No Odroid W - Broadcom will not supply the SoC to Hardkernel


 
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by BlackSuit » Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:18 pm
I know that many people here don't like Odroid-W (http://www.hardkernel.com/main/products ... 0610189490) because they consider it a stupid clone of the RPI. In my opinion it wasn't - it was a completely new form factor inbetween standart RPI and the complicated RPI compute module. Due to its small size and advanced power options with battery charger it was perfect for mobile applications and perfect for own PCBs. It uses knowledge gathered in the RPI community: Thats not stealing, its the meaning of Open Source to share its knowledge!

Unfortunately Broadcom stops supply Hardkernel with the SoC. There are rumors that RPI Foundtion uses its personal contacts and influence to stop Broadcom selling SoCs to Hardkernel. If these rumors are true, I'll instantly sell my RPIs and move my projects to other plattforms. Because it would show, that RPI Community has become a religious movement, not understanding the true value of open source and open hardware. I
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by DougieLawson » Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:23 pm
IANAL but those statements could be libellous.
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by redhawk » Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:30 pm
Unfortunately Broadcom stops supply Hardkernel with the SoC
This is a matter between Hardkernel and Broadcom not the Raspberry Pi Foundation.

Furthermore it would not be a good idea to publicly point fingers at anyone until the full facts have been presented I'm sure Broadcom had their reasons for cancelling the orders.

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Last edited by redhawk on Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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by gkreidl » Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:43 pm
Don't spread rumors that you cannot prove.

It seems more probable that Hardkernel never had any contract with Broadcom (none of the people here working for Broadcom had any information about it.) Now, when it comes to delivery they say on there website:

Code: Select all
Broadcom will not supply the SoC to Hardkernel.
When the first trial batch is sold out, you can’t buy the ODROID-W anymore


They simply wanted to make money from all the work done by the foundation and all the voluntary supporters here. I'm glad it's over.
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by BlackSuit » Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:56 pm
gkreidl wrote:Don't spread rumors that you cannot prove.

It seems more probable that Hardkernel never had any contract with Broadcom (none of the people here working for Broadcom had any information about it.) Now, when it comes to delivery they say on there website:


Code: Select all
Broadcom will not supply the SoC to Hardkernel.
When the first trial batch is sold out, you can’t buy the ODROID-W anymore


They simply wanted to make money from all the work done by the foundation and all the voluntary supporters here. I'm glad it's over.


I clearly marked the rumours as rumours. If I could prove the rumours, it wouldn't be rumours any more.
They had some SoCs for the inital batch. So someone has sold them.


They simply wanted to make money from all the work done by the foundation and all the voluntary supporters here. I'm glad it's over.

The RPI Foundation also makes mony from all the work done here - by selling the RPIs. Hardkernel have obviously made a completely new PCB and want to sell it. Thats perfectly okay, because both the foundation and Hardkernel can not give away hardware for free. They are using open source software developed here. Thats what open source is for. Has anyone of the volunteers marked his contributions to be used exclusivly for the RPI Foundations products?
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by fruitoftheloom » Thu Aug 28, 2014 6:05 pm
Does not some ROKU models use the BCM2835 ? ROKU do not make any comptibility claims afaiaa

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by redhawk » Thu Aug 28, 2014 6:13 pm
They had some SoCs for the inital batch. So someone has sold them.
What I find hard to believe is they've aquired the BCM2835 and none of the Broadcom engineer's knew about it.
So either Hardkernel are lying about their source of SoCs (most likely old stock from another company like Roku) or Broadcom are lying about all knowledge of Hardkernel.

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by W. H. Heydt » Thu Aug 28, 2014 6:16 pm
I suspect a question Hardkernel is in order...How many BCM2835 SoCs were they willing to commit to buying? As was noted long ago, a company like Broadcom wants to sell these sorts of devices in the 100Ks to millions...per quarter...to be worth it to them. Was Hardkernel willing to buy on that scale or not?
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by BlackSuit » Thu Aug 28, 2014 6:24 pm
redhawk wrote:
They had some SoCs for the inital batch. So someone has sold them.
What I find hard to believe is they've aquired the BCM2835 and none of the Broadcom engineer's knew about it.
So either Hardkernel are lying about their source of SoCs (most likely old stock from another company like Roku) or Broadcom are lying about all knowledge of Hardkernel.

Richard S.


Maybe Broadcom decided that RPI Foundation doesn't need to know everything. Perhaps the SoCs were old stock, perhaps Broadcom and Hardkernel were not able to agree on the volume of SoCs bought. Or maybe someone thought odroid-w was simply a clone of RPI, stealing the work done here and therefore has to be removed from the market. Considering some comments here, the latter is not impossible.
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by toxibunny » Thu Aug 28, 2014 6:33 pm
Hasn't it always been the case that the raspi foundation were blessed by purpose and circumstance to be able to buy the bcm chips in such small numbers? And by extension, the fact that odroid weren't able to get a similar deal isn't so much due to shifty maneuvers on the part of broadcom/the foundation, but rather 'always the most likely outcome..
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by Lob0426 » Thu Aug 28, 2014 7:00 pm
The foundation did get a deal on using the BRCM2835. They were allowed to buy in a smaller lot than 1 million pieces. This is probably the stumbling block that Hardkernel is running into.

The foundations original plans called for the release of all the files needed to produce a Raspberry Pi style board. That ended when they took on partners.

I really doubt that the foundation talked Broadcom into not selling to Hardkernel. Their board is not in direct competition with any RasPi products. The closest would probably be the compute module and its board.

