LMS8001 Companion for sale?

#1

Looking to buy LMS8001 Companion board, but I can’t seem to find any way to purchase it? Is it still available and if so? please provide a link.
On another topic when will the next generation LMS9000 SDR be available ?
Thanks in advance

#2

While I dont speak on behalf of Lime/MyriadRF, it seems that the LMS8001 companion was a limited run of 150 units sold within the LimeSDR mini Crowd Supply campaign. Its shipped back in May 2018 and apart from the original units, I have not seen the board available for sale. I’ve also not seen any indication that more companion boards will be produced but I’m sure they have plans for the LMS8001 chip. There seem to be some sellers on some Chinese sites that claim they sell the companion, however I am extremely skeptical that they are able to supply that. All in all, It seems unlikely for now unless some second hand sellers pop up

#3

My guess would that the 150 boards used chips from a test run at a fab where the chips had some minor design or production fault and for whatever reason some digital section (ADC/DAC/TSP/Limelight/JESD207) of the chip was non functioning or was sub-optimal but the rest of the chip was absolutely perfect. And they blew a few hard fuses on the chip to permanently disable the erroneous parts. And decided that they could recoup part, or even none, of the fab costs (maybe from a low volume initial test run using something like the mosis service). So revision A0, or A1, of the chip could be used to generate some good PR using only SPI and mostly analogue parts of the chip , at a low price versus crushing them. The thing to remember is that more is usually learned from the very first second of a real chip powering up than from months worth of simulation. Everything could look perfect in simulation, but the usual reality is that months of simulation is less run time than one second of a powered up physical device.

I’ve not seen any mention of the LMS8001+ chips, with full datasheets and register maps, being available from the usual places (digikey/mouser) the only mention I’ve seen is on the limemicro site. Which I would interpret as them being very smart and trying to avoid an Osborne effect. I can see them eventually release a new LimeSDR board using the LMS8001+ instead of the LMS7002M chip. The problem is that the LMS7002M chip has probably not quite reached the crest of it’s wave yet, once it has they will start to ship boards using the LMS8001+ chip long before the LMS7002M chip reaches it trough. From a financial point of view it does not make sense for any company to ship a newer product unless forced to by competitors or lack of sales of the previous product. As for the LMS9000 chip they have not even announced when that will be available yet, so my guess would be at a minimum 2 years after it is announced, unless there are some flaws with the initial test batch, but in reality probably 3 to 4 years, assuming that the crest of sales for boards using the LMS8001+ chip had been reached by then. And it could possibly require USB 4 or PCIe v5 or PCIe v6 and a totally insane amount of CPU processing power, which may make it unattractive for some additional years. And there would also be a whole ITAR/EAR regulations issue as well, which changes every year, best to hold back the specification as long as possible to have the best performance that can be easily shipped worldwide.

If you look at the history of the LMS7002M chip, for one timeline example

  • Oct 2014 : The LMS7002M chip was available
  • May 2016 (+19 months) The LimeSDR-USB and LimeSDR-PCIe were announced on crowssupply
  • Jan 2017 (+7 months) shipping started

And if you look at the initial run of LMS8001 Companion boards, it suggests what I’m saying above.

  • Sep 2017: The LMS8001+ chip was available
  • Sep 2017 (+0 months) The LMS8001 Companion was announced on crowssupply
  • Feb 2018 (+5 months) first, and only run of, boards started to ship

That is my thoughts, but I could be totally wrong, take with a grain of salt.

#4

It’s an interesting theory for sure, but not so well aligned with the reality I’m afraid :slight_smile:

As far as I am aware LMS8001 has always been a frequency shifter designed for use with LMS7002 — and not to replace it. LMS8001 chips are available for volume customers and this is the focus at the present time. I suspect more companion boards will be assembled at some point, but I’m not sure when.

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#5

Why are there 1 million digital gates in the chip and why is “160/640 MSPS” given for the ADC/DAC sample rates. (ref: https://limemicro.com/technology/ ). I’m not disagreeing with you who would know more about the chip than I could, but the information in that table as presented could suggest that it was a replacement chip for the LMS7002M, and not a synergistic chip.

#6

Thanks for your reply, notwithstanding the unfortunate news, really need a new above 6 Ghz SDR