Ya nanonote

Werner Almesberger werner at almesberger.net
Tue Mar 5 10:56:37 EST 2013

Paul Boddie wrote:
> My impression is that you cannot upgrade the USB capabilities on the board 
> because they are part of the Ingenic SoC, and although the SoC actually does 
> support USB Host, it isn't exposed in the package used on the Ben.

That's roughly correct. As I understand it, the chip doesn't have a
package proper and the bonding is done in the process of making the
PCB (*). Unfortunately, the USB host pins are either not bonded out
or if they are, there are no traces. All this is under an epoxy blob,
so it's de facto inaccessible.

(*) Chip-on-Board (COB), which is so exotic not even Wikipedia has an
    article on it.

> I've been playing around with a USB Host controller via the 8:10 port,

Cool ! Just UBB (and resistors, and later maybe a power booster) or
with an external controller chip ?

> I seem to recall issues related to upgrading the screen involved things like 
> the sizes of screens for different resolutions, so if you want VGA there may 
> not be anything compatible in the same size/shape as the LCD currently used, 

The pixel size of the Ben doesn't seem too bad. Also vertical size 
of that QVGA screen is reasonable. So perhaps WQVGA would be the
way to go. Keeping the resolution reasonably low also keeps demands
on memory bandwidth and processing low.

- Werner

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