We’ve been hard at work the past week redesigning Tessel. We just sent in the design files yesterday– here’s a render of the new board:
Besides making the board red (to match our logo), there are several other changes we’ve made:
- added an optional* place to plug in external power besides the USB cable
- added an optional* external antenna
- 4 mount holes instead of 2
- moved the buttons to a much better location
- exposed the reset pin so that Tessel can be reset by an external signal
- added ESD protection to the USB lines so that the board doesn’t fry
*optional: we’ll leave through hole mounts in case you want to add these things
We just got done talking to a supplier for the main chip on Tessel, the LPC1830FET180, and they are estimating a 15 to 20 week lead time. We’ve been told that there is zero inventory in the distribution channel and none at NXP either. This is a new part, and before choosing it we talked with NXP representatives who assured us that it was in full production.
We made estimates of a 12 week lead time at the latest. The lower volumes that we’ve been using for the test batches of Tessels we have been making have been readily available, so we thought that this estimate was reasonable. The beta batch is not affected by this as we were able to get those chips just fine.
At the moment, Dragon is still processing the payments from backers, but we’ve taken out a line of credit in order to make the purchase as soon as possible. Assuming a 15 week lead time from this week, we’re looking at getting the LPC1830 around the 2nd or 3rd week of January. This puts the ship date of Tessel around mid-February.
We’re doing our best to make sure this doesn’t turn into a delay and will continue to keep you updated on any manufacturing issues we run into. Meanwhile, we’ll continue to push on this issue with NXP to get a more accurate date on when we can ship.
We’ve also changed the module layouts a little. Here’s what the new accelerometers look like:
We moved all the detailed information to the back of the board. This serves the dual purpose of leaving more room for us to put components on the front, and also gives you an easier way to find information about the module by flipping it over.
Audio playback (with MP3) is working, with an internet streaming demo on its way.
We’re still in the process of selecting a proper camera module. We have a few samples coming in so we can test which is best.
We’re designing the 2G module this week and will hopefully have a design ready to prototype by the end of the week.