The old JVS-PAC works well (I think), but is not easy to maintain or expand. Running at 48MHz, it had a whopping 2048 bytes of memory and 32KB of flash, all of which encompasses the firmware update software, JVS stack, USB stack and the actual firmware itself. The limited memory was particularly a challenge and some ‘tricks’ had to be used.
The new JVS-PAC, I think it will be called JVS-PAC2, has the features of a small computer with 256KB of flash, 64KB ram and running at twice the speed of the original. This means that the software can be written in a ‘normal’ way.
For normal use, this won’t mean a whole lot as the JVS-PAC is made to do its job and stay out the way during gaming. However – when setting things up and troubleshooting, it will make things a lot easier.
The new JVS-PAC will feature an OLED screen that can display stuff like status of the IO board, if the buttons in your cab is working etc.
Firmware updates will also be a little simpler, as it will use a micro-sd card – no more special windows drives to do an update.
As for bigger, the board will be a tad bigger to fit the OLED screen and miro-sd slot, but not by a whole lot.
Prototype PCB’s for the new version should be here early May, and if things work the way I hope I will plan for a production run shortly after.