[Tinkerphones] GTA04A5: good news and bad news

H. Nikolaus Schaller hns at goldelico.com
Wed Feb 22 21:26:09 CET 2017


Hi Alexey,

> Am 22.02.2017 um 20:05 schrieb Alexey Ignatov <lexszero at gmail.com>:
> 
> Hello.
> 
> 2017-02-22 18:55 GMT+02:00 H. Nikolaus Schaller <hns at goldelico.com>:
>> Snapdragon: would be fine, but unobtainable in small quantities.
>> Mediatek: afaik the same
>> RockChip: I don't know if they have PoP mobile chips
>> Allwinner: AFAIK no PoP and not power optimized for mobile operation
>> Apple A10: unobtainable
>> Exynos: AFAIK not well supported
>> 
>> So TI did alway have the best support for the open/free soft/hardware
>> community (except the IMG PVR SGX). Hence the DM3730 would still be a very
>> good choice.
> 
> And what about Freescale/NXP i.MX6 SoC's? There are PoP variants exists,

Oh, nice. I wasn't aware of this. Last time I checked (may be 3 or 4 years ago),
I didn't notice. Maybe it is newer and we had no need to reconsider.

But a quad core ARM Cortex A9 doesn't look bad at all:

http://www.nxp.com/assets/documents/data/en/data-sheets/IMX6DQCPOPEC.pdf

Probably the right choice would be MCIMX6Q7CZK08AD which is available
in prototyping quantities: https://octopart.com/search?q=MCIMX6Q7CZK08AD

But it is approx. 50% more expensive than the DM3730.

Very interesting is that although they have a similar to the OMAP BGA grid
on the bottom side of the chip it appears as if it has a hard case. This makes
soldering much less risky because warpage during soldering is avoided. The
drawback may be that the total package is thicker (1.25mm + PoP) compared
to 0.9mm +PoP for OMAP-CBB package.

Really good seems to be that it is 12x12mm like OMAP3. So it fits into the
available space. But it uses a 0.4mm pitch and 216 balls PoP memory instead
of 0.5mm and 168 balls. This means that it can't use the same memory chips
and we have to research if an 1GB DDR + 512MB NAND exists in that package.

On the SoC I/O capabilities it looks at a first glance as if the interfaces
are similar enough that it could technically be possible to build a GTA04X6
around it without loosing any functions (except analog TV output but it would
have HDMI).

> and
> also great documentation and open-source community support (one
> example: Novena). Mainline kernel support is also just fine.
> I've worked with different i.MX SoC's for some time, it's not perfect,
> but much, much more developer-friendly than
> Allwinner/Broadcom/Samsung.

Indeed!

What a pity that we neither have money left nor capacity, to do another
redesign (which would mean reworking the power supply and almost the full
PCB layouts).

BR and thanks for this suggestion,
Nikolaus




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