Author Topic: The Neutrino  (Read 15607 times)

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Offline sswift

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The Neutrino
« on: June 04, 2015, 05:04:46 am »
Hey guys,

This is a microcontroller I designed to be compatible with the Arduino Zero.  I recently ran a Kickstarter campaign for it and having made a few revisions to the design I'll be ordering the second prototype tomorrow. 



https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/rabidprototypes/neutrino-the-tiny-32-bit-arduino-zero-compatible/description


It's open source, and now that I've finalized the design I've released the schematics and board files:







http://rabidprototypes.com/Neutrino/Neutrino-150-Eagle.zip

You can purchase them here:
http://rabidprototypes.com/product/neutrino/

Right now it's looking like I'll have 500 manufactured for the first batch, but if I can sell another 200 in the next month I'll be able to get 1000 made, which will help ensure I can keep the price low.

Offline Aodhan145

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Re: The Neutrino
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2015, 09:35:42 pm »
Nice  :-+ I really wanted a 32bit arduino but I didn't want to pay the price of the Zero. Nice form factor as well. I must buy one.
 

Offline Aodhan145

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Re: The Neutrino
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2015, 04:17:50 pm »
Small error in your schematic. The value of the crystal in the schematic is wrong.
 

Offline LukeW

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Re: The Neutrino
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2015, 01:19:03 am »
Neutrino is a great name for a quasi-Arduino product, I'm surprised nobody has used it already.

It looks good :)

How would you say your board competes with, or differentiates from, the Teensy3?
On first glance it looks quite similar. It's probably worthwhile to think about that question - you'll probably be asked sooner or later if you're looking at crowdfunding.
 

Offline donotdespisethesnake

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Re: The Neutrino
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2015, 07:27:22 pm »
Neutrino is a great name for a quasi-Arduino product, I'm surprised nobody has used it already.

It looks good :)

How would you say your board competes with, or differentiates from, the Teensy3?
On first glance it looks quite similar. It's probably worthwhile to think about that question - you'll probably be asked sooner or later if you're looking at crowdfunding.

Does anyone read before posting nowadays? The crowdfunding has already been done. No one asked about Teensy3, except the guy who designed the Teensy3.

There are hundreds of boards that look superficially similar, I've no idea why you think the Teensy3 is some sort of benchmark. The answer is simple though, the Teensy 3 has no relevance to Neutrino or Arduino.
Bob
"All you said is just a bunch of opinions."
 

Offline klr5205

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Re: The Neutrino
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2015, 08:55:20 pm »
How could this board NOT be compared to the Teensy? It certainly is relevant... The boards are so similar in form, function, and price that it begs the question.

Also, while I realize that Teensy is not an official Arduino board, I think it's a little unfair to say that is has no relevance to Arduino. The Teensy 3.0 and Teensyduino software brought an affordable 32 bit board to Arduino programmers back in 2012, and look at the list of contributions to the Arduino community that were a direct result of development efforts for that board: [url=https://www.pjrc.com/teensy/arduino_contrib.html]https://www.pjrc.com/teensy/arduino_contrib.html [/url]
 

Offline zapta

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Re: The Neutrino
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2015, 01:33:52 am »
How would you say your board competes with, or differentiates from, the Teensy3?

This board is opened sourced. The Teensy3 is not. With this one you can later do your own custom boards without paying licensing. Better investment IMO.

OP, this is a very nice board with plenty of ROM and RAM.  What bootloader do you use to make it compatible with the Arduino IDE?
Drain the swamp.
 

Offline sswift

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Re: The Neutrino
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2015, 05:51:13 pm »
Quote
How would you say your board competes with, or differentiates from, the Teensy3?

As others have mentioned, one benefit of the Neutrino over the Teensy is that you never have to pay royalties. 

It's ironic, but if the Teensy had been truly open hardware I'd never have bothered designing the Neutrino in the first place.  A year and a half ago I was looking at upgrading some of my existing designs and the Teensy 3.1 was the first board I looked at.  I immediately fell in love with it, but the $8 price tag for the mini54tan chip, which couldn't be more aptly named, was too steep, and I didn't want to give up all the Arduino libraries I'd come to rely upon.

And speaking of libraries, another benefit is all the libraries that will be written for the Zero will be compatible with the Neutrino; even if they do direct port manipulation for increased speed.

