December 17, 2019

Results from the first test boards

We posted pictures of the first test PCBs back in August. Dream Chip sent two of these for assembly to see if they worked - a couple of issues had already been identified but they weren't necessarily critical.

We decided to populate one of these boards without the CPU or FPGA, since these are the most valuable components and we have a limited stock at this stage. We took a calculated risk with the other board, on the grounds that if it did work, we'd have a working Enzian single board:

Enzian v.3 rev. 1.3 board populated

As it turned out, the clock and power trees on this board all work great, except that a design error means that the CPU and FPGA can't be powered.

The good news is that we can (and do!) use these boards for the bringup of the Board Management Controller (BMC). This is an SoC module designed by a company called Enclustra here in Zurich, which uses a Xilinx Zynq 7000 series processor running (currently) Linux and plugs into the Enzian main board:

Enzian BMC module

We're also testing the high-speed signals on these boards, in parallel with Dream Chip working on the next revision of the board. More in later posts...