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SD Card Module Update


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#1 Chris Walker

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Posted 25 May 2012 - 11:34 PM

Quick update on the SD card module...

We are ordering PCBs for the SD card modules. We'll hand-assemble a few as soon as they arrive; as long as everything checks out we'll move immediately into volume production.

We're using the brand new STM32F051 microcontroller (48LQFP) on this module. It allows for high-speed error-corrected communication and gives us a ton of flash and RAM on the module for future updates. We'll be testing the "virtual SPI" software on the SD card module...and then using the same firmware on the Ethernet module.

Speaking of which, we'll be doing final spec checks on the Ethernet module next week and then it'll go off for production as well.

Along with upcoming Shield Base updates and the modules from Nwazet, VariableLabs, Komodex Labs and others...it's shaping up to be a fun summer for Netduino Go! :)

Chris

P.S. The "Netduino" and go!bus logos are being added to the module as it goes into production. They're not on the attached image.

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#2 Arron Chapman

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 12:39 AM

Thanks for the update, and the shout-out. ;)

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#3 Gutworks

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 01:38 AM

Great news! Thanks Chris.

#4 Dave VanderWekke

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 01:47 AM

Cool Chris. Thanks for the Info. Looking forward to testing one out.

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#5 Matt Isenhower

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 03:20 AM

Looks awesome. That looks like it takes full-sized SD cards, is that correct? Also, what types and sizes of SD cards are you planning on supporting?
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#6 Chris Walker

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 03:29 AM

Looks awesome. That looks like it takes full-sized SD cards, is that correct? Also, what types and sizes of SD cards are you planning on supporting?

Yes, it's full-size SD for maximum compatibility. You can use a MiniSD or MicroSD card via adapter, and MMC cards will work.

This particular SD module is open source; it uses SPI (MMC) mode and the built-in NETMF SD drivers. It should support all SD cards and many SDHC cards.

If there's a need for a "4-wire" SD card module, go!bus enables that scenario too. Either Secret Labs or an ecosystem partner could pay to license the SD patents and use a low-end STM32F1/2 chip with RealSD support.

Let's see what we can make happen with this open source module. There's a lot that can be done with firmware to use the SPI (MMC) mode to its fullest capabilities, as demonstrated by KodeDaemon in the Netduino Plus v4.1.1 beta firmware.

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#7 Chris Walker

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 06:25 AM

Test samples just arrived :) Photo attached. [We added a 'MiniJTAG' header to the test sample PCBs; I've drawn over it with black marker in this photo...the header won't be there on your SD modules.] We should have these tested within a few days. Most modules work properly on the first spin, but this is a brand new microcontroller so we're going to do some extra validation... Chris

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#8 Gutworks

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 08:37 AM

Test samples just arrived :) Photo attached.

[We added a 'MiniJTAG' header to the test sample PCBs; I've drawn over it with black marker in this photo...the header won't be there on your SD modules.]

We should have these tested within a few days. Most modules work properly on the first spin, but this is a brand new microcontroller so we're going to do some extra validation...

Chris

Wow, that module looks great! The SD module isn't too shabby as well ;)

This is great news Chris. When do you expect to have the SD module production ready and available for purchase? I have a [nwazet display module just waiting to showoff some of it's beautiful pictures.

#9 Chris Walker

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 10:16 AM

Hi Gutworks,

This is great news Chris. When do you expect to have the SD module production ready and available for purchase? I have a [nwazet display module just waiting to showoff some of it's beautiful pictures.

If the hardware passes all tests, production takes 3-5 weeks (depending on how busy the assembly house is). I'll keep you updated on both the SD and Ethernet modules :)

Next week we'll start design on the motor/servo module as well...

Chris

#10 nakchak

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 11:50 AM

Looking very nice :) Any reason why production wont have JTAG headers on it, cant imagine 10 through holes would add that much to production costs? Admittedly very few people will probably ever want to debug the module, but its nice having the option to be able to i.e. i added JTAG headers onto my GO and Shield Base before i even deployed code to them... have debugger, need to faff ;) Then again never have always seen "non user serviceable" stickers as a challange not an instruction, blanking plates and debug points are too inviting to leave alone... :D Nak.

#11 Stefan

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 12:06 PM

Any reason why production wont have JTAG headers on it, cant imagine 10 through holes would add that much to production costs?

