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Open source player?

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--- Quote from: spaceship9876 on January 11, 2024, 09:03:42 AM ---it looks like we might have a perfect chip for rockbox if risc-v support is added:

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I don't think that SoC makes any sense. It's a way faster CPU then you need, has a bunch of useless DSP/AI hardware and only has a tiny amount of memory without a real memory controller.  You'd be making your life extremely difficult and probably be limited in what you could do with it.


I started to think about that kind of project, a Rockbox dedicated, open source player and I found something which could be a very nice start.
Nice CPU, plenty of RAM, I2S support, low power draw and a lot of modern things like bluetooth and wifi.

With some effort it can be a fully featured DAP similar to a Surfans F20 and others with same CPU.
MIPI sounds like a nice, 3.5 inch 640x480 screen, with I2S there can be support for HiRes.

The problem might be a CPU architecture but there should be a linux for this board and for Linux, we can run something like a hosted port.


--- Quote from: Trzyzet on March 27, 2024, 02:31:30 PM ---

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It's a nice SoC, that's for sure -- especially the embedded DRAM.  Taking the hosted port approach would be the path of least resistance, and there's enough RAM to still have plenty of resources for Rockbox.  But while that Pine64 board might make for the basis of an early prototype on a breadboard, the real hurdle is the physical enclosure. That dictates the design of the PCB and the other major components (screen, battery, etc)

...the tooling to make the case can be pretty expensive (and paid up-front), but you amortize it over your production run, so the more you make, the lower the overall per-unit cost.  But the larger your production run, the more money you need up-front to pay for components.  Economies of scale on component pricing don't really kick in until you're looking at 1000-10000 units.

...If we had some folks that speak one of the common Chinese languages, we might be able to negotiate with an existing OEM to produce us a palette-load of an existing player design, contingent on supplying complete board schematics and all relevant source code.  Or even just purchase a pile of empty cases for us to design our own PCB into. 

I wonder if it's feasible to design a new PCB to go into a classic iPod enclosure.  Actually it would probably be cheaper to buy a pile of those shovelware atj2127-based players, throw the PCBs out, and put a new PCB in there instead...

I've already started some basic PCB design. It will be similar to tangara from this thread - PCB with PMIC, buttons, charge/data USB port, socket for LCD and you just need to solder the ox64. I'm opting for a removable battery like Nokias BL-xx
When I finish the basics I will share kicad project on github. Maybe someone will have some time and will to improve it. Also, there is a few different BL808 based modules, I'm sure there will be something more like ESP32 size.

I was thinking about 3D printed cases. Even PLA will be looking factory-like when you will smooth it with acetone.

The only thing about SoC which hurts me really bad is lack of USB 3.0 support. USB 2.0 is so outdated these days it just hurts.

I will put this as new post, it is quite important.

To make it able to build it by a hobbyist from scratch, as many components as possible must be an off shelf ones.
BL808 used in that risc-v board is a version C which is lacking MIPI support for a display. Only a non-existent D version has them.
Still, no pain because we can use just an SPI display. I have an open question to community, which one we should use?

I'm opting for something ILI9341 based, because they are widely available but they are more expensive than SBC itself, which is kinda weird.
If someone knows some LCD with resolution at least 320x240 and they are cheaper than the ones I mentioned, I will be happy to use it.


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