If you have been following previous news on Pandoralive, you should know that the Pyra’s design is progressing well enough. There are additional news in the past week, and a hint that a prototype may be available by the GamesCom !
Evil Dragon, leading the development efforts, has disclosed a couple of days back a few technical progress updates.
The SSD rotator chip is now fully operational, and the Pyra board has no issue to send pictures and have them rotated on the fly before reaching the screen. The only remaining issue is the tearing, occurring because the framebuffer of the OMAP5 is not synchronized with the SSD Rotator chip. The SSD has a built in signal to allow for synchronization, but that signal only works in MIPI Command Mode, while the current setup uses MIPI Video Mode. Two solutions may exist at this stage:
- Use the OMAP5 in Command Mode instead
- Modify the driver to allow the signal to work in Video Mode as well.
This may take additional time, but at least the hardware part is now fixed and it’s just a software issue that can be dealt with later on.
The case, in itself, is now finished, and pending a last verification in terms of dimensions, the design will be sent for mold preparation – so that actual case production could start in October. Yeah, creating a thick metal mold takes a lot of time. You can see below the last version of the case with the ports in the back as well as the shoulder buttons. Apparently this last iteration of buttons design works well.
Talking about the back side, you can see most of the extension ports there:
- One full USB-2 host
- The other USB-2 host that doubles as e-SATA with an adapter
- Audio Jack (yeah, on the back this time)
- Micro-USB 3 port, OTG format
- Micro-USB 2 port for charging and debugging
And this is what the board looks like naked with all these ports. It’s starting to get a little crowded in there.
The other side of the main board will see the keyboard traces, and the keymat positioned above those traces. The keymat is now finished, and the normal keys will be surrounded by a bit of transparent silicone mat, for a nicer touch feeling and to enable the keys to be back-lit. The mold production will be started very soon and should be complete within a month.
There is one little change related to the 4 big gaming buttons (not the smaller two) – they will now be glued to the mat so that they feel more like actual joypad buttons. The marking of these buttons will be on the silicon and visible through transparent button caps.
The CPU board is progressing well as well, with Nikolaus adding more traces every day. It looks like a clockwork’s job, with so many traces already all over the place.
There’s probably about 2 weeks more of work needed there. By the way, it was also confirmed that the Pyra will have 2GB of RAM. At least for the first model. In case you are wondering if it’s enough, well… it should be plenty even if you ton several applications at the same time. The only type of applications where it may be tight later on may be games – in case you try to run really demanding ones coming from the Windows world – but it’s too early to say anyway.
There is an e-SATA adapter at work, that can plug into the USB back port to connect a SATA device. The e-SATA port should be faster than a regular USB3.0 port. That should look like the following.
Let me update as well the overall development status…
- Screen: 95%
- Case: 90% (pending mold production)
- CPU-Board: 75-80%
- Main board: 95%
- Display-Board: 99%
- Keymat: 90% (pending mold production)
- LCD-Cable: 90%
- OS: 98%
- Drivers: 80%
And that’s it for this time. There’s a possibility that all of the necessary components may be available as prototypes before the Gamescom in Koln (Germany) happening in August, so if that is the case, and if you plan to attend, you may be among the very first folks able to test the Pyra hands-on ! I won’t be there myself, but I am definitely looking forward to hearing reports and news from the event floor.