Chris can correct me if I'm wrong, but the holes will be there, just like with the mainboard. Just the headers themselves will be missing. That's to avoid confusion since the pin spacing is the same as the Go!Socket.
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#12 Chris Walker

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 12:12 PM

Then again never have always seen "non user serviceable" stickers as a challange not an instruction, blanking plates and debug points are too inviting to leave alone... :D

We love hacking, but we also want to make sure the Netduino Go products look really nice, aesthetically, and that they aren't intimidating to users who are looking for plug-and-play solutions. We figured out how to fit in the JTAG headers aesthetically on the mainboard and Shield Base, but on the small modules they take up a lot of room and feel out of place.

That said, these modules are simple to breadboard...so it's fairly straightforward to pick up the schematics and create your own "module" to test your latest hacks...and then upload them to the production module. We don't expect many users to need to change the code on their SD modules, since it will be running standard IO firmware... But if you want to, awesome :)

Chris can correct me if I'm wrong, but the holes will be there, just like with the mainboard. Just the headers themselves will be missing. That's to avoid confusion since the pin spacing is the same as the Go!Socket.

Uh oh. Me correct Stefan? He's usually always right! The MiniJTAG header is just there for testing and early debugging...those holes will be smooth blank PCB for production units.

Chris

#13 nakchak

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 12:49 PM

That said, these modules are simple to breadboard...so it's fairly straightforward to pick up the schematics and create your own "module" to test your latest hacks...and then upload them to the production module.


Its not so much the SD module i would be planning to hack, but the Ethernet one, which i assume for the same reasons wouldn't feature JTAG.

I guess im impatient (and would love to get more involved) but it would be awesome if Secret Labs published schematics and BoM's like Nwazet do to a Bit Bucket (or similar publicly available) repository, as I for one would be all to happy to breadboard up a module and alpha/beta test pre production hardware. Obviously there are some commercial reasons to not be 100% open, the surprise of the GO! was awesome for example.

Nak.

#14 Chris Walker

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 03:11 PM

Hi nakchak, We'll be sure to post the schematics and source for each module as they're released. We typically don't publish the schematics to keep confusion to a minimum. But perhaps we can publish the schematics for SD and Ethernet once they pass testing (so you can start playing with it early)? Chris

#15 nakchak

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 04:23 PM

Hi nakchak,

We'll be sure to post the schematics and source for each module as they're released. We typically don't publish the schematics to keep confusion to a minimum. But perhaps we can publish the schematics for SD and Ethernet once they pass testing (so you can start playing with it early)?

Chris


That would be awesome Chris, im sure im not alone in wanting to play with the new toys ;)

#16 neslekkim

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 07:27 PM

We love hacking, but we also want to make sure the Netduino Go products look really nice, aesthetically, and that they aren't intimidating to users who are looking for plug-and-play solutions. We figured out how to fit in the JTAG headers aesthetically on the mainboard and Shield Base, but on the small modules they take up a lot of room and feel out of place.


What would be nice, is if you gave an option to buy with the jtag headers, or sell headers for us to solder on. I have luckily gotten help to order those things, so I'm in the clear, but I would guess there are quite a few hackers around who would have this.
Of course, for the mainstream user, it's ok that they are like its today.
I was guessing that these new ones also had jtag, so today, I think it's on 5 modules?
Pogo-pin adapter, if it's possible with the density could be an nice alternative though.

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#17 beastyboy

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 10:00 PM

Can't wait till I get my hands on those two modules!

#18 iexpress

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 04:26 AM

This is nice, what will be the GB limitation, and can you write to any portion of the sc card without using tables so it would be straight binary data? Thanks

#19 Chris Walker

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 03:09 PM

Hi iexpress,

This is nice, what will be the GB limitation, and can you write to any portion of the sc card without using tables so it would be straight binary data? Thanks

The SD card will use the built-in NETMF SD card (MMC) drivers at launch. All SD cards should work. At a minimum, anything that works with Netduino Plus should work with this module as well (using a MicroSD adapter).

Reads/writes will be through the .NET MF file system classes. If you want to read/write to the SD card directly, you could implement that using SPI and managed code if you wanted...a cool hack.

Chris

#20 Chris Walker

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 02:01 PM

Update... We finished testing the SD card modules on Friday; they're now going into production. :) Chris




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