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Re: Fantasy RPi 2 spec (what's yours?)

Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 9:46 pm
by W. H. Heydt
I think some of the intent of the OP has been lost....

I would divide things a little differently...

On the software side, which is really addressing the Pi as it is, and neither next-gen nor "fantasy", what is primarily needed is to get various system components like sound and graphics out of an alpha test state and into something at least close to a "ver. 1.0" release state.

On the hardware side, I would distinguish between what is reasonably possible within the goals of the Foundation in terms of cost and board real estate on the one hand, and the fantasy dream on the other.

On the practical side... Given the way microelectronics and the prices thereof develop, I would see the clock rate increasing, probably in the direction of 1GHz (without overclocking) and memory going to 512MB. Both of those changes should be possible without any work on the board design at all.

In the short term nice-to-have would be a bit larger power budget, say a design point of 1A with some more power allocated to the USB ports (perhaps 200mA each, compared to the present 140mA) and a little more overhead on HDMI to make Pi-powered HDMI to VGA converters a little less risky.

In the longer term are things that would require work on the board. Several people have suggested moving the ethernet port off the USB driver would be nice, but that would undoubtedly require a different driver chip--or a second chip. If there is a board change anyway, one might as well go for a dual core processor of at least 1GHz, and perhaps as high at 1.5GHz. If one is changing the processor, then more memory is reasonable...say a move to 1GB.

It would also be reasonable (since in order to keep the price point, these sorts of changes are well into the future) to drop the RCA jack. That space could be taken up with an 3.5mm audio input jack.

A real pie-in-sky wish would be for a SATA (or mSATA) connector.

I tend to doubt that it is practical to move all the connectors to one or two sides of the board, but--in time--it *might* be possible to move connectors to have all of them on any given side of the board extend out the same distance.

Re: Fantasy RPi 2 spec (what's yours?)

Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:23 pm
by W. H. Heydt
A late addition to my remarks occurs to me....

One of the limitations of the Pi is particularly simple on-board voltage regulation. At such time as the board gets a rework (eventually, it will HAVE to happen..), a nice-to-have would be a better voltage regulator. Preferably one that could handle input sources up to a bit over 6v (e.g. 4xAA batteries, with a safety margin), or even 12v, such as an automotive system without additional, external power supplies being needed.

Re: Fantasy RPi 2 spec (what's yours?)

Posted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 4:37 am
by adama
chris_c wrote:
shirro wrote:fully open drivers.
<rant>
I've never understood this rather self defeating meme about proprietary drivers
</rant>
I've never understood the obsession everyone has with demanding open source drivers. Open source is not always beneficial.

The argument in favour of open source always sounds to me like the american communism witch hunts.

"If it's not open source, it's bad! We don't know why, but kill it with fire!"

adam.

Re: Fantasy RPi 2 spec (what's yours?)

Posted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 12:44 pm
by chris_c
The idea competitors might get some clue as to the design is just rubbish, Intel seem happy to properly and publicly document their Ivy bridge GPU for example, its not so much about open source as properly (and fully) openly documenting the hardware.

Maybe Broadcom have something to be embarrassed about? - heck they won't even properly document a library they expect us to use... (bcm_host)

As it stands there is no xwindows drivers for the pi and the only possible hope for that is a pure GLES xwindows driver.

Without proper documentation there is little hope of implementing other more interesting ideas. Who knows what other interesting and useful stuff is on the SoC?

Take for example the Open Pandora, after jumping through a few hoops I did manage to get hold of a datasheet for the SoC - an OMAP chip. With this I was able to modify a kernel module to use i2c to control one of the SoC's sub systems so I could implement Wake On Alarm functionality, something that would have been impossible without proper documentation .

It turned out in the end after having returning a number of Pandoras as faulty I took it no further, they now have 200 hours standby - something else no doubt only achievable by the platform having open documentation.

I take exception to being called a zealot by some previous poster I have no truck with the evils of religion - its nothing to do with a obsession either, its just out and out practicality.

You either have the information at your disposable to get the best out of the hardware you *own* or you're forced to work with one arm behind your back...

Re: Fantasy RPi 2 spec (what's yours?)

Posted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 2:15 pm
by khulat
chris_c wrote:The idea competitors might get some clue as to the design is just rubbish, Intel seem happy to properly and publicly document their Ivy bridge GPU for example, its not so much about open source as properly (and fully) openly documenting the hardware.
I would let this argument stand if it were NVIDIA or ATI, but since it is Intel i don't think you can claim that they have much to lose by opening all of their documentation. It's not as if they are in a situation in which anyone could gain much from that.
If Intel has provided the same level of Information about its other projects while their competitors don't then i will glad to be proven wrong in this case, but i only hear talk about the GPU everytime someone uses this particular argument.

Re: Fantasy RPi 2 spec (what's yours?)

Posted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 3:44 pm
by chris_c
Intel have a pretty good record of properly documenting things
http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ ... uals.html/
their cpu documentation is very extensive and often useful for example...

It looks datasheets are avilable for a wide range of their motherboard chipsets too.

Even simpler things like PIO, DMA chips for Intel are usually well documented which is handy as they are sometimes part of other companies SoC's... (I've personally found them very useful in a number of projects)

And yes Intel have nothing to loose... but everything to gain, before long HD3/4000 GPU's will be in a wide range of low cost hardware, both mini media centres and laptops, while their GPU's may not have the grunt of high power they are certainly powerful enough for playing games.

Given that they are so well documented developers will soon be able to write specific optimisations for these targets that will make their products look even more attractive.

Looks like Intel are wise enough to be the new VHS while others are destined to be the higher quality more expensive but ultimately extinct before its time Betamax...

Re: Fantasy RPi 2 spec (what's yours?)

Posted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:45 pm
by hellonearthis
512MB of ram would be a nice dream as well as heaps of JTAG support, to halt the Pi and do memory dumps or memory changes, to look at the stack and the other processor registers.

The ability to