As expected, this past week was filled with many component sourcing tasks. We encountered an issue with the availability of one of the power regulators but we were able to quickly find a substitute for it. Otherwise our supply chain seems to be on time for the pre-production and production runs. By this time next week we will have estimated delivery dates for all of our components so we will have a much clearer picture of our production dates.
We have also sent out pre-production Gerbers for DFM and are working closely with our contract manufacturer as we transition to their mass production suppliers.
As for an update on the pre-production boards, we have mentioned upgrading the Si5330 clock distribution chip to an Si5338 (on all of the boards) for clock generation purposes. The Si5338 is a low-jitter clock source which will allow the bladeRF’s performance to improve greatly. Among the previously mentioned improvements, we’ve also added a removable cap RF shield to all of the boards.
Lastly, we have changed the expansion port header to a high pitch 60 pin SMT samtec header, which allows for an entire bank of FPGA IO pins to be brought out to the main expansion port.We have also added an additional 0.1″ pitch 6 pin mini expansion port that is meant to be more convenient for developing addons.
Next week should be interesting and we will keep you posted!