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Author Topic: Cairnsmore1 - Quad XC6SLX150 Board  (Read 251349 times)
Glasswalker
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May 08, 2012, 10:10:06 PM
 #161

Interesting. The new power connector looks like it's meant for the board to dock into a backplane. And the Up/Down data connector has me intrigued. Looking forward to further info on these Smiley

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May 09, 2012, 06:09:38 AM
 #162

It's a simple concept but we though it was worth adding now. It's a possibility that we could do a backplane that uses the down connector only but more mundanely we designed it for short ribbon cables so that we could have a stack that can be interrogated in a plug and play fashion. It also allows us to have an Ethernet option at a later date to run a stack of boards or even just save on the number of USB cables. It also allows us to switch on an entire stack in a phased manner to avoid large surges at power up.

This should be a good way for budget limited customers to buy the cheaper single and dual units in a modular fashion and we can say make 4 singles look like a full quad for software compatibility purposes. In this example you get a slightly bigger system but you can you use the same software setup.

The angling of the up and down connectors is deliberate for ribbon cable layout and that will become obvious why we did that when we show that in action.

The ribbon cable approach may be more flexible than a backplane as the number of boards in a stack isn't hard fixed. There will be a limit and that will depend on a number of things but more on that once we get playing with this interface properly.

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May 09, 2012, 07:09:32 AM
 #163

Looking forward to get the cards and mount my mini-farm.
With all the improvements, this company looks very promising.
Eagerly waiting for a new 6x-8x card Wink

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Glasswalker
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May 09, 2012, 11:56:33 AM
 #164

I suspected it was something like that, but would you use a ribbon for the downward power connector as well? Even something like a small backplane with say 4x boards spaced out enough for push/pull airflow to cool it. Would be extremely helpful in building rackmount farms (mechanically)

As for the ribbon chain, I assumed it was something like that Wink

Our of curiosity what are you passing down that ribbon? Is it just a USB passthrough? Or does the bitstream need to be designed to work with the chained communications? (or is that something that the shipping bitstream on the Control chip will handle?). I love the idea of ribbon chaining 8 of these in a row, and presenting only a single USB to the host computer (for now) with the option of adding a small daughter board that has a uC and an Ethernet port for a few bucks down the road...

Hell if the ribbon uses a standard serial UART I could start tinkering with such a design anyway lol. (depending on how long you guys are going to be to market with that option).

Any further info on these new features would be greatly appreciated.

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yohan
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May 09, 2012, 01:01:30 PM
 #165

Photo of issue1 PCB (bare) now on http://www.enterpoint.co.uk/cairnsmore/cairnsmore1.html. We have also added some new holes to the issue 1.1.

Each of the UP/DOWN connectors has 9 signals to use. 4 go to the controller and we have notional allocated them as POWER ON, TX, RX and CLK but can be reused in a variety of ways. Our intention for these initially is to support a serial messaging set fairly much in the normal fashion.

The remaining 5 signals go to one of the array FPGAs and those are put in to allow some greater bandwidth if that becomes necessary.

At the moment we are still developing our ideas on this board but the Issue 1.1 design will freeze on Friday and head into manufacture then.

Yohan
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May 09, 2012, 01:24:38 PM
 #166

At the moment we are still developing our ideas on this board but the Issue 1.1 design will freeze on Friday and head into manufacture then.

Yohan

Yohan,

are there remaining issues you'd like to share before freezing them next friday?

spiccioli.

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May 09, 2012, 01:28:54 PM
 #167

Did you add a real picture? I only see the CAD
Scroll down. It looks interesting.

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May 09, 2012, 04:50:53 PM
 #168

At the moment we don't have any design issues and it's likely we will even make a handful of the Issue1's available for early access in a few days time to more advanced customers that can deal with it in the very raw state it is today. Over the next 1-2 weeks there will be a rapid development phase of the product as we get builds and software sorted out and this very raw state will migrate to something most people can handle.

The Issue 1.1 assembly start is currently targetted for about 21st of May and all being well with the Issue 1.1 some people will have their pre-order boards arrive shortly afterwards. We will probably only build 50 boards in the first week as a bedding in process for our line but that will step up in weeks following. Possibly not all of those made in the first week will ship in that week as we are tight on getting our first major heatsink delivery in. We already have some stock of heatsinks but not enough in yet for the first week's schedule. We are working on that heatsink delivery to pull it in to when we want it or alternatively looking to source an alternative heatsink for some shipments. As we go into June everything should step up a little as the long lead items flow in much larger numbers and many of our manufacturing constraints are no longer there.

