The TIF is a tiny board (25mm long, 18mm wide). It's got 20 pins arranged in two rows of 10 with a 3mm pitch, which makes it ideal for plugging into a breadboard or attaching it to a LTH circuit board.
There are two PIF variants available, both of which feature a MachXO2 FPGA. The PIF-7000 is based on an XO2-7000, which boasts 6,864 4-input LUTs, 240 kilobits of on-chip RAM, 256 kilobits of on-chip user Flash memory, two PLLs, a counter-timer, an SPI interface, and dual I2C interfaces.
General-purpose microcontrollers such as the one powering the Raspberry Pi are very good at performing a wide variety of tasks. In this case, the FPGA on the PIF can be configured to implement one or more hardware acceleration functions, which can be controlled by the Raspberry Pi. These hardware accelerators, which perform tasks in a massively parallel manner, can offer humongous computational performance for the Pi. In fact, the combination of a general-purpose processor with an FPGA is the basis for many high-performance computing (HPC) systems.
Visit www.bugblat.com/products/pif for more details on the PIF.
Visit www.bugblat.com/products/tif for more details on the TIF.
FYI, I am making the Guzunty available in the US/Canada at-cost on Ebay and Amazon. This board is a great introduction to the world of programmable logic for fun and education, without the intimidation of large-scale FPGAs.
for $35 or $25, there is a ton you can teach with these. Having funded (4 board + other hardware; drivers, h-bridge, relay boards, calbes, power supplies, keyboard, mice, usb hubs, wifi, LCD... ) a small group of kids programming these in python, I think they are perfect. You can spend more but I don't see the return on extra dollars spent for education. They enough computer to teach so many basic topics (ethernet, gpio, pwm, spi, sci, threading, opengl, (hopefully opencl in the future), audio, unix/linux/bsd, scripting, c, perl, python, web server....) The limited resourse will also foster better enigneering. H.264/VC-1 license is also a big plus.
Have played on AVR micros but I think will stick with raspian for the teaching. Just so much more to choose from.
I agree with the other posters. The R-Pi was designed, produced and marketed for non-commercial, educational use. Its not robust, but at this price, you can buy a few replacements for the cost of one robust "commercial" board.
A quick Google search showed me >500,000 have been made as of last April. That _is_ high volume for the Raspberry Pi Foundation.
Once you learn what an ARM and some other chips can do and you have a commercial product in mind, the part selection fun begins from a choice of literally hundreds of ARM variants from over a dozen vendors. You can get ARM SoC's for < $5 in volume.
Funny how this RaspberryPi is hyped so much. For prototyping and idea development it is OK. But with most "applications" you need an extra micro to do the work (see the 15 accessoires). The Python and Scratch languages are available for any other linux-a-like system.
IMHO if you want to do something serious, you cannot proceed with RaspberryPi. Try to get a datasheet or small quantities. A standard i.MX or AM335x are better choices. I decided to give away my two Raspberries and I put my aces on the Cortex-A8. The BeagleBone Black or the OlinuXino are alternatives worth looking at for the low end and some Variscite DIMM modules for the better work.
A Book For All Reasons Bernard Cole1 Comment Robert Oshana's recent book "Software Engineering for Embedded Systems (Newnes/Elsevier)," written and edited with Mark Kraeling, is a 'book for all reasons.' At almost 1,200 pages, it ...