Finally, the Neutrino features an OR controller which allows you to seamlessly switch from USB to battery power, while the Teensy requires you to cut a jumper to separate the USB supply from VIN. 

When using the Teensy I found it annoying to have to cut that jumper on every board that I would be powering from a battery to prevent the battery from being damaged, and once I'd cut that jumper I found it annoying that to conserve battery life I had to keep flipping the power switch on and off as I debugged my program.  With the Neutrino, when you're connected to USB the board is powered from the USB.  When you disconnect the USB, the battery takes over again. 


Quote
OP, this is a very nice board with plenty of ROM and RAM.  What bootloader do you use to make it compatible with the Arduino IDE?

The board uses the Arduino.cc Zero bootloader and appears as a Zero in the IDE.

Offline sswift

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Re: The Neutrino
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2015, 05:53:58 pm »
Small error in your schematic. The value of the crystal in the schematic is wrong.

Thanks, I've corrected that!

Offline zapta

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Re: The Neutrino
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2015, 06:26:13 pm »
The board uses the Arduino.cc Zero bootloader and appears as a Zero in the IDE.

That's very good. Thanks. Your board has a lot of potential. Hopefully you will find mays to mass market it.

BTW, the zero has a second big IC in addition to the target MCU and your board doesn't. What is the purpose of that IC?
Drain the swamp.
 

Offline sswift

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Re: The Neutrino
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2015, 07:58:29 pm »
BTW, the zero has a second big IC in addition to the target MCU and your board doesn't. What is the purpose of that IC?

That chip is for debugging but it's not currently supported by the Arduino IDE.  But if you need debug capability and you don't mind coding in Atmel Studio, you can connect an Atmel ICE to the DBG port on the Neutrino and do it that way.

Offline zapta

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Re: The Neutrino
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2015, 08:03:29 pm »
BTW, the zero has a second big IC in addition to the target MCU and your board doesn't. What is the purpose of that IC?

That chip is for debugging but it's not currently supported by the Arduino IDE.  But if you need debug capability and you don't mind coding in Atmel Studio, you can connect an Atmel ICE to the DBG port on the Neutrino and do it that way.

Thanks for explaining it. External debugger makes more sense for cost reduction.
Drain the swamp.
 

Offline dadler

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Re: The Neutrino
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2015, 04:57:28 am »
Pre-ordered a couple of boards.

I currently use teensy 3.1's for most of my designs, but would love to test out an alternative.
 

Offline zapta

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Re: The Neutrino
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2015, 06:24:56 am »
It's ironic, but if the Teensy had been truly open hardware I'd never have bothered designing the Neutrino in the first place.  A year and a half ago I was looking at upgrading some of my existing designs and the Teensy 3.1 was the first board I looked at.  I immediately fell in love with it, but the $8 price tag for the mini54tan chip, which couldn't be more aptly named, was too steep, and I didn't want to give up all the Arduino libraries I'd come to rely upon.

Same here, so I ended up designing the ARM PRO MINI. Many people don't know that the teensy is not open sourced and requires a licensing chip.

OSHPark for example, which has OSH in its name, tries to upsale every PCB order with a teensy because the teensy proprietor is a local buddy of them. Selling your board would be more appropriate for them.
Drain the swamp.
 

Offline dadler

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Re: The Neutrino
« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2015, 08:22:38 pm »
Haha zapta-I found your posts on the PJRC forums from 2014.

https://forum.pjrc.com/threads/25875-Teensy-3-1-based-custom-design

I'll admit I did not realize that the mini54 chip was required to use their tool chain. I was just about to naively purchase quite a few MK20s from mouser, assuming I could just throw them on a board like a typical AVR and program them. Oops.

For now, I guess I'll have to settle for teensy 3.1s socketed on my custom PCBs. I'm already a bit invested in the teensys and rely on some of their peripherals.

I'm hoping this Neutrino can be a suitable replacement, so I can avoid socketing full teensys on my boards. I refuse to pay $8 for a pre-programmed mini54 chip. I (now) understand the copy-protection/licensing model, but I'm not too keen on making Paul (as great as he is) part of my final workflow.
 

Offline westfw

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Re: The Neutrino
« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2015, 03:00:16 am »
Quote
I did not realize that the mini54 chip was required to use their tool chain.
Where does anything say that?  I thought the mini54 was for bootloading only (fully transparent bootloading!  sorta neat...) (I guess the boot util IS part of the toolchain...)  (note that the arduino standard toolchain now supports arbitrary loader tools.)

