jamesh
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Re: Raspberry PI ARM Clone

Thu May 03, 2012 2:24 pm

Why the Samsung SoC?
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alexisread
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Re: Raspberry PI ARM Clone

Fri May 04, 2012 10:12 pm

Just my tuppence (and I guess slightly off the thread topic, but not the title), but I'd prefer to see an increase in the board flexibility ie. do a real clone using the same chips, but a new board with extra features eg. more I/O, cheapest FPGA onboard to teach electronics as well as computer programming, DASH7 radio for LOGO turtle projects...any thoughts?

If you're going with a new chip though, I'd be tempted to try and plump for one that can handle GPGPU stuff (teaching parallel programming), that'd mean waiting a few months for say the new Mali in a Samsung SoC, and it'd be comparatively pricey.

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Re: Raspberry PI ARM Clone

Sun May 06, 2012 1:44 pm

JamesH said:


Why the Samsung SoC?


Duel core, 1.5Ghz. Seems better than 1Ghz 1 core.

mtx512
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Re: Raspberry PI ARM Clone

Sun May 06, 2012 8:25 pm

I think we already have a hackable board in this price range, courteous of the rhombus tech guys although its not credit card size!. The Broadcom BCM2835 is also a Set Top Box SOC.

http://www.aliexpress.com/prod.....alers.html

Also Olimex are looking to create a A13 board when it starts to appear.

http://olimex.wordpress.com/20.....inner-a13/

I suggest that Intel should produce a board based on the Medfield chipset (I'm sure they could bankroll it). There's plenty of x86 apps to run out of the box.

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Re: Raspberry PI ARM Clone

Mon May 07, 2012 1:40 am

give a dual cortex-M4 board with dual ethernet and a dedicated 16MB/8MB RAM for both and I'm happy.

If you really want to teach programming to kids, start with the basic and ditch Linux all together. Let them experience the joy of blinking a LED/bunch of LEDs, driving an LCD, rotating a servo, measuring temperature, etc. Linux put too much limitation (i.e. we gotta wait for someone in the community to build the driver for this device...) on what you can do on the hardware level.

(Of course, unless you wanted them starting on programming web pages, etc, then you don't need another device aside from your home computer or laptop)

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Re: Raspberry PI ARM Clone

Wed May 09, 2012 4:37 am

I like your concept but Personally for me a Big point of the RPi is the extreamly low power consumption (unless heavy CPU usage is applied).

As someone else pointed out You could get Netbooks Used or Broken Screens and use those But also mentioned is the fact that software development on them is a bit of a hassel expecially with more complex programs.

The Thought of a Dual Core Cpu, 1Gig Ram onboard, Onboard Bluetooth and Wifi and 2x 10/100 Lan connections are a plus to me.

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Re: Raspberry PI ARM Clone

Wed May 09, 2012 7:17 am

Arreladd said:


I like your concept but Personally for me a Big point of the RPi is the extreamly low power consumption (unless heavy CPU usage is applied).


Isn't the reality that there are a number of ways in which the Pi design could be varied to cater for different objectives. I can think of four such straight off:

1. Using a more modern ARM CPU to give better compatibility with common OS builds, eg Ubuntu;

2. Extending the supporting hardware specification in various ways to give better peripheral support.

3. Optimising the design to minimise power consumption (or optimise CPU power per watt) perhaps also by using a minimal-spec GPU, for better suitability for battery-powered computing.

4. A neater, more robust mechanical package like the EOMA68 project (see http://elinux.org/Embedded_Ope.....re/EOMA-68 )

Any of these, either alone or in combination, seem like perfectly valid targets with good justification.

jamesh
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Re: Raspberry PI ARM Clone

Wed May 09, 2012 8:34 am

benzeman said:


JamesH said:


Why the Samsung SoC?


Duel core, 1.5Ghz. Seems better than 1Ghz 1 core.


Was really asking why Samsung, rather than any of the other twin core Arm devices out there.  Broadcom do one, Bcm11311.
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Re: Raspberry PI ARM Clone

Wed May 09, 2012 8:38 am

prodata said:


Arreladd said:


I like your concept but Personally for me a Big point of the RPi is the extreamly low power consumption (unless heavy CPU usage is applied).


Isn't the reality that there are a number of ways in which the Pi design could be varied to cater for different objectives. I can think of four such straight off:

1. Using a more modern ARM CPU to give better compatibility with common OS builds, eg Ubuntu;


Fair point, but we already have compatibility with Debian on which Ubuntu is based.


2. Extending the supporting hardware specification in various ways to give better peripheral support.


Not quite the aim of the Foundation. But Gertboard or similar gets you almost all that people need.


3. Optimising the design to minimise power consumption (or optimise CPU power per watt) perhaps also by using a minimal-spec GPU, for better suitability for battery-powered computing.


GPU is already fantastically low power given it turns itself off when not being used.


4. A neater, more robust mechanical package like the EOMA68 project (see http://elinux.org/Embedded_Ope.....re/EOMA-68 )

Any of these, either alone or in combination, seem like perfectly valid targets with good justification.


