## Now Even More Ways to Buy Octavo’s Products

I have another exciting announcement to make!  We are expanding our distribution network, giving you even more ways to buy Octavo’s products.  At Octavo, we are continually evaluating how best to reach our customers and give them the support they need.  Today, Octavo Systems is happy to announce that Mouser has joined Digi-Key as one of our distribution partners.  Partnering with these two world-class distributors ensures our customers have easy access to our devices.

### Digi-Key

Since our launch, Digi-Key has been the main channel for customers to buy Octavo’s products.  Through Digi-Key, we have been able to reach customers around the world, helping them create new and innovative products.  With Digi-Key’s focus on customer service, technology, and engineering support through every stage of production, they play a key role in getting Octavo products into customer hands.  We are very proud to have them be a part of our team.

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### Mouser

Today, Mouser joins the Octavo team.  Mouser is a global electronics distributor headquartered in Texas, not too far from our own headquarters.  They have a strong commitment to both customer service and innovative technology.  Having them as part of our distribution network is a huge milestone for us.  We believe that their values align perfectly with our goals as a company.  We are very excited to have them be a part of the Octavo team.

At Octavo, we strive to help designers focus on what makes their design unique by removing the tedious aspects of electrical designs.  This includes the procurement process.  Through our System-in-Package integration, we remove a lot of the complexity around sourcing parts.  However, if you can’t easily access our devices then we haven’t helped much.  That is why having partners like Digi-Key and Mouser is so important.  They ensure anybody who has an idea gets what they need to make it a reality.

We hope that these partnerships set a solid foundation for us and our customers for the years to come!

## New OSD3358 Development Platforms from GHI Electronics

It has been a busy couple of weeks around here lately with a lot of exciting news.  First we had the announcement of the BeagleBone™ Black Wireless which features the OSD3358-512M-BAS instead of the discrete TI AM3358.  Then we went to World Maker Faire at the New York Hall of Science.  Now we have a couple more announcements.

We are happy to let everybody know that GHI Electronics has released two development platforms for the OSD3358.  Both boards utilize the OSD3358-512M-BAS which integrates the TI Sitara™ AM3358 ARM® Cortex® A8 processor running at 1GHz, 512MB of DDR3, 2 power supplies, and passives into a single IC package.  The boards are available to order today from the GHI Electronics website.  Their status is listed as preview.  This means there are some things that haven’t been completely tested yet (all of which are outlined).  It also means there could be some minor changes when the production versions are released.

### The GHI OSD3358 BeagleBone™ Dev Board

The first platform is the GHI OSD3358 BeagleBone™ Dev Board.  This is a full featured development board that includes a capacitive touch screen display and features popular industrial interfaces like RS232 and CAN.  It also has a single 10/100 Mbit Ethernet, USB Host, and USB Client ports. For nonvolatile memory, the board has 4GB EMMC and a SD Card Slot for expansion.  The GHI OSD3358 BeagleBone™ Dev Board also boasts an expansion header that allows access to the ADC channels and the remaining GPIOs of the OSD3358 System-In-Package.

With all of the features and connection options, the GHI OSD3358 BeagleBone™ Dev Board is the best way to explore the full capabilities of the OSD3358.

### The GHI OSD33558 BeagleBone™ TH Module

The next platform is the GHI OSD3358 BeagleBone™ TH Module.  This is a bare bones system that allows you to easily start integrating the OSD3358 into your designs.  It adds 4GB of EMMC, a MicoSD slot, and USB to the OSD3358 System-In-Package.  It also brings the GPIO, Analog, LCD, and Ethernet pins to a 100mil header footprint making it extremely easy to connect your custom circuitry.

This board is designed to be the next step after the Dev Board.  It provides a natural progression to integrating the OSD3358 into your system.  It has just what you need to boot Linux and start controlling your custom circuitry.

### GHI Electronics

We are really excited to release these boards to the community.  We have been working with GHI Electronics for over a year on them to ensure the best possible experience.  GHI’s vision and customer knowledge combined with their in-house, US based, hardware design, software services, and manufacturing allowed us to ensure the best possible quality.  We are proud GHI Electronics is part of our partner network and look forward to working with them to continue supporting the needs of our customers.

### BeagleBoard Compatible

As the names might suggest, both development platforms are BeagleBoard Compatible, just like the OSD3358 itself.  This means both boards are capable of running the well supported Linux distributions provided by BeagleBoard.org.  By leveraging the BeagleBoard community and software you can get Linux running in matter of minutes.

Also since the OSD3358 and the development platforms are all BeagleBoard Compatible you can rest assured whatever you build on the platforms will perform the same when you go to an OSD3358 only design.

