Author Topic: Major OTARM calc changes!  (Read 6029 times)

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Offline alberthrocks

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Major OTARM calc changes!
« on: August 08, 2010, 01:42:57 am »
There's quite a few major changes in the OTARM project. I'm too tired (it's 1:38 AM in the morning) to write them out, so
hopefully other users can. :) I'll add them here accordingly. If you don't want to wait, you can check out today's and yesterday's IRC logs. ;)

Basically, we've kind of evaluated some strengths and weaknesses of certain options and chipsets, and have a loose decision of what to have for this calc. Of course, the decisions are up for a vote, as always. :)

That's all I can say for now! This post will be edited accordingly. ;)
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Offline jnesselr

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Re: Major OTARM calc changes!
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2010, 10:30:16 am »
Excellent. Please post your ideas. I really think we should do wifi.  Also, I'm reading up on arm asm for the os. Albert, are you going to be the head of arm hardware or software? I personally don't want linux and would rather create my own os. How much experience do you have with hardware vs. Firmware

Offline matthias1992

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Re: Major OTARM calc changes!
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2010, 10:48:06 am »
Quote
Excellent. Please post your ideas. I really think we should do wifi.  Also, I'm reading up on arm asm for the os. Albert, are you going to be the head of arm hardware or software? I personally don't want linux and would rather create my own os. How much experience do you have with hardware vs. Firmware

Hmm well I do recommend using a linux like kernel though, it's very powerful. But indeed linux can be confusing and we want a easy GUi, so let's use the power of the linux kernel but the ease of use say, windows. Altough most programmers hate it you gotta say its quite easy to use. That is until the errors kick in.
MASM xxxxxxxxxx aborted | SADce ====:::::: 40% -Halted until further notice| XAOS =====::::: 50% -Units done| SKYBOX2D engine ========== 100% -Pre-alpha done. Need to  document it and extend |

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Offline alberthrocks

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Re: Major OTARM calc changes!
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2010, 11:21:29 am »
Excellent. Please post your ideas. I really think we should do wifi.  Also, I'm reading up on arm asm for the os. Albert, are you going to be the head of arm hardware or software? I personally don't want linux and would rather create my own os. How much experience do you have with hardware vs. Firmware

I'll probably be the ARM software head, but remember that head position isn't just limited to one person. I think bwang also should join the team. He's also pretty good with Linux. :)

Hardware? I love looking at the hardware, but when it comes to making decisions, assembling it, designing, etc., I'm not the one to ask. ;) calc84 and maybe some others can be heads for this one, since they know what they're doing.

As for you.... IF you really want to design a OS from scratch in ARM, you really have to exceed Linux. Good hardware support, multitasking, efficient memory management, GUI, and easy development are key things to a good OS.
I just think Linux can already do those tasks, and really reduce development time. We're not putting the whole Ubuntu system into the calc. We're starting with Angstrom Linux, which is pretty much barebone, and then adding stuff on it to create the calc.

ARM ASM is magnitudes harder than Z80. It's pretty much like x86: a least 10,000 lines of code to get it up and running - a simple terminal, that is. Not mentioning that the Nspire uses a toolkit to build upon.

Anyway, it's your choice. Me and bwang will probably get started with the Linux development as soon as the hardware is finalized. If you want to, you can get a head start on the OS. Candidates for hardware include the ARM PrimeCell PL110, which is an LCD controller chip, and calc84 mentioned the LPC313x ARM core.

Quote
Excellent. Please post your ideas. I really think we should do wifi.  Also, I'm reading up on arm asm for the os. Albert, are you going to be the head of arm hardware or software? I personally don't want linux and would rather create my own os. How much experience do you have with hardware vs. Firmware

Hmm well I do recommend using a linux like kernel though, it's very powerful. But indeed linux can be confusing and we want a easy GUi, so let's use the power of the linux kernel but the ease of use say, windows. Altough most programmers hate it you gotta say its quite easy to use. That is until the errors kick in.

Oh yes, that's definitely the plan. Linux is a very solid base to work on. Of course, no student will ever see a terminal. (We won't kill the terminal, but we won't show it either. ;) ) All the guts of Linux will be hidden with a very useful. pretty GUI. Programming isn't that hard. I guess you could complain about GTK and such, but wxWidgets and QT are also very solid UI frameworks.

Ease of Windows + Linux core = Decent OS ;)
« Last Edit: August 08, 2010, 11:22:52 am by alberthrocks »
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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. :)

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IdeaFrenzy: 0% done (Planning and trying to not forget it :P)
wxWabbitemu: 40% done (NEED MOAR FEATURES :P)

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Offline calc84maniac

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Re: Major OTARM calc changes!
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2010, 02:40:03 pm »
I took a closer look at the LPC313x, and it doesn't appear to include the PrimeCell PL110. Instead, it seems to have its own LCD controller that requires manual output (unless you set up a DMA to do so). I'm not sure what types of LCDs it supports. But otherwise, the LPC313x looks pretty good. It supports High Speed USB 2.0 OTG and SD/MMC, among other things. It is clockable up to 180MHz. And I just found a site that lists the price at $7. Seems like a pretty good deal :)

Edit:
I found what may be even better: The LPC3230. It has the PrimeCell PL111 (which, in addition to the PL110 features, has hardware support for displaying a cursor on top of the frame), and a Vector Floating Point co-processor (perfect for your hardcore floating point math operations!). Of course, it also has the USB and SD/MMC support as well. It is clockable up to 208MHz. It's around the $10 range I believe.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2010, 04:16:04 pm by calc84maniac »
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Offline bwang

