Several feature requests for the next version


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by doublehp » Thu Dec 27, 2012 4:25 pm
1: PXE ... i don't think I need to comment or justify this.

2: POE ... same. Just obvious.

3: USB-client. That's gonna be a bit more tricky. Some mobiles phones (both in the same plug), and some printers (two seperate plugs) can act as USB host and USB client. It is usefull to make flexible products. Typical case, I want to have my rPi be able to use a USB disk, and then, simulate it is itself a USB disk. Example. I have a 16G card, and I want to set a 8G partition a way that, when I plug my rPi on a computer, the computer thinks the rPi is a 8G disk. Just a short example; there would be many other uses of a configurable USB-client feature. It would probably either need to add a new USB plug for this, or use the existing mini USB B plug that is, at the moment, used for power.

4: redesign the layout to minimise volumes. The actual layout of plugs is really a desaster. One of the main guideline of the rPi conception is volume efficiency: put as much power as possible, in a very little room. Power is there, but it is usable only when plugged. And once plugged, it's taking 3 times more space. A: the SDcard comes out way too much; either put the card in the center of the board, or, leave it on the edge, but in the other way: connecter near the edge, and card facing the center. B: same for power USB. This plug is the only one that is absolutely mandatory for every one: this plug must be placed somewhere where the male plug will fit the credit card size. C: same for audio jack and video RCA and ethernet: solder them in the middle of the board, so that when the male plug is in, the whole male plug will be above the card. The card is large enough to do that; the plugs can be above the chips: the chips are very thin, and the space above chips can be used. D: USB host and HDMI are a different case. USB A plugs and HDMI are very long plugs; it's almost impossible to move those two plugs in the center of the board, and hope that the male plugs will fit above the board; still, they could be place one side to the other, so that people using rPi for video will have those two very rigid wires together, and can attach them together easily.

We can find audio and RJ45 thin cables: once the plugs are in, the wire can be put anywhere, or even placed between other plugs. Having plugs on all 4 sides is not handy for final packaging. Please help us doing small final packaging. You can do it; we have faith :)

5: put two TP plots behind the USB power for soldering power. Most people doing dev in a small lab may dislike the USB plug, and will prefer to have a port. Just behind the power USB, I am expecting to have, at least two holes, so that I can either solder wires in, or solder a connector holder. The shape of the Port 6 is exactly what I am talking about (rPi B1.0); P6 unpopulated is fine. Lazy people will solder directly; patient people will solder a plug.

6: All GPIO lines should be brought to a 2.56" port. I have seen in various documentations that a second I2C bus is hidden in a small footprint port, for a webcam. Those lines should be routed to a port, unpopulated like P5 is fine. A port where we can solder the header if we want. Before soldering, we would have to read the doc, and the doc would clearly say that those lines are shared between two ports, and that only one port can be used at a time. Beginers would have the place unpopulated, and those will not be attempted to use it.

If a card with those improovements was released soon, by mid 2013, I would be ready to pay up to 50€ (instead of 30).

Two points from my friends, not from me:
7: make the audio card stereo. Mono is a bit cheap
8: remove RCA, it's taking room, and useless for many people.

rPi is just perfect; very good start; 10y I was waiting for this kind of thing; at last i have it. I hope version C will come fast.
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by jamesh » Thu Dec 27, 2012 4:33 pm
All these points has been discussed elsewhere, should find it using a search.
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by Jim JKla » Thu Dec 27, 2012 5:10 pm
You tell him jamesh two posts before a order is placed then full page request 8 months later with plans to fully redesign the layout :D

What a hoot and the first and second requests

1: PXE ... i don't think I need to comment or justify this.

2: POE ... same. Just obvious.


Of course you have to justify them we can't shoot you down in flames if you don't give your reasons :D We may even agree but there's no fun if you don't try to justify yourself. :P

These are not features It's a wholsale redesign when it comes to build there are things like availability of parts, cost point and the ability of machine assembly.

The point about removal of the composite port on what basis do you find the RCA of little use the RPi is approaching a Million units sold you can have no idea how many of those units are using RCA as primary output.

I don't think you grasp that a redesign at this level would push your price point well beyond your 50€.

The RPi has an envisioned price point to fit a particular need something the've met admirably.

Oh BTW this is only intended to pull your leg please try not to have a sense of humour failure over it :D
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by doublehp » Thu Dec 27, 2012 7:00 pm
I don't deny thay other people may have adresse the same querries; but this is the FC section; and the dev team need to know what the users want. So, I tell what I want. As long as the dev team will not make a vote web page, i believe that the team will work on what's most asked. I made my message short and clear.

