160jsss
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Re: What's next where will this go

Fri Dec 30, 2011 3:53 am

Hi I'm new here have been doing lot's of reading very keen to give this a spin .

I'm to old to have had a chance to learn programming at school I was lucky to learn to read and write going to a country school here in New Zealand

I've built computers my last was a mini-itx now looking at using my slice of Pi to program my Delco EFi reflashing my eeprom and live tune would also be cool to have a music player built in too.

Any way my question is about the ARM chips when they bring out a new and faster shiner chip do you have to build a new board to fit said new chip or do they use the same architecture .

I see this need for the biggest fastest wins thing affecting the Pi where you just get it sorted and now theres a 1.2 Gig chip that every kid big or small wants this is why I went for a socketed AMD chip rather than the embedded Intel available at the time same with ram stacked is cool I hope faster becomes cheaper.

And so we start a new speed race my first hard drive was 1Gig my whole computer had less power than my watch and thats a auto winder

Ps Love your work

160jsss
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Re: What's next where will this go

Fri Dec 30, 2011 5:04 am

PPS

This is not a if I can get a computer for $35 I want wifi ect ect just excited about whats next. If I wanted a cheap computer a would build one from scrap .

jamesh
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Re: What's next where will this go

Fri Dec 30, 2011 9:02 am

I think most SoC used in devices like this (ie any mobile device -phone, tablet , raspi etc) are going to stay Arm based for the foreseable future, because its power/watts ratio is so good. However, as chips change you do need to redesign boards as they also change BGA's etc.

However, since the Arm architecture stays the same (relatively!), you will still be able to use Linux on the devices, and run the same software, a bit like moving up processor ranges in PC's.

Arm based SoCs are getting much MUCH more powerful - multicores, high clock rates etc, and are catching up desktop CPU's but at much lower wattage. Add on the mobile GPU performances which are extraordinary for the watts, and you have some pretty amazing kit coming out over the next few years.

Whether they make it on to Raspi like devices is anyone's guess!
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160jsss
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Re: What's next where will this go

Fri Dec 30, 2011 9:29 am

Here's hoping fun time's ahead how will it fell to bring out Pi A&B to show the kids when they pushing code on Pi Z,52

stuporhero
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Re: What's next where will this go

Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:32 am

160jsss said:


Here's hoping fun time's ahead how will it fell to bring out Pi A&B to show the kids when they pushing code on Pi Z,52


Heh, when they reach Pi r they'll have to do a squared edition

__Miguel_
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Re: What's next where will this go

Fri Dec 30, 2011 9:58 pm

Hmm, correct me if I'm wrong, but don't sometimes companies that create the SoCs make new versions "pin-compatible" with older versions?

I remember seeing those claims several times already, and always assumed that would mean both chips have the same size and pinout, including pin locations, meaning you could just (quite literally) change the SoC feeding strip at the manufacturing plant and the resulting complete PCB would work just fine... Or am I missing something?

If I'm not missing anything, it might actually mean if, for some reason, Broadcom would release a (pin-compatible with the current Pi SoC) multi-core, 512MB+ POP SoC with an upgraded GPU, you would actually be able to have a much better Pi with possibly SoC cost being the only thing that changes the final retail price...

Miguel

foo
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Re: What's next where will this go

Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:40 am

The main issue is that these chips are made for cellphones.  That means they expect to sell many millions of them per customer, and as new models come out pin-compatibility is pretty unimportant.

The ability for a small project like this to score really good ARM SoCs is slim, especially for the price range it's going for.  I doubt you will see any system like this sold with SoCs that are competitive with the latest cellphones & tablets of the day, unless something changes in the market.  No doubt if the RPi is successful (and it should be) I'd expect future models with better specs than current, but not necessarily the latest chips.

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Re: What's next where will this go

Sat Dec 31, 2011 8:11 am

foo said:


The main issue is that these chips are made for cellphones.  That means they expect to sell many millions of them per customer, and as new models come out pin-compatibility is pretty unimportant.

The ability for a small project like this to score really good ARM SoCs is slim, especially for the price range it's going for.  I doubt you will see any system like this sold with SoCs that are competitive with the latest cellphones & tablets of the day, unless something changes in the market.  No doubt if the RPi is successful (and it should be) I'd expect future models with better specs than current, but not necessarily the latest chips.


