Designing a Basic Daughter/breakout board for IGEP CortexA8

Custom built or hacked Electronic boards and sensors
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Designing a Basic Daughter/breakout board for IGEP CortexA8

Post by PedroR » Wed Apr 13, 2011 6:13 pm

Post by PedroR
Wed Apr 13, 2011 6:13 pm

Hi all

We've been playing with Gumstix and a Spanish clone called IGEP for a while now here at RoboSavvy.

We've used Gumstix + Pinto Board which is a simple breakout board that breaks out some of the pins of the AVX 5602 connectors and also adds a USB port.

The Spanish IGEP, besides being a LOT cheapper (120EUR) has the same functionality and already includes the USB port onboard. The processing power on these modules is quite high (Cortex A8 at 720Mhz, OMAP3530), capable of running Linux and comes fitted with WiFi + BT standard and more memory than Gumstix for less money.

Having said this to make it into a real Robotics board we need to work on developping a small breakout board for this module that exposes the Analog pins, the UARTs, POWER (the most important part) and eventually some additional GPIO and PWM as well.

Image

The power regulation and powering the board part is easy. The trickiest part for us right now is that most signals come directly from the processor and are at 1.8V thus needing level shifting.

What we'd like to do is a really simple breakout board but that can take care of the basics (which can be quite annoying if not dealt with). Our goals are:

.. 1- Onboard power regulator (possibly 3 levels: 5V and 3.3V common rails for perpherals, and ~4V to power the board).
.. 2- Logic Level Conversion on the UARTs (there are 2 and 3rd for debugging I think) from 1.8V to 3.3V or 5V (it would be nice if it was 3.3-5V tolerant).
.. 3- Voltage drop on the Analog pins to use analog sensors
.. 4 (OPTIONAL?): Level conversion on the PWM pins and I2C pins
.. 5 - Breaking out any remaining pins that may be of interest (without any level shifting at this point). The connectors can be used to expose Ethernet, Audio In and Out and a number of other things.

The base document with the specs is here http://www.igep.es/public_docs/IGEP_MOD ... MANUAL.pdf
Page 16 explains the pinout.

The challenge for us is adding the circuitry to achieve the goals above.

We at RoboSavvy are commited into making this an Open Source project and manufacturing the result of our (and hopefully the comunity) effort.
We're not looking for something too complex, just a simple breakout that would enable a true Workhorse to work, power and drive our Robots.

Here are some specs:
- OMAP35xx (OMAP3530)
- ARM Cortex-A8 up to 720Mhz (1440 DMIPS)
- TMS32064x+ Fixed point DSP up to 520 Mhz (4130 MMAC)
- POWERVR SGX™ Graphics Accelerator
- From 1GB up to 4GB RAM (POP)
- From 2 GB up to 4GB OneNand Flash (POP)
- 1 x USB OTG (LS/FS/HS Device or Host)
- 1 x USB Host (HS, UPLI Interface)
- 1 x Audio stereo Out
- 1 x Aux stereo Input
- Slot for uSD card
- WiFi (802.11 b/g) and Bluetooth (2.0) with common external antenna
connector (Hirose connector U.FL-R.SMT-1 )
- Expansion connectors with (UART, McSPI, McBSP, I2C. For more
information see Connectors chapter)


We would love to hear your fedback and ideas about this as well as suggestions on how to go about it. We're mostly software people here so we're in for a bit of a challenge but we're confident and above all, motivated :)

Pedro.
Hi all

We've been playing with Gumstix and a Spanish clone called IGEP for a while now here at RoboSavvy.

We've used Gumstix + Pinto Board which is a simple breakout board that breaks out some of the pins of the AVX 5602 connectors and also adds a USB port.

The Spanish IGEP, besides being a LOT cheapper (120EUR) has the same functionality and already includes the USB port onboard. The processing power on these modules is quite high (Cortex A8 at 720Mhz, OMAP3530), capable of running Linux and comes fitted with WiFi + BT standard and more memory than Gumstix for less money.

