Simple prototype boards for EMX and Chipworks?

chip works is a powerful little platform with a lot of great features. EMX is pretty powerful too. So far fo good. But here is the problem, if you want to develop or deploy a fairly simple project, you have no options.

Say you want a chipworks project but want something simple. There isn’t a prototype board, with a sodimm broken out to simple prototype layout, there isn’t even cobra like board. Smaller users and companies don’t really have the resources to develop boards from scratch have no way to really prototype a design before production, or for smaller one off uses.

I’d like to see a couple of chipworks prototype boards, a “cobra like” board to provide a real development platform for simpler Chipworks projects. And maybe a simple prototype board for alpha projects and home development.

Secondly I’d like to see a line of displays with a capacitive touch screen.


Thanks for feedback. I will pass it on.

Do I detect a Fez Cheetah in the works here? The super fast Chipworkx module on a Freaking Easy board?

That would be cool since you could retain the ability to swap out sodimm modules.

Just make sure to mount the ChipworkX module horizontally so an enclosure of minimum height can be used :stuck_out_tongue:


The Chipworks dev board is great to show the capability of the cpu module, but for me it contais far too many components I’m not interested in. This drives it’s cost up too much.

I plan to use the board in a machine. This will ship in very low volume (perhaps 20 per year). I do not plan to design a PCB for this purpose. I’m not an electrical engineer, I just want to code a board that controls other devices :slight_smile:

So yes, I’d be very interested in a minimal FEZ Cobra like board with the Chipworks module!


That would be really nice: a fez cobra board with connections like it has now and a Chipworkx module. The best of both worlds. I’m very interested in such kind of board :smiley:

I’d call it a “Super Cobra”, and sell it for about $199. You can put me down for at least one. I suppose I could take the cobra eagle files and rework them for a chipworks module and have a sample lot made, I just thought it woullg be a good product for GHI.

+1 on the ** King Cobra **

Something like in the attached image? An important customer asked for this so we made it but I am not sure GHI will offer this publicly unless there is enough interest shown.

FEZ Mammoth fits in the FEZ Cobra enclosure but uses the complete enclosure. There is an RS232 connector on the other side and plenty of IOs and a little “bread board” area. It also works with FEZ Cobra displays. The last improvement over Cobra is that this board uses a switching power supply so it can be powered from 7V to 30V and you do not have to worry about overheating.

The estimated price is $150 not including ChipworkX module, possible $250 with module.

Comments are welcome.

Looks amazing. If this will be avalible I will take one.

I would be interested. It looks very close what I was visualizing.

For me I’d like to see all the connectors at top or bottom; having it on the side limits user input options. For example I couldn’t put controls on the left unless it was right over the other inputs and would probably need to use the smaller screen to fit it.

Otherwise definitely looks like a nice little board. If I’m estimating correctly it’d be right about the same price as the current ChipworkX for the board, module and 4.3" screen.

I’m definitely interested in such board. Not only for development but also for a project of mine. The delivery date for that project is estimated mid 2012 and probably needed quantity of 100+ :smiley: So count me in…

I prefer the Cobra design/layout,: all connectors on one side, pin header on the other.

There sure is no place for all connectors on the top or bottom, but maybe on the sides?

The serial connector is nice, but DB9 is very large. Maybe you could use an RJ45 connector for serial output. RJ45 to DB9 converters are very cheap for those who need it.

Lastly, RS232 is nice, but it would be much nicer if you could use a multi-protocol transceiver capable of doing RS232 and also RS485. I saw such ICs once. They cost just a little bit more than ordinary RS232 transceivers.

Looking forward to this new board!!!

I agree. I like the cobra layout better, I really think GHI could sell quite a few “super cobra” or “apache” boards. I would buy at least one and possibly quite a few, I have a project which is just getting to prototype stage where I could need 100++ boards. Of course if might not pan out and I might just need a couple.

The mammoth would probably do though. Actually looking at it again, the mammoth would pretty well, and King Cobra would be a good marketing name.

The layout can be changed but due to the size of ChipworkX module, it will no longer fit in the same enclosure.


At least in my case that is not a problem. I don’t want you to manufacture a board just because of me, I’ll work with whatever the community community decides. There does seem to be enough demand to justify manufacturing a “super cobra” or Mammoth board.


So, in case someone else is interested in RS485 capability…

Heres one “multi protocol” transceiver from Maxim. I’m sure there are others available.

This chip is really nice, can do RS232 or RS485 half or full duplex. Very simple, no external capacitors needed.