As you know, we were having troubles to find a few components in the market, not only because of their availability, but also due to the increased price. After extensive research, the designer replaced the unavailable components. Unfortunately, we were forced to buy a few components with a premium.
from TCA6408ARGTR 8-bit translating 1.65- to 5.5-V I2C/SMBus I/O expander to PCA9539 16-bit I2 C-bus and SMBus low power I/O port with interrupt ( Page 15 pdf schematics)
from TPS56637RPAR Buck Switching Regulator IC Positive Adjustable 0.6V 1 Output 6A 10-PowerVFQFN with RT6222DHGJ6F Buck Switching Regulator IC Positive Adjustable 0.6V 1 Output 2A SOT-23-6 Thin, TSOT-23-6 ( Page 38 pdf schematics)
We remain stuck with a few overpriced components:
Marvell Sata 3 controller 88SE9235A1-NAA2C000
TPS544B20RVFT 4.5-V to 18-V, 20-A synchronous SWIFT™ buck converter with PMBus programmability and monitoring
The designer of the PCB should complete the work within the next two weeks and after that we should start producing the prototypes. Meanwhile, we have published the new schematics including the new components in our repo in pdf format and with ORCAD source.
And lastly, our AMD retailer informed us that the new MXM video cards will not be available. There are other manufacturers producing MXM cards based on AMD GPUs, we are evaluating quotes from different producers.
We are still welcome more donations!
Even after completing the current goal, we are leaving the campaign open to help reaching our next milestone.
Our upcoming goals are:
to buy a few MXM Video cards for the prototypes. We need new quotes, because AMD has stopped selling MXM cards, so we are already in contact with other manufacturers, next days we order it.
to redesign the heat pipes, as they will differ from the original specifications of the Eclipse Notebook.
Only if needed:
pay some work on u-boot configuration
Worst case scenario:
make a new version of the prototype.
any other unforeseen challenges.
We will refine the scope of the upcoming donation campaign once we have a clearer view of the situation as it develops: production of the prototypes, hardware tests, CE certifications. Meanwhile, we will leave our current donation campaign opened.
In October 2020, we asked the community to join our forum and submit their suggestions to name our motherboard. The discussions were intense, and the suggestions were very diverse, covering everything betweeh mythology, fauna and flora, literature, music and technology.
We kept the pool running for a year, until we reached the threshold of 1000 votes. Check the final results here. After an inicial parsing of the suggestions by the core team, we realize that it’s incredibly difficult to name something. =)
Among the suggestions, we got Bellatrix (a star or a Harry Potter villain, depending on where you come from), Overture (a musical motif of energy and character), Phoenix (that could also become a mascot), and others…
After a fewrounds of reminders, in the March 2022 Power Progress Community meeting we decided to mix the first name selected on the public vote and the third because the first and second alone were too generic, so the composed name of the board is POWERBOARD TYCHE.
The POWERBOARD name is self explanatory. Tyche is the Greek Goddess of Fortune, to whom good and bad events could be atributed. Initially, however, her role was to bring positive messages to people. Her Roman equivalent is Fortuna.
We look forward to seeing our POWERBOARD TYCHE powering our notebooks and other devices soon!
Since 2018, we’ve been in contact with CEuniX.eu , who created the Post-Quantum-Cryptography library. Particularly, we’ve been in touch with Stiepan, a Free Software and PowerPC enthusiast, who is now Chief Executive Officer of the QRCrypto SA. They would love to see PowerPC running their Post-Quantum Encryption software. We want to see it running on our PowerPC Notebook.
In 2018, they made a donation for our Electrical Schematics Donation Campaign and now they want to help us again by supporting the last mile of Donation Campaigns.
We are very grateful for their commitment to our project
Rework of a part of the mobo and situation of the components
We were waiting for the two ordered MXM AMD video cards, but the distributor informed us that they were forcefully EOF ( End of Life) due to the end of GDDR5 production. Moreover, the merge of AMD and Xinlinx is delaying the production of the new video card with GDDR6.
As you know, we were having troubles to find a few components in the marked (listed below) not only because of their availability but also due to the increased price. After an extensive research, the designer was able to identify the replacement components.