All valid targets, all good justifications, but not necessarily the target of the Foundation. I would have to say there is nothing stopping anyone else out there from doing this stuff.
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Re: Raspberry PI ARM Clone

Thu May 10, 2012 3:36 am

Mele a1000/a2000 allwinner a10 (cortex a8), 512MB, 4G storage, true sata, wireless, vga, hdmi, ether, 3xusb.  boots from sd-card, totally unbrickable with case and power.  ~80usd with shipping.  These are available today but have to be shipped from china.

Work on the open source gpu driver is advancing.  Ubuntu, puppy linux, etc.  Any other allwinner a10 platform should be compatible (except wireless is a sep chip).

The a10 systems getting released are targeted as android media settop boxes.

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Re: Raspberry PI ARM Clone

Fri May 11, 2012 7:04 am

JamesH said:

GPU is already fantastically low power given it turns itself off when not being used.
James, the CPU uses about 40mA differential between "full blast" and "idle". A similar figure (more like 20-30mA) holds for the GPU displaying 1920x1080 or just composite. So together they use about 70mA. Where does the other 80% of the power go?

(Or do they still use significant power when "not in use"?)
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Re: Raspberry PI ARM Clone

Sat May 12, 2012 4:19 pm

50USD, allwinner a10 based with wireless:

http://detail.china.alibaba.co.....91800.html

frankly there's probably no more room in the market for rpi competitors.  The rpi holds its own in its niche, for just over 50USD you have full packaged fully capable FULLY GPL COMPLIANT compact  HTPC systems.

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Re: Raspberry PI ARM Clone

Sat May 12, 2012 5:28 pm

bnolsen said:


50USD, allwinner a10 based with wireless:

http://detail.china.alibaba.co.....91800.html

frankly there's probably no more room in the market for rpi competitors.  The rpi holds its own in its niche, for just over 50USD you have full packaged fully capable FULLY GPL COMPLIANT compact  HTPC systems.


Great, looks like the next 'hackable' gadet. Unfortunately there's seems to be a shift in innovation from West to East. The AllWinner A10/A13 are good examples of this.

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Re: Raspberry PI ARM Clone

Sun May 13, 2012 3:26 am

bnolsen wrote:frankly there's probably no more room in the market for rpi competitors.
I shrieked with laughter at this line! :lol:

It was just too much like the apocryphal "The world has a need for only 7 computers", or "640k RAM is enough for anybody". :D

Personally I think that the Pi has opened Pandora's Box, and that a deluge of low end ARM Linux boards is heading our way.

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Re: Raspberry PI ARM Clone

Mon May 14, 2012 2:03 am

Just about any board with the same or higher specs than the RasPi will do well. Any that come in under $80 USD will sell 100's of thousands, RasPi has proven that. At $149 USD the Beagle Board xM is always out of stock. Get it down to say $79 and they would have to produce 10 times as many and still be sold out. There really is a big market out there for small inexpensive ARM based boards. Everyone is stuck on dual core ARM, but the reality is that a A9 single core 1GHz with a great GPU and plenty of GPIO will sell out. I would not be surprised if BCM, and others are not taking a look at SoC's for small devices in the area of the Raspberry Pi, As in low cost higher performance chips designed to sell in large lots.
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Re: Raspberry PI ARM Clone

Mon May 14, 2012 7:39 am

@Lob0426

"Sold out" really tells you nothing about how many devices there are and how many get produced and sold per month.
There's a famous acoustic guitar builder in L.A. who uses to be too busy to take any more orders and it's not like he's building and selling hundreds a day...

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Re: Raspberry PI ARM Clone

Mon May 14, 2012 8:36 am

rew wrote:JamesH said:

GPU is already fantastically low power given it turns itself off when not being used.
James, the CPU uses about 40mA differential between "full blast" and "idle". A similar figure (more like 20-30mA) holds for the GPU displaying 1920x1080 or just composite. So together they use about 70mA. Where does the other 80% of the power go?

(Or do they still use significant power when "not in use"?)
Not sure what the question is (or where you figures are from), but as a data point, decoding MP3 with video output off, the VC4 is about 7mW. What the Arm uses in idle I don't know, as I only know about the GPU.
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Re: Raspberry PI ARM Clone

Mon May 14, 2012 3:56 pm

Morgaine wrote:
bnolsen wrote:frankly there's probably no more room in the market for rpi competitors.
I shrieked with laughter at this line! :lol: .
I don't see how my statement about the rpi looking to be dominant in its strong area being incorrect.

The rpi is primarily positioned as an embedded controller able to run a full real operating system. It provides a stable hardware platform with known pins and increasing numbers of shields. Just like there's arduino with tons of compatible arduino clones there's probably going to be tons of rpis with shields and stuff for rpi. People seem to *LIKE* hardware platform stability for doing embedded controller work. And for 25USD (model-A) it seems to be a no brainer. So far I haven't seen anything like the rpi at even near its cost OR its momentum.

