Well, it's christmas today, so I hope you're all enjoying a calm and peaceful evening with your family or beloved ones!
And those who aren't: Well, don't let that bring yourself down.
You're part of our community at least, you got friends here
Anyways, christmas is also a day you give and receive presents - and while I can't give you your Pyra yet, I've got some quick news for you!
And no, it doesn't have anything to do with case colors... but some very important color changes in simulation.
Soo... your personal christmas present is:
The redesigned CPU board passes all simulated tests!
Nikolaus found the time to finish his improvements on the CPU board early this week and Juliano already found the time to run the simulations - thanks a lot to both of them!
And thanks to Juliano who made a nice video, you can get another view behind the scenes and see the improvements here:
Just a quick reminder what was the issue and what happened lately:
The current prototypes we are using did fail horribly with the DDR connections... huge voltage losses, which are most probably the reason they only work with 2GB.
The first improvements made by Nikolaus end of November did fix all the DDR traces so they fully pass and don't have any voltage losses, but the power supply still had some areas left which didn't pass the test.
This doesn't necessarily mean that this is a problem - it just means that TI doesn't guarantee all OMAPs will run without issues if they're not being used within the specs.
And while we didn't have any power supply issues with the OMAP with our currently used CPU boards, it could still be they will cause issues under some circumstances (for example, when the 3D Chip is heavily used together with NEON code and a high clock rate, etc).
So we wanted to see if we can fix those as well.
A few weeks after the DDR fixes, Nikolaus tried to optimize these areas as well - with great results.
All of the tests pass - it's highly unlikely the CPU boards will have any issues now!
Yes, now the mainboards AND the CPU boards should be done.
Another puzzle fully finished, it seems!
Time to order prototype PCBs!
What have we learned from all of this?
Simulate, simulate, simulate.
Seriously, while this wasn't necessary at all with older SoCs like the OMAP3, it seems impossible now to get a properly working design with modern SoCs without simulating it.
This knowledge will greatly help with future CPU board upgrades (but let's finish the OMAP5 one first
For anyone interested, here is the comparison table with the most important power supply stuff of the OMAP5 of the version before and after the fixes: