New FP2 Motherboard

My FP1 only has 3G and I’m satisfied. I have WiFi in all university buildings and at home so I don’t have issues. But then again my FP1 isn’t really suited for HD video streaming in the first place (because it doesn’t have an HD screen and a weaker processor)… :wink:

Edit: I just tested my network speed and I get 23 Mbps with 3(.5)G on my FP1. Thus 7.5 Mbps really does sound quite slow… (Maybe you meant to say 7.5 MB/s, which would be 60 Mbps?)

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I don’t want to make any promises but I think I found a module tha fits the job. It’s by the same company and has got a integrated a7 processor (low power) to handle faster data traffic. It supports 150mbps. At first I thought it was too high but at a look at the closer description I found out that it is very thin and I only need to ad a few extra pads to my existing design, without changing much of the IO

Here is a link to the product : https://www.sierrawireless.com/products-and-solutions/embedded-solutions/products/wp7607/

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Yes, sure. But aren’t we moving on here? 4G is still in the expansion process in many places although reception is not always as reliable as with 3G.
Nevertheless the future goes for 4G or higher. This is hardware, nothing that could easily be replaced or upgraded.

I agree, although @Leo_TheCrafter seems quite well to know what he’s talking about this should once more be verified.

I’d like to share my personal experience on this point.

3G 7.5MBit/s
4G 10MBit/s

These are theoretical max. values depending on the used hardware.
But we are talking about wireless reception in best conditions.

Who could state always having best conditions for mobile reception even while moving?
It’s not about being connected by copper but having to consider different other impacts concerning wireless transmission as well.

I think I have a good practical (real) example for this seemingly little difference in speed.

In some cases I am trying to stay minimalistic.
So I am only keeping a 16MBit/s copper internet cable network (1&1).
One single computer connected to the Fritzbox (copper of course).
My NIC could deal in the GBit/s range, so that’s not the limit. Actually I’m only receiving a netto DL rate of ~9,5 - 10,5~ MBit/s. (I know for a 16MBit/s line it should be more, but that’s unfortunately the common way German ISP simply treat their customers, hence the contract is in cancelation state already :rage:)

Anyway this connected device is the only transmitting unit and WiFi is disabled (the Fritzbox WiFi option initially was unavailable due to the flashed vendor firmware which I later re-flashed with the original, re-enabling the WiFi functionality again :wink:.)

In praxis using Firefox on old XP or actual Mint without any other network traffic going on it is just possible to stream full HD videos from youtube. I don’t think there is a bandwidth lack on the side of youtube (ehm, Google).
If the full BW is used we are talking about 1,25Megabyte/s -> 10MBit/s.
In most cases videos stream flawless without caching troubles but in other cases streaming falls back to only 720p quality.

Things don’t turn to the better when enabling WiFi with only my FP2 connected. Although I am having a firewall there is always some network traffic going on when reception is enabled, who doesn’t know about this…

Before 1&1, Unitymedia was my ISP for ~ 10 years who delivered 24/7 101% of what was promised (10MBit/s). Same game here. Streaming full HD was just possible if there was no background network traffic going on.

Actually we are talking about mobile network reception here. Our FP2 could deliver and display full HD, so anything less than this is no advancement. Next there is still the reception quality. Can it be assured to always have the best 3G reception where ever we go (with whatever handset)?
Can we be sure to always have the full (theoretical best) bandwidth of 7.5MBit/s? And if so, it still would be a step back as we are actually holding a handset capable of delivering full HD streaming in cases of good/best reception (not to mention that I believe there are hardly new competitive handsets to be found offering less than full HD capabilities).
Nevertheless one should not neglect the fact that there is always background traffic going on. This will even reduce the available bandwidth for video streaming dynamically.

My mobile connection (1&1 / Eplus e-net) usually stays at 4G with a DL rate measure of ~15MBit/s which mostly works well.

I know it’s not all about video streaming and I don’t do much of it anyway. For everything else than this, 3G would be fully sufficient, let alone music streaming.
Unfortunately, music->music videos and similar content seems to be a major measurement for many interested users these days.