Below, a detailed list of unavailable or extremly expensive parts that the designer is replacing with other readily-available components:
1 per pcb Transistor: NPN; BSR17A bipolar; 40V; 0.2A; 0.35W; SOT23 – ON SEMICONDUCTOR > 3100% cost increase from 0,5 euro to 16,50 euro per piece
4 per pcb Field Effect Transistor –NDC7002N MOSFET 2N-CH 50V 0.51A SSOT6 – ON SEMICONDUCTOR : >1100% cost increase from 0,50 euro to 6,5 euro per piece
2 per pcb MOSFET N-CH 100V 60A PPAK SO-8 SiR870DP – Vishay Siliconix > 3250% cost increase from 1,53 euro to 50 Euro per piece
1 per pcb Parallel NOR Flash Automotive Memory MT28EW01GABA1HJS-0AAT – MICRON > 3250% cost increase from 13 euro to 423 euro!!!
1 per pcb IC EEPROM 256KBIT I2C 1MHZ 8SOIC AT24C256C-SSHL-B – Microchip Technology > 1000% cost increase from 0,29 euro to 2,5 euro
1 per pcb 24-bit translating 1.65- to 5.5-V I2C/SMBus I/O expander TCA6424ARGJR – Texas Instruments Not Available
7 per pcb MOSFET – DMN3730U-7 N 750mA 30V POWER MOS – Diodes
9 per pcb Trans MOSFET – SI4925DY P-CH 30V 5.3A 8-Pin SOIC – ON SEMICONDUCTOR
The designer is replacing these components with new ones available currently and having an affordable cost in the market. Consequently, there’s extensive rework of the electrical schematics and of the Printed Circuit Board design. The new PCB design should be ready in June 2022. In the meantime, the designer is ordering the new components. When we receive them, we should have everything needed to produce prototypes.
Our speech on LibrePlanet 2022
In March 2022, we attended the LibrePlanet 2022 and followed many interesting talks.
LibrePlanet 2022: “Living Liberation” was a resounding success. Participants socialized using our online conference space, LibreAdventure, and created beautiful things in Minetest. Stalwart and Supporter level attendees joined the LibrePlanet after-party with staff and board members, which was a blast. Both Saturday and Sunday featured a wide range of speakers covering how nearly every topic you can think of relates to one common concept: free software.
This talk illustrate the reasons and motivations that made Open Hardware PowerPC Notebook undertake the challenge of designing a PowerPC based notebook from scratch — one that is fully compliant with the Open Hardware principles and based on GNU/Linux — and what we are learning from it.
At the beginning of December 2021 we received an update about the required electronic components that are still missing. We have a total number of 22 missing components, and some of them are present on the board multiple times such as the MOSFET (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MOSFET).
Below a detailed list of the missing components in more pieces:
7 per pcb MOSFET – DMN3730U-7 N 750mA 30V POWER MOS – Diodes
9 per pcb Trans MOSFET – SI4925DY P-CH 30V 5.3A 8-Pin SOIC – ON SEMICONDUCTOR
4 per pcb Field Effect Transistor –NDC7002N MOSFET 2N-CH 50V 0.51A SSOT6 – ON SEMICONDUCTOR
3 per pcb IRLML6346TRPBF – N-Channel 30 V 3.4A (Ta) 1.3W (Ta) – Infineon Technologies
While ACube Systems is looking for 22 missing components contacting various distributors, we at the Power Progress Community, are trying to help searching these components. The main problem we are facing is not finding each component, the problem is the estimated delivery we are facing that most times is six month or more. For this reason we are evaluating to replace some of the components in order to get a more reasonable delivery time. In case you want to help out carrying out this task, you can the effort and conatct us.
KVM support for PowerPC Book3e e6500 CPUs will be first introduced starting with the linux kernel 5.16+ and with the next version of QEMU, most probably v7.0. If you want to try it now, you should get the release candidate of the kernel 5.16 and compile QEMU yourself from the GIT master branch
We successfully compiled the upcoming kernel and QEMU and then tested some virtual machines running Linux for PowerPC 64 bit in Big Endian mode. Below you can see a screenshot of QEMU running three virtual machines with KVM activated. The host system is our NXP T2080RDB devkit that runs Debian SID PPC64, then there is a VM with Debian SID PPC64 (bottom-right), then OpenSUSE Tumbleweed PPC64 (bottom-left), and finally VOID Linux PPC64 (top-right).
