Guest nevez

Arduino shield...no more?

15 posts in this topic

Hello everyone,

I've found (too late!) the kickstarter project of the papilio fpga arduino shield. It really looked like a wonderful piece of hardware / idea, it's a real pity that it didn't get funded.

I was wondering: is the project abandoned? transformed into something else?

Thank you

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Hello Nevez,

The problem with that project was it was designed with a multi-layer board and a BGA chip. I looked into having it manufactured and the costs were really, really high. To the point where I would have had to price it at a level that wouldn't make sense for people to buy it since there are much better options at that price point. The Kickstarter project was a way to get the price down by putting in a larger order. What I learned is that I need to stay away from BGA designs until I have the resources to foot an initial $30K-70K order.

So my response was to design two new double layer boards:

The Papilio Plus is a double layer board that uses the Papilio One footprint and the Papilio Logic uses the Arduino Mega footprint. Both boards include a Spartan 6 chip and SRAM and the Papilio Logic has a SPI ADC.

Both boards have been designed and in the prototype phase for quite some time now. I finished them about a month after the Kickstarter project completed. They both have tested out very nicely and we are at the point where we are starting the manufacturing process with our manufacturing partners. This process has taken a long time because we have been working out the partnership. Before I would have just manufactured the boards myself on my pick and place for the first half year. But it is so labor intensive that I just can't continue down that path. So it has taken some time while we work through the process, but I think the end result is going to be very nice and we will be able to get things to market much quicker going forward.

Attached is an image of the Papilio Logic prototype.

Jack.

post-3-13431627491476.jpg

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Hi Jack,

I'm very happy to hear that! If I remember well, the forthcoming ARM-based Arduino Due should mantain the Arduino Mega form factor, so the Papilio Logic would be a perfect companion.

Will these points (taken from the kickstarter page) still be valid with the new boards?

  • Ability to program the FPGA      from the Arduino
  • Wishbone connection between      the Arduino and FPGA
  • A single "Papilio  Community Core" example, which will preferably be a VGA controller.

I love the community idea, with the Arduino-adapted FPGA cores and the easy integration between the two systems. I think this project can really benefit (and get a big boost) from the huge arduino community, if you manage to keep the integration simple and easy.

I guess that the AV Overshield has become the Arcade MegaWing, right?

Can't wait to buy a Papilio Logic!

Stephen

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Hmmm... reading your post again, I'm a bit confused.

Maybe I misunderstood what the new boards are... you said that they share the same footprint with Arduino Uno and Mega, but does this mean that they can be used AS a shield for the Arduinos? or are they a BASE board compatible with arduino shields (when programmed for example with an AVR8 or ZPU core) instead?

Stephen

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Stephen,

The Papilio Logic, which is the one with the Mega footprint, is meant as a base board that can use Arduino shields. The AVR8 allows it to act as an Arduino and the flexibility of the FPGA means that we can do all the things that were proposed in the Kickstarter project as additions/extensions to the AVR8.

People have asked about using the Papilio Logic as a shield for the Arduino Mega or the new Arduino ARM board. They have ideas like using it as a 3D accelerated VGA adapter and such. It should be possible for the Papilio Logic to be used in this manner, but the challenge is the connector. We would need stack through headers that would extend down through the board for it to be used like that. For the first run of boards I don't really have any intention of doing that, I think it has the potential of scaring people away...

Maybe the best thing is to do an initial run of the board as a "Base" board and then work for a while on some applications that would be useful in a "Shield" configuration. Once there is some good stuff in place then I can have a run done where the headers are configured as a "Shield" or a dual purpose board with stack through headers.

Jack.

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Hello Gareth,

The Papilio Logic is ready for manufacture, but I'm holding off for now. Seeed is working on manufacturing the Papilio Pro and RetroCade MegaWing right now so I don't want to throw yet another thing at them. The RetroCade MegaWing should be done by mid November and I've been thinking about sending the Papilio Logic design to them at that point.

I am working on an Arduino Shield MegaWing for the Papilio too. It is a MegaWing that fits on the existing Papilio boards and allows shields to be used. That can happen sooner since it is very simple to manufacture. I'm working with some talented young hackers from my local hackerspace to see if we can work out local manufacturing of some easy designs. If it works out then this would be one thing I would ask them to manufacture pretty soon.

Jack.

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Yes, agreed. The name of the Papilio Logic will have to be changed before it goes into production...

Any ideas?

Papilio Mega?

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Is it possible to get a board in advance of your public launch ;-)

I'm keen to hook an FPGA up to the ADK

How about Papilio Semi - as its a semi-arduino --> Or maybe "Papilio Plus" sounds better - as its a plus to have the arduino shield form factor

"I am working on an Arduino Shield MegaWing for the Papilio too. It is a MegaWing that fits on the existing Papilio boards and allows shields to be used. That can happen sooner since it is very simple to manufacture. I'm working with some talented young hackers from my local hackerspace to see if we can work out local manufacturing of some easy designs. If it works out then this would be one thing I would ask them to manufacture pretty soon."

OK I missed that initially in my fever to get the new board. My friend just ordered one of your 500K papilio's - I'm inclined to wait for the papilio logic but maybe not in the new wing is produced.

But you are not giving a clear hint on time - will it be a month, 2 months, longer ?

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Guys, this is still very much on my radar, the only problem is that I'm swamped with day to day business tasks. I'm thinking every day about ways to get the routine day to day tasks off my plate so I can get back to the business of making new products. :)

 

An Arduino profile board is one of the first priorities. I reviewed the Papilio Logic design and realized that I was not happy with the SRAM connections. So I might just go back to the drawing board and make something new.

 

Jack.

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There was a similar project in June 2013 http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2050495186/trifdev-a-re-programmable-fpga-i-o-expander-for-ar but it used a Lattice chip. Tantalizing screenshot of VHDL directly in the Arduino IDE.

 

By the way I see no VHDL in the Arduino IDE that screenshot if of Arduino C++ in the Arduino IDE and the text talking about using lattice Diamond to write the FPGA code.

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Dude you need to outsource & allocate ;-)

 

Yes, that needs to be my mantra every day until I can get back to designing things. :)

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