It could be that the Freescale chip makes a conventional bootloader more difficult, which would be a reason to avoid freescale vs Atmel.  OTOH, there's also M4 vs M0...  Tradeoffs, tradeoffs...  (It's hard to believe that freescale would introduce a chip that can't bootload at all, given their history, AND the competitive landscape...)


 

Offline SaabFAN

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Re: The Neutrino
« Reply #16 on: August 29, 2015, 12:17:41 am »
Anything new here? It is still listed as "Pre-Order" on Rabid Prototypes.

Offline sswift

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Re: The Neutrino
« Reply #17 on: August 29, 2015, 02:15:02 am »
The boards are presently being manufactured by MacroFab. They've already received the PCBs and parts, and they should be done around the 15th. They'll be programming, testing, and shipping them.

You can see updates here:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/rabidprototypes/neutrino-the-tiny-32-bit-arduino-zero-compatible

Offline Royce

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Re: The Neutrino
« Reply #18 on: October 07, 2015, 06:40:39 pm »
Btw, I got mine (KS) and it is nice. It was an inexpensive way to see if I liked the underlying chip and the way the Arduino libraries map to it. I feel like Arduino "gilded the lily" on the official board. The only very minor fuss I have about the Neutrino board is that the sercom on pins 37,38 (the "Serial" instance in the Arduino libs) are not broken out anywhere. Since there is no debug chip consuming those pins that port is available.

I really like that the libraries have configurable Sercom classes that get fed into the Arduino Uart classes. The Arduino libraries pre-create/pre-configure some of them for you, but since it is all open source you can step behind the curtain if you need or even just pluck out choice classes for your own use.

The ATSAMD21 seems to be a nice family as well with TQFP-32, 48, & 64 available in a range of flash memory sizes.

I am virtually certain I'm going to move my 328 based project over to this chip. Arduino libraries, reasonable cost, modern ARM, and hand solderable: works out to a win for me.
 

Offline TheKitty

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Re: The Neutrino
« Reply #19 on: February 15, 2016, 12:39:27 pm »
I would say that they added the debug chip to the Zero for two reasons: 1) to make it more non-EE friendly, but more importantly b) for Atmel subsidizing things to get more debug chips into the  chain.
 

Offline vitormhenrique

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Re: The Neutrino
« Reply #20 on: March 02, 2016, 06:40:11 pm »
any idea when they  will be back in stock? I want to give this board a try... adafruit also have few boards based on arduino zero, some with great functionalities (BLE, WIFI)..

I primally use teensy's on my led projects because it is super easy to overclock it....
 

Offline sswift

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Re: The Neutrino
« Reply #21 on: March 04, 2016, 12:46:15 am »
I have one left in stock:
http://rabidprototypes.com/product/neutrino/

It's probably going to be 2-3 months before I manufacture more.  I'm in the middle of updating the design, and I'll be launching another Kickstarter for them once the new revision is ready.  The new revision will add RX and TX pins and I'll be making a few other changes to reduce the manufacturing cost.  The pinout will remain the same of course.  If you need a bunch of them immediately I can have them manufactured in 3-4 weeks but the price may be significantly higher depending on how many you need.  I needed to have 500 manufactured to get them down to the $20 price point.

I should inform you though that at some point in the next few days I'll be launching a new Kickstarter for a new board called the Tau.

The Tau is basically a Neutrino which has half the RAM and flash, is half the size, is missing a few of the I/O pins, and lacks the power multiplexing circuit that's required for USB host applications.

It's also half the price!



So for the same price as an Arduino Pro Mini you get a 32-bit 48MHz ARM Cortex M0+ w/ 16K of RAM and 128K of flash and which features 12 digital I/O pins (10 of which have hardware PWM), two dedicated I2C pins (with external pullups), three analog I/O pins (one of which featues a 10-bit DAC), and two LEDs for power and status.

I'll post here once the campaign goes live.

Offline sswift

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Re: The Neutrino
« Reply #22 on: March 07, 2016, 06:59:29 pm »

Offline zapta

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Drain the swamp.
 

Offline TonyD

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Re: The Neutrino
« Reply #24 on: March 26, 2016, 12:45:35 am »
what he said :-)

Congratulations on reaching your KS goal.
 


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