I have to agree with you on both of those points. However, as for the first point , sometimes OEMs do want pin-compatibility to try and cut R&D prices. One thing is designing a whole PCB from scratch, the other is redesigning an existing one, keeping the SoC area intact and only having to recreate traces for the new features to be implemented, right?

As for SoC prices, spot on. Low retail prices means using at least last-gen stuff. It has been like that forever, just look at what today's entry-level Smartphones are using (600-800MHz pre-Cortex cores). However, two good things: today's last-gen is about to be Tegra 2, Hummingbird, and generally speaking ~1GHz dual-core parts, which is nothing to sneeze at even a couple of years from now, if they make it into a Pi. And second, from what I've read on the IT news for these two couple of months, A15 seems to be much more friendly in terms of pricing, since you can basically use a single core design to just about everything from low-end to high-end devices, which is always good when it comes to reducing SoC pricing.

Now, one fleeting though crossed my mind. It may be from the cold I have, but how cool would it be to have a ~€50 dual-core, Pi-like, board capable of running Windows 8 for ARM? I'd be all over that one... hihihi Probably not available for at least another year, though, but dreaming is good, right?

Miguel

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Re: What's next where will this go

Sat Dec 31, 2011 9:58 am

There won't be a pin compatible upgrade for the BRCM2835 - no point, and probably not possible anyway. An upgrade usually means you need more pins!

So changing the SoC means a board redesign. Not a horrendous job though.
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__Miguel_
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Re: What's next where will this go

Sat Dec 31, 2011 10:48 am

JamesH said:


There won't be a pin compatible upgrade for the BRCM2835 - no point, and probably not possible anyway. An upgrade usually means you need more pins!

So changing the SoC means a board redesign. Not a horrendous job though.


Bummer, but oh, well, at least you now have the grip on the first design. That one is the hardest one, right?

Also, James, a bit OT, but since you're following this thread and are actually a bit more inside the IT world than most of us, do you think with the arrival of W8 for ARM (which will, in fact, open up a new market for ARM devices) someone will offer like Nano or Mini-ITX boards with a soldered ARM CPU, and some standard IO, for people who, well, want ARM but also want W8 and build their own PCs, much like today we have embedded Atom and Fusion boards?

Miguel

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Re: What's next where will this go

Sat Dec 31, 2011 11:36 am

My guess (on past MS experience) is that W8 is going to need a pretty beefy arm CPU, and lots of memory, but that doesnt preclude people making small form factor boards that support it. I expect if there is demand supply will fill it!

If Arm is to really catch on as a desktop replacement (with either W8 or Linux or...) there needs to be a standard architecture like there is for PC's where there currently isn't one - most Arm devices are different in one way or another. This means different BSP's for each device, which is pretty unmaintainable - ie no stadnard installation like there is for all WIndows or Linux x86 PC's. Linus Torvalds recently wrote something of the Arm fragmentation.
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Re: What's next where will this go

Sat Dec 31, 2011 12:15 pm

A funny thing, Moore's law: we're not using in quite the same way that other electronics companies do. Most companies chase the performance curve upwards. Moore's law says that memory, processing power etc. will become cheaper over time, so the usual approach is to build machines which maximise that memory, processing power etc.

With Raspberry Pi, we've gone the other way. We're chasing the *downward* curve; not power, but price.
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Manabu
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Re: What's next where will this go

Sat Dec 31, 2011 4:48 pm

__Miguel_ said:


As for SoC prices, spot on. Low retail prices means using at least last-gen stuff. It has been like that forever, just look at what today's entry-level Smartphones are using (600-800MHz pre-Cortex cores). However, two good things: today's last-gen is about to be Tegra 2, Hummingbird, and generally speaking ~1GHz dual-core parts, which is nothing to sneeze at even a couple of years from now, if they make it into a Pi. And second, from what I've read on the IT news for these two couple of months, A15 seems to be much more friendly in terms of pricing, since you can basically use a single core design to just about everything from low-end to high-end devices, which is always good when it comes to reducing SoC pricing.


The cortex A7 seems even more interesting in pricing. It seems to sit on top of the sweat spot in area/performance trade-off. An dual-core 1.5Ghz cortex A7 in an nexgen raspberry pi would be cool. The CPU area would be smaller than an single-core A15, and I think that not much more than the current Arm 11. And I would gladly trade GPU power for more CPU power.