Now on the pure software side (HTPC, POS systems, etc) there seems to be a huge market opportunity. Right now allwinner a10 based systems look like the strongest contenders based on features and price. The rpi fills part of the gap (cheap), the a10 the other side (features and still cheap).

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Re: Raspberry PI ARM Clone

Mon May 14, 2012 4:07 pm

Not sure about your positioning statement although agree with much of the rest). It's not primarily a embedded or controller device - it's actually a full PC, aimed at the educational segment. Controller applications are a happy side effect.
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Re: Raspberry PI ARM Clone

Mon May 14, 2012 10:02 pm

There are many ways of defining the niche that the Pi has created, and declaring one as "right" and another as "wrong" would miss the point that the Pi is revolutionary for more than just one single purpose. While the Pi was inspired by a single educational goal in mind, it was actually popularized to a far wider audience than this. The number of people who just want a low-cost open media player is known to be huge because so many have stated that as their goal, and the Foundation blogging about that helped reinforce that the Pi is a good device for such non-educational uses.

Because of the multiplicity of good applications for the Pi, I don't think it's appropriate to raise one physical feature of the board over another in any defining sense. Sure, it provides quite a good graphics capability, but that won't be why someone who runs their Pi headless considers the board to be revolutionary. They may have been using an Arduino with an Ethernet Shield before and now find the Pi revolutionary because Linux greatly increases their networking and processing capability at half the cost on the Pi. They wouldn't be "wrong" in not caring about the graphics and still finding it revolutionary.

In fact, just about the only two aspects of the Pi that have never been seen before in combination and which could rightly be considered to have created the niche singlehandedly are Linux and the price point, so the "common denominator niche" is actually "Linux for $25". But it's only a common denominator, and not the whole story.

The whole story is "Ultra-cheap multi-purpose Linux computer which can even reinvigorate IT education". I hope. :D

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Re: Raspberry PI ARM Clone

Tue May 15, 2012 3:07 am

AlArenal wrote:@Lob0426

"Sold out" really tells you nothing about how many devices there are and how many get produced and sold per month.
There's a famous acoustic guitar builder in L.A. who uses to be too busy to take any more orders and it's not like he's building and selling hundreds a day...
My example is the Beagle Board xM. All of the major sellers are ordering 1500 to 2000 items at a time. They are only getting a couple of hundred at a time but they are "sold out" almost as fast as they come in. That board has most of the items that people are asking for in these forums, such as, more GPIO, More Memory, faster Processor, newer core etc. If it was not $149 it would sell even faster. If such a board was produced at $80 it would be even harder to get a hold of. Even if they produced 5000 a month they would still be hard to get. Of course without the price fix (negotiated by the Foundation) that the RasPi enjoys it WOULD go up in price due to high demand. This means that the Beagle BoardxM is never going to come down until the demand drops or production rises, that determines its price. Building a guitar takes time, if it is not mass produced. Mass producing an electronic item depends on parts availablity, ability to pay for the number you want produced and the availability of production line time. I am sure that there are other factors to that but those are the major ones.
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Re: Raspberry PI ARM Clone

Tue May 15, 2012 7:39 am

It's interesting that the BB sells out at $149. Ones wonders how much one could charge for a dual core 1.5GHz 1GB ram Arm device in the form factor of the Raspi...$149? Or what would people actually pay for something like that? There's an interesting article on the register comparing Arm boards and some seem very expensive and yet must still sell quite well.
http://www.reghardware.com/2012/05/10/p ... _the_rest/
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Re: Raspberry PI ARM Clone

Tue May 15, 2012 9:58 pm

jamesh wrote:what would people actually pay for something like that?
Very easy to answer that: $25-$35. :D

The Foundation created the price niche, and it was this price that created the phenomenon that the Pi definitely is. Up the price and you will lose people extremely rapidly, and BOM costs then become worrisome.

Also worth remembering that 7" Android tablets based on the Allwinner A13 are now down around $50, and those based on the more capable A10 not a lot more. There are also cheap boards being designed by companies like Olimex to compete more directly with Pi (their latest design uses A13), so there is certainly going to be price pressure from directly above the Foundation's niche.

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Re: Raspberry PI ARM Clone

Wed May 16, 2012 10:04 am

bnolsen wrote:Mele a1000/a2000 allwinner a10 (cortex a8), 512MB, 4G storage, true sata, wireless, vga, hdmi, ether, 3xusb.  boots from sd-card, totally unbrickable with case and power.  ~80usd with shipping.  These are available today but have to be shipped from china.
A2000 just popped up here @USD98 (inc international shipping, 1gb ram):
http://www.dealextreme.com/p/mele-a2000 ... 4gb-131566

They have the A1000, but it's only a few $ cheaper.

Is progress on porting Linux on to these posted anywhere? The spec to price ratio is looking v interesting :)

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Re: Raspberry PI ARM Clone

Wed May 16, 2012 10:37 am

rasbeer wrote:Is progress on porting Linux on to these posted anywhere?
Seems like it's going quite well :)
http://rhombus-tech.net/allwinner_a10/h ... ele_a1000/

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