PXE/POE: as I just said above, I would have justified in a normal forum; I won't justify trivial querries in a FC section. I am not here to debate, but to tell what I want. There is no debate on famous querries, and querries about well known features. Discussion is required only for rare features, and things that are not found everywhere, like USB-client. I made my message short, so that the dev team can count points fast, in a short glance: this is asked by everyone, we do it.

No, it's not a whole redesign. Let's keep 99% of the work. Point 4, for example, is only about component placement, and rerouting the card: between 2 days and 1 week of work. But if they do it, it would really be a big plus, and I would be more keen in using THIS product for my projects. Same for 5 and 6: minor routing work. Adding PXE is not a full redesign: the ethernet chip is on the side; they can change this chip without changing anything else. The point that may need the most work time is USB-client.

RCA: I gave my opinion.

But all my points are just minor changes compared to the work they have already done: SOC, assembling everything, deciding components, negociation with various companies ...

I am talking about a C version; I have nothing against continuing to produce version B as is, for cheap; I just say that I want a more advanced product, for a bit more expansive (especially if my ver C is bought by less people). Of course the cheap version B MUST keep RCA; I know why they have put RCA; I have read about this decision. But the high tech version C with PXE and so on can do with only HDMI ... if it can save space on the board ... for a new chip, or a new plug ... for other features asked by other people.

Of course my changes won't make the price up to 50; but ver C may have features asked by other people; and the more expensive version may find less consumers; less consumers means ... more expensive to produce. 50 is my max price. 30€ board for most people, 50€ for high level geeks :) But, to justify two production lines, the products need to be really different.
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by wirelessmonk » Thu Dec 27, 2012 7:23 pm
Does it continue to escape everyone's noticing, that there is very limited, extraordinarily limited likelyhood, of a version C? It's all well and good to speak hypothetically. I know I need to brush up on my Hypothetical every now and again. But the PRF is not a hardware company. It's an charity outreach.

It was always the intention to take advantage of the additional camera and display ports, so R&D continues. Memory turned out to be just ast cost effective in higher capacity, so there was an upgrade, at no additional cost. There aren't any further hardware development going on beyond quality control over what is leaving the respective factories, and pouring over bug reports.

The RPI isn't an HP, a Dell, a Vaio, or an Apple. Don't hold out for next year's model. The Foundation had very carefully avoided saying, "There very probably won't be another hardware release."

This is an entry level board that clearly doesn't meet all of your needs. You may have to source the upgrades yourself.
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by Joe Schmoe » Thu Dec 27, 2012 7:28 pm
You might find this URL helpful:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preboot_Ex ... nvironment

In particular, the part about "Availability".

Of course, it is possible that you were talking about some other meaning of "PXE", in which case:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PXE

may be useful.
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by Joe Schmoe » Thu Dec 27, 2012 7:33 pm
wirelessmonk wrote:The RPI isn't an HP, a Dell, a Vaio, or an Apple. Don't hold out for next year's model. The Foundation had very carefully avoided saying, "There very probably won't be another hardware release."


ITYM: The Foundation has been very explicit about stating:

"There very probably won't be another hardware release."
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by wirelessmonk » Thu Dec 27, 2012 7:46 pm
I just don't want to put words in anyone's mouth. There could be a freak occurrence. An enornous endowment of Arm10 chips for example.

But yes
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by Jessie » Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:36 pm
You aren't going to see a new version while the current one is still selling so well. The educational launch hasn't even happened yet.

The development of a new model (if one were occurring behind the scenes) would just scavenge sales of the current model. So it would make sense that these developments would be kept secret until the very last second.

I have no inside knowledge so don't read between the lines.
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by Jim JKla » Fri Dec 28, 2012 6:51 am
I would envision a model "C" but it is way in the future.

It may even be a non Foundation Raspberry launched by an engineer who cut his/her teeth on a RaspberryPi "A" educational release. ;)
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by Jessie » Fri Dec 28, 2012 3:35 pm
Jim JKla wrote:I would envision a model "C" but it is way in the future.

It may even be a non Foundation Raspberry launched by an engineer who cut his/her teeth on a RaspberryPi "A" educational release. ;)


There is definatly a void to be filled. There are decent ARM boards at $70+ and the RPi at $25/35 but nothing in the middle. I think the foundation is in a good position to fill that gap, but I will buy from whoever gives me what I need at a fair price.