Having said this to make it into a real Robotics board we need to work on developping a small breakout board for this module that exposes the Analog pins, the UARTs, POWER (the most important part) and eventually some additional GPIO and PWM as well.

Image

The power regulation and powering the board part is easy. The trickiest part for us right now is that most signals come directly from the processor and are at 1.8V thus needing level shifting.

What we'd like to do is a really simple breakout board but that can take care of the basics (which can be quite annoying if not dealt with). Our goals are:

.. 1- Onboard power regulator (possibly 3 levels: 5V and 3.3V common rails for perpherals, and ~4V to power the board).
.. 2- Logic Level Conversion on the UARTs (there are 2 and 3rd for debugging I think) from 1.8V to 3.3V or 5V (it would be nice if it was 3.3-5V tolerant).
.. 3- Voltage drop on the Analog pins to use analog sensors
.. 4 (OPTIONAL?): Level conversion on the PWM pins and I2C pins
.. 5 - Breaking out any remaining pins that may be of interest (without any level shifting at this point). The connectors can be used to expose Ethernet, Audio In and Out and a number of other things.

The base document with the specs is here http://www.igep.es/public_docs/IGEP_MOD ... MANUAL.pdf
Page 16 explains the pinout.

The challenge for us is adding the circuitry to achieve the goals above.

We at RoboSavvy are commited into making this an Open Source project and manufacturing the result of our (and hopefully the comunity) effort.
We're not looking for something too complex, just a simple breakout that would enable a true Workhorse to work, power and drive our Robots.

Here are some specs:
- OMAP35xx (OMAP3530)
- ARM Cortex-A8 up to 720Mhz (1440 DMIPS)
- TMS32064x+ Fixed point DSP up to 520 Mhz (4130 MMAC)
- POWERVR SGX™ Graphics Accelerator
- From 1GB up to 4GB RAM (POP)
- From 2 GB up to 4GB OneNand Flash (POP)
- 1 x USB OTG (LS/FS/HS Device or Host)
- 1 x USB Host (HS, UPLI Interface)
- 1 x Audio stereo Out
- 1 x Aux stereo Input
- Slot for uSD card
- WiFi (802.11 b/g) and Bluetooth (2.0) with common external antenna
connector (Hirose connector U.FL-R.SMT-1 )
- Expansion connectors with (UART, McSPI, McBSP, I2C. For more
information see Connectors chapter)


We would love to hear your fedback and ideas about this as well as suggestions on how to go about it. We're mostly software people here so we're in for a bit of a challenge but we're confident and above all, motivated :)

Pedro.
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Post by i-Bot » Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:18 pm

Post by i-Bot
Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:18 pm

I got a module a couple of weeks back and have been using it on the otg port so far.


Just received another board and more important some 70 way connectors.

I couldn't find an Eagle library for the module, so created one.

My focus is slightly different. I am not very interested in analog, pwm, and gpio. I have Gyro/accel on SPI and only use USB, serial, or I2C for external connections. Plus, audio, console serial, and 5V serial for dynamixel or robobuilder. Size is 80mm * 50mm.
I got a module a couple of weeks back and have been using it on the otg port so far.


Just received another board and more important some 70 way connectors.

I couldn't find an Eagle library for the module, so created one.

My focus is slightly different. I am not very interested in analog, pwm, and gpio. I have Gyro/accel on SPI and only use USB, serial, or I2C for external connections. Plus, audio, console serial, and 5V serial for dynamixel or robobuilder. Size is 80mm * 50mm.
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Post by limor » Fri Apr 15, 2011 5:45 pm

