Author Topic: Hardware Discussion  (Read 25895 times)

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Offline alberthrocks

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Hardware Discussion
« on: August 07, 2010, 01:22:57 pm »
A super speedy calc that even makes you look slow!

Let's start the discussion for the OTARM! :)

Processor: OMAP TI Processor SoC, 1 GHz (??)
RAM: 512 MB (??)
ROM: 256 MB (??)
LCD: Colorful display, full color here! I suggest res of 320x240, or higher with same aspect ratio. Also, backlight adjustment is also a good idea.
LCD Driver: Not sure, OMAP core might power it
Touchscreen: ??
Keypad: Nspire like, but not copying them
Ports: Mini USB, regular USB, Eithernet, Video (???), 2.5/3.5mm port (??)
Wifi/Bluetooth: Yes, if possible/allowed. AM/FM radio integration perhaps?

[Changes/Additions]
SD Slot: Yes

Dev hardware: BeagleBoard xM (or older), found at http://beagleboard.org/hardware-xM.
Note that this is DEVELOPER hardware, NOT production hardware. Usually it's modified, recreated for prototype, and then sent for mass production.

Some images of the dev hardware:



Old, non xM one:


Non xM dev hardware is $149, the xM dev hardware is $179.
Check the specs out here:
Non xM: http://beagleboard.org/hardware
xM: http://beagleboard.org/hardware-xM

And here's a link to an example implementation of BeagleBoard:
http://antipastohw.blogspot.com/2010/08/using-open-source-graphing-calculator.html

So after all that.... it boils down to:

1) Which processor do you want: fast or slower one? (Note: xM is 1 GHz, old one is 600 MHz)
2) What other features do you want?
3) What screen (and where)? (And other hardware decisions)
« Last Edit: August 07, 2010, 02:41:11 pm by alberthrocks »
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Offline jnesselr

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Re: Hardware Discussion
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2010, 01:47:30 pm »
I don't think we should do a touchscreen

SirCmpwn

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Re: Hardware Discussion
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2010, 01:50:56 pm »
I agree.  Touch screens are nice, but lots of users like to have a stylus with their touchscreens (more cumbersome), and it would not provide much help towards math (who wants to use an on-screen numpad?).
I also think we should have 1GB of user storage.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2010, 01:51:33 pm by SirCmpwn »

Offline fb39ca4

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Re: Hardware Discussion
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2010, 01:53:32 pm »
I think specs like this is overkill. Also, battery drain is an issue. The non xm beagleboard uses 350ma @ 4.8v, so we would need some large batteries to keep it going for a while. I would aim for >20 hrs of battery life on 4 AA alkaline batteries.
As for the processor, I would say 200mhz at most, and a low power consumption one too.
Feature-wise, we should definitely have a micro-usb port. Also, a 3.5 mm port for connecting to TI calcs and headphones. I'm a little iffy on a SD card slot. It seems a bit too much for a calculator. We might want a second gpu chip, that can do image scaling and rotating, and filling polygons. (For the 3d geometry, we'll say ;))
The screen should be 320x240, similar to the Nspire's, but have color. I think 4-bit rgb will be enough. (light and dark RGBCMY, black, white, and two shades of gray)

SirCmpwn

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Re: Hardware Discussion
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2010, 01:57:38 pm »
I don't agree with the GPU, or the micro-usb.  Micro-usb is much more supported.
And if an SD card slot is too much, a GPU is *way* too much :P

Offline freezway

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Re: Hardware Discussion
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2010, 02:00:04 pm »
I've thought of doing something like this once... Power drain is a major issue. I agree with fb, no more than 200MHz... Also, you could try to duplicate a 83/84 family calc, but do it as cheaply as possible...

http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/1996.png

also, for low power this would be interesting
« Last Edit: August 07, 2010, 02:19:06 pm by freezway »

Offline fb39ca4

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Re: Hardware Discussion
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2010, 02:29:12 pm »
That looks interesting, [propeller chip] but it is a competely different architecture, that almost essentially no one here is familiar with. We could have multiple low-performance chips, but it may get complicated. As for the gpu, I was thinking of something very basic, with the capabilities of say, the Super FX chip used in SNES games. It would be used for some sort of 3D-geometry program.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2010, 02:31:55 pm by fb39ca4 »

Offline alberthrocks

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Re: Hardware Discussion
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2010, 02:32:12 pm »
@graphmastur, sircmpwn: I agree. Touchscreens won't work. Editing it off.

