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ZimaBoard Development Progress and Limited Edition Created by Marcell

A new friend Jerry (interviewed in the previous update), recently joined the ZimaBoard team. We have successfully recruited him after discussion and mutual understanding. We are also delighted that many friends such as @Rachid @Carl @Stefan @David applied for our community activities in the previous period. The team is actively planning and sorting out the information we have in hand, and we will sync our development plan and product line as soon as possible. We can’t wait to have a close discussion with friends all over to think and create more stuff that you need.

This update mainly covers the following topics

  • Information on PVT Design Change
  • ZimaBoard Project Timeline
  • New Website and Progress
  • ZimaBoard Limited Edition co-designed with @Marcell

SINGLE-CHANNEL RAM TO DUAL-CHANNEL RAM

ZimaBoard PVT Layout

The picture shows the PVT stage version, and the final version will have appropriate corrections.

The design of the PVT version has been completed. We are recently organizing a small batch of samples and aiming to complete the full-function test of the final version as soon as possible. There are very few changes on core functions, and the main changes cover the following:

  • Switched from single-channel RAM to dual-channel RAM version to optimize the parts supply chain.
  • The position of the PCIe interface is adjusted so that the external interface of the PCIe accessory aligns with the external interface of ZimaBoard.
  • Extended the length of the motherboard to accommodate dual-channel RAM space.
  • Slightly adjusted the position of minor parts (such as power indicator light to optimize visibility).

The length of the current version ZimaBoard is close to the iPhone12mini. While the width remains unchanged, the length is elongated by 17mm. Although we have always preferred a compact design, this size adjustment results from compromising after more than three different layout modifications.

OVERALL TIMELINE

After the last update was released, many friends gave feedback, hoping to know more about the production schedule. We think this is very important and requires immediate feedback. Hence, we sketched the current project planning schedule.

ZimaBoard Timeline – May 2021

The above chart demonstrates the core tasks of the team in the next 2-3 months. The green section in the picture stands for the completed part, the yellow section stands for the ongoing tasks, and the others are to be started soon. Our future work is classified from three perspectives in the entire project management schedule, covering three significant parts of R&D, production, and delivery. After completing the comprehensive PVT version test, the team will start the related work of mass production and logistics management at the same time. 

WEBSITE REVISION

A new version of the website has always attracted the attention of some friends. The main requirements include adding up ZimaBoard, getting accessories, and upgrade options. Therefore, in addition to the above production/delivery projects, the team has been working on the website lately. Now the new website will cover the following sections:

  • Product and Team
  • Shop
  • Tutorials

It is worth noting the tutorial section, which has always been one of the main tasks. We have two small goals for the tutorial part. First of all, to provide a more friendly and streamlined start-up process for entry-level users, which could significantly reduce the learning cost of building a DIY NAS and x86 Router. It shifts the seven-days-learning-curve to 30-minutes-hassle-free-installation of a personal cloud to dive deeper. The second is to reduce the time and efforts that experts and enthusiasts spend on repetitive work/configuration.

ZimaBoard Website V2 Screenshot

We believe these two goals are not simple ones. The team’s software/hardware integration, guided tutorial content, and the experience flow. We will release our content development plan in the next update and hear your feedback and needs.

LIMITED EDITION CO-DESIGNED WITH @MARCELL

Two months ago, @Marcell mentioned in the comments with a unique Kickstarter edition design caught our attention. Based on his idea, the design team started to work in this direction. At the same time, overall optimization on the new protective plate is also ongoing.

So, here is a picture of it.

Top View – Designed by ZimaBoard Team and @Marcell
Bot View – Designed by ZimaBoard Team and @Marcell

The product team does not have a mass production plan for this version, and will only use a sampling method to produce a few samples. Share part of them with backers, who have been communicating with our team for a long time and made valuable suggestions on refining the design. We are incredibly grateful to these friends in the community for their active interaction, trust, and long-term support.

We also look forward to inputs from you.

You are more than welcome to share your thoughts and suggestions in the comments section, or just email: [email protected].

Best,

Lauren & ZimaBoard Team

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