Hacked Gadgets Forum

February 4, 2016

Novena Laptop Build

at 10:29 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks


Novena is an open hardware computer by Bunnie that recently raised over $780,000 in a crowd funding campaign. The Ben Heck Show is building a custom computer around this platform. Everything is custom on this laptop build and no details are rushed including the difficult keyboard LED lighting.


  • Freescale iMX6 CPU — same footprint can support dual-lite and quad versions:
    • Quad-core Cortex A9 CPU with NEON FPU @ 1.2 GHz
    • Vivante GC2000 OpenGL ES2.0 GPU, 200Mtri/s, 1Gpix/s (*)
    • NDA-free datasheet [1] and programming manual
  • Internal ports & sensors:
    • mini PCI-express slot (for wifi, bluetooth, mobile data, etc.)
    • UIM slot for mPCIx mobile data cards
    • Dual-channel LVDS LCD connector with USB2.0 side-channel for a display-side camera
    • Resistive touchscreen controller (note: captouch displays typically come with an embedded controller)
    • 1.1W, 8-ohm internal speaker connectors
    • 2x USB2.0 internal connectors for keyboard and mouse/trackpad
    • Digital microphone (optional, not populated by default)
    • 3-axis accelerometer
    • 3x internal UART ports
  • Fun features:
    • 100 Mbit ethernet — dual Ethernet capability allows laptop to be used as an in-line packet filter or router
    • USB OTG — enables laptop to spoof/fuzz ethernet, serial, etc. over USB via gadget interface to other USB hosts
    • Utility serial EEPROM — for storing crash logs and other bits of handy data
    • Spartan-6 CSG324-packaged FPGA (PVT uses LX45: 43k logic cells, 6.8k slices, 54.5k ff, 401kb distributed RAM, 58 DSP48A, 2088kb block RAM) — has several interfaces to the CPU, including a 2Gbit/s (peak) RAM-like bus — for your bitcoin mining needs. Or whatever else you might want to toss in an FPGA.
    • High-speed I/O expansion header”







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One Response to “Novena Laptop Build”

  1. Max Says:

    Looking at that mechanical assembly, I prefer to wait for Olimex’s version…

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