CHIP - The World's First Nine Dollar Computer

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Chuckt
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CHIP - The World's First Nine Dollar Computer

Post by Chuckt » Fri May 08, 2015 3:16 pm

CHIP - The World's First Nine Dollar Computer

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/15 ... 9-computer



http://mashable.com/2015/05/07/chip-tiny-computer/
1 GHZ processor
512MG Ram
4GB Storage
I really want one but I don't really want Linux because I don't know it.
8 digital GPIOs, one PWM pin, SPI, TWI, UART, USB, MIPI-CSI, Parallel LCD output, touchpanel input, and a whole bunch of power rails in and out. Most of these are set by the processor, but others are still subject to change as we finalize part selections. We’ll post more specific pinouts and electrical specs when we have finalized the design for “Alpha” modules in September.
It has an A13 Allwinner processor (ARM) chip.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allwinner_Technology

Did I mention this project is on Kickstarter? Wouldn't it be great for the next generation to learn programming?

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Re: CHIP - The World's First Nine Dollar Computer

Post by brad » Tue May 12, 2015 9:27 pm

How on earth do they do it for that price!

It's packed full of features for just $9! I have designed much simpler circuits with a cheap microcontroller that are more expensive than $9!

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Re: CHIP - The World's First Nine Dollar Computer

Post by Chuckt » Wed May 13, 2015 10:48 pm

brad wrote:How on earth do they do it for that price!

It's packed full of features for just $9! I have designed much simpler circuits with a cheap microcontroller that are more expensive than $9!
I supposed that $9 for a CPU, $15 for a video board and $10 for profit is what it will cost in the future. Plus add in a keyboard and it will cost more. I'm leaning towards an HDMI video board for it.

I want one and this is something I would like working on with two or more people.

I have the books and cables for the ARM Cortex but experience is something I'm lacking.

I want to make a lot of new things.

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Re: CHIP - The World's First Nine Dollar Computer

Post by brad » Tue May 26, 2015 10:11 pm

I guess all those add-ons are where the cost starts to rise quite a bit. however the amount that you could get done simply with the composite video out seems to to be quite impressive. I guess you could get the $9 board and then add things later as I am sure they will eventually be sold via retail.

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Re: CHIP - The World's First Nine Dollar Computer

Post by Chuckt » Sun May 31, 2015 5:53 am

I pledged for the $9 computer and HDMI shield. I would like the LCD, battery and Keyboard but I think this project might grow into another version like the Raspberry Pi did.
The beauty of it is the computer is small and its simplest form right now. I wanted to pledge before the timer ran out and I could change my bid.

Some people will say to stay away from ARM because the assembly code is a little endian and people don't know the differences in architecture. The bare metal programming is probably not for beginners but if it is, it there is a learning curve to start out.

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Re: CHIP - The World's First Nine Dollar Computer

Post by brad » Tue Jun 02, 2015 10:34 pm

I showed this to my students just the other day and one of them was extremely excited about it. He's going to pledge for the complete package including the pocket CHIP :)

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Re: CHIP - The World's First Nine Dollar Computer

Post by Chuckt » Wed Jun 03, 2015 6:17 am

The good thing about it is it will come with Linux. There is a possibility other kernel hackers will program it in other languages.

There are a lot of videos on YouTube about how to program ARM. Assembler looks more complicated on the ARM processor than 6502 code. On top of it, he probably needs an ST Link or compatible Jtag programmer to program a regular ARM chip. I have one by Olimex but I just bought the ST Link not too long ago.

Unless you know programming, I don't think many will start programming it in assembler right away unless there is a package that makes it easy.

For those who want a small computer, the Raspberry Pi or the $9 computer may be the way to go.

This could almost be the rest of my hobby.

Others can look at Andybrown.me.uk to see what that man has done with ARM.

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Re: CHIP - The World's First Nine Dollar Computer

Post by brad » Fri Jun 05, 2015 7:52 pm

I'm sure Garth would certainly have something to say about programming in assembly :)

For me, that's where I started out and it was great fun. In fact, I am currently making a little computer out of a PIC18 chip that you program in machine language - so I am taking another step away from what a human can understand!

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Re: CHIP - The World's First Nine Dollar Computer

Post by Chuckt » Sun Jun 07, 2015 4:34 am

brad wrote:I'm sure Garth would certainly have something to say about programming in assembly :)

For me, that's where I started out and it was great fun. In fact, I am currently making a little computer out of a PIC18 chip that you program in machine language - so I am taking another step away from what a human can understand!
I found an audio chip outside of the Pic family if you would like to add it. I am interested in anything computers.