Please note that the KVM support to the e6500 PowerPC family is still in progress, so it may need some tweaking before it may be considered reliable.
Video of our last talks – October and November 2021
Open Power Summit 2021 NA
Prepare yourself to switch computing to Open Hardware Power Architecture
15.07.2021 An evening on the theme of POWER & PowerPC
In less than 3 days, Roberto Innocenti, president of the PowerProgressCommunity, will speak at the Open Source Specialist Group’s July Virtual Event on the POWER ISA and PowerPC based hardware, discussing details of our project. The talk will be co-hosted by Ganesan Narayanasamy, one of the leading figures in OpenPOWER and IBM researcher, and by Arjun Nag, who will comment on the concept of Silicon Tape out using OpenPOWER cores.
The event is scheduled to take place between 6:30pm and 9:00pm, CEDT, on the 15th of July. No registration is required. You can join the event using this link.
For more information, please consult the event web page.
It’s time to vote on the name of our motherboard!
We’ve reached 259 and more votes ( 12-07-2021) out of our target of 1000. Your contribution to the future of open computing is very important! Let your friends know and join our warm and welcoming community. Everyone can contribute to our multidisciplinary teams.
This poll is no longer accepting votes
For more information on the origin of the current candidates, go to our previous post.
Prototypes available in October 2021
Thanks to 72 donors we just reached 64% of the current donation campaign for the prototypes that corresponds to about 8000 euros, and we still have to collect 4500 euros to reach the final goal of 12500 euros.
ACube Systems have selected the assembly line for the production of the prototypes.
We have more than 2000 electronic components in our motherboard, and due to the current global shortages of electronic components it was quite a difficult task to order all of them so that they could be delivered in time for production of the prototypes that is fixed for October 2021. After tireless work of the guys at ACube the 98% of the components is now secured and will be delivered on time. The hunting is still ongoing for the remaining forty components left, and finding them is crucial not to miss the October deadline.
Design new Heatsink pipes
We have started to address the design and production of the new modified heatsink pipes which are different from the original pipes provided with the Slimbook Eclipse. A proper passive heat exchanger is vital as our PowerPC Motherboard is mounting an MXM video card that is quite different in shape from the original x86 motherboard that had the video chips mounted directly on the board.
Three AMD MXM-A video card needed for prototypes
We are still investigating how we could collect the additional funding required to pay for three MXM-A 3.0 type A (82 mm x 70 mm) that have a maximum power consumption of 55W. These video cards are fundamentals and we must get them by October as we must carry out the mechanical tests to check to find out that they properly fit inside the prototypes.
FabMaster PCB export for Kicad
As suggested by the guys at KiCad, we requested the PCB Designer to export the PCB design from the native Mentor Expedition format to the FabMaster format, as such a format should be supported natively by KiCad.
This is an alternative approach with respect to the previous process we followed to generate the KiCad files that we published in our repository, a process that consisted in a double passage conversion, first loading and exporting the files in Altium, and then loading and exporting them using Kicad.
In fact, KiCad has an importer module dedicated to FabMaster meant for the board only, and the result of this module is quite important as it should be useful to analyze and check the level of the import accuracy and reliability of the Altium importer module. We are being told by the KiCad developers that the result produced by the Altium import module should generate better results with respect to the FabMaster importer as it is a more recently developed component.
The PCB Designer is currently carefully checking the FabMaster export generated by Mentor Expedition and as soon as he provides us this format, we will publish it and then proceed to import it in Kicad and publish the final result in our repository.
PCB Dummy board for exposition
We produced three dummy versions of the PCB motherboard in order to perform an extensive check of the PCB design. These boards were fundamental as they allowed us to identify a few minor issues that are now solved and were related to the positions of the holes in the PCB used for the screws for attaching the board on the chassis. Now that all mechanical aspects are solved, we asked to get one of these PCB dummy boards so that we can show it on various occasions, hopefully during a physical event, if the pandemic gives us a break.
Are you willing to help?
