Wanted Development Kit!

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DanB
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Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 1:13 am

Wanted Development Kit!

Postby DanB » Tue May 31, 2011 11:02 pm

Over the past few months when browsing the forums the main alternative chip mentioned, besides the XMOS obviously (!), is the Parallax Propeller. I've spent some time looking at the differences between the two and can really see the benefits in XMOS. On a similar note I appreciate XMOS having a much smaller, but refined, product range!

Having said this, I did find a few Parallax Propeller development kits which would be wonderful if made available in an XMOS variety. Both are appreciated for similar reasons, these are:

Propeller Professional Development Board
Propeller Education Kit - 40 pin DIP Version and PropStick USB Version

I think with the development of the XMOS STAMP something like one of these boards can be easily made. I think the idea of them (particularly the Professional kit) is that it allows somebody to move from a development kit that is purely software driven to something enabling a little more hardware awareness; almost a half-way-house towards getting a prototype PCB made. A breadboard with a few different IOs/sensors/etc would be a great way to let people build up on the XMOS and add hardware. I want to add an accelerometer? No worries having to mess with the IDC headers, just throw it on the breadboard, maybe use some of the buttons and LEDs on the board for basic IO, easy! Requires very little beyond the development 'kit' but allows people to try something different. Make sure you can successfully interface with the device before laying a board, etc.

I'm not sure I am selling the idea but I really believe something similar to this would be great. I'd love a way to be able to take the XMOS chip out of the standard development kits but still use it in an environment where I am not required to, say, prototype a board first. I think this will be particularly appealing to those with a less hardware background, or who want to learn and experiment rather than work on a specific project. (For example, write your own I2C or SPI libraries for different sensors simply as an effort to learn rather than make any particular device). I have some hardware knowledge but despite this I can see some interesting possibilities with something like this, even if only as an experiment board to build confidence with.

Certainly this is one for the hobbyist rather than industry so I am not convinced XMOS would see a benefit in it, depending where exactly they're aiming. None-the-less, a little more 'hand holding' whilst letting people grow confidence in actually developing would be great.

What do you think? :)

Dan.

PS. If nothing else at least give me the STAMP so I can use it on a standard breadboard and achieve a similar setup! (Though not as 'complete' as a development kit). :D
Corin
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Postby Corin » Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:42 am

Hi Dan,

This has already been done. See: forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=1224

It's a 40-pin DIP package with an XS1-L01A-TQ48 on it, that we have released to the open source community.

Regards,
Corin
DanB
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Posts: 118
Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 1:13 am

Postby DanB » Wed Jun 01, 2011 11:23 pm

Corin wrote:Hi Dan,

This has already been done. See: forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=1224

It's a 40-pin DIP package with an XS1-L01A-TQ48 on it, that we have released to the open source community.

Regards,
Corin
Corin,

Thanks for your reply. I'd seen the 40-pin DIP package before but thought, based on the thread you linked to, that there was the possibility that this may be something produced and sold by XMOS? It's great that the plans are open sourced, people can get them produced as they wish and make any modifications they choose, but despite this I think it's great to be able to purchase a pre-built board directly... And no doubt the costs would be a little better than lots of individual orders.

Whilst this was not directly what I was referring to, it seems as good a place as any to ask: Have I got the correct end of the stick regarding the 40-pin DIP package or not; are XMOS considering selling these? If not (and we've got enough visitors to this thread) would anybody consider a bulk XCore order of PCBs (and possibly the necessary components to populate the board)? Definitely something to consider if these will not (in time) be available from XMOS.

Back to the development kits, whilst the 40-pin DIP package coupled with a breadboard and a handful of components would be roughly equivalent it'd still be nice if something akin to the Propeller Professional Development Board were available. Definitely one for the hobbyists, but having lots of devices to play with, all on one board, is a really nice way to not only learn how to interface to other devices but also give consideration for how to, in a custom made board, add any other number of features.

All said and done, though, I do understand that it is far better for XMOS to stick to the core chips (and development kits concerned solely with these) than to merge into a more general "electronic development kit using XMOS devices", which is the path that the above mentioned development kit begins to follow... Certainly I can see the current XMOS product development approach has broader value to both industry and hobbyists.

Ah well, still think it was worth posting; I don't s'pose it's worth developing such a development board if the only interest is from me though! :P

Dan.
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Joerg
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Postby Joerg » Sat Jun 04, 2011 10:58 pm

Hi Dan,
are XMOS considering selling these? If not (and we've got enough visitors to this thread) would anybody consider a bulk XCore order of PCBs (and possibly the necessary components to populate the board)?
we currently don't have plans to sell the 40 pin DIP package. As you noted, we are keeping a small, focused, product portfolio.

However, we obviously watch the discussion about both the 40 pin DIP and the slice kit board, see, forum/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=1066&start=40

I've just started a new thread to explore options for building and selling these boards and to get some feedback about the demand: forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1299

Thanks

Joerg

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