Author Topic: specing's overall design proposal (13 inch with AMD desktop APU)  (Read 2982 times)

specing

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Rev 1.4 (previous iterations discussed on IRC)

drawn in gEDA's schematics capture program (gschem), because well... why not?


This case is designed around the LG 12.85" 2560x1700 3:2 display:

Diagonal:      12.85 inches or 32.64 centimeters
width:         10.70 inches or 27.19 centimeters
height:         7.11 inches or 18.06 centimeters
vertical pixel density:   239.147400 per inch or 94.15 per cm
horizontal pixel density: 239.147400 per inch or 94.15 per cm

(note: there is an error in the data sheet filename listing it as 2560x1600 pixels)

... and the T60's keyboard, the size of which is still an unknown to me.

case width: 30 cm
case height: 24 cm


At its heart lies the AMD FP2+ APU socket supporting three generations, in order:
Trinity, Richland (last with open init code) and Kaveri.
TODO: does using a Bolton (iirc Kaveri generation) southbridge mean we
have to use non-open AGESA?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_AMD_chipsets#Fusion_controller_hubs_.28FCH.29


At the edges of the case there are five multi-purpose compartments of about
7 x 10.5 x 0.8 cm each. These compartments can accept either of the following:

1) a 2.5" 7mm height hard drive (or SSD)
2) a ~16 Wh battery (note: currently I have not found an exact fit battery yet, but two of
these would fit tightly: https://www.hobbyking.co.uk/hobbyking/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=18559 )
3) some slots could accept an ExpressCard adaptor board (the case could have removable sides
 where the front slots are)
4) user-made stuff connecting either via SATA, PCI-e single lane or USB (up to 3.0)


Above the keyboard is the eye-candy board, which communicates with the EC and APU
over i2c (maybe even SPI or UART or ...?). It features a microcontroller that can
be reprogrammed on the fly and can display information in user-defined fashion.
Depending on which LEDs and buttons are put on this board, users could swap the
meaning of LEDs, dim them or turn them off altogether.


At the front is the audio/compartment interface board, which *somehow* connects to
the motherboard and provides audio I/O, USB and perhaps even an SD card reader. My
infinite wisdom has decided that audio connectors are best placed in front, so that
the cabling doesen't cross the hands while typing. A lid open/close sensor is also
very likely to be placed here.


The power supply board is drawn as a seperate board, but it may be merged with
the mainboard. The idea was that the power board manages the case-specific battery
system (up to 5 internal cells for a total of 80 Wh) and provides a solid voltage
to the swappable mainboards and other functiions.


There are four mini PCI express slots planned, two for dual radios (e.g 2x wifi or
such -- 2 antenna systems in screen) and the other two for user logic, e.g.
a provided FPGA board for computation acceleration or PCI-e SSD or ...



The hinges may have a  "pop off" switch on the back side. By removing the whole
screen module one will be able to use the laptop base for typing in front of
a much larger monitor when at home or work. There may be difficulties with
all the cabling/signalling if the whole screen portion is removable.


Both the dual speakers and microphones are meant to have advanced
Linux/BSD/whatever :) surround, noise cancelling and marketing buzzwords.


An external battery pack that lifts the back of the laptop for better typing feel
is planned as pictured. It will fit around 100 Wh of extra battery power in
designed volume, bringing the max to 180 watt-hours.



Other connectors have not yet been positioned, but the following are wished by me
(counting in the front daughterboard):

at least 6 x USB
at least 1 x  PCI-express 8 lane (for connecting external GPUs and other fun stuff)
2 x SATA (eSATA?)
1 x custom? power connector and a breakout cable into 2 x SATA power (imho molex is too big)
1 x gigabit ethernet
1 x power jack (round 5.5mm / 2.5mm seem to be the most used for laptops)
2 x display port
1 x secure digital (SD) card reader
1 x VGA (maybe, ~ all business laptops have it)
1 x UART tx/rx/gnd for interfacing with external microcontrollers and the like (maybe even others)



Capabilities of the AMD Richland A10-6800K APU and most Bolton FCH's:
http://www.amd.com/en-us/products/chipsets/a-series
http://support.amd.com/TechDocs/Bolton_D2-D2H-D3-D4_Databook.pdf#search=A88X

PCI-e:
APU: up to DDR3-1866 dual channel RAM
APU: 2 x 8 lane 2.0 or 1 x 16 lane 3.0
APU: 2.0:  1 x 4 lane or 4 x 1 lane
FCH: 2.0:  1x4 or 2x2 or 1x2+2x1 or 4x1
FCH: up to 8 x 6 gbit SATA with RAID
FCH: up to 14 x USB 2.0
FCH: up to 4 x USB 3.0
FCH: infrared transceiver
FCH: SD flash controller
FCH: VGA controller (max 1920x1600 at 60 Hz)
... and much more

Mine

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Re: specing's overall design proposal (13 inch with AMD desktop APU)
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2015, 04:47:22 PM »
Thank you for the input!

We'll be posting some 3d models soon of the enclosure and how the modules interconnect. We have just been waiting for people to chime in with their laundry lists of desired options and features.

specing

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Re: specing's overall design proposal (13 inch with AMD desktop APU)
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2015, 09:25:00 AM »
FP2+ -> FM2+
the first is for soldered APUs and provides ECC ram, the second is for socketed.

