ProtoSpring, part 3: manufacturing and demo After coming up with the idea in part 1 for ProtoSpring, the prototyping board for Springboard,  and creating the PCB in part 2, this final segment shows the end-result and a demo application – using GPIO to control a 7-segment display from an Android app! Finished Prototyping Board After finishing the v1…

Continue Reading

Go is a modern and quite popular systems programming language developed at Google. I’ve recently came across a wiki page describing its ARM support, I thought it would be interesting to check how VIA devices can make use of Go. I’ve checked out the VAB-820, VAB-600, and the APC 8750 boards, all a bit different from each other.…

Continue Reading

All VIA’s current ARM boards (VAB-600, 820, 1000) have an online mini-PCIe connector, and I’ve been planning to do something interesting with that for a long time (see this intro post from more than a year ago). Thus I’m very happy to introduce the PCIeDuino – mini-PCIe form-factor Arduino-compatible microcontroller, which can add a whole new set of…

Continue Reading

It has been quite a few years since I’ve last used Xenomai, the real-time application framework for Linux, during the work on my thesis back at the university physics lab. When I’ve found that the VIA VAB-820 board is listed on Xenomai’s compatible hardware page, it brought back a lot of interesting memories and I got excited trying it out again.…

Continue Reading

Previously I’ve described here the ProtoSpring board to support quicker prototyping with  Springboard. Since then it was put to good use for just that: I’ve tested how the I2C bus works, and created a new device. The inspiration for that new device comes from Tindie, the indie hardware marketplace (where ProtoSpring is listed as well). Browsing existing hardware I’ve…

Continue Reading

After coming up with the idea in part 1 for ProtoSpring, the prototyping board for Springboard,  and creating the PCB in part 2, this final segment shows the end-result and a demo application – using GPIO to control a 7-segment display from an Android app! Finished Prototyping Board After finishing the v1 of the PCB, I’ve exported the…

Continue Reading

In the first part of this series I’ve outlined the idea of making a prototyping extension board for the Springboard, and finished with a rough schematic. Since then I’ve revised the schematic based on experience, and laid out the prototyping board PCB.  By the end of this write-up we’ll have a complete design, ready to send to manufacturing.…

Continue Reading

I was looking for a project to showcase how easy it is to extend the functionality of the Springboard platform, drawing inspiration from the expansion board that is bundled in the kit. Springboard and expansion board (top), from klinger.net The expansion board connects to the main board with a couple of pin headers (power, GPIO, sound)…

Continue Reading

Here at VIA we like to learn from others, and our ecosystem is full of very successful examples we can learn from. Just like we were very happy to see RaspberryPi in Taiwan recently, this week we’ve joined the “Designing with Freescale” developer event in Hsinchu. Freescale developer event in Hsinchu, Taiwan Hsinchu is probably a very good…

Continue Reading

I’ve been converting a lot of our boards’ documentation from PDF to web accessible form. It is a very hands on project, and I have a better feel for the hardware options available. One of the parts I’ve discovered to be potentially quite interesting is the onboard PCI Express Mini Card slot on the VAB-600 (as well as…

Continue Reading