Understanding more Flex

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On the weekend I over heard a couple guys suggesting the FPGA in the Flex has topped out and run out of space, and that the radio has no more resources to develop the radio any further. I wish I knew more about this so I could explain to them they were far from the truth. What they said just didn't seem right to me. Could someone explain how the workings in the Flex works so as to allow more and wonderful things in the future.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Posted 3 years ago

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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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I hear all sorts of complete rubbish on the air, statement made by folk who have no special access to information or other basis to support their claims.

It isn't just about Flex, but is general armchair quarterbacking or repeating what were perhaps one questions as if they were statements of fact.

It is just human nature, and that many of our fellow hobbyists depend on airtime for their socialization it is in a way awesome that they have the outlet.

But there is no answering foundationless questions for many of these folk with facts or a rebuttal - they simply won't have it and will argue on. 

What does seem to work is to ask them questions - like in this case I'd ask them "Gee that is interesting...hmmm.... how do you think they will squeeze in the Version 2.0 FPGA program that is coming down the pike?"

Asking defusing questions that cannot easily be set aside tends to calm the nonsensical best, but again what harm is there in ignoring the obvious opinion masquerading as fact?

73

Steve K9ZW


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Clay N9IO

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More (awesome) programming is coming "down the pike" as Steve says,
those on-air comments are total bull.
I wouldn't bother trying aggravating as it is to hear such things and know better.

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Martin Ewing AA6E

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Probable bs but it would be interesting to know how much headroom there is in FPGA and other radio processors. The 3 6000 models have different RAM and CPU configs, so the 6700 can support software features that are beyond the capability of the 6300 or 6500. More slices and higher freq resolution, for example.
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Walt - KZ1F

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Bill, I just read your opening remark and was immediately struck by the obvious, um, disconnect. "I wish I knew more about this so I could explain to them they were far from the truth". Do you see what's wrong with that sentence? You admit you don't know anything g about it. That fact is implicit in the sentence. Therefore, you have no reason to believe the conversation, that perhaps made you break into a cold sweat, was not spot on correct and accurate. Why do I say this? Any company has to sell product to stay viab, not $200 subscriptions, products. Look at the technical shift between PSDR and SSDR. Put simplistically, expansion in the psdr world was merely buying a bigger and faster computer. This represented zero revenue to the vendor. With ssdr, the vendor controls expansions and reaps the ensuing revenue. Sure, FRS can license their logo and that likely is better than $200 as a one time infusion. Remember 7000 series I spoke of? Is FRS actively working on it now? For one, I don't know. Will they be at some point? Yes, I suspect so, which is why I mentioned it to begin with.

Whether it is the next generation of LG TV or next generation of the hardware supporting ssdr, as soon as the vendor announces there IS a next generation, the current on has no viable income future.

At some point what those people were talking about will be a true statement. Is it now? My guess is there are only two or three people that know for sure.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Ok so, sounds like you don't know either.
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Walt - KZ1F

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OMG!
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Michael Coslo

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I've heard more complete BS  about the Flex than I care to enumerate. And that's exactly what it is. Someone for some reason or other doesn't like it.
There is no point in trying to explain anything to them, they don't want to listen. Ford versus Chevy talk. 
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Marc Lalonde

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on FPGA whiteout have the source code and compile it you cannot knot how many LTU you use

so simple answer only flex knot how much space left ...  but it a big one + big ARM CPU so i not worry about it   ,and if really need flex may move some of CPU intensive part in the PC  

on ANAN-100D this is knot ,since it open source and on that case FPGA was full since good time
so probably the guy have confuse the radio ;-)

Marc  VE2OLM 
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Stan - VA7NF

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A number of replies but none really addressed the question about FPGA speeds, capacities, and headroom. 

It is a  good question.  Another would be "Can the FPGA be swapped out with a newer and faster version in the same family?"

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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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No, the radios were not designed so that the FPGAs could be swapped out.
(Edited)
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Marc Lalonde

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in 6500 for sure  ,use same PCB for 6500 and 6700  ,but that need expensive PCB rework and not likely to happen

but let just check the Fact 

Flex 6700 use have FPGA whit  760,000 Logic unit   VS  ANAN whit 24,624  so 30 X more !!
then flex use dedicated DSP  so it avoid to use FPGA for DSP function  
so save even more space here  
really no need to afraid to have no room for future flex do it design whit massive head room 

p.s. have work all my live on hardware design  ,and not have buy flex before see what under the hood and knot for sure it "THE" radio for still lot of time to come ;-)
(Edited)
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Official Response
Bill, the "suggestions" you heard are baseless.  The radios have plenty of resource capacity to add new and exciting features.
(Edited)
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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new and exciting features

Like?  
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Rob Fissel

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Nice try, Sal!
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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LOL
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Yeah, nice try.  Wait until we announce the complete feature set for SmartSDR v2.0
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G8ZPX

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Bill,

you said "so I could explain to them they were far from the truth". If you claimed that then you'd be making the same assumptions that they had made, only in reverse. Only FRS knows for sure what the level of workload is on the various CPUs for any given version of SSDR, which of course can change dramatically depending on all sorts of settings such as WNB, display averaging, number of slices open, number of DAX channels in use etc. etc.

Looking at RAM is not a fair judge either, as the amount of ram probably has more to do with the number of slice receivers that the model was designed to cope with, i.e. 2, 4, 8.

Still, it would be good to get a loading figure out of FRS, better still a real-time figure on screen somewhere in SSDR like many high-end games provide with FPS figures.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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All my point was, as some are taxed with my comment. Is, it is highly technical information on understanding the resources in the radio. Understanding that the Flex team took everything into account as well as future plans, it seemed unlikely their comments would be correct.

I could have just said that there is lots of headroom for expantion in the radio, but without having a good understanding of it I could not show them. I'm sure Steve could explain this if he had the time. Keep in mind these guys are not Flex friendly.
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N9VC

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Hi Bill,

What I usually do when I hear things I dislike or
disagree with is, turn the dial on the Maestro or
click the mouse on something else. Too much good
out there to be bogged down with the bad. They're
entitled to their opinions like I'm entitled not
to listen. Tim answered it and I'll take his word
over armchair quarterbacks any day.

73, Jim N9VC

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