[Gta04-owner] PCB layout --- final roadblock removed!

Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller hns at goldelico.com
Wed Mar 23 18:19:03 CET 2011

Hi all,
as indicated by the headline, we have finally achieved:

	100% PCB connectivity!

Unfortunately, it did take much more time than anticipated. The main
problem being a good but not excellent PCB design tool which shows its
weakness when trying to manually modify a complex multilayer board.

But with our new helper tool it was much easier to identify and
resolve the issues, why the autorouter did not achieve 100% connectivity
If we ever have to redo this (e.g. to exchange major components because
they become obsolete), I think we will need less than 3-4 weeks.
And fixing minor issues should be even faster now.

So I am sure you now ask yourself, what the next steps of the GTA04 core
project will be. Here we are:

1. make another careful review of the PCB design
2. get a new quotation from our PCB manufacturer and have them check the layout and estimate production time
3. update component list, order the remaining components (we have already received almost all non-standard components)
4. have a stencil being produced
5. have our production partner make a program for the pick&place machine
6. build a first handful of units and test them
7. build the full batch of Early Adopter units
8. ship them to you
9. have fun to continue working all together on the kernel and drivers (we should upgrade to 2.6.38 asap)
10. provide a tested and pre-configured Debian Squeeze rootfs with LXDE
11. collect and share experiences

Some more words about the future:
the GTA04 core team will focus on Hardware, U-Boot and Kernel/Driver
improvements. The Debian/LXDE will be sort of a demo/test image and
not work on user interfaces and distributions. We hope that SHR, Hackable,
QtMoko, Android and other open software projects will become available
as a community effort .

I will keep you updated on progress of these steps.


PS: there have been many subscription requests to this list by non-owners
but since I think they all want to become owners as soon as we have general
availability, I have now opened this list so that it is no longer on invitation only.

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