…consumes less power - I and maybe also others would consider this as the good news :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

…3G is only marginal slower than 4G

Due to the actual situation with FP2 specs (and my personal experience) I would interpret this as the bad news.

But anyway - kudos for putting all in a positive light :+1:

Reading this post I have the impression that you are approaching the famous remaining 5% mark for your project, which is always the most exhausting, time-/money consuming part to hit the final goal.

Pretty sure you will find a satisfactory solution, but maybe not today or tomorrow…good luck.

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In this concern I would like to know your opinion about the "new" eSIM technique.

  1. Technically -> complexity and space requirements (as space was your argument for the dual-sim implementation)?
  2. You like it or rather stick to the conventional µSIM (reasons?)

Thanks.

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Well, that might be a dealbreaker for people because 3G is going to get phased out before 2G. Providers want all the frequencies and bandwidth for 4G/5G.

And no, 3G doesn’t consume less power. The overhead of the protocol is AFAIK 15% like ATM. It isn’t even native TCP/IP. EDIT: 4G/5G has way better latency due to that.

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@JeroenH

After posting I could read that he might have found a better alternative. We’ll see.

If so that would even make things worse because there are countries/providers already not even having 2G active anymore.

or

So unlucky owners of the mainboard not having 2G and even 3G some day would hold a new unit degraded to crap without any reception option.
That would be the biggest frustration someone could experience.

So let’s hope the latest finding of @Leo_TheCrafter gives a working solution.

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This could be an optio if eSIM becomes more popular and wouldn’t be hard to implement, but for now I’ll stick with my standard SIM solution. A eSIM would be a great option to make space for more funktionality in the future. Thanks for the post.

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I’m very far right now and I hope I can finfish most of it this year. I’m drawing some scematics and refining the board layout right now.

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Sounds great.

Reading this some more came to my mind that was discussed here in the past.

There were more features requested which FP2 atm. does not deliver.

Like:

How does it look for your motherboard with these features, are they possible, maybe later by utilization with module upgrades?

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VoLTE is possible and even high standard bluetooth support is available

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I’m currently drawing scematics for CPU power supply, but because this is all subject to change, I can’t release renders just jet, beacuse there will be a lot of changes in this section of the board.

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I have now redesigned the PMIC for the CPU. It now has two voltages (CORE VCC0, CORE VCC1) for longer battary life.

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I like your subtle progress in the background popping up once in a while with results and not only bla - bla bla. That’s not very common these days.
Many thanks for keeping us updated.

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Thanks for that feedback. I can post more renders when I’m certain that the renders won’t change too much.

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I added an underfill-like glue around the antana connetctors to prevent damage when removing the connectors. It has a rubber like consistency and is easy to remove when the device has to be serviced (component level), but prevents damage to the anatana tuning components, a damage that’s hard and expensive to repair.

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I am able to implement a dual BIOS system by using a special controller and two WLCSP 128Mbit SPI flash ICs. This can simplify flasing a new BIOS, but also make it less likely to brick the device

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Do you really need a BIOS? Most ARM chips don’t need one, but I can understand it makes OS development easier.

On Android, you have the Recovery ROM that you can use to prevent bricking (to some extent). From what I understand, it’s just booting to a different address than the System ROM.

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It’s important that you have a BIOS when you want the device to be able to run linux. It also makes it easier to diagnose faults. E.g. the SMC could have a programm running that checks RAM and other important informations and reports if there is something wrong with the system over the JTAG connector. The SMC doesn’t have that much storage, but it needs to be able to check a lot of power rails and needs to be able to set the PWROK signals before the CPU even starts. And when developing a BIOS it could happen that you accedently brick the device when you only have one BIOS.

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I run Linux on FPGA chips without BIOS (Xilinx Zynq), but it’s true it’s a lot of pain less if “something” can check power, memory, and other hardware stuff.

I remember “bricking” a motherboard flashing a wrong BIOS version so I’ll definitely won’t argue about a second chip :wink:
And I trust your judgment if you think it can be laid out without requiring too much additional power, or € :slight_smile:

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The NOR flash ICs cost only around 5€ and the are from good quality, made by winbond and they also consume just 1mA and that’s under full operation. The SMC can even write/read them at the same time

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