Post by limor
Fri Apr 15, 2011 5:45 pm

i-Bot:
sounds good even without the analog and pwm. In any case, a "linux robot" solution should eventually be combine with: (a) the small USB hub (that you have identified before, and that can be sourced for few USD), (b) some robot board or arduino type board to actually control servos and read the sensors (ie: analog/pwm/spi/i2c) mediator.
The whole package will be neatly condensed into a small package using hot glue and should be good enough for hobby robotics purposes as long as the price is right and the linux powered "killer apps" are working (lots of vision processing, dynamic gaits, path planning etc.)
:lol:
i-Bot:
sounds good even without the analog and pwm. In any case, a "linux robot" solution should eventually be combine with: (a) the small USB hub (that you have identified before, and that can be sourced for few USD), (b) some robot board or arduino type board to actually control servos and read the sensors (ie: analog/pwm/spi/i2c) mediator.
The whole package will be neatly condensed into a small package using hot glue and should be good enough for hobby robotics purposes as long as the price is right and the linux powered "killer apps" are working (lots of vision processing, dynamic gaits, path planning etc.)
:lol:
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Post by i-Bot » Thu Dec 08, 2011 11:42 pm

Post by i-Bot
Thu Dec 08, 2011 11:42 pm

I see that the IGEP supplier is now about to do a small breakout. The New York may enable the power of the IGEP to be realised more simply.

http://www.igep.es/

I just got a Beaglebone, which though larger would actually just fit into the CM510 space. It is very impressive for the price. Lots of IO pins broken out and Adafruit already have a cape board for it.

Also waiting to try the Raspberry pi.
I see that the IGEP supplier is now about to do a small breakout. The New York may enable the power of the IGEP to be realised more simply.

http://www.igep.es/

I just got a Beaglebone, which though larger would actually just fit into the CM510 space. It is very impressive for the price. Lots of IO pins broken out and Adafruit already have a cape board for it.

Also waiting to try the Raspberry pi.
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Post by sharpyuk » Wed Dec 21, 2011 12:18 pm

Post by sharpyuk
Wed Dec 21, 2011 12:18 pm

i-Bot wrote:I see that the IGEP supplier is now about to do a small breakout. The New York may enable the power of the IGEP to be realised more simply.

http://www.igep.es/

I just got a Beaglebone, which though larger would actually just fit into the CM510 space. It is very impressive for the price. Lots of IO pins broken out and Adafruit already have a cape board for it.

Also waiting to try the Raspberry pi.


Hi i-Bot,

how are you getting on with your beaglebone? I've just got one of these with the idea of replacing the CM510, although I'm not an expert in linux and finding the jump from microcontrollers to embedded processors (linux etc) a little more difficult than I first expected!

Have you written any code yet to get the UART working so we can talk to the dynamixel servos ?

I'm really after some examples so I can start programming..

I'd eventually like to mount the xbox kinect for 3d vision, but I'm a long way from that at the moment

PS. Sorry to hijack this thread, happy to open a new one specifically for the beaglebone..

Cheers
i-Bot wrote:I see that the IGEP supplier is now about to do a small breakout. The New York may enable the power of the IGEP to be realised more simply.

http://www.igep.es/

I just got a Beaglebone, which though larger would actually just fit into the CM510 space. It is very impressive for the price. Lots of IO pins broken out and Adafruit already have a cape board for it.

Also waiting to try the Raspberry pi.


Hi i-Bot,

how are you getting on with your beaglebone? I've just got one of these with the idea of replacing the CM510, although I'm not an expert in linux and finding the jump from microcontrollers to embedded processors (linux etc) a little more difficult than I first expected!

Have you written any code yet to get the UART working so we can talk to the dynamixel servos ?

I'm really after some examples so I can start programming..

I'd eventually like to mount the xbox kinect for 3d vision, but I'm a long way from that at the moment

PS. Sorry to hijack this thread, happy to open a new one specifically for the beaglebone..

Cheers
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Post by i-Bot » Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:02 pm

Post by i-Bot
Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:02 pm

I did make short reply in the Bioloid topic.

Suggest you make new Beaglebone topic either here or in Bioloid to get maximum interest.

I am using USB2AX for dynamixel interface. This connects via small USB hub with Webcam, WiFi, and USB Flash.
I did make short reply in the Bioloid topic.

Suggest you make new Beaglebone topic either here or in Bioloid to get maximum interest.

I am using USB2AX for dynamixel interface. This connects via small USB hub with Webcam, WiFi, and USB Flash.
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