Pipistrello - "Papilio on steroids"


magnusk
  • Pipistrello came about as I needed a board with HDMI interface, lots of RAM for buffering, high-speed USB for data streaming and SD-card for data storage. In the past I have used the Papilio boards and really like them but for this project I needed something like a "Papilio on steroids".

The Papilio Plus sounded interesting but wasn't available when I started this project and did not have any of the needed interfaces on-board. The Avnet LX9-microboard was also a possibility but the limited user-I/O and the lack of HDMI on-board killed that idea.

So the only option left was to make my own board - basically merging the fpga and LPDDR from the LX9-Microboard with the formfactor, wing interface and tool-set from Papilio, then adding all the needed interfaces on-board (and then some more to make it more interesting). The biggest challenge was the 324-ball BGA package which forced me away from the hobbyist PCB vendors (like Seeed studio and OSH Park) to the more traditional (and expensive) PCB vendors that offers the PCB geometry needed for this board (5 mil trace width/spacing, 8 mil holes, 4-layes).

In my professional life I have used PCB Universe (http://www.pcbuniverse.com/) for many boards with great success and they have very reasonable prices and an on-line quote and ordering system so it's easy to place an order (disclamer: I have no business interest in PCB Universe, just a happy customer). The quote for this board was $450 for 50 boards, more than I like to spend but still a bargin compared to other options.

So far all circuits on the board have been tested OK except for the USB host interface which really need Linux up and running first. The board came out perfect - no cuts or jumpers needed so far.

pipi2-25.JPG

Read more about the board features here:http://pipistrello.saanlima.com

My plan is to make this an open-source project once all features on the board have been verified.

Magnus Karlsson

Saanlima Electronics


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