We hope these platforms will provide designers an easy way to start developing around the OSD3358 System-In-Package.  As you start designing please give us your feedback on the platforms.  We really want to continue to improve the experience.  Let us know what you think here.

## Meet Us at World Maker Faire New York 2016

Hey everybody.  I wanted to let you know the Octavo Team will be attending World Maker Faire in New York this weekend on October 1st and 2nd.  We will be roaming around Hall of Science checking out all of the incredible projects.  We will also be at the BeagleBoard.org booth in Zone 3 and giving a talk on how the OSD3358 and BeagleBoard can simplify the design of embedded Linux systems.

If you are interested in meeting with us please contact us.  We look forward to meeting all of the Makers out there who can use the OSD3358 to create new and innovative products!

See you there!

## The BeagleBone Black Wireless and BeagleBoard Compatibility

Today is a very exciting day!  After months of hard work, we are finally ready to make two big announcements.  First, is the release of the BeagleBone™ Black Wireless, which features the Octavo OSD3358-512M-BAS System-In-Package.  Second, the OSD3358 is now officially BeagleBoard Compatible!  These developments strengthen our relationship with BealgeBoard.org and make the OSD335x family of devices even easier to use.

### BeagleBone™ Black Wireless

We are proud to be a part of BeagleBone™ Black Wireless!  It builds on the success of the very popular BeagleBone™ Black with two exciting changes.  First, the design was greatly simplified by replacing over 150 discrete components with the OSD3358-512M-BAS.  Additionaly, the Ethernet peripheral has been replaced with the WiLink8 WL1835 module from Texas Instruments, providing both 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth V4.1.  BeagleBone™ Black Wireless is completely compatible with all standard BeagleBone™ Black capes.  Finally, like everything in the BeagleBoard family, BeagleBone™ Black wireless is completely open source!

BeagleBone™ Black wireless now offers developers a low cost evaluation platform for the Octavo OSD335x device.  They can use it to start prototyping on a Linux system in a matter of minutes.  Then, once ready, designers can quickly go from a prototype to a custom board by leveraging the OSD3358 and Beaglboard.org®’s active community, open-source hardware, and software.

The OSD3358 becoming an integral part BeagleBoard.org®’s newest board is a huge honor for us.  We have been collaborating with BeagleBoard.org since the beginning of the OSD335x.  This is huge validation that we are on the right track, and we are excited to continue to work with BeagleBoard.org on future products.

### OSD3358 is Officially BeagleBoard Compatible

This one is really important if you have a design built on BeagleBone™ and want to create your own custom board.  By integrating the processor, DDR3, and power supplies from the BeagleBone™ Black into a single device, the OSD3358 already simplified the hardware design required for a custom embedded Linux system.  Making it an ideal starting point for any new design.

Now that the OSD3358 is officially BeagleBoard Compatible you have the confidence that the software you developed on BeagleBone™ will perform the way you expect when you transition to the OSD3358.  It also means you will be able to get support from the large and active BeagleBoard community that you are already familiar with.

The BeagleBoard Compatible OSD3358 is now the easiest way to create your own BeagleBone™ based embedded Linux system.

We are very excited about these two developments.  We look forward to our growing partnership with BealgeBoard.org.  Together we are striving to bring the simplicity of microcontrollers to the world of embedded Linux.

## System-In-Package: The Next Step of Integration

Our CTO, Gene Frantz, published an article on Embedded Computing last week titled System-In-Package: The Next Step of Integration. In his article, he poses an interesting question: How do small, innovative companies work with larger semiconductor manufacturers to further integrate their designs?  He outlined four questions that need to be answered “YES” before a large S/C manufacturer will agree to work with any company for a custom integration.

What happens, however, if you can’t answer “YES” to all of them? Are you out of luck?  Is there no path to further integration?  Not quite.  Gene points out that there just might be a way forward with the advances made by Octavo.

I want to take a minute to dive a little deeper into this statement.  Why do we think we can offer an alternative path of integration for innovative organizations?  The answer is simple. There are three key factors that enable us to provide these solutions:

1. Our Culture. Our company was founded by a group of people who’ve spent large chunks of their careers trying to promote innovation within the corporate structure of a large S/C company.  We understand that innovation begins small, and we believe in enabling smaller companies to pursue innovation.
2. Our “Aha!” Moment. Our biggest “aha” moment came when we realized that the ultimate integration takes place as a system level integration of all the transistor types, each on its own die. The obvious solution was to use System in Package (SiP) technology to integrate it all together. We can take the best process for each part of your system and integrate them into a standard IC package, giving you the integration you need.
3. Our Approach. We believe that there are ways to make the high volume S/C manufacturing process work for lower volume opportunities. This means that we can quickly and affordably produce SiPs for you.

