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[Flipper Zero Update] Moving away from Raspberry Pi, building own board from scratch

A project log for Flipper Zero/One — Tamagotchi for Hackers

Flipper is a portable multi-tool for pentesters and geeks in a Tamagotchi body.

Pavel ZhovnerPavel Zhovner 04/12/2020 at 16:452 Comments

There are many updates I want to share with you. We were working hard on new year holidays and came up with some rad changes. Due to all limitations of Raspberry Pi Zero we decided to build our own board from scratch based on NXP i.MX6 ULZ chip

The main problems of Raspberry:

Building completely new single board computer is a big challenge for us, but it gives more freedom in development. We can make Flipper more compact, give it longer battery life and better WiFi chipset.

Display and interface

We finally chose the right display and started to build user interface, menus and icons. LCD is quite old school but I love it, especially for very low power consumption, so we plan to make it Always ON like on old monochrome phones and tamagotchi. No need to press buttons to activate the screen, I miss that on modern devices with color displays.

Here are some demos of how interface looks on the screen:

125khz tag reading/wiring/emulation

We have already working EM4100 reading-writing and emulation! All made in software on  STM32L4 GPIO without any dedicated IC's. Now working on HID PROX protocol which has different modulation type. 

433 Transmitter

Some of Sub-1GHz are working too with CC1101, right now it's only simple protocols and jamming, but all this stuff depends on a software. 

GIF is too large, so here is MP4 https://zhovner.com/forever/flipper_443mhz_jammer.mp4

Flipper Architecture

Here is an old architecture scheme so you can understand the basic blocks. STM32 is always powered on and controls linux board that wakes up on demand. 

Now we are fully focused on developing i.mx6 board and plan to finish the prototype in one month. When we have a complete working board we will start crowdfunding campaign on kickstarter. Thanks for your support.

Cheers, 

Pavel Zhovner

Discussions

dambusio wrote 04/18/2020 at 12:10 point

question about platform - why i.MX6 + STM32? I see 2 additional options like:

- iMX7 with dual core (one for linux and one for "real time")
- and similar - new stm32MP1 - also dual core

I'm guessing that main reason is "separation" - linux part is not necessary for basic functions?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Pavel Zhovner wrote 04/20/2020 at 15:34 point

STM32L4 is for low power tamagotchi mode when Linux SoC is powered off. As we want always on mode.

>I'm guessing that main reason is "separation" - linux part is not necessary for basic functions?

Right, CC1101, ibutton, infrared, 125khz works without linux. So we need low power MCU for this.

  Are you sure? yes | no