Yes has had been said before ad-infinitum, I am dismayed that this thread has not been blocked, it is a total waste of forum space and brings zero to the RPi.jdb wrote:This guy gets it.W. H. Heydt wrote: It's not so much the design costs (though they're not cheap) as it is getting the design into Silicon to find out if you got it right...and then fixing the design and trying again (and again, and again....depending on just how good the designers are).
Beyond that, there's a big difference between Apple--a company with tens of billions of dollars to spend however it wants--and the RPF for which a million dollars is a sizable amount of money.
The reason that chips are so cheap is the scale of production of identical devices. If you can sell 100 million of *anything*, the R&D part of the cost gets lost in the noise. Bear in mind that Pis sell between 1 and 2 million units per year . The cell phone businesses sell more like a billion units per year. The SoC in Pi is cheap because Broadcom sold millions of them before the Pi ever came along...the R&D costs were already amortized off. If the Pi switched to a custom designed SoC, the RPF would have to absorb the entire R&D cost.
The net result of all this is that the Pi--and any future Pi--will use "obsolete" SoCs.
The Pi currently sells at volumes that are an order of magnitude below that which would cause a fabless chip design company (not necessarily Broadcom) to wake up and pay attention. Thus we are constrained by chips that are already on the market.
With significant software engineering effort already expended behind the current VC4 architecture, we would effectively throw that away if we suddenly migrated to a feature-equivalent chip from a different manufacturer. We'd also take a huge risk in terms of future upstream software support, community involvement etc.
Having an "obsolete" chip is actually beneficial in this case - there are no blue-chip customers that care too much about the internal architecture being publicly documented. They will have moved on to the latest and greatest new shiny toy. This allows us to insert various levers that open up bits of the chip that were previously undocumented without too much resistance.
The Pi's original laudable design goal was to be a cheap and cheerful minimal computer that could be used to learn the basics of programming. As it happens, with the hardware inside the Pi you can learn pretty much all of the advances in computer science in the last 30 years from this device - the 3D, codec and vector engines are still considered to be state-of-the-art. People whining that it doesn't do X fast enough don't know how to write software properly.
Whatever is spouted here is just hot air and will not change the RPF future plans one iota.
So please please please can we have this last stupid idiotic thread yanked