In a nutshell, if you have an electronic design and are looking for an integration path, you have two options.  You can go to a large S/C manufacturer to see if you’ll pass their four tests, or you can contact us and see what we can do for you.

Last week Rich Nass from Embedded Computing stopped by our Austin headquarters for their IoT road show.  Our CTO, Gene Frantz, spent some time talking to him about the OSD3358 and how it helps designers get into production.  Through packaging the key components of the BeagleBone Black SBC into a standard package, the OSD3358 gives designers a clear path from prototyping on the BeagleBone Black to producing their own boards around the OSD3358.  Check it out!

## Meet Us at Maker Faire Bay Area

I am excited to announce that members of the Octavo Team will be attending Maker Faire in the Bay Area on May 21st and 22nd.  We will be roaming around the event center and volunteering at the BeagleBoard.org booth, booth #2434.  If you are interested in meeting with us please contact us.  We look forward to meeting all of the Makers out there who can use the OSD3358 to create new and innovative products!

See you there!

## The OSD3358 – A New Era of Integration

Today is a very exciting day at Octavo Systems. We’re officially launching our first product, the OSD3358-512M.  The OSD3358 is a System-In-Package (SiP) device that integrates the Texas Instruments (TI) Sitara™ AM3358 Arm® Cortex®-A8 processor, the TI TPS65217C PMIC, the TI TL5209 LDO, a 512MB DDR3, and over 140 Passives into a single easy to use BGA package. The OSD3358 gives designers of all levels access to unprecedented integration and to ease of use.

The OSD3358 aims to make designing custom systems around the BeagleBone Black as easy as possible.  Take a look at our Single Board Computer Reference Design.  Integrating the DDR3 and the Power Managements systems into the OSD3358 removes the need for designers to spend time on the DDR to Processor interface or power sequencing, allowing them to focus on their proprietary value add. At the same time, the single package simplifies the supply chain and facilitates lower cost manufacturing.  Check out the product page for all the details.

The OSD3358 isn’t just for BeagleBone Black users either.  It has the flexibility to greatly simplify any design based on TI’s Sitara™ processors.  So, along with the OSD3358, we also launched, in partnership with GHI Electronics, a set of development boards and kits to allow you to design your own product around the OSD3358 without starting with a BeagleBone.

What makes today truly special is that we have given substance to our vision.  Historically, SiPs have been available only to the largest and most specialized customers. Today we change that.  Our innovations in design and manufacturing have allowed us to bring SiP-based products to the mass market.  This is the culmination of many efforts. Our Octavo team spent many long nights and weekends to make this day a reality.  I am proud of the entire team and am honored to work with such outstanding individuals.

While we are excited about what we have achieved with Product #1, we are even more enthused about where we’re going.  The OSD3358 is just the beginning.  Over the next few months we will be working to widen the OSD335x family, offering options to fit almost any system built around the AM335x processor.

Beyond that, our goal is to change the way intelligent systems are designed and manufactured.  We will continue our quest to introduce products that make it easier for innovators to innovate.  We will integrate more functions to provide more solutions for a wider variety of subsystems.  We’d love to hear your feedback on what you’d like to see next or what we can do to improve our current product.  Please don’t hesitate to let us know what you think here.

## Octavo Systems Releases the OSD3358 System-In-Package Device

Octavo Systems Helps Bridge the Prototype-to-Production Gap

Austin, Texas (May 9, 2016) – Octavo Systems LLC (Octavo) today launched a new platform that makes it easier than ever for designers to quickly create production-ready systems based on the Texas Instruments (TI) Sitara™ AM335x processor with an ARM® Cortex®-A8 core. The OSD3358, the first in a family of System-In-Package (SiP) devices, is geared to help developers who are using the BeagleBone Black single board computing (SBC) platform move from prototype to production effortlessly.

“With the wide availability and strong community around single board computing platforms like the BeagleBone Black, it is easier than ever for designers to quickly prototype and prove out a design,” said Octavo President Bill Heye. “However, moving past the prototype stage into a production ready product remains very difficult for a large number of people and organizations.”

“After a proof of concept is done on an SBC, an application-specific mainboard will need to be designed, requiring a large number of specialized skills that can be hard to come by,” explained Gene Frantz, Octavo’s CTO. “Our System-In-Package devices reduce this requirement by abstracting some of the most tedious and complex tasks, allowing designers to focus on their end product.”

