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The history of Samantha



September 2005, Pianeta Amiga:
Eyetech delivers the last microA1-C available, all sold out at the show, and not enough to satisfy the requests. In the meanwhile, the wait for the new microA1-I is vain.

October 2005:
The first meetings between Soft3, Virtual Works and Alternative Technologies in order to find a PPC system to satisfy the requests from potential buyers take place. It is decided to take a look at what is present in the market regarding SoC systems.

November 2005:
Two possible candidates are found, Freescale MPC5200 and AMCC 440EP. The AMCC CPU seems to be the best candidate for the specific product.

December 2005:
A reference board for the CPU 440EP/533MHz, the Yosemite, is ordered.

January 2006:
Test performed on the CPU are satisfying, it is decided to finance the design of a new board, the adventure begins!

February 2006:
Various industries are contacted in order to outsource the design of the board, at the end a contract is signed with a young company from Milan, collaborating with the Politecnico university in Milan and CNR (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, National Research Council).

March 2006:
The final specifications for the board are decided, the code name is Sam440EP, the real design phase starts.

April 2006:
Soft3 becomes ATI OEM partner and gets full access to the documentation of the Mobility series chipset.

May - June - July 2006:
Work proceeds steadily, up to 12 people take part at various title in the project. In the meantime components for the prototypes are found and ordered, and the companies that will take care of PCB production and prototype assembly are chosen. The task of adapting Uboot to the new platform proceeds as well. At the end of July we have the final PCB layout.

August 2006:
Finally! Something concrete! We have the first manufactured PCBs, and, incredibly, we managed to put all the components in the limited area of the board. Unfortunately, summer holidays prevent us from having the first prototypes by the end of August.

September 2006, Pianeta Amiga:
Today we present the result of 7 intense months of hard work.


Source - Presentazione Sam440.pdf
English translation by Andrea Maniero
Polish translation by Piotr Zadora
Photos - Szymon Tomzik