[Arm-netbook] IC for analog and digital buttons (EOMA-68)

Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton lkcl at lkcl.net
Mon Aug 11 07:48:03 BST 2014

On Mon, Aug 11, 2014 at 2:17 AM, krasi gichev <krasimirr at gmail.com> wrote:
>> out of curiosity, i'd be interested to hear if the design that you
>> are creating is intended for anything approaching a decade-long
>> support and end-user lifespan.
> First of all, I want to make it clear that my area is closer to industrial
> and sometimes automotive than consumer. Also, I am sure that I don't have
> your experience and I don't see all the details that you have seen - and
> large customers that expect the CPU cards.
> And, the usual disclaimer, this post will not bring any creative ideas, it
> will explain my position, so feel free to stop reading here...
> But what I have learned in recent years is that there is no such thing like
> "one size fits all". Even if something fits well at the current time, this
> is temporal and will change in several months or an year.
> In our devices, in past 10 years, we had passed over several form factors of
> "processing boards" - PC104, ISA, ETX, and some other, our own too. And what
> we got like benefits is limited to:
> - possible second source - I hope the EOMA will be able to attract more that
> one designer and producer of CPU cards
> - possible upgrade of the CPU card - this works sometimes, but never for 10
> years

 ok, this intrigues me, that it is not clear why you believe that the
interfaces selected would not last another 10 years.  do you have time
to go through them?

 * ethernet.  GbE. has been around for 2+ decades.  do you expect GbE
to be around for another 10 years?

 * USB3.  USB2 has been around for 2 + decades.  it has been upgraded
to USB3 which is 5gb/sec at the moment..  do you expect USB3 to be
around for another 10 years?  in fact, i understand that USB3 is to
get at least *another* speed upgrade.

 * GPIO, UART, I2C, SPI  i think it safe to say that these will be
around for at least a decade?

 * SD/MMC.  has been around for around 2 decades, and is constantly
being upgraded.  i think it safe to say that this will be around for
another decade?

 * RGB/TTL.  has been around for 2+ decades.  it's the baseline for
video output.  there's always going to be converter ICs, no matter
what the latest-and-greatest standard.

 i think it reason-ably safe to say that every single interface picked
on the EOMA68 standard has a lifetime of at least one decade.  as in
there are reasons why every single interface has already been
long-term and will continue to be so.

> - maybe 2-3-5 years is realistic ( I mean in industrial, in consumer 1
> year top); with current CAD tools it is not so hard to redesign to other
> form factor (you know it, you have made many desing recently)

 yeees, but now you have set a MOQ for pricing for your clients.  the
purpose of the EOMA68 standard is to bring the benefit of mass-volume
pricing *even* to this smaller custom run market.

> Nope, I cannot even imagine that something (commercial) will live for so
> long. It might run fine but customers are always demanding new features,

 how many of those features do not fit into USB3, SPI, SD/MMC and I2C?

> better perfomance (even just better design).

 what do you mean by performance?  do you mean anything other than
better CPU, better RAM, faster RAM, more RAM or more storage?  because
those are exactly what is on the CPU Card.

> My point is (and probably I am biased by my lifestyle) that I will prefer to
> put the old one in the basement, or on the e-bay, and just go for the
> newest. Or, if you prefer, recycle it.

 exactly!  so just buy a new base-unit, keep the CPU Card, you have
just saved 30% on the cost of a monolithic unit.

 ok, there's a lot here, i have to get on, more later ok?


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