Ideas for the next Raspberry


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by W. H. Heydt » Fri Nov 02, 2012 5:46 pm
Lob0426 wrote:Sorry @...:
Reading too darn many posts. That was not you asking for multi-core, 1.5GHz, 2GB memory, WiFi, Bluetooth plus SATA.
It was not even this thread. :oops:

Though @W. H. Heydt did bring something close up.


/looks at thread title... Yeah. I did bring that stuff up.

As I have said;
I believe there will be a redesign of the Raspberry PI in the future.


Well, so do I, but I'm not prepared to place bets on *when* that will occur.

I believe it will use a different SoC than the BCM2835.


Entirely possible, though a faster version of the BCM2835 is also a possibility. It all depends on Broadcom's plans and prices. Again, it's more a matter of when, not if.

I do not believe it will be a "designed only for RasPi" SoC. It will be something already available.


Absolutely agree with this. It would horribly cost prohibitive to design a chip just for the Pi. Any chip used by any ultra-cheap computer will be an off-the-shelf part. In addition, all such computers will use parts that are well established and for which the manufacturers have already amortized off the development costs.

It will have more features. The foundation has a lot more info about that now, than it had.
It will not have USB 3.0, WiFi, Bluetooth, SATA or a single edge connector.


The first principle I would apply here would be: It will have those features that are native to the SoC. If the SoC has the features you list, they may be added. The next principle will be: can the connectors be added without impacting the cost? After that it will be: Is there board real estate for the connectors?

Interestingly enough, the cubieboard people have put a number of connectors on the bottom. I have mixed feelings about that. Granted, the Pi has the SD card connector done that way (and I usually have to pause for a moment to remember to put the card in upside down), but the cubieboard has a lot more down there.

I agree that WiFi and Bluetooth are unlikely (since USB ports and hubs provide a trivially easy workaround and the transceivers require a relatively large amount of power).

If USB 3.0 is supported natively on the SoC, I can't see any bar to including it, Similarly, SATA, though that has power implications.

What you haven't included on that list is gigabit Ethernet. That is also a matter of native SoC support.

What I would like to see for the education market is an ARM device buried in a keyboard with at least two USB ports and an Ethernet port, bundled with the proper power supply. Hook it to a T.V. or monitor and get to work. Not have to put a bunch of components together to get a working system.


Now this I have to disagree with on principle...and it is, I think, the Foundation's principle. If you embed a Pi or Pi-like board in a keyboard, you have just taken away two things. One is the simple exposure of "this is what a computer *looks* like". The other is part of the Foundation's goals. It would close off the hardware tinkering aspect of the Pi by making those interfaces inaccessible.
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by jamesh » Fri Nov 02, 2012 9:57 pm
Can't be bothered to quote all the posts, but...

No way would it be cost effective to design a Raspberry Specific SoC. That's easily $10M right there, when there are perfectly suited devices already in manufacture.

School takeup. I took my son to a prospective comprehensive school for an evening to see what it was like two weeks ago (age 11 onwards in the UK). In the ICT classroom, I overheard an ICT teacher saying to a parent, who had asked him about the Rapsberry PI, saying they would likely get a load in. He at the time had no idea of my connection. Now, purely anecdotal, but the parent had heard of them and specifically asked and the teacher had heard of them - talking to him afterwards he had one on order to see what they were like. I was, actually, quite pleasantly surprised.
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by W. H. Heydt » Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:21 pm
jamesh wrote:No way would it be cost effective to design a Raspberry Specific SoC. That's easily $10M right there, when there are perfectly suited devices already in manufacture.


Agreed...and that's why NO really cheap computer will use a custom SoC, either. Nor is it likely that any really cheap computer (I have *got* to come up with a general term..."Pi-like"? "CC comp"? "RCC"? "LT$50"? Hmm... I think that "LT50 computer" might do, shortening to "LT50" with use) will use anything close to "cutting edge" SoCs. They are far more likely to use what I used call "trailing edge" components. Ones that have earned out their development cost and can now be sold at manufacturing cost plus a profit margin on that cost, without having to recoup R&D.

School takeup. I took my son to a prospective comprehensive school for an evening to see what it was like two weeks ago (age 11 onwards in the UK). In the ICT classroom, I overheard an ICT teacher saying to a parent, who had asked him about the Rapsberry PI, saying they would likely get a load in. He at the time had no idea of my connection. Now, purely anecdotal, but the parent had heard of them and specifically asked and the teacher had heard of them - talking to him afterwards he had one on order to see what they were like. I was, actually, quite pleasantly surprised.


Wonderful story! It's a prime example of exactly what some have been saying... In spite of all appearances, word about the Pi is getting to the right places.

Now we just have to worry about 3 to 5 month delivery times when large numbers of schools start ordering them 100 (or more) at a time...

As for me... When my grandson gets a little older (he's 4), I'll see about nudging whatever schools he goes to in the right direction if they're not using Pis on their own by then.
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by Lob0426 » Sat Nov 03, 2012 3:15 am
@...:
As I said; you just are not very happy with the Raspberry Pi. And I believe you will find enough of my posts, that are critical at points, that proves I am not just a fanboi.
I totally disagree that USB 3.0 is a requirement for a "next-gen" device. And it is nowhere as common as USB 2.0. I have USB 3.0 that I added on and use. It is "becoming" more common.
I also completely disagree with you in whether, the Raspberry Pi can complete its original mission, in its current design. It can, and it will! It would present no problems at all as a "Programming" tool in its current state. And that is what it was designed for!

@W. H. Heydt; yes the title opened the topic up. I was not hitting you about it.

On my last point it is about keeping the " total price of ownership" down. I agree that having the device in hand and viewable, is an important part, but having it "plug and play" would outweigh that. I understand where the feeling comes from, I built a ZX81 with my brother. It was a great experience. I wish that kind of experience could be given to this generation.

I actually believe it could be done with some thought towards the design. Use 1812 sized, or so, components, mount the SoC/memory and LAN9512 packages, to a pinned board for a through hole mount to the main board. Put it all into a kit. Not easy, but I think it would be just possible!
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by jamesh » Sat Nov 03, 2012 9:45 am
Lob0426 wrote:@...:

On my last point it is about keeping the " total price of ownership" down. I agree that having the device in hand and viewable, is an important part, but having it "plug and play" would outweigh that. I understand where the feeling comes from, I built a ZX81 with my brother. It was a great experience. I wish that kind of experience could be given to this generation.

I actually believe it could be done with some thought towards the design. Use 1812 sized, or so, components, mount the SoC/memory and LAN9512 packages, to a pinned board for a through hole mount to the main board. Put it all into a kit. Not easy, but I think it would be just possible!


That was the idea behind the Gertboard, but the problem is that it's cheaper to supply a fully assembled board! And as has always been the mantra, the price must be right.
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by fableman » Sat Nov 03, 2012 3:26 pm
What raspi needs is better communication skills to the real world, just combine gertboard and raspi + one-wire support and a few 400V relays.
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