I logged onto Kickstarter today 15 minutes before the Kickstarter campaign closed to change my pledge for Chip (the $9 computer) and I'm getting one chip, one chip with pocket chip and the HDMI board. I didn't want to pay $30 more for the VGA board and lipo battery. I think I can probably find a LIPO battery off of ebay, Amazon or Seeedstudio because I think the connectors are probably the same and as long as the battery fits, a battery is just a battery as long as it is the same voltage. I got an email that they would send out a survey for us to get more components. I'm probably going to have to get a github account to get the files I want.

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Re: CHIP - The World's First Nine Dollar Computer

Post by Chuckt » Tue Jun 30, 2015 12:19 am

brad wrote:I showed this to my students just the other day and one of them was extremely excited about it. He's going to pledge for the complete package including the pocket CHIP :)
I think it might be possible for him to move down to a 200 Mhz F7 chip in the future and there is a development board for $50. I'm sure they will offer a unit with more features in the future as well as ram because Linux users want more ram to run Linux.

STM32F7, An ARM Cortex-M7

"We’ve seen the ~F4 chip pump out 800×600 VGA, drive a thermal imaging camera, and put OpenCV inside a webcam. Now there’s a new, even more powerful part on the market, and the mind reels thinking what might be possible."

"Right now there a few STM32F7 parts out, both with speeds up to 216MHz, Flash between 512k and 1MB, and 320kB of RAM. Peripherals include Ethernet, USB OTG, SPDIF support, and I²S. The most advanced chip in the line includes a TFT LCD controller, and a crypto processor on-chip. All of the chips in the STM32F7 line are pin compatible with the STM32F4 line, with BGA and QFP packages available."

"As with the introduction of all of ST’s microcontrollers, they’re rolling out a new Discovery board with this launch. It features Ethernet, a bunch of audio peripherals, USB OTG, apparently an Arduino-style pin layout, and a 4.3 inch, 480×272 pixel LCD with capacitive touch. When this is available through the normal distributors, it will sell for around $50. The chips themselves are already available from some of the usual distributors, for $17 to $20 in quantity one. That’s a chunk of change for a microcontroller, but the possibilities for what this can do are really only limited by an engineer’s imagination."

http://hackaday.com/2015/06/26/new-part ... cortex-m7/

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Re: CHIP - The World's First Nine Dollar Computer

Post by brad » Mon Jul 06, 2015 8:59 pm

I have to say that I don't know if I'll be able to keep up with where microcontrollers are going. I still like to keep it nice and simple with some basic 16x2 LCD displays and LED's. But this is getting right into basically a fully fledged computer system!

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Re: CHIP - The World's First Nine Dollar Computer

Post by Chuckt » Wed Jul 08, 2015 10:30 pm

brad wrote:I have to say that I don't know if I'll be able to keep up with where microcontrollers are going. I still like to keep it nice and simple with some basic 16x2 LCD displays and LED's. But this is getting right into basically a fully fledged computer system!
I've heard of Commodore 64's being used for their cartridge port as a method to interface with lighting, ships, etc. I'm guessing that this computer might have been an early way for people to control microcontrollers.

I don't really know the history of microcontrollers so I guess that would be another post to ask, "What was first?"

Wikipedia credits TI:
The Smithsonian Institution says TI engineers Gary Boone and Michael Cochran succeeded in creating the first microcontroller in 1971. The result of their work was the TMS 1000, which became commercially available in 1974. It combined read-only memory, read/write memory, processor and clock on one chip and was targeted at embedded systems.[1]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microcontroller

I don't know if they were actually first but it is probably a good answer.

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Re: CHIP - The World's First Nine Dollar Computer

Post by brad » Thu Jul 16, 2015 10:38 pm


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Re: CHIP - The World's First Nine Dollar Computer

Post by Garth » Fri Jul 17, 2015 3:21 am

In 1982-83, I worked at TEAC in Montebello, CA, the western hemisphere's central office, as a repair technician, working on consumer and semi-professional audio, mostly tape recorders. Although the office of around 120 employees had only one computer, a mainframe, into which the terminals on the desks of the sales and accounting people connected, many of the tape recorders had microcontrollers in them by then, although some were buggy and there wasn't much we techs could do about it. One bug on the open-reel machines seemed to be that the processing power was only marginally enough to keep up with a reasonable rewind and fast-forward speed, and if the not-so-tight control let the speed get too high, the microcontroller couldn't keep up with the interrupts from the input from the wheel used for the linear tape counter, and the µC would crash, and then the machine would wind so fast it sounded like it was going to take off or blow up or something. Gentle tape handling went out the window, and the only way to get control back was to cycle the power.
http://WilsonMinesCo.com/ lots of 6502 resources

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