EtcherPro progress updates

Hi everyone. I’m starting this thread to log our progress and keep people updated with regards to the EtcherPro project. I’ll keep posting live updates so everyone interested in this product knows where we stand.

Our intention is to bring the product to the market as soon as possible. We thought we could start shipping products around the end of August but this doesn’t seem to be possible. We want to apologize for that and assure you that we are delaying the production only to make the product better. Our next big step is to test the device in an independent lab to ensure we comply with US, EU and UK regulations and obtain all relevant certifications. We have already placed bulk orders for components with long lead times and we’ll kickstart assembly once we validate the product. Our new estimation is that preorders will open around October aiming to start shipping devices before the end of the year.

Today we published an article that walks you through EtcherPro’s development journey, our design process and the problems we faced at each stage: Taming the ‘hard’ in hardware in 8 steps - a product development journey.

EtcherPro has received a lot of support and interest so far and we want to thank you for that!


Current situation

  • We have received samples of the main PCB. We are happy with the quality but we need to make some minor changes to the design.

  • We have also received some samples of the card readers. The single card speed testing is great and we are waiting for more samples to be able to verify our speeds in scale.

  • The enclosure shells are ready and validated.

  • Within the next 2 weeks, we’ll receive production samples of the injection molded parts.

  • We are collecting all the necessary documentation to start the certification process. This takes around 2 months but it doesn’t stop us from starting the production in the meantime.

  • The BoM is complete and tested but it is crucial for us to validate the hardware performance. Once we verify we can deliver what we promised we’ll open pre-orders (around October) and we’ll order the rest of the components that have shorter lead times (packaging, standoffs, magnets, screens, etc)

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Here are a few updates on EtcherPro:

  • We received new card reader samples from our Chinese manufacturer and the quality and performance is great!

  • Unfortunately, we detected a power related issue on our mainboard. He have already worked out the solution and we are preparing a new prototype to validate performance.

  • We also received the injection molded inserts. The finish and colour is great but we have to make a small modification so the light guide emits the LED light better. This should be a quick and easy fix.

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Hi everyone, we have some news:

  • The power related issues on the mainboard are resolved and we have received new prototypes to proceed with testing

  • We are still working on the screen’s drivers and we had some good progress lately, almost there

  • We altered the injection inserts mold to improve the performance of the LED guide and the result is great

  • We are working on an anti-slip solution to make the device feel a bit more sturdy

  • There is a certification slot for early December we are trying to catch, this stage will require approximately 2 months

  • Hardware is taking shape and in the meantime, we are working on Etcher to make sure the software can take full advantage of EtcherPro’s capabilities

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Happy new year everyone, we have some EtcherPro updates:

  • In December we visited our hardware manufacturers in Shenzhen to inspect their facilities, production methods and quality control.
  • We have two promising leads for the screen, one HDMI and one MIPI-DSI. The one that performs better will be implemented in V1.
  • We are adding two rubber feet towards the back of the device as an anti-slip solution.
  • Unfortunately, due to the issues we were facing we couldn’t go for pre-compliance in December so we hope we will be able to do that in February.
  • We encountered a hardware issue with USB3.0 on iMX8 not hitting the expected speed, but we have some ideas on how to improve things.

@konmouz Do you guys have any rough timeline for release of the EtcherPro? We are in need of a duplicator, and really like the EtcherPro, but availability timeframe will inform (and drive) our decision process. I understand you may not be able to give definitive dates, but any information you can provide would be most helpful. Thanks!

Hi @rgstech, thank you for getting in touch. Unfortunately, we aren’t in a position to provide an accurate estimation of the release date. At the moment, we are preparing to go through certification which should take 2-3 months. We plan to open pre-orders when we are ready to go to production as we’ll be more confident about our timeline. I’ll keep updating this thread with all the latest news but feel free to contact us with further questions.

Any updates about the Etcher Pro? :slight_smile:

Despite the unsettling situation with COVID-19, we keep working towards releasing EtcherPro as soon as possible. We are somewhat affected on the hardware side since the shipment of physical products has noticeably slowed down and therefore the hardware prototyping process. However, we are a distributed team, so working from home is not new to us :blush:

  • With our current setup, we are limited to about 600MB/s data throughput. Our goal is 720MB/s and we are slightly modifying the USB hubs architecture to achieve that

  • After a few months of trouble, we ended up using a combination of a MIPI screen and an i2C touchpanel

  • We successfully passed the device safety pre-compliance

  • There is still a lot of work on the OS side to optimise the performance of the board

  • iMX8 tends to overheat a lot. An active fan heatsink can take care of that but as a b-plan, we are looking for a sufficient passive solution to increase reliability

  • We recently got a new space in Athens to set up and run our assembly line

  • Finally, you can enjoy a demo video of EtcherPro using 1 source drive to flash an image to 3 target drives at an average speed of 76.7MB/s

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cc @bversluijs ^

Any new news? I need to order a small duplicator now and potentially a larger a little in the future.

Ditto need yesterday

EtcherPro progress update:

  • We decided to add an extra PCIe USB hub to increase the bandwidth and increase the average writing speed 10-20%
  • We are facing an issue with the PCIe USB hub recognition but we are positive it will be resolved soon. Fingers crossed this one is the last issue that holds us back from production
  • We managed to heavily improve the thermal performance of the device by adding a simple fan blower
  • The OS is also heavily optimised and the device works flawlessly during our tests
  • We are considering releasing some beta devices for selected users to test but this is not confirmed yet
  • The assembly line in Athens is under construction and will be ready in a few weeks
  • The ultimate goal is to open preorders in September and start shipping devices before the end of the year
  • During the extensive testing of EtcherPro we managed to detect and improve numerous issues and add new features on Etcher that are already released in the latest versions. We’ll be adding more as we go
  • Below you can enjoy a photo from the latest shooting of the special edition EtcherPro in metallic grey

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cc @jalex @rlachance