I will give more of an design update once we freeze the Issue 1.1. After then we should also start to release the juicy bits of info everyone is looking for.

Yohan
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May 09, 2012, 10:49:08 PM
 #169

Subbed, ordered, excited, and hoping that bitcoins will be accepted as payment.   Grin

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May 10, 2012, 04:33:04 AM
 #170

Sadly no direct bitcoin payments. I suggested to them that they sign-up for a bit-pay account.

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May 10, 2012, 12:07:37 PM
 #171

Sadly no direct bitcoin payments. I suggested to them that they sign-up for a bit-pay account.

seconded.

 Bit-Pay will directly convert the BTC to the USD/EUR or whatever at the cash price you are asking and depsoit it for you..  Much cheaper than your CC provider does even.


cheers

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It is being worked on by smart people. -DamienBlack
Gomeler
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May 10, 2012, 05:13:24 PM
 #172

Nice to see some serious progress on this. Thanks for all the information. Look forward to seeing the first run of boards running. I guess we'll see the first assembled boards powered up and running after May 21s?

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May 10, 2012, 05:56:02 PM
 #173

Are you guys at Enterpoint sure that you can deliver boards in mid June?

I'm probably just used to BFL lead time so that's why four weeks sounds impossible.
yohan
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May 10, 2012, 09:25:16 PM
 #174

We are still pretty much on schedule at the moment. Our biggest restriction is still the arrival of our main batch of heatsinks which arrive 14th June currently from China. We are trying to get enough of that batch air freighted for when we want them. We do have a small supply already procured and in our stores that will let some boards ship in May. We are also looking at some alternatives that we can get quickly if air freighting doesn't work. The lack of heatsinks won't affect our ability to assemble boards or do the basic testing of the finished boards and we can stockpile a large pile of boards ready to fit the heatsinks as soon as they arrive. A large pile can then ship just after the 14th.

Other than the heatsinks we are in a good component supply situation for the May/June pre-orders and the few things we might be short of in July most look like they will arrive in plenty of time. It does always take a little while to get major builds like this going but it is something that we specilise in within our general board building business.

Yohan
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May 11, 2012, 10:12:22 AM
 #175

Photos of the fully populated Issue1 now on http://www.enterpoint.co.uk/cairnsmore/cairnsmore1.html.
ice_chill
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May 11, 2012, 11:21:01 AM
 #176

The speed and consistency with which these guys do it is amazing.
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May 11, 2012, 11:53:18 AM
 #177

The speed and consistency with which these guys do it is amazing.
Yeah, they even can't do a decent quality photo, even shutter speed is fast Wink

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May 11, 2012, 12:15:39 PM
 #178

Photos of the fully populated Issue1 now on http://www.enterpoint.co.uk/cairnsmore/cairnsmore1.html.

Daaaaammmnn. Does someone have a stopwatch running for a start to first board? That seemed incredibly fast.

The speed and consistency with which these guys do it is amazing.
Yeah, they even can't do a decent quality photo, even shutter speed is fast Wink

Kind of wish there was a higher resolution/more clear photo so I could print it out and pretend to have a stack sitting at my desk  Cheesy

Glasswalker
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May 11, 2012, 12:22:12 PM
 #179

Testing today then? ;-)

Do you have any pictures of the heat sinks you intend to use?

I would be interested in this too, as well as dimensions (total thickness of the board with heatsinks) which will be useful for designing high-density rackmount clusters.

Will the heatsink fins on the "stock" heatsinks be arranged to be optimal for push/pull cooling with the airflow flowing along the long edge of the board? (so flowing from the end with the power connectors toward the opposite end for example).

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sadpandatech
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May 11, 2012, 12:40:28 PM
 #180

The mini-usb connector looks ot be off by a few microns. I may have to cancel my preorders..  Tongue



All kidding aside, it looks awesome and is nice to see more competition in the market.



cheers

If you're not excited by the idea of being an early adopter 'now', then you should come back in three or four years and either tell us "Told you it'd never work!" or join what should, by then, be a much more stable and easier-to-use system. - GA
It is being worked on by smart people. -DamienBlack
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