OpenRPN and the 41CL



#13

I posted a question a while ago about whether a calculator could be made like those from "the old days".



Given someone has already gone to the trouble of developing the NEWT processor with the full set of ROMS etc, why not make a case for it and start there?



I found this;



http://www.instrument.com/60.html






Which is an industrial "human interface" which even has a RS-232 port on the back. They say they can supply it with whatever labels you like on the keys etc. It has a 2x40 screen, which can even be backlit.



What this be suitable for gutting? i.e.



CTM300
+ NEWT
+ cloned HP-IL RS232 adapter internally wired to RS-232 port



= nearly a calculator?



Daniel.


#14

The issue with putting the 41CL hardware into anything other

than a 41C body is going to be the display driver.


#15

Does "Anything other that a 41C body" include the "DIY5"? Rethorical question since I guess at this point only Eric has that information?


#16

Yes. The display driver is not on the 41CL board, and any new

display will require an interface that looks like the one in

the 41C as far as signals and timing are concerned.

#17

Quote:
Does "Anything other that a 41C body" include the "DIY5"?

The DIY4X already a high-performance 41-equivalent calculator. There would be no point to trying to put a 41CL board into a DIY4X or DIY5; it would take a huge amount of new engineering, and the result would be slower than the DIY5.

Currently the DIY4X at 14 MHz is 6-14x faster than the original 41, depending on the specific functions used, and at 28 MHz is about 10-20x faster. Doubling the clock frequency doesn't double the performance because it introduces a wait state on the flash memory, and because some overhead such as display updating does not get faster.

I haven't yet done any code optimization, and I think there will be at least 2x performance gain from that, and probably much more than that.

The DIY5 hardware will be able to run at 48 MHz, with two wait states on the flash memory. I have some plans for reducing the performance degradation caused by the wait states.

If someone wants to support engineering a *really* fast 41 replacement, I have a design for an FPGA datapath that runs more than 5000x faster than that of the 41. The idea is similar to Monte's NEWT processor in the 41CL, but is implemented as a 56-bit parallel data path rather than bit-serial. Some work is needed to finish the control portion. The actual speed would not be 5000x, just as the 41CL in Turbo50 mode isn't actually 50x faster than the original 41. It would also drain batteries much faster than the 41CL.

I designed that FPGA data path about ten years ago to satisfy my own curiosity as to how fast a Nut processor implemented in hardware could be. In an ASIC, it could easily be another factor of ten faster than the FPGA. I had no intention of using it in a product. However, once I have tooling for a DIY5 case, there is no reason why I couldn't at relatively low additional expense make a limited edition 41CMMMMM with the FPGA.


#18

Quote:
The DIY4X already a high-performance 41-equivalent calculator. There would be no point to trying to put a 41CL board into a DIY4X or DIY5; it would take a huge amount of new engineering, and the result would be slower than the DIY5.

The great thing about the 41CL is that it fits in a comfortable, familiar and well loved case. Your project is a brand new calculator, which has different design goals.

Quote:
If someone wants to support engineering a *really* fast 41 replacement, I have a design for an FPGA datapath that runs more than 5000x faster than that of the 41.

With that sort of tech, how about a massively parallel Nut consisting of hundreds of cores running multiple 41C images? Prime factorization might benefit from that.

Only 0.5 kidding. :)

edit: change radix to US standard.

Edited: 29 Sept 2011, 3:50 p.m.


#19

Quote:
the 41CL is that it fits in a comfortable, familiar and well loved case. Your project is a brand new calculator, which has different design goals.

Which doesn't contradict my point that it would make no sense to put a 41CL board into a DIY5 case.

#20

I hadnt heard of this! Are they available?

Daniel.


#21

Are what available?

Certainly the DIY4X, DIY5, and the entirely hypothetical calculator with a parallel data path in an FPGA are not available. The DIY5 might be available in the future if we can figure out a way to produce it without losing money.

#22

Please refrain from referencing OpenRPN in posts such as this. Especially since I'm considering a reboot of the project, and even maintain ownership of the domain, the name represents more than a concept.

This form factor doesn't make sense: it measures 5"x9"x1.5" which is a lot more space than my 48gx takes up.

The needs and desires I identified while managing the OpenRPN project are for pocket sized calculators of high build quality that are reliable, easy to use, maximize battery life, and nearly indestructible.

Before I formally announce a relaunch, I want to have at least one physical prototype (enclosure, clicky keys that work, and LCD) to show off. From there specs can be given for electronic hardware to be designed. $200 is the maximum price point I'm designing for. But one thing I specifically want to avoid this time is to start with a need for a platform. Hardware comes first, perhaps running ported code from WP34s, before any major public announcements are planned.


#23

Quote:
Please refrain from referencing OpenRPN in posts such as this.

A self-referential koan! OK, we need a euphemistic acronym then.

#24

That'd make a great 71B or 75C clone.


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