The OSD3358 is built to make the design of an application-specific mainboard around the Sitara™ AM3358 processor as easy as possible. It integrates the core of the BeagleBone Black, the AM3358 processor running up to 1GHz, the TPS65217C power management IC (PMIC), the TL5209 low-dropout (LDO) regulator, 512MB of DDR3 memory, and over 140 passive components, into a single BGA package. Through this integration, the OSD3358 removes the complexities of power sequencing and DDR to processor interfacing that are typical in the design process.

The OSD3358 has the smallest footprint of any similar AM3358 processor implementation. It simplifies the sourcing of components and supply chain management by replacing over 144 components with just one. The OSD3358 also utilizes a wide pitch BGA of 1.27mm allowing cost effective manufacturing processes to be used. “These added benefits make the OSD3358 an attractive solution not just for new designs, but also as a way to simplify or cost down an existing design,” added Heye.

“We are very excited that Octavo will be using the scalable Sitara™ AM335x processor as the base of the OSD335x family, giving designers both great performance and simple development,” said Adrian Valenzuela, Marketing Manager, Catalog Processors, TI. “By integrating all the major components of an AM335x-Processor-based-system into a single package, developers can quickly place a single SiP onto their boards and can still leverage all the software provided by TI to dramatically simplify their design.”

To help speed up development around the OSD3358, Octavo is also announcing the availability of the OSD3358 Development Platform from GHI Electronics featuring a capacitive touch screen and multiple industrial interfaces.

## SiP Metrics – Is there a Moore’s Law equivalent?

In the landmark paper of 1965, Gordon Moore[1] made an observation stating that with cost of manufacturing per device falling, it becomes economical to pack more and more devices in an IC chip. In his paper, Moore projected the number of devices in an IC chip would double every one to two years. This observation soon took the form of a proxy for future growth estimates in the semiconductor industry.

For decades, Moore’s law has been the benchmark for semiconductor technology development, eventually becoming a roadmap and a self-fulfilling prophecy for IC development.  Figure 1[2] shows the growth of the number of devices in a semiconductor chip over time and tracks well with Moore’s projection.

The popularity of Moore’s law was in its simplicity. The number of transistors is a meaningful and simple measure and generally tracks with system development. However, Moore’s law is not universally applicable to all microelectronic devices. One such device is a SiP.

SiPs are emerging as a distinct class of microelectronic products because of their unique ability to integrate silicon of different process technologies such as Digital, Analog, Power, and DRAM as well as include passives and other devices to build integrated solutions. It is therefore useful to study SiP development and see if there are logical Moore’s Law like trends that are evident. In the next section, we will discuss a possible trend for SiPs, the reduction of external connections, and make a proposal for a growth metric for SiP technologies.

The ultimate goal of SiPs is to enable a fully integrated stand-alone autonomous electronic system. Such a SiP would have its own power supply, microprocessor, input, output and passive devices and be capable of performing the required function entirely with no external wired connection. An ideal SiP would have no external pins (if it had its own power source) or only have 2 pins – for power and ground.  Since one of the purposes of a SiP is to reduce the number of wired connections we propose a figure of merit based on the reduction of these connections provided by using a SiP.

SiP “Figure of Merit” (FOM):  One can define a FOM based on the number of externally wired connections in a SiP. If a SiP reduces the number of connections of the chips on board (COB) by half, then FOM is 0.5.  If the SiP completely eliminates the need for external connections, therefore creating an autonomous system, then, in this ideal case, the FOM is 1. A system with no SiP means there was no reduction in interconnections to form a system. Such a system would have a FOM of 0.    Therefore, FOM can be defined by the formula,

$\text{Figure of Merit (FOM)} = \frac{\text{Number of Connections with COB}-\text{Number of Connections with SiP}}{\text{Number of Connections with COB}}$

In the chart (Figure 2) below there are a few examples FOM. A real-life test case system “A” is also included for reference. In system “A” by using SiP the total number of interconnects dropped from about 1200 to 700 pins which gives a FOM of 0.42.

As discussed in a previous post, one of the key areas holding back the development of SiPs is the lack of a metric to measure their effectiveness and development.  In this blog we have attempted to put forward a proposed metric tied to the reduction in number of external connections due to a SiP integration, which in turn correlates with the level of integration as a system. We will be using this metric to help demonstrate the value of our SiP devices.

We welcome your comments on this topic as we attempt to set a metric that can be used across the industry.

[1]  Cramming more components onto integrated circuits, Gordon Moore, Electronics, Volume 38, Number 8, April 19, 1965

[2] International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS) 2007

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