Logic 8 Update – the Home Stretch
This is Mark again. Unfortunately Logic 8 isn’t shipping tonight. However, it will start shipping soon, and we will be sending out the address collection emails shortly.
First the good news:
The Logic 8 HDL is complete! I’ve just fixed the last issue that was holding us back from a functional product. The software is working well too, although it’s still pretty rough around the edges.
The hold-up now is getting our programming and calibration software updated to work with Logic 8, update the Matlab code for testing and calibrating Logic 8 (more on that later) and actually processing all of the pre-ordered units.
The first thing I want to talk about is calibration. We’re still working on perfecting our calibration filter generator, which isn’t quite ready yet. For Logic 4, we simply captured the data set we needed to compute the calibration constants before shipping – since the calibration system isn’t quite complete yet.
With Logic 8, we’re going to do the same thing, since it looks like it could take a few more days at the least to finish up the process, and we need to dedicate quite a bit of time to the Pro devices too.
DC only calibration
Our plan right now is to get the next version of the software to support DC calibration only – specifically, the frequency response of the products won’t be calibrated, but the DC voltages will be accurate. Right now, there is a small amount of error in the voltage measurements of the shipped Logic 4s. We designed them to operate over a slightly larger range than 0 to 5 volts, so that any component variation wouldn’t infringe on that range. However the software doesn’t know that yet. This calibration is done on a per-device level. We have already computed these values for all Logic 4s shipped, and this data will be recorded from the Logic 8s as well.
If this doesn’t make it into the very next release, it shouldn’t be far away. Charles and Chris will be working on finishing this tomorrow, and I hope to include this with the Logic 8 software update.
Frequency response calibration
For reasons similar to those above, the AA filter’s frequency response isn’t perfectly flat by design. There is a very small droop in gain at the higher frequencies, and this will interfere with amplitude measurements in the software. We won’t have this support added to our software for a little while, but we’ve already recorded the amplitude and phase response of every device we’ve shipped – we just need to finish up the Matlab implementation of the calibration calculator and finish the software support for it.
To keep things from getting too confusing about calibration, we’re going to add a screen to the software indicating what calibration information is currently in use for your device, as well as create a support article about it.
Automated programming and test
This is one of the main hold-ups for Logic 8. We’re finishing up adding Logic 8 support to our automated programming and test software, but there is a big issue – right now, it looks like it could take up to 10 minutes to test each Logic 8! We haven’t started to optimize the process, which is currently very manual and inefficient, but in the short term, this means we won’t be able to ship all of the pre-orders at once. While we’re working on optimizing the process, we will also be programming, testing and shipping the units in the order that pre-orders were placed. Hopefully we will be able to get the automated test time down to as short as possible, because right now it would take several days to test all of the Logic 8s, and Logic Pro 16 would take weeks. I’m confident we should be able to speed this up a lot over the next few days.
Logic Pro 8 and Logic Pro 16
There are a few HDL tasks that need to be finished before we can start shipping the Logic Pro products, and I’ll jump into that right away. Specifically, Logic Pro 16’s dual ADCs need proper sample synchronization support, and some tune-ups to the FX3 GPIF II interface. The FX3 firmware also needs some tune-ups, although it’s working pretty well. USB 3.0 works great on Windows and OSX, but we’re still having some trouble on Linux, which might delay USB 3.0 support for that platform, but I’m sure we will be able to get that working soon. The software may also have some performance issues with these devices at launch, but we already have a plan to improve and optimize our data processing code to handle the much higher data rates.
In short, Logic 8 will start shipping soon, but we will have to spread shipping over several days, because our calibration process is still pretty slow. Out of the box, Logic 8 won’t be fully calibrated, but we have all of the data here to finish calibration on all of the units, including those we’ve already shipped. DC calibration will be added first, and that should be out in the next software release, and support Logic 4 and Logic 8.
Thanks again for your support and commitment! If you have any questions at all, please let us know.
Thanks and kind regards,