Given their relationship with Broadcom it would be real nice to see a product with a bcm11311 in it. Yeh a redesign would be required but given a good enough price point I'm sure costs could be recouped.
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by Jim JKla » Fri Dec 28, 2012 4:13 pm
The Foundation has made it clear in the past that the production exercise was a path they did not want to follow again.

There are other products comming out of China that may fall into the gap.

Like I say maybe there will be a non foundation son of Raspberry. ;)
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by Lob0426 » Fri Dec 28, 2012 4:53 pm
Jim JKla wrote:The Foundation has made it clear in the past that the production exercise was a path they did not want to follow again.


In fact they are following the production path again anyway. They have stated that they are going to produce the A model themselves, at least for now.

I do believe you are right that that is not how they want to work, in future developments. I think they would like to design a newer RasPi, when the time is right, but will again seek partners for actual production. Production takes deep pockets (money), they just do not have, on the scale of the B model production. Producing the 10K batch at the start was about $300K. And some of them put their houses on the line to get it done. On the other hand they now have a track record for a successful product design and experience behind them. That should help them in seeking partners if they decide to carry out another design.

A big point now is that there are other designs that are close to their price points popping up already. There may be no need for them to produce further designs! There is the point that those designs have no "community" behind them. True but communities can be built. If a Pandaboard was under a hundred dollars it would have a larger community. If Beagle boards were $50 they would have larger communities. They are developer "communities" not the same as the RasPi community at all, but they could be!

In my opinion; You will not see the foundation design an ARM based Super Computer, as seems to be what some people think they ought to design. If it ends up with multiple cores, that will because that SoC was the most inexpensive, they could find to fill their new design needs. It will not have 4GB of memory. It will not have USB 3.0. It will most likely not have a SATA port. If it ends up with Gigabit Ethernet it will be because it was a feature in the new SoC, not added as an extra "chipset". And finally it will most likely not be a desktop replacement. It will again be a programming and learning tool!
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by doublehp » Sat Dec 29, 2012 12:20 am
Since end 2010, I know that ver B is the definitive version. Still, if there is any chance to ever see a version C, I take it. And if thousands of people like come to ask "add 10% more features, and we pay 50% more", I would be surprised the fundation will stick to ver B. I am one. All will depend on how many other there will be. If I stay single, no chance; if hundreds of other people ask for features ...

This is a forum. We are here to have a chat and express.

I am not asking for a completely new product; I am not talking about version 2. I am talking about vers C. I am talking about minor enhancements. Check back how version B was different from version A: twice more RAM, more chips, more plugs. I am not talking about adding such a significant chip as sth like ethernet (new feature), or adding a plug; I am talking about enhancing what's already in, and even removing a plug to make room for the requested new routing layout.
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by Lob0426 » Sat Dec 29, 2012 12:48 am
A models and B models are essentially the same. The PCB is the same. The A model has no Ethernet connector, a single USB in place of the double USB connector and it does not have the LAN9512 "chip". The LAN9512 is a USB hub with Ethernet. They wire across the place where the chip was to get the single USB. Every other part, except the memory size, is exactly the same.

The Minor "changes" you ask for would require at least a 20% Larger PCB to accomodate the re-routing of the traces to put all of the connectors on maybe two sides. It would have to be even larger to put them on just one side. To change the SoC to one with a better USB "client" would cause a total redesign of the board all by itself. The test points might be minor, but changing to a different pinout for the GPIO would be a major change also.

I am sure that many of our recomendations may be reviewed, IF, there is a future RasPi design.

As to price; Many of us were willing to pay extra for a 512MB memory module. The Foundation is pretty set on what they want each models to sell for. They do not appear to want too many different boards out there either. For right now they only want A models and B models. Not B model 256MB, B model 512MB, A model 256MB and a A model 512MB. I am pretty sure that there has been pressure from both of their partners to do just that. An australian site mis-advertised for a non-existent 512MB B model at $49.95. So a $14.95 increase for a slightly more expensive memory module. Instead we have the 512MB at the same $35 price. I think we made out there.

The Foundatioin has a plan for what they believe is needed. They may add some features, but it will have to be inside their parameters for the design they NEED. They probably are not going to build a custome device for every person or group that wants a custom device. The thing to remember is that they are a non-profit.

What is really needed is a custom design shop, that can give us "near" mass production prices. We need a REP RAP that can churn out custom PCB's and another that can pick and place on a small scale (single board from trays rather than reels?). Anyone up for modding an easy bake oven into a reflow oven! :lol:
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