Being part of a challenging project like this one for building an open hardware motherboard for a laptop is an amazing experience, you understand the underlying complexity of every step, you will meet new people, volunteers from other projects, and discover how much passion people working in companies devoted to open source ar putting in the effort, and everyone involved is willing to help to progress the work. You may consider joining too and contribute your actual skills and may focus on those activities that interest you the most.
Diego Asturias, from pcwdld.com, posted an article on the best Linux distros for the PowerPC, covering everything from old Debian releases to MintPPC and Fienix, and bits and pieces of history. The list is very extensive and will surely help you keep your old (and new, for the lucky ones) PowerPC workstations and laptops productive and useful until our laptop is out.
Check also the linked interview with Casey Cullen, the developer of Fienix and a very active supporter of our community.
Troubleshooting QEMU on Book3e e6500
Nowadays virtualization is key in multiple activities both in a development and a production working and hobbyist environment. QEMU is one of the most widely adopted tools when it comes to emulating a completely different architecture, and moreover, it does support the PowerPC architecture.
We wanted to test QEMU in order to recreate a system having precisely the same CPU as the one selected for our PowerPC notebook, the NXP T2080.
Before diving on the issues we encountered with QEMU, we should first explain that the PowerPC architecture is subdivided in two families: Book3s, where the “s” stands for “server”, and Book3e, where the “e” stands for “embedded”. IBM and Freescale (now NXP) made their own lines of Book3s and Book3e chips, but each company introduced some peculiar characteristics, so our CPU falls in the Freescale branch of the Book3e implementation.
To make things even more complicated, each company built multiple generations of these chips, and introduced new features in each new generation. As a reference, Apple used in all of their PowerPC line of computers Book3s CPUs only, whereas Book3e were mostly used by embedded manufacturers, as these CPUS were especially good for networking and avionics appliances. Despite Book3e being meant for the embedded market, some personal computers ended up on the market based on these CPUs and some of the computers are still made today and you can actually buy these systems now. There are two companies making these computers, A-Eon that sells the AmigaOne X5000 which is based on the Cyrus+ motherboard mounting the NXP P5020, and the other company is ACube Systems that sells the AmigaOne 500, a system based on the Sam460ex motherboard mounting the AMCC 460ex.
The NXP T2080 contains the last and most advanced Book3e core ever designed by Freescale, a 64bit CPU based on the Power ISA v.2.07 specifications. The core was named “e6500” by Freescale and with respect to the previous generation named “e5500”, it introduced the multithread, so that each physical core corresponds to two logical cores, and re-introduced Altivec, a single-precision floating point and integer SIMD instruction, that was lacking in their previous generations.
As the T2080 has 4 of these e6500 multithreaded cores, there is a total number of 8 logical cores, so to create a similar configuration using QEMU with 1GB of RAM, no graphical output and the provided already compiled kernel we launched QEMU with the following command
QEMU doesn’t go very far, and is unable to end up with a usable system.
In order to investigate if the situation could be solved we submitted the problem to the QEMU-PowerPC development mailing list, and thanks to the kind support of Zoltan BALATON (https://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/qemu-ppc/2021-06/msg00222.html) we did had an answer explaining the problems that must be solved and that someone has to implement in QEMU.
Thanks to other contributors to that mailing list the issues were later on more investigated. Sadly there is no company left actively (financially) supporting programmers developing and fixing software for these PowerPC CPUs, so we are in the hands of volunteers that kindly spend their spare time to support the platform, very much like what we actually do with the hardware parts.
In addition, we explored the possibility to enable KVM emulation on a real e6500 CPU using our NXP T2080RDB, as this could lead to a nearly native emulation speed. Sadly, once QEMU is launched in KVM mode, it ends up hanging and eating up all CPU in an endless loop of kernel exceptions, making the entire system unresponsive, and forcing the user to physically reset the system. After contacting the QEMU PowerC mailing list again, we were told that such a behaviour comes as no surprise, as KVM on Book3e is poorly and only partially implemented (source Zoltan BALATON). Luckily enough, after posting this other issue on the QEMU PowerPC development mailing list (https://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/qemu-ppc/2021-07/msg00012.html) Fabiano Rosas answered trying to explain what could be wrong in QEMU, and offered to post on the KVM PowerPC development list (https://www.spinics.net/lists/kvm-ppc/) the issue.