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Re: Major OTARM calc changes!
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2010, 04:16:13 pm »
Excellent. Please post your ideas. I really think we should do wifi.  Also, I'm reading up on arm asm for the os. Albert, are you going to be the head of arm hardware or software? I personally don't want linux and would rather create my own os. How much experience do you have with hardware vs. Firmware

I'll probably be the ARM software head, but remember that head position isn't just limited to one person. I think bwang also should join the team. He's also pretty good with Linux. :)

Hardware? I love looking at the hardware, but when it comes to making decisions, assembling it, designing, etc., I'm not the one to ask. ;) calc84 and maybe some others can be heads for this one, since they know what they're doing.

As for you.... IF you really want to design a OS from scratch in ARM, you really have to exceed Linux. Good hardware support, multitasking, efficient memory management, GUI, and easy development are key things to a good OS.
I just think Linux can already do those tasks, and really reduce development time. We're not putting the whole Ubuntu system into the calc. We're starting with Angstrom Linux, which is pretty much barebone, and then adding stuff on it to create the calc.

ARM ASM is magnitudes harder than Z80. It's pretty much like x86: a least 10,000 lines of code to get it up and running - a simple terminal, that is. Not mentioning that the Nspire uses a toolkit to build upon.

Anyway, it's your choice. Me and bwang will probably get started with the Linux development as soon as the hardware is finalized. If you want to, you can get a head start on the OS. Candidates for hardware include the ARM PrimeCell PL110, which is an LCD controller chip, and calc84 mentioned the LPC313x ARM core.

Quote
Excellent. Please post your ideas. I really think we should do wifi.  Also, I'm reading up on arm asm for the os. Albert, are you going to be the head of arm hardware or software? I personally don't want linux and would rather create my own os. How much experience do you have with hardware vs. Firmware

Hmm well I do recommend using a linux like kernel though, it's very powerful. But indeed linux can be confusing and we want a easy GUi, so let's use the power of the linux kernel but the ease of use say, windows. Altough most programmers hate it you gotta say its quite easy to use. That is until the errors kick in.

Oh yes, that's definitely the plan. Linux is a very solid base to work on. Of course, no student will ever see a terminal. (We won't kill the terminal, but we won't show it either. ;) ) All the guts of Linux will be hidden with a very useful. pretty GUI. Programming isn't that hard. I guess you could complain about GTK and such, but wxWidgets and QT are also very solid UI frameworks.

Ease of Windows + Linux core = Decent OS ;)
I'd be glad to help with the Linux distribution once we get the hardware up and running. I too think we are best off using a Linux kernel with our own UI. Remember, Linux is very modular - the OS and the GUI are completely separate. It's much easier to write an UI then to write an OS. Of course, if enterprising people want to give a custom OS a shot, no one is stopping you :)

Offline fb39ca4

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Re: Major OTARM calc changes!
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2010, 04:28:34 pm »
I took a closer look at the LPC313x, and it doesn't appear to include the PrimeCell PL110. Instead, it seems to have its own LCD controller that requires manual output (unless you set up a DMA to do so). I'm not sure what types of LCDs it supports. But otherwise, the LPC313x looks pretty good. It supports High Speed USB 2.0 OTG and SD/MMC, among other things. It is clockable up to 180MHz. And I just found a site that lists the price at $7. Seems like a pretty good deal :)

Edit:
I found what may be even better: The LPC3230. It has the PrimeCell PL111 (which, in addition to the PL110 features, has hardware support for displaying a cursor on top of the frame), and a Vector Floating Point co-processor (perfect for your hardcore floating point math operations!). Of course, it also has the USB and SD/MMC support as well. It is clockable up to 208MHz. It's around the $10 range I believe.
That's great! However, is the LCD controller any better for this one?

Offline calc84maniac

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Re: Major OTARM calc changes!
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2010, 04:31:20 pm »
I took a closer look at the LPC313x, and it doesn't appear to include the PrimeCell PL110. Instead, it seems to have its own LCD controller that requires manual output (unless you set up a DMA to do so). I'm not sure what types of LCDs it supports. But otherwise, the LPC313x looks pretty good. It supports High Speed USB 2.0 OTG and SD/MMC, among other things. It is clockable up to 180MHz. And I just found a site that lists the price at $7. Seems like a pretty good deal :)

Edit:
I found what may be even better: The LPC3230. It has the PrimeCell PL111 (which, in addition to the PL110 features, has hardware support for displaying a cursor on top of the frame), and a Vector Floating Point co-processor (perfect for your hardcore floating point math operations!). Of course, it also has the USB and SD/MMC support as well. It is clockable up to 208MHz. It's around the $10 range I believe.
That's great! However, is the LCD controller any better for this one?
Yep, like I said, it has a Primecell PL111 (I guess I didn't make it clear that it was an LCD controller). It's what we were looking for, plus a little extra cursor feature. The LCD controller on the other one is pretty bad in comparison (and I still don't know if it supports the CSTN type of screen we're planing on using). This one supports CSTN for sure.
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Re: Major OTARM calc changes!
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2010, 11:57:17 am »
Oh, I see. Its too bad the smallest cursor size is 32x32. Also, have we decided what size of display we're going to use? 480 x 320 would be nice.