@fb39ca4: Well, idk. Battery life is a problem. You really can't get 200 mhz - there's only 600 mhz and 1 GHz.
It's definitely going to be full, 32 bit color (we're more free in this part of the project, and the other ARM based devices have it).

I'm not sure - is there any other dev kits out there that is power efficient?
I think the xM should have improved it's power intake, and the calc also will shut off by its own.

@SirCmpwn: That was for a Z80 calc. This is an ARM calc, aka the calc in which you can stuff plenty of things in.
Including the SD card. ;)
And were you saying you want micro USB or not?
AND the GPU, as I just found out, is integrated. No stealing the GPU now, eh? :P
The GPU is just there for easy 2D/3D stuff with the interface. Nothing else.
Of course, if you wanted to, you could try playing TuxRacer on it... :P

@freezway: Wow, so many new members! ;) Anyway, this is the wrong project to look at for competition against TI-8x calcs. Go here: http://ourl.ca/6594
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Projects:

Computer/Web/IRC Projects:
C______c: 0% done (Doing planning and trying to not forget it :P)
A_____m: 40% done (Need to develop a sophisticated process queue, and a pretty web GUI)
AtomBot v3.0: 0% done (Planning stage, may do a litmus test of developer wants in the future)
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wxWabbitemu: 40% done (NEED MOAR FEATURES :P)

Calculator Projects:
M__ C_____ (an A____ _____ clone): 0% done (Need to figure out physics and Axe)
C2I: 0% done (planning, checking the demand for it, and dreaming :P)

Offline DJ Omnimaga

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Re: Hardware Discussion
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2010, 02:36:26 pm »
SD card slot would be awesome. The Casio FX-9860 SD has one.

http://edu.casio.com/products/graphic/fx9860g/
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Offline fb39ca4

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Re: Hardware Discussion
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2010, 02:38:24 pm »
So does the HP 49g+ and 50g.

Offline DJ Omnimaga

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Re: Hardware Discussion
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2010, 02:40:53 pm »
It does, too?

I think it would be a nice idea actually. Otherwise, maybe a USB jumpdrive slot. The thing is that it would make it much easier to transfer data from the calc to a computer or another calc. Much less hassle with linking softwares not working like with TI calcs.
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Offline alberthrocks

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Re: Hardware Discussion
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2010, 02:42:41 pm »
I was thinking about adding a regular USB slot. Any objections anyone? :)
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Activity remains limited due to busyness from school et al. Sorry! :( Feel free to PM, email, or if you know me well enough, FB me if you have a question/concern. :)

Don't expect me to be online 24/7 until summer. Contact me via FB if you feel it's urgent.


Proud member of ClrHome!

Spoiler For "My Projects! :D":
Projects:

Computer/Web/IRC Projects:
C______c: 0% done (Doing planning and trying to not forget it :P)
A_____m: 40% done (Need to develop a sophisticated process queue, and a pretty web GUI)
AtomBot v3.0: 0% done (Planning stage, may do a litmus test of developer wants in the future)
IdeaFrenzy: 0% done (Planning and trying to not forget it :P)
wxWabbitemu: 40% done (NEED MOAR FEATURES :P)

Calculator Projects:
M__ C_____ (an A____ _____ clone): 0% done (Need to figure out physics and Axe)
C2I: 0% done (planning, checking the demand for it, and dreaming :P)

Offline DJ Omnimaga

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Re: Hardware Discussion
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2010, 02:51:15 pm »
regular USB slot would be nice. We would not need an adapter like with USB8x on the 84+.
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Offline fb39ca4

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Re: Hardware Discussion
« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2010, 03:09:46 pm »
We could have the calc act like a usb mass storage device, eliminating the need for linking software.

SirCmpwn

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Re: Hardware Discussion
« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2010, 04:31:15 pm »
I object - it would be too thick.  The calculator should stay fairly thin, and the addition of a standard USB slot adds a ton.  A mini-usb works fine.  Plus, we can bundle it with a mini-usb male<->standard usb male and a mini-usb male<->standard usb female cable, supporting everything.