[Arm-netbook] EOMA68 card based on NXP i.MX7 (work in progress)

Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton lkcl at lkcl.net
Wed May 10 08:25:45 BST 2017

On Tue, May 9, 2017 at 9:53 PM, Vincent <ml.eoma68 at eml.cc> wrote:
> Hi everybody,
> Since this is my first post on this list, please allow me to get off my
> chest a few things:
> - huge thanks to Luke for getting this project started
> - me = funding a PFY laptop, eagerly awaiting for it to arrive ;-)
> - me = working at a research institute, focused on hardware security

 hi vincent, nice to see you here on the list.

> What would be of interest to me is the following:
> - How well the idea of having an i.MX7 card is received

 i like it - the more the merrier, especially if there are others making them.

> - How important the use of an open source CAD program is.

 debatable.  if they were up to scratch it would be more important.
they're not up to scratch... so... *sigh*.

> I have access
> to Altium and have used it beforehand. However, KiCad has made
> significant progress since CERN is involved. Using KiCad would make it
> easier for the community to modify the board but since soldering these
> components by hand is impossible anyway, would there be any benefit in
> having freely accessible design files?

 you pretty much summed it up.  do the best you can.  gerbers, export
the PCB so it *can* be imported into libre design software (i believe
someone has actually written a plugin for kicad so it can import
altium in some way), and so on.

 but honestly, KiCAD simply is not up to the task.  you *will* end up
in a world of pain.  firstly: you should not be considering
re-laying-out the DDR3 tracks (unless absolutely necessary... and -
see later - it's not necessary).  secondly, if there's a pre-existing
Reference Board you should be using it and adapting your working
strategy to that.

 basically it's all about making the absolute minimum number of
changes.  this is *not* software.  each "test" you do costs $1700 to
$2000 and takes around 2-4 weeks to make then another 2-4 weeks to

> - General interest in a tamper-resistant enclosure
> To make the development easier, it would be nice if Luke could provide
> us (the community) with:
> - proper drawings for the outline of his PCB
> - PCMCIA connector type/enclosure and height requirements of PCB
> - mechanical verification package (as order option on crowdsupply) to
> provide a "getting-you-started" package for EOMA68 card developers;
> possibly including: PCMCIA receptable, connector, enclosure, etc.

 as you're the first let's do this in an informal way that's
convenient for me to do.  i've had a go at converting the sabre iMX7
Reference Design over to EOMA68, and what i'll do is email you that
once i've put all the (latest versions of) components into it.

 then, if you use mike's factory, he has all the parts, and is set up
to ship internationally.

> Please let me know what you think. Also, please keep in mind that this
> is a kind of fun project for me at work and therefore the time I can
> spend on this is limited. Progress will be slow but I will be sending
> updates to the mailing list.

 cool - understood.

 well, i'll try to make it easy for you by cleaning up the converted
Reference Design.

 this is awesome! :)


More information about the arm-netbook mailing list