"Ornitottero" ... a mega sized Papilio


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  Greetings! I am a contributor to the Smoothieboard project (http://smoothieware.org) and am interested in developing a Papilio-compatible board with higher pincount for cnc control. The basic idea involves bumping the fpga up to a bga package, much like the Pipistrello, but then breaking out 112 pins instead of the standard 48 pins. Here is a first draft concept layout:




  Clearly, this is built off of the Papilio Pro as a base, and is meant to be as compatible as possible with existing hardware and software designs. To this end, the lower three 16-bit wing ports A, B, and C match a standard Papilio and should accept existing Megawings. The next port, D, is left free for system concepts such as the built-in LED. The upper 4 ports are assigned ports E, F, G, and H. This neatly fills out the 128-pin potential of Zpuino's standard gpio block. The upper 4 ports are also spaced to allow two sets of inward facing wings without blocking a Megawing in the lower slots.


  64MBit flash seems more than sufficient for basic programming even on to lx25 chips (especially with the addition of an sdcard slot) so I figure that can stay an easy to assemble soic. I still haven't really decided if it's really worth bumping the ram up from 64MBit soic to a more expandable bga package...


  Other than that I intend to follow the Papilio Pro designs closely, including the upgraded power supply systems. I will probably prototype this to some degree for my own purposes over the next few months... let me know what you all think and whether this is worth turning into a real product! If enough interest is shown I will act on it sooner and maybe even go past prototype. :)

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Assuming the need to go to multi-layer for the BGA part, that looks like it will be a very expensive board. You might look at a part such as the  XC3S500E-4PQG208I which is in a 208 pin PQFP package. The FPGA is a bit more expensive but the PCB will be a fraction the cost if you can keep it to 2 layers. Also at least when it comes to Seeed, the cost of the board increases rapidly with size. 5cm * 5cm max is around $1/bd, 10cm * 10cm max is $2.50/bd, while the next size up, 15cm * 15cm max is close to $9/bd. If you can manage to keep it within 10cm square then the bare boards are ridiculously cheap.

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Yeah, I'm not sure I'd want to prototype bga through iTead (who I'd assume those quotes came from)... Oshpark just upgraded their 4-layer fab to 5/5 traces and 10/4 vias which is actually good enough to 0.8mm pitch bga. The $10/in2 for three boards certainly adds up, but I'm not too worried about prototype cost. If enough people are interested and I do a production run the pcb cost becomes negligible next to the component costs.


Edit: Oh I missed that you mentioned Seeed. I have to admit I've not ordered from them before. At any rate I'm happy with the quality of the boards where I currently source them.

Edited by Logxen
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Here's an example of that exact chip on a pcb prototyped through Oshpark:


(photo courtesy of azonenberg on irc.freenode.net/#oshpark)


And the gentleman that did that board isn't alone... several others in the Oshpark community have been successfully doing bga chips for a while now. With their guidance (and maybe buying myself a reballing kit off eBay) I expect to be able to prototype the board I described without much difficulty. As to the production run my assembly house is fully qualified to assemble bga. I recently e-mailed them and they assured me that their assembly machines support bga chips of this pitch.

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Oh BGA is certainly possible, I've successfully soldered a couple of them with a hotplate and plenty of flux. My point was just that they usually require a multilayer PCB, and those tend to be far more expensive than regular double sided boards. I haven't looked into quantity pricing though so perhaps it will drop to something reasonable if you build enough of them.

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Ok, so I tried decreasing the board size to see what would happen:




  On one hand I added the WING_D at Jack's request bringing it up to a neat 128 pins. I did a pincount and that would have used pretty much exactly ALL the pins on the BGA256 chip I was originally targeting (and using all the pins on a BGA256 is a bit iffy on a 4-layer board.) So I went ahead and swapped up to the CSG324 which is going to make routing a lot easier anyway. Other than that and the *squish* this is the same board as above.


  I think adding WING_D is a good plan... for one thing it (in theory anyway) would allow one to install a MegaWing facing either direction. I have the two MegaCocoons separated my 0.8" to make sure that MegaWings can fit without blocking access to the other 64 pins. However, I don't think it would fit two of any current MegaWings even with the *squish* design. So, I think it may be best to go back to my original board outline that allows a single MegaWing facing either direction on the lower MegaCocoon, and full use of 8bit and 16bit Wings on the upper MegaCocoon.

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  • 4 years later...

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