Nano hardware-developers kit

Carlos Camargo cicamargoba at gmail.com
Sat Sep 12 13:35:27 EDT 2009


Hi All

We are talking with Wolfgang about additional Nano's feature, As some people
said, Nano would be useful as brain in a custom electronic device. We
(emQbit) are thinking in build a power quality measurement device based on
Nano. Maybe some people in this list thinking similarly.

Because of that Wolfgang has an idea: Build a developer board, or a
commercial board for companies like us, with additional resources like JTAG,
232 level shifter, SPI, I2C ports, additional AVR for make mano
Arduino-compatible, an FPGA for robotic applications, etc.

The first approach for this (Wolfgang idea), is make only one board, the
commercial Nano would be a sub-set of this board, so, we have only one pcb
and we can build both cards from the same design. Wolfgang think use the
same case for both versions.


Is necessary, define some topics:
1. Switch the hardware design to Kicad.
2. What kind of interfaces will support the developer platform (I2C, JTAG,
SPI, FPGA, AVR microcontroller, etc)?
3. How this additional hardware will be connected with the JZ4720, Data,
address, control bus lines, SPI, I2C, USB host?
I'm starting the discussion showing some advantages of the different
possibilities:

1. Using Address, Data and Control processor's Bus signals [1]: If you have
access to this signals, you can connect any peripheral to Nano, and you can
map the FPGA logic as a simple RAM memory [2]. But there are many signals:
Data (8-16) + Control (4), Address (13 ?) = 33.

2. SPI port [3]. The main advantage is that this protocol use only 4 wires,
but we need one (CS) for each peripheral.

3. I2C [4] This protocol use two wires only, but is slow.

4. FPGA. For use one FPGA we need the signals in 1. and some GPIOs for
configuration process (TDI, TDO, TMS, TCK). Unless that the FPGA implement a
I2C or SPI device.

5. AVR. The Atmega8 family [5] provide a wide range of peripherals like
ADCs, SPI, I2C, ports, Timers,  and allow the ISP [6], so we can use an
external Atmega through SPI or I2C processor ports, and we can programming
it with 4 GPIOs.


Please comment on this and add additional features do you like,


Best Regards

Carlos


[1] http://downloads.qi-hardware.com/hardware/hacking/computer-simple.png
[2] http://downloads.qi-hardware.com/hardware/hacking/sw_hw_fpga_arch.png
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_Peripheral_Interface_Bus
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I%C2%B2C
[5] http://www.atmel.com/dyn/products/devices.asp?family_id=607
[6] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In-System_Programming






-- 
Carlos Iván Camargo Bareño
Profesor Asistente
Departamento de Ingeniería Eléctrica y Electrónica
Universidad Nacional de Colombia
cicamargoba at unal.edu.co
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