga? This spi link is just silly.
 

Offline hans

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Re: Kickstarter "Crystal Board: FPGA - Arduino - ARM SoC in a single device"
« Reply #22 on: December 26, 2013, 10:12:32 am »
This board could have been so much better if:

- The FPGA was a serious beast, with onboard S(D)RAM
- The FPGA had a serious interconnection between MCU and SoC

- The SoC actually had some useful real-world interfaces. USB hub makes PCs, I want to see half a dozen serial ports, RS485 ports or even CAN bus.
They could easily target industrial applications if they have just added 2 or 4 RS232 ports and LVDS video.

- The MCU to be actually useful. ATMEGA328P is a joke compared to the rest.
Plop a STM32F407 or LPC1700/1800(Mbed?) on there. What they target is a ADC to UART chip, and do everything else on the SoC.  |O

Oh and, what's up with the sound of the promo video? I can't hear it, even with sound at 100% on this laptop machine :=\
 

Online PA0PBZ

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Re: Kickstarter "Crystal Board: FPGA - Arduino - ARM SoC in a single device"
« Reply #23 on: December 26, 2013, 10:46:55 am »
"Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator about 5 hours ago."

Oh well...
Keyboard error: Press F1 to continue.
 

Offline mrflibble

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Re: Kickstarter "Crystal Board: FPGA - Arduino - ARM SoC in a single device"
« Reply #24 on: December 26, 2013, 11:13:56 am »
"Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator about 5 hours ago."

Oh well...
Maybe they came to their senses. :P
 

Offline Rasz

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Re: Kickstarter "Crystal Board: FPGA - Arduino - ARM SoC in a single device"
« Reply #25 on: December 26, 2013, 11:23:43 am »
>plus $30 for source code

dev board with no code?
not to mention there is no documentation for Rockchip at all

Edit:

Creator Red Crystal >I did also try external HDD via USB 2.0. The transfer rate was around 40 - 50MB/s

thats the fastest USB 2.0 HDD in the world, wonder where else project creator was creative with numbers
« Last Edit: December 26, 2013, 11:30:36 am by Rasz »
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Offline BBQ

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Re: Kickstarter "Crystal Board: FPGA - Arduino - ARM SoC in a single device"
« Reply #26 on: December 26, 2013, 10:58:22 pm »
Well what would be a sensible interface between the ARM chip and the FPGA?

RK3188 connectivity:

USB 2.0
HSIC
I2S
GPS
UART
SPI
MAC (RMII)
SDIO 3.0
I2C
HSADC TS I/F (10 bit)
GPIO (128x)

Some memory interfaces
SRAM, DDR



 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Kickstarter "Crystal Board: FPGA - Arduino - ARM SoC in a single device"
« Reply #27 on: December 26, 2013, 11:31:40 pm »
Well what would be a sensible interface between the ARM chip and the FPGA?

RK3188 connectivity:

USB 2.0
HSIC
I2S
GPS
UART
SPI
MAC (RMII)
SDIO 3.0
I2C
HSADC TS I/F (10 bit)
GPIO (128x)

Some memory interfaces
SRAM, DDR
SRAM should give decent bandwidth & flexibility if it was a seperate interface to the main DRAM of the processor. Even better if you can DMA to/from it.
GPIO, if it was writeable in reasonable sized widths (16 bit) at decent speed, ideally with DMA.
SDIO would be reasonable if not, as you should be able to get a reasonable bandwidth without complex protocol in the FPGA.
 
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Offline BBQ

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Re: Kickstarter "Crystal Board: FPGA - Arduino - ARM SoC in a single device"
« Reply #28 on: December 27, 2013, 12:20:31 am »
Well what would be a sensible interface between the ARM chip and the FPGA?

RK3188 connectivity:

USB 2.0
HSIC
I2S
GPS
UART
SPI
MAC (RMII)
SDIO 3.0
I2C
HSADC TS I/F (10 bit)
GPIO (128x)

Some memory interfaces
SRAM, DDR
SRAM should give decent bandwidth & flexibility if it was a seperate interface to the main DRAM of the processor. Even better if you can DMA to/from it.
GPIO, if it was writeable in reasonable sized widths (16 bit) at decent speed, ideally with DMA.
SDIO would be reasonable if not, as you should be able to get a reasonable bandwidth without complex protocol in the FPGA.

There is a DMA controller in it using AXI interface, which is a part of the AMBA interconnect.
How much hassle that is to implement is another question, i guess it is made just for stuff like this.

Anyway, no one got hurt and we all learned something hopefully.

https://github.com/OLIMEX/OLINUXINO/blob/master/HARDWARE/RK3188-PDFs/Rockchip%20RK3188%20brief%20v1.0.pdf
 

Offline joelby

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Re: Kickstarter "Crystal Board: FPGA - Arduino - ARM SoC in a single device"
« Reply #29 on: December 27, 2013, 10:03:43 am »
I have, honest  :-\
Is there anything you could recommend for a beginner to FGPAs? In maybe the sub £100 range?

Have a look at my list of cheap FPGA development boards for a great big list and some general recommendations. I usually advise getting a board that has some interesting stuff on it like DDR memory, 100/1000 Mbit Ethernet and HDMI - the things you generally can't use with a cheap microcontroller and will keep you busy for a while.

For an absolute beginner I might recommend the Digilent Nexys 2, only because there's a decent beginner book that has examples for it - FPGA Prototyping by Verilog/VHDL Examples (though the book is not cheap!). Or maybe a Digilent Basys 2 or Papilio One and follow the Hamsterworks FPGA Course.

Once you've mastered the basics and the software, you'll be able to use any dev board given the schematics and some data sheets.
 

Online Marco

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Re: Kickstarter "Crystal Board: FPGA - Arduino - ARM SoC in a single device"
« Reply #30 on: December 31, 2013, 05:53:30 pm »
I'm keeping an eye on Parallela, if those boards work out well it's a pretty awesome FPGA development board for the price.
 

Offline Stonent

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Re: Kickstarter "Crystal Board: FPGA - Arduino - ARM SoC in a single device"
« Reply #31 on: January 01, 2014, 01:34:13 am »
I wonder if there was a trademark issue? Red Crystal is a trademark owned by the International Red Cross, used a lot I think in the hot areas of Israel/Palestine to remove any religious overtones of their service.
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