We really hope that a viable solution enabling both full emulation (slow) and KVM emulation (much faster) could be found soon, so please, if you are able to provide some help on the matter do not hesitate contributing to the above mentioned mailing list.
Thanks to the generous support of our community, we’ve passed the 50% threshold required to start the required actions to produce our 3 prototype PCBs.
During this phase, most of the costs are related to purchasing electronic components, printing the PCBs and starting up the machinery for the assembly line.
ACube is currently selecting the right assembly line for the production of the prototypes, currently quite a difficult task due to the current global shortages of electronic components that makes it difficult to find the right time to order all components. Once all components will be collected, we will be able to work on a tentative timeline for the production of the prototypes. We plan to publish the estimated times as soon as we can. We are very grateful to all our donors, particularly Jeff Moe, who donated 2048 EUR for the prototypes.
Thanks to the already produced Dummy Board, the hardware designer has fixed a few mechanical aspects of the PCB design to better accommodate the motherboard. The updated design sources of the PCB will be published soon in our repository.
Public Vote for the Motherboard name
In October 2020, we started asking the community to suggest a name for the notebook motherboard. People could suggest names via the powerprogress forum and from Twitter. We collected all names and we had an internal round of vote among the core group in order to identify the best possible candidates for launching a public vote. So now you can vote on your favourite name!
It’s the third brightest star of the constellation Orion (x86, ARM… Power is _the_ third architecture, isn’t it?). The name also means “female warrior”, because you have to have some Am*ga references…
The antique signaling horn, used by heroes like Roland and Charlemagne, thus conceiving the concept of exotic which gives a strong signal
“Introduced on July 23, 1985, during a star-studded gala featuring Andy Warhol and Debbie Harry held at the Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center in New York City Debian
A space ship imagined by Asimov in its book “Foundation’s Edge”, a “gravitic” ship with a sophisticated computer interface for controlling its movements through space that responds to the driver’s thoughts
The mythical sword of Roland/Orlando, conveices the expession of myth and power, but also the difficulty of our project with PPC. Furthermore the name assonates with several wors. “Dur”, “Durare” (=to last in Italian), “Duro” =(hard, hard to beat, resilient)
my catty dog, do you remember Jay Miner dog on Amiga1000? Also it’s a girl name as the Amiga custom chips.
It’s commonly a term used in symphonies, so it really gives a feel of power and elegance, which are potential benefits of this project.
It even gives you a whole registry of follow-up terms centered around music, if subsequent models are produced
Our desire is to collect around 1000 votes before decide the final name on the PCB.
Our PowerPC Notebook in Amigawave
At the end of February 2021, Guillermo, one of our founding members, was interviewed by Amigawave. For our Spanish speaking readers, you might be interested in listening to a brief overview of the entire history of the Power Progress Community association and its open hardware projects, the interview is available in this recorded live stream on YouTube. In addition to the entire history of our project, you will be able to understand the underlying complexity of a project aiming at building a feature-rich laptop from scratch considering heat dissipation and other design principles.
Amigawave is a YouTube channel very well known by the Spanish retrocomputing lovers. The channel is mainly focused on all flavours of Amiga, but also covers many other retrocomputing platforms. We are fond of that period in computing history. Our followers surely know that, during the 80s and 90s, there was a vibrant diversity of computers and architectures and diversity is one of our objectives.
July 15 – Our upcoming presentation at the British Computing Society
On July 15, 2021 @ 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm (BST) The British Computing Society organize an evening on the theme of POWER & PowerPC, July’s event will be on the theme of IBM’s POWER ISA and PowerPC based hardware. Featuring talks from PowerPC Notebook project and IBM on OpenPOWER.
The title of our upcoming presentation is “Prepare yourself for the Open Hardware GNU/Linux PowerPC Laptop”, the abstract: We expect before the end of 2021 to see the life of the first three prototypes of Open Hardware GNU/Linux PowerPC Laptop. The project started in late 2014, after a brief summary of the previous episodes, we try to describe the scenarios of the immediate future of the project and how each person animated by a certain passion for both progress for all and the sharing of knowledge can be a protagonist in this project.
