[Arm-netbook] Campaign Schedule and Future Sales/Products

Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton lkcl at lkcl.net
Mon Jul 16 03:38:34 BST 2018

crowd-funded eco-conscious hardware: https://www.crowdsupply.com/eoma68

On Sun, Jun 24, 2018 at 10:01 PM, Paul Boddie <paul at boddie.org.uk> wrote:
> I saw the recent response to my enquiry ("EOMA68-A20 Prototype Status")
> was augmented by a campaign update:
> "It’s going to take about a month to have the 8 Gbit 1600 MHz DDR3 x8 RAM
> manufactured: we’re on the way. [...] All in all, it will likely take
> months after getting the cards back from assembly before shipping begins.
> puts actual delivery of the first units in late October."

Yes. Mike is being extra cautious, hes ordered the full set of components
now for 1000 cards and 500 mds.

> https://www.crowdsupply.com/eoma68/micro-desktop/updates/2-7-5-samples-
> received-dram-is-ok-micro-hdmi-to-confirm
> This new information is much appreciated, and I hope that everything
> going to plan. Meanwhile, I noticed that the matter of future sales and
> products arose in another thread, with the intention being expressed that
> others will be producing and selling boards in future.

 More that as the certification mark holder i cannot sell at all to anyone
period and so that automatucally means someone else has to.

I can barely get away with treating people here as engineering assistants
or something like that.

> Now, there may have been some confusion in that other thread because I
seem to
> recall talk of follow-up campaigns (although these may have been related
> other hardware projects, not computer cards). Indeed, the August 2016
> update about the product roadmap had the following to say:
> "We need your backing for this project and the current Computer Card
before we
> can be in an established financial position to properly evaluate and
bring you
> these faster Computer Cards."
> https://www.crowdsupply.com/eoma68/micro-desktop/updates/product-roadmap
> The crucial question in the context of the above is therefore the
> who exactly is "we"? If not any of the parties behind the current
> who might it be? Here, I can understand some confusion or a mismatch in
> expectations.

We as in all of us who want this project to succeed. However also i am
taking a liberty and indirectly speaking on behalf of thinkpenguin.

> But in any case, this discussion of future sales and products reminded me
of a
> number of things, the first of which being the board designs:
> "The only exception to this rule to release everything in advance is the
> CAD files for the Computer Card. We’re planning to release the PCB CAD
> for the Computer card once sufficient units are hit that ensures any third
> party manufacturing runs will not undermine the project’s development or
> stability."
> https://www.crowdsupply.com/eoma68/micro-desktop/crowdfunding
> Although "the point about the A20 running out of time" [1] has been made
> repeatedly since the start of the campaign (this quote being from March
> in the context of suitable NAND ICs), might it be envisaged that the
> files be released for the A20 card to perhaps *stimulate* the project's
> development and stability after this campaign concludes?

Basically yes however the files will need to come with an agreement that
recipients shall respect the Certification Mark which takes absolute
precedence over and above the GPL.


> Has there been any constructive interest from anyone to produce more
> using this design?

A couple of companies approached me, also thinkpenguin have always wanted
to stock them.

> I see that Olimex have recently introduced a variant of one
> of their A20-based products using the compatible T2 SoC [2]. So, the A20
> has an audience and a commercial life, apparently.

25 second to GUI desktop aint bad.

> Another thing I found myself considering is the matter of the other cards
> mentioned during the course of the campaign. If they are not going to be
> offered via future campaigns, will they be offered by existing partners or
> collaborators? For instance:
> http://rhombus-tech.net/ingenic/jz4775/
> http://rhombus-tech.net/rock_chips/rk3288/
> http://rhombus-tech.net/nexell/s5p6818/

The 6818 is a tough one. The 3288 i still have to get 2 of the 4 drams
recognised. Rockchip are under NDA with the DDR initialisation so cannot
help. The 4775 i need to replace the 24mhz xtal.

> The first two of these had been prototyped, as I recall (and has been
> documented), and so I imagine that there is some value in seeing them
> products, subject to economic and technical viability, the latter of which
> reminding me of the following remarks:
> "The rk3288 is not a low-power chip, and the heat sink supplied (pictured
> above), is not adequate for any CPU-intensive activity, quickly throttling
> performance when it gets too hot."

Thats why you only run it at a lower clock rate.
Duh. :)

Also has contact with metal case.

Will have to see how it goes once up and running.

> https://forum.armbian.com/topic/4614-asus-tinker-board/
> (The above is just an acknowledgement of the difficulties of selecting
> products, not an invitation to discuss the details.)


> Finally, I realised that the current campaign began almost two years ago.
> think the second anniversary of its launch will be on Friday this coming
> It would be interesting to hear any reflections on the position of this
> initiative two years on, whether (and how) the roadmap might change, and
> still needs to be done to bring this modular computing vision to fruition.

 Good idea

> Apologies if I missed various updates or announcements that happen to
> some of my questions!

 No pretty insightful and very helpful as always.

> Paul
> [1] https://www.crowdsupply.com/eoma68/micro-desktop/updates/
> hardware-progress-and-travel
> [2] https://olimex.wordpress.com/2018/06/20/a20-olinuxino-lime-
> now-in-stock-the-oshw-linux-computer-now-support-emmc-and-can-be-produced-
> with-industrial-grade-temperature-4085c/
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