I don't like Tegra 2 because it the only odd-ball armv7 (besides Marvel's Armada) that don't have support for NEON SIMD. It is good to see that Tegra 3 will have, and ARM will force it in the new Cortex A cores. Less fragmentation.

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Re: What's next where will this go

Sat Dec 31, 2011 5:16 pm

In terms of graphics, the chip we use actually outperforms Tegra 3. NVidia are very fortunate in that their (pretty stellar) desktop graphics cards have such good marketing and branding that it bleeds over into their mobile graphics offering. Their mobile graphics aren't actually anything like as strong as their desktop arm.
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Re: What's next where will this go

Sat Dec 31, 2011 5:29 pm

Manabu said:


__Miguel_ said:


As for SoC prices, spot on. Low retail prices means using at least last-gen stuff. It has been like that forever, just look at what today's entry-level Smartphones are using (600-800MHz pre-Cortex cores). However, two good things: today's last-gen is about to be Tegra 2, Hummingbird, and generally speaking ~1GHz dual-core parts, which is nothing to sneeze at even a couple of years from now, if they make it into a Pi. And second, from what I've read on the IT news for these two couple of months, A15 seems to be much more friendly in terms of pricing, since you can basically use a single core design to just about everything from low-end to high-end devices, which is always good when it comes to reducing SoC pricing.


The cortex A7 seems even more interesting in pricing. It seems to sit on top of the sweat spot in area/performance trade-off. An dual-core 1.5Ghz cortex A7 in an nexgen raspberry pi would be cool. The CPU area would be smaller than an single-core A15, and I think that not much more than the current Arm 11. And I would gladly trade GPU power for more CPU power.

I don't like Tegra 2 because it the only odd-ball armv7 (besides Marvel's Armada) that don't have support for NEON SIMD. It is good to see that Tegra 3 will have, and ARM will force it in the new Cortex A cores. Less fragmentation.


All of the twin cores are too expensive to make the target price, so they are out.

Trading GPU power isn't really an option - all SoC nowadays have beefy GPU's - they have to have them for the mobile devices they go in to.

Sounds like what you really want is a basic Arm A7 core/dual core and nothing else. Not sure you can buy those!
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rallisf1
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Re: What's next where will this go

Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:54 am

The Rapsberry Pi board is powerfull enough for any educational and office use and that is the purpose of its design. Do not expect to play World of Warcraft on a Pi based computer. The board and its engineers are more than capable of intergrating better cpu, more ram etc but this would greatly affect its price and its purpose. Having full HD movie playback cabability is more than enough to use as a home multimedia center but more power is needed for 3D playback.

All IT products have their drawbacks and limitations but pricewise Rapsberry Pi is trully an innovation.

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Re: What's next where will this go

Mon Jan 02, 2012 11:21 am

rallisf1 said:


The Rapsberry Pi board is powerfull enough for any educational and office use and that is the purpose of its design. Do not expect to play World of Warcraft on a Pi based computer. The board and its engineers are more than capable of intergrating better cpu, more ram etc but this would greatly affect its price and its purpose. Having full HD movie playback cabability is more than enough to use as a home multimedia center but more power is needed for 3D playback.

All IT products have their drawbacks and limitations but pricewise Rapsberry Pi is trully an innovation.


Actually, the GPU is *technically* capable of 3D playback, but not at 1080p30. If you do the calculations, you can see that 720p requires less than half the processing power of 1080p30, which means that you can process two streams of 720p30, which is what is needed for 3D playback.

That said, it would need a load of work to make it do it!
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Re: What's next where will this go

Mon Jan 02, 2012 8:02 pm

It must be difficult for those working for Broadcom not not let slip information about forthcoming and possibly forthcoming chips,you must be working on chips that won't be available until 2013/4 if ever!

I do realise that it is very unlikely that there will be any pin compatible new chips but hopefully there will be chips say in two years time that are basically compatible but better. Compatible as in offering same input/outputs and needing few kernel changes!

A new PCB would be needed of course but could be the same size with connectors in the same position!

When the pin compatible 512MB memory drops in price that could be used with no changes.

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