[coreboot] brainstorm: new LPC dongle from Artec Group

Stefan Reinauer stepan at coresystems.de
Fri Aug 8 15:02:13 CEST 2008

Dear Martin-Éric,

we're using two of the dongles at coresystems; and they're in use many 
times every day. Thank you guys for creating this device. It almost 
completely replaced the Galep V here for non-SPI systems.

With parallel abuild, a compile+flash cycle for an 8MBit image takes 
about 30s, the dongle part takes about 25s of that time.

Peter Stuge wrote:
> On Fri, Aug 08, 2008 at 02:15:39PM +0300, Martin-Éric Racine wrote:
>> In conjunction with item #2 above, we are hereby giving the Coreboot
>> community an opportunity to influence the design of this new product.
> I have a few thoughts, in order of importance they are:
> * By far the most important one: Use a more intelligent USB chip
> USB can do 480Mbps so transfering half a megabyte should not need to
> take several seconds. There is obviously a huge opportunity for
> improvement here, and as it happens this is also the main bottleneck
> in the dongle when doing intensive development.
> The most elegant solution is to implement USB completely in the FPGA,
> but a separate chip is likely more economical. Key point is that it
> must not be a dumb serial chip.
* Possibly, in connection with this, use SRAM or DRAM to store or cache 
the images transferred from the host side. I think writing the flash 
takes about as long as transferring it over serial port, so using a 
faster USB (network instead of serial) chip would only move the bottle neck.

* One habit of the dongle is very ugly; the need to reset it after 
loading it. I think it would be a good idea to have the dongle reset 
itself (or, the lpc part of itself) after the write process is complete.

* 0x3f8 serial port logging support on lpc. (Sorry, I never looked into 

* A couple of jumper pins could be preconfigured as host side software 
programmable GPIOs for tasks like triggering a reset on the target system.

* Deliver the dongle with a PLCC plug header, or offer it as an option.

Best regards,

coresystems GmbH • Brahmsstr. 16 • D-79104 Freiburg i. Br.
      Tel.: +49 761 7668825 • Fax: +49 761 7664613
Email: info at coresystems.dehttp://www.coresystems.de/
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Geschäftsführer: Stefan Reinauer • Ust-IdNr.: DE245674866

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