[Company] Weekly Operations Update 31/2009

Wolfgang Spraul wolfgang at qi-hardware.com
Mon Aug 3 14:29:55 EDT 2009

about last week:

Mirko Vogt [1] became an official developer of our core team, and will focus
on the OpenWrt integration [2].
Welcome Mirko (Vogt) and wish you a happy time in the team!

We sent a few development prototypes to Mirko Lindner in Berlin, and he will
contact people to see whether they are interested in helping. If you are,
please email Mirko at [3].

David from Tuxbrain created a Spanish Qi Hardware mailing list [4].
The whole buildup of our community resources will take a while, no mails have
gone over the Spanish mailing list yet, with exactly 0 subscribers :-)
Still I'm very happy David stepped up and we are all looking forward to doing
more work with Tuxbrain.
The most pressing next step for me is to get downloads.qi-hardware.com setup
and working with the datasheets.

Mechanical samples for our first product, the Ben NanoNote, arrived in
Shanghai. Overall pretty good (pictures coming), but we are not satisfied with
some details and Yi will continue to work together with Mirko Lindner to get
those things sorted out. As soon as we have signed off on the mechanical, we
will start the first production run and devices will hopefully come out of this
about 40 days later.

We have chosen our CE and FCC certification lab in Nanjing, China. They are
ready to certify once we have our gold samples, maybe in about 2 weeks.

Since the Ben NanoNote will not have USB host, one other way to enable I/O
is via the SDIO-capable microSD slot. There is a company in Taipei called
Spectec [5] doing a variety of microSD, miniSD and full-size SD expansion
products. There was good and bad news from them last week.

Bad: Their microSD Wi-Fi card SDW-823 is currently out of stock, and it may take
2-3 months until it is available again. We bought a few pieces from the last
retailer who still has them (Expansys [6]) to support some hacking on the Ben
NanoNote. The reason it's out of stock is because it is not selling very well,
they want to come out with a new version with improved performance, and their
engineers are currently busy on their microSD ZigBee and ANT cards.

Good: The Keystream chip in the microSD Wi-Fi card currently has no openly
available GPL driver, but I recently visited Renesas Keystream in Tokyo and
they promised to release a GPL driver within the next 2-3 weeks. There is some
bureaucracy in this (the CD with the GPL driver has to be officially
'exported'), but it's moving. Spectec got a similar green light from Renesas,
let's see on which server the sources show up first.
The ZigBee microSD card Spectec is working on may actually also be very
interesting for the Ben NanoNote. What do people think about ZigBee? I need to
read up on it more... The Spectec microSD card will have a TI 2450 chip inside.

I'm not so interested in Spectec's new ANT microSD card because ANT seems to be
super closed, let me know if that's wrong and we should dig deeper there.

There were more discussions around the features of our second product, the
Ya NanoNote. Thanks to everybody for participating!
The various ideas are summarized on the Ya product page at
An impressive list of good ideas, thanks a lot again! Continue either here
on the list or with comments at the bottom of the page.

Phew, enough for this time, happy hacking everybody,

[1] Mirko Vogt contact: lists at nanl dot de
[2] OpenWrt: http://github.com/lindnermarek/openwrt-x-burst/tree/x-burst
[3] Mirko Lindner contact: mirko at qi-hardware dot com
[4] Spanish list: http://lists.qi-hardware.com/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/local-es
[5] Spectec: http://www.spectec.com.tw
[6] Expansys: http://www.expansys.com

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