It is a well-known fact that a strong software library is a key factor to the viability of any platform – as could attest any unwilling user of a specific operating system 😉.
Our team is aware of that. Our contributors are strongly focused on compiling and optimizing a broad array of games and productivity applications to the PPC64 Big Endian platform, and you will find all of it in our repo.
Super Mario 64
The timeless sm64 is making its way to our portfolio, delivering countless hours of challenging courses and brilliant colors in a package loved by children and adults alike. Jump around, fly, dive, explore dungeons, lakes, mountains and collect coins and stars to make it to the top.
Super Tux Kart
Super Tux Kart is inspired by the most popular arcade racer in the world. It will keep you busy while you master every turn and try to overtake your opponents. As the developers of the Mascot Kingdom say: “In Story mode, you must face the evil Nolok, and defeat him in order to make the Mascot Kingdom safe once again! You can race by yourself against the computer, compete in several Grand Prix cups, or try to beat your fastest time in Time Trial mode. You can also race or battle with up to eight friends on a single computer, play on a local network or play online with other players all over the world.”
H-Craft Championship is a sci-fi racer with more than 28 tracks and unique driving physics. Get the Championship trophy or push your limits with two time attack modes. You will also enjoy a good time with your family and friends with 4 players sharing the same PC.
Unfortunately, we’ve had to halt work on porting the Unreal Engine. It is a huge task and we’ve faced roadblocks. We are planning to resume the task once we’ve completed the MRs of our port to the mainline of Freedesktop-SDK, required to compile flatpak packages on PPC64 Big Endian.
When it’s business time, beyond the usual Linux productivity suites, we are also offering a PPC64 Big Endian optimised version of FreeCAD, so you can make come true your next breakthrough using the best laptop in the world. FreeCAD is a modeller for CAD, MCAD, CAx, CAE and PLM fitting a broad range of uses in engineering and architecture, and runs the same way in all major platforms, ensuring the full portability of your work.
If you don’t believe source code, I am sure you will believe your own eyes. Visit our YouTube channel and enjoy a bit of PowerPC glory! We are online at (link to youtube)
If you have the chance and skills to help, our warm and friendly community invites you to leave your mark on the future of open computing with your contribution and, as a bonus, you will become a better and more versatile developer. Why?
We live in an increasingly little endian world. With the near-monopoly of x86/amd64 in the desktop/laptop/server computing world, the culture of writing portable and performant multi-platform software has declined. We favour a multicultural world. An environment where multiple platforms have an opportunity to thrive gives us new perspectives to solve computing problems, instead of relying only on the old and tried, leading to a world of opener, safer and better software overall.
When developer to our platform, you must keep in mind that you are targeting a Big Endian platform. Manual endianness swapping must be avoided. If you are careful enough, you may be able to extract a bit of performance here and there, but you always must maintain specific use cases and ensure proper architecture detection throughout your code, otherwise the code won’t be architecture-independent.
With automatic swapping, the code is easier to maintain and port. POSIX offers tools for automatic endianness conversion. For more details, please check our guidelines.
Our talk at the FOSDEM 21
FOSDEM is a free event for software developers to meet, share ideas and collaborate. In 2021, the gathering will be online. Be part of the best FOSS conference in Europe – it is for free and registration is required.
We will, of course, mark our presence, with our own Roberto Innocenti hosting a talk and showcasing that now it is the time to switch to Open Hardware and raise again the profile of the Power Architecture.
Roberto’s presentation will happen on Saturday, 6th of February, 2021, starting at 12:15 CET and ending at 13:00. We will be seeing you there!
The tentative deadline for Phase1B is 18th November so there are two weeks left to donate the remaining 2600 euros. If we will reach the goal, the PCB with SI bus simulation should be ready by the middle of December.
In this case in before the end of 2020 we start working on production of the Prototypes together with the Prototypes Donation Campaign.
We have to give a name to the motherboard, suggestions still remain open few days more on our forum.
