X-Gen
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Use cases for the pi pico?

Fri Jan 22, 2021 2:49 am

What would be some use cases for the pi pico, other than a GPIO pin controller?
- Multicore server?
- Does it run Linux/android?
- Pi hole? (Network switch that blocks or masks ads)
- web server?

W. H. Heydt
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Re: Use cases for the pi pico?

Fri Jan 22, 2021 3:20 am

X-Gen wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 2:49 am
What would be some use cases for the pi pico, other than a GPIO pin controller?
- Multicore server?
- Does it run Linux/android?
- Pi hole? (Network switch that blocks or masks ads)
- web server?
Please go read the blog entry about the Pi Pico. It is not a "general purpose computer" (though it certainly has the potential to be used that way...I've worked with less powerful mainframes), rather it is a microcontroller similar to an Arduino. And, indeed, the developers of the Arduino are planning to release a board based on the RP2040, the processor chip that was developed for the Pi Pico.

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Re: Use cases for the pi pico?

Fri Jan 22, 2021 5:09 am

X-Gen wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 2:49 am
What would be some use cases for the pi pico, other than a GPIO pin controller?
- Multicore server?
- Does it run Linux/android?
- Pi hole? (Network switch that blocks or masks ads)
- web server?

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Imperf3kt
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Re: Use cases for the pi pico?

Fri Jan 22, 2021 5:51 am

I personally am building a watch with internal LEDs, and the Pi Pico is absolutely perfect for my needs. Absolutely perfect timing. (Well, one day earlier would have been preferred, then I could have received mine before the weekend, but I have Monday and Tuesday off work anyway, so I can wait.)
Although I'll be using just the RP2040 part of it (or rather, the Sparkfun version) as the entire board is far larger than I can reasonably fit inside a watch.
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Re: Use cases for the pi pico?

Fri Jan 22, 2021 10:54 am

X-Gen wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 2:49 am
What would be some use cases for the pi pico, other than a GPIO pin controller?
- Multicore server?
- Does it run Linux/android?
- Pi hole? (Network switch that blocks or masks ads)
- web server?
Jeff Geerling did a good video explanation defining differences between microcontrollers vs general purpose computer and cited some examples.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dUCgYXF01Do&t=257s

jamesh
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Re: Use cases for the pi pico?

Fri Jan 22, 2021 11:18 am

X-Gen wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 2:49 am
What would be some use cases for the pi pico, other than a GPIO pin controller?
- Multicore server?
- Does it run Linux/android?
- Pi hole? (Network switch that blocks or masks ads)
- web server?
Think smaller. Microcontrollers are in myriads of devices around your home. Washing machines, fridges, toasters, Xmas lights. You name it. These are commercial areas, but there are plenty of other areas - anywhere you might see someone say "Use an Arduino"!
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hippy
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Re: Use cases for the pi pico?

Fri Jan 22, 2021 2:07 pm

A driver for signage displays is one thing I have been thinking about. I believe it can bit bang two 640x480 DVI streams which may not be as great as Full HD but perfectly adequate in many cases.

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Re: Use cases for the pi pico?

Sat Jan 23, 2021 4:07 pm

hippy wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 2:07 pm
A driver for signage displays is one thing I have been thinking about. I believe it can bit bang two 640x480 DVI streams which may not be as great as Full HD but perfectly adequate in many cases.
I agree, except that old fashioned bit-banging is no longer necessary because of the new PIO mechanism, which can replace "bit-bang" routines, with ease., and runs stand alone, and isn't influenced by interrupts etc. I believe VGA/DVI PIO drivers are already available as library modules.

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Re: Use cases for the pi pico?

Sat Jan 23, 2021 4:15 pm

mahjongg wrote:
Sat Jan 23, 2021 4:07 pm
hippy wrote:
Fri Jan 22, 2021 2:07 pm
A driver for signage displays is one thing I have been thinking about. I believe it can bit bang two 640x480 DVI streams which may not be as great as Full HD but perfectly adequate in many cases.
I agree, except that old fashioned bit-banging is no longer necessary because of the new PIO mechanism, which can replace "bit-bang" routines, with ease., and runs stand alone, and isn't influenced by interrupts etc. I believe VGA/DVI PIO drivers are already available as library modules.
If you only want monochrome, what's the maximum resolution possible on DVI?

MicroSDBootFail
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Re: Use cases for the pi pico?

Sat Jan 23, 2021 5:19 pm

Would have to do the math. Pretty sure we cannot exactly expect two 1920 x 1080 full color HDMI outputs at this point out of this PIO. Maybe monochrome at that resolution if you limited the colors? Not sure as I haven't spent much time with the PIO or really much bit banged but not high speed digital IO either but I think someone else would likely know.

Is someone going to try to write a PIO based HEVC / H.265 and AVC / H.264 decoder? Feels like the hardware isn't quite up the task at the moment but I don't have deep enough knowledge to fully understand what would be needed to make that work exactly.

ejolson
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Re: Use cases for the pi pico?

Sat Jan 23, 2021 5:32 pm

MicroSDBootFail wrote:
Sat Jan 23, 2021 5:19 pm
Would have to do the math. Pretty sure we cannot exactly expect two 1920 x 1080 full color HDMI outputs at this point out of this PIO. Maybe monochrome at that resolution if you limited the colors? Not sure as I haven't spent much time with the PIO or really much bit banged but not high speed digital IO either but I think someone else would likely know.

Is someone going to try to write a PIO based HEVC / H.265 and AVC / H.264 decoder? Feels like the hardware isn't quite up the task at the moment but I don't have deep enough knowledge to fully understand what would be needed to make that work exactly.
In my opinion the Pico is unsuitable for full-motion video. However, I still wonder what resolution could be delivered on an e-paper like monochrome display.

jamesh
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Re: Use cases for the pi pico?

Sat Jan 23, 2021 5:44 pm

Should be good enough for XGA sized full video with a bit of an overclock.

Here's a sort of example. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WaPJmCg ... aspberryPi
And another, 1080p60 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjFwR3f ... mSanderson

That second is overclocked to 297MHz.
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hippy
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Re: Use cases for the pi pico?

Sat Jan 23, 2021 5:47 pm

ejolson wrote:
Sat Jan 23, 2021 5:32 pm
However, I still wonder what resolution could be delivered on an e-paper like monochrome display.
As large as one wants, if time to update isn't important and there's enough memory to store the data to build the dispalyed image from. RAM available would determine the maximum size of any frame buffer if one went that route.

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