Attached missing gschem source file

EDIT1: gitorious repo up https://gitorious.org/open-lunch-box/overall_designs/source/master:
« Last Edit: February 07, 2015, 03:25:03 PM by specing »

Adarion

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Re: specing's overall design proposal (13 inch with AMD desktop APU)
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2015, 11:19:12 AM »
> marketing buzzwords.
All the way! :)

Could anybody explain me why people need 32 GB RAM? Actually, I had problems to fill my 6 GB on my main box. But maybe there are use cases where 32 GB would make sense? Does virtualisation eat much memory?

> ECC RAM
Oh really? A scarce sight. I thought they had dropped that from their memory controller and maybe only have it in server CPUs/APUs. I'd be interested in that when it comes to "real" mainboards, for file storage servers and such.

> Bolton
I guess this is A88X and such. Well, but this is a desktop chipset. Or was Bolton divided into desktop and mobile variants? It offers lots of native SATA and USB but I wonder if you can easily put this in a laptop without sacrificing a lot of battery runtime. Under normal conditions for a notebook we might be using only 2 of 6, 8 or 10+ SATAs. There is SATA power management but I don't know if that really switches off power to the unused ones completely or if it just puts them to a sleep state.
Also, aren't a lot of recent APUs "complete" SOCs? I'd say Kabini, even the socketed AM1, seems to contain the equivalent to an AMD A68 chipset with some USB3, more USB2 and 2 SATAs. Wouldn't something like this still be enough but more power efficient? Of course, the more integrated the stuff is, the less modularity you have. :/

>  "pop off" screen
Have you seen the Always Innovating Touchbook?

> PCI / PCIe
While I love PCI and slotted stuff, how could this be incorporated in a laptop? Okay, a some internal periphery is linked via PCI(e) bus. But open slots for the user? I mean, it sounds great, and I saw something like the small miniPCIe(??) in this PCengines thingy. But can a user actually put them to good use in the small enclosure of a laptop? And what cards are available in this small form factor. I admit that I have little experience with SFF PCI periphery. My experience relates mainly to ATX, miniITX and a few thin clients, the latter all with more or less proprietary non standard layouts.

specing

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Re: specing's overall design proposal (13 inch with AMD desktop APU)
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2015, 04:06:45 PM »
> Could anybody explain me why people need 32 GB RAM? Actually, I had problems to fill my 6 GB on my main box. But maybe there are use cases where 32 GB would make sense? Does virtualisation eat much memory?

virtual machines, big games (remember the APU iGPU itself can take a lot for
itself), FPGA compiles, temporary data on tmpfs (Linux compile = 500M, full
Android builds probably over 20 GB, libreoffice compile 6 GB, ...), hundreds
of browser tabs open, tens of PDF readers, tens of terminals, ...

>> ECC RAM
> Oh really? A scarce sight. I thought they had dropped that from their memory controller and maybe only have it in server CPUs/APUs. I'd be interested in that when it comes to "real" mainboards, for file storage servers and such.

The problem is that desktop APU sockets don't support ECC RAM and using a
soldered mobile "socket" limits you to 35W TDP chips. And I would rather
have 5 GHz for compiles than ECC RAM. But YMMV.

>> Bolton
> I guess this is A88X and such. Well, but this is a desktop chipset. Or was Bolton divided into desktop and mobile variants? It offers lots of native SATA and USB but I wonder if you can easily put this in a laptop without sacrificing a lot of battery runtime. Under normal conditions for a notebook we might be using only 2 of 6, 8 or 10+ SATAs. There is SATA power management but I don't know if that really switches off power to the unused ones completely or if it just puts them to a sleep state.

I'm pretty sure it does. Wikipedia says 4W under normal usage, 8W TDP.

> Also, aren't a lot of recent APUs "complete" SOCs? I'd say Kabini, even the socketed AM1, seems to contain the equivalent to an AMD A68 chipset with some USB3, more USB2 and 2 SATAs. Wouldn't something like this still be enough but more power efficient? Of course, the more integrated the stuff is, the less modularity you have. :/

Power efficient or not, a 4W TDP chip is atleast 40 watts from being adequate
for me.

>>  "pop off" screen
>Have you seen the Always Innovating Touchbook?

Now I have.
I want a portable workstation laptop on which I can do everything that needs to be done, not
some flimsy ARM board that runs out of RAM when two vim sessions are open in parallel.

>> PCI / PCIe
> While I love PCI and slotted stuff, how could this be incorporated in a laptop? Okay, a some internal periphery is linked via PCI(e) bus. But open slots for the user? I mean, it sounds great, and I saw something like the small miniPCIe(??) in this PCengines thingy. But can a user actually put them to good use in the small enclosure of a laptop? And what cards are available in this small form factor. I admit that I have little experience with SFF PCI periphery. My experience relates mainly to ATX, miniITX and a few thin clients, the latter all with more or less proprietary non standard layouts.

See MOLEX iPASS system for an example (though it is pricy). And these are
*EXTERNAL* slots, meant for connecting to an enclosure with a
cable-to-fullsize x16 board for connecting standard desktop form factor cards.
(e.g. 300W dual-GPUs)

There will be unused internal miniPCI-e (one x1 PCI-e, one USB 2.0 and one SMBUS(i2c))
for connecting stuff such as wifi/wwan/SSD cards or FPGA boards or whatever
you make.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2015, 04:10:06 PM by specing »