Our Open Hardware license and endianness suggestions at OSS 2020
Why not a software license such as GPL? Hardware licenses are specific for hardware so they are written using the appropriate words: manufacturer, devices, CAD tool…
Why we choose the CERN Open Hardware Licence v1.2? We think it offers a better protection for the licensor compared to other hw licenses such as TAPR Open Hardware License
So, who are the licensor and the licensee? – In our project we (Power Progress Community) are the licensor and the licensee is the hardware producer. The Licensee may manufacture or distribute Products – Licensee could modify our work but the modification must be available under the same or equivalent license. Licensor is protected – Quality and responsabilities of the hardware belong to the licensee.
Other important notes – Firmware, drivers and any other software would require their own license. – Intellectual property belongs to the licensor. – Documentation must be provided in the right format to be modified (using a CAD tool).
Finally we have published on our gitlab repository the Orcad source file with the latest version (v0.6) of the Electrical Schematics.
This file is at base of the PCB Design which is currently being worked on using Mentor Xpedition. The previous version of the schematics required some updates in order to accommodate minor changes to match the Slimbook chassis internal spaces. In addition, the schematics are now compatible with the I/O expansion board and the position of the external ports found on the “Elipse” chassis model, that was kindly provided by Slimbook.
After achieving the goal of Phase 1A (thank you all!!), we have just started Phase 1B of the donation campaign targeting the “Fast SI bus simulations”, in other words, an in-depth analysis of the integrity of signals of the PCB that came out from the previous campaign.
After discussing with the engineers currently working on the PCB, we were told that publishing an incomplete and potentially buggy PCB does not have much sense, as there might be major problems that will be solved after carrying out the SI bus simulations. At the end of these long discussions, we agreed on publishing the PCB only after reaching the end of Phase 1B, when all checks will be done.
At this point we cannot fix a deadline for publishing the PCB, as the end of the work on the PCB largely depends on when we will reach the goal of Phase 1B donation campaign and when the SI simulation will help solve all electrical problems that may come up.
The tentative deadline for Phase1B is 16th October so there are two weeks left to donate the remaining 4000 euros (around 4700 USD). If we will reach the goal, the PCB with SI bus simulation should be ready by the end of November .
Open Source Summit + Embedded Linux Conference Europe 27 Oct 2020
Thanks to the donations already received, the work on the PCB design can move forward and we estimate it could be completed by the End of September 2020. The date of publication of the PCB design will heavily depend on the results of the internal review process once we receive the first draft, hopefully it will not take long. The design of the PCB is meant to fit inside the Slimbook Eclipse body.
As we were unable to reach the goal by August, we are forced to postpone the deadline of the current Donation Campaign (Phase 1A) to the 15th of September 2020.
We kindly ask all followers, friends, and donors to concentrate their donations before the 15th September 2020, to ensure the end of Phase 1A to avoid an additional delay.
The plan is to deliver the PCB design with the end of Phase 1A, and right after that start Phase 1B “Fast SI bus simulations” on the 16th of September with a goal of € 5000 (around $ 5600). As a consequence, there will be no interruption in the donation campaign, it will transparently fade from Phase 1A to Phase 1B seamlessly.
The PCB design is in progress even if August is a holiday season in Italy. ACube Systems was able to engage an engineering firm available to work in August to develop the PCB based on the electrical schematics, a pretty difficult task because everyone is on holiday at this time in Italy.
In addition, Slimbook has provided us additional parts of the schematics useful for reviewing the connection of our motherboard design to the native Eclipse Expansion I/O Board. Resulting from these efforts, we can confirm our envisioned tentative schedule that set the delivery of the PCB design by the end of September 2020.
Interview with Riccardo Mottola, the main contributor to the ArcticFox web browser
In our PowerProgressCommunity association website we just published an interview with Riccardo Mottola, the most active developer contributing to the most advanced browser available for the PowerPC big endian platform
We have just published in our repo arcticfox 27.10.2(beta) compiled for PPC64
Freedesktop for Big Endian ported 350 package out of 470 to PPC64 big endian
Another step ahead on freedesktop-sdk on ppc64 big endian: libvpx and nss are gone. From 470 packages almost 350 are passed. Now the big challenge starts with ffmpeg, some sdl2 related component and mesa extension.
Suggest a Name for our PowerPC Notebook motherboard
Its time to give a name to our motherboard, we already have in our PPC forum few suggestions, please add yours.