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Welcome, Tim “Mithro” Ansell!
- Tim is on the show to discuss the Tomu, a new project currently funding on CrowdSupply. It’s mentioned at the beginning of the show and continued around 1:13:00.
- Tim is a software engineer (Back end/ front end) during the day and hardware engineer on the side.
- He also started PyCon AU, which is coming up August 24-26, 2018 in Sydney (there is also LinuxConf.au which is in January). There is a large IoT section as well, usually attended by the micropython crowd, including founder Damien George.
- Due to dyslexia in elementary school, Tim was told to use the spell check on his IBM XT 8088. This plus the “Dick Smith’s Fun Way into electronics” sparked his love of hardware.
- University of Adelaide
- His senior project was creating a phone exchange using a PIC with built in USB Interface. It has 8 ports connected to phones via standard RJ12 jacks and was all written in assembly.
- We got into the idea of unit tests for schematics.
- The hardware
- This is a project targeting user groups and conferences
- History of the project
- Needs to be portable with “extreme debuggability”
- Was inspired by Bunnie’s NETV – HDMI overlay
- They ended up using a Digilent board for early protos. Founder of Digilent (Clint Cole) was a guest on The Amp Hour in the past.
- Numato Opsis
- Current specs are 720p60, 1080p30 on the Spartan6
- Artix7 will be 1080p60
- Bunnie is doing NeTV2
- Tim’s talk at 33c3
- Currently funding on Crowdsupply
- Aims to replace something like the Yubikey Nano (though there’s no crypto module on board this device)
- It has 6 mil space/trace so it can be made cheaply. Uses the Silicon Labs Happy Gecko EFM32HG309
- FIDO device
- Sean “xobs” Cross is heading up the project.
- Training at Linux.conf.au – Jan 23rd
- This will take participants through the steps of creating an embedded soft processor in an FPGA. There will also be a Python framework that switches between different softcores.
- Cores discussed/explored
- OpenRISC 1K
- PicoRV32, which was mentioned last week on the show with Claire (nee Clifford) Wolf.
- Lattice LM32
- They are using the Arty A7 board
- Soon “upy-fpga” will become “fupy“
- Find Tim on the #TimVideos Freenode IRC channel as mithro
- Find him as @mithro on Twitter.
- As mentioned in the interview, if you contribute to the project Tim will send you a board for free!
Would love to attend the fpga course when he’s in the U.S.! Or better yet, I’d buy an online version of the material presented at the conference!
BTW, I thought the thing that makes running linux on a soft-core tricky, is the MMU.. or is the OpenRisc1k doing uClinux?
Since the LatticeMicro32Linux soft cpu doesn’t run linux, what is meant by (upstream?) gcc support? Does it mean you can cross compile your c-code on a linux host machine using gcc?
Is there an easier board/toolchain to start out with between the Lattice Ice40 and Xilinx Artix-7?
Interesting episode, though he came off as a bit pretentious.