September 24, 2009

Got the BGA chips installed on the 10373 prototype

by Andrey Filippov

10373A with BGA chips installed - fragment

10373A with BGA chips installed - fragment

Finally I received the 10373A PCB with BGA chips soldered. Still one (DDR3 for the video memory) is missing, we’ll install it later – anyway there is a lot to be done before I’ll need it. But that’s all what is soldered for me – I could not do it by hand. Hundreds of other components are waiting for me – I attached two of the model 353 cameras as microscopes and prepared to solder 0201 resistors and capacitors (0.3mm by 0.6mm) – I’ve never done it before. It may be stupid to try to do that manually, but it did work for me before to use a soldering iron after working with just virtual stuff on the computer. I believe it helps me to find some potential problems in the design while I take components one by one and think of them in different perspective than during the initial design.

And while I was waiting for the components and the board – I made some minor design upgrades to the existent camera – changed the layout of the sensor board to fit better multi-sensor applications (like panoramic video). The new board is just 15mm by 28mm (current 10338 is 32mm x 32mm), so using M12 (S-mount) lenses it is possible to shrink the size of the panoramic head so the distance between the outer elements of the opposite lenses is under 80mm – it is much smaller than similar high-res systems. That distance is important to reduce parallax – most noticable when the objects are close to the camera.


4 responses to “Got the BGA chips installed on the 10373 prototype”

  1. Dmitriy says:

    Sorry, Russian is more suitable for expression of my emotions 🙂
    Меня удивляет то, что Вас до сих пор не купил кто-нибудь из акул вроде Кэнона или того же Аксиса. Неужели у них переизбыток инженеров, согласных и способных не только разрабатывать софт и железо с помощью мышки, но и собственноручно напаивать сотни блох на экспериментальные образцы?
    Это же насколько надо быть чекнутым фанатиком!? …или потомком Левши 🙂

  2. andrey says:

    Dmitry, Elphel is not for sale 🙂

  3. ark says:

    re:”Elphel is not for sale”
    C’mon, if it’s an FOSS project, then after selling Elphel You can always start sth based on it, but with a new brand!) (then, please, make it affordable!…)

    Вообще, стоимость поразила: мне казалось, на foss -лицензиях можно здорово экономить. Хотя, конечно, ни рынка не знаю, ни отношения hardware -производителя к независимым компаниям-одиночкам, как Elphel (Может, выдавливают?).

    /нашел вас в статье на fsf.org.
    Good luck!
    Всегда радуют действительные (а не “наночубайсовские”) успехи сограждан. И бывших сограждан – тоже!

  4. andrey says:

    Hello Ark,
    >C’mon, if it’s an FOSS project, then after selling Elphel You can always start sth based on it, but with a new brand!)
    I fail to understand – why is it any difference in this aspect with nonfree projects? And what the buyer would be paying for?
    Building a trusted brand name takes time – free on non-free, and selling the freedom and trust of the users would ruin that overnight. So no, we will not sell Elphel.

    >then, please, make it affordable!…
    Our products are very affordable – for those who need and value freedom in the high-end devices. Unfortunately we can not make our products as cheap as high-volume devices – design for freedom and easy modification by the users put additional requirements and can only raise, not drop the price. There are inexpensive open hardware devices on the market – they are extremely useful for many projects, but that approach would not work for the high-end systems. The development costs are the same (or higher) but you can not spread those expenses over many thousands of the units manufactured and sold.

    >Вообще, стоимость поразила: мне казалось, на foss -лицензиях можно здорово экономить.
    I can not see – how can you save on the FOSS licenses in our case. GNU/Linux – yes, of couse we use it inside the cameras, but that is virtually all we can use. Hardware and the rest of the firmware is all our own design – only in the next camera we’ll be able to use at least one FPGA design available under GNU/GPL. So our expenses are the same as for manufacturers of the closed proprietary systems. The freedom of Elphel products is a feature that our customers can benefit (in many cases makes it possible for them to use our cameras).

    > Хотя, конечно, ни рынка не знаю, ни отношения hardware -производителя к независимым компаниям-одиночкам, как Elphel (Может, выдавливают?).
    No, we do not see any pressure from the proprietary competitors. Engineers of the manufacturers of the high volume cameras admitted – they spend hours on our wiki where we have the documentation on our products (circuit diagrams, PCB layouts and thousands of CAD files for the mechanical parts 🙂

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