If Hardkernel wants the SoC then they are going to have to drum up a partner or contact to be able to have a steady supply of the BRCM2835.
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by redhawk » Thu Aug 28, 2014 7:14 pm
And rumours have already started http://olimex.wordpress.com/2014/08/28/ ... -projects/ this is despite the fact that no hard evidence of wrong doing has been offered. :?

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by fruitoftheloom » Thu Aug 28, 2014 7:32 pm
Broadcom have given much support to the RPF

The BCM2835 is virtually end-of-life and I bellieve only used for the Pi & Roku ( was it not released circa 1999 ? )

Broadcom have decided to pull out of the Mobile Phone SoC market.

Therefore maybe BCM feel that they do not have the resources to support any more start-up low volume manufacturers and just want to kill off the BCM2835 ??
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by abishur » Thu Aug 28, 2014 8:32 pm
:lol: :lol: :lol: Wow, it's been a long time since I've seen a "The Raspberry Pi Foundation is making Broadcom do stuff!!11!11!!11" post.

Let's start with the facts:

The RPF received special dispensation from Broadcom way back in the beginning to buy some of their BCM2835 at much lower quantities than they typically do largely in part to the fact that one of the head honchos in the design and making of the pi was a broadcom employee (Hi, Eben!). This was back in the day when the first back was going to be 50K units and everyone thought they'd get one at launch, and we honestly thought that 50K units would be all that ever sold.

And then things drastically changed, the board had more than 50K users and it dawned on people that no, we wouldn't all get one, something that has made a lot of people bitter to this day.

Flash forward and now, to the best of my knowledge, the RPF can actually order the BCM2835 in the quantities that Joe Schome from the street would need to purchase to get Broadcom to sell them their chips.

But there's a really important detail here. Broadcom != RPF and RPF != Broadcom. Broadcom was generous at the get go because they were being kind to an employee (and I suspect they also recognized that a device making use of their chip would be a nice demo/publicity, just because they were being nice doesn't mean they couldn't also be business savvy ;-) ). At the end of this, the RPF is a client of Broadcom and frankly they're not a big power player in terms of broadcom's revenue.

Broadcom brought in 2.06 Billion USD dollars in 2013, if we pretended like 100% of the $35 pi went to Broadcom, that all... I think 2 million? Pis sold thus far were the model B and were all sold in 2013 that means that 70 million dollars would have come from the RPF. 70 million divided by 2.06 Billion multiplied by a 100 tells us that the Pi would represent a staggering 3% of Broadcom's revenue. Wait did I say staggering? I meant paltry. Bringing things back to reality, and recognizing the the Model A costs 25, take out let's say 7 dollars for the distributor's profits (total guess on that by they way, I have no idea what the distribs get in terms of profits) and we'll assume it costs 18 dollars to make the pi, which is, in my opinion, a fairly generous estimate. Taking out the cost of the various components the cost of the PCB and assembly and let's say the part they actually purchase from Broadcom comes, the BCM2835, and we'll guess that they chip itself costs between 7-10 dollars. Further, we'll say the Pi purchased a nice round 1 million units from Broadcom last year and we can see that, doing the math again, the Pi would account for 0.33%-0.49% of revenue. Looking at that link we can see that a deal they did with Qualcom brought in 186 million dollars or between 18.6 and 26.6 times the amount that the RPF could have provided in their wildest dreams!

To say that the RPF could actually strong arm Broadcom into doing anything is just plain asinine (no offense). No, the RPF hasn't forced Broadcom to shutdown Odriod, in all likelihood they were able to purchase a sample amount, but were not able to come to an agreement on future order quantities or they were able to get some of the chips from some other source they reclaimed them from other devices. Even if the RPF tried to get broadcom to stop sell of the chip to a knockoff, broadcom, as a business to make a profit, would promptly ignore them, good feelings towards their employee or not!

I'm all for a good conspiracy theory, but at least try to do a sanity check to see if it's even remotely plausible before drinking the kool-aid! :roll:
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by gkreidl » Thu Aug 28, 2014 9:02 pm
redhawk wrote:And rumours have already started http://olimex.wordpress.com/2014/08/28/ ... -projects/ this is despite the fact that no hard evidence of wrong doing has been offered. :?

Richard S.


And this is not from a private person spreading rumours, but from a competitor in business;

Olimex Ltd is a leading provider for development tools and programmers for the embedded market.
...
Olimex designs and produces the OLinuXino range of Open Source Hardware Linux computers based on iMX233 ARM9 SoC from Freescale and A10, A10S, A13 and A20 Cortex-A8 SoC from Allwinner technology.


And that's from their headline:

RPi Foundation pressed Broadcom to stop selling BCM2835 to competing projects.
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by abishur » Thu Aug 28, 2014 9:11 pm
gkreidl wrote:And that's from their headline:

RPi Foundation pressed Broadcom to stop selling BCM2835 to competing projects.


Yes, it's from the headline, but then they give no supporting evidence, no links, no research, just one guy making a grossly unsupported and illogical assertion that the RPF can somehow control broadcom, but as my previous post demonstrates, the RPF doesn't have enough money in Broadcom's game to do squat.
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by gkreidl » Thu Aug 28, 2014 9:21 pm
abishur wrote:Yes, it's from the headline, but then they give no supporting evidence, no links, no research, just one guy making a grossly unsupported and illogical assertion that the RPF can somehow control broadcom, but as my previous post demonstrates, the RPF doesn't have enough money in Broadcom's game to do squat.


I completely agree but I had a different reason to quote this nonsense. If a private person is spreading such nonsense in a blog you can't do much about it, but if it comes from a (competing) company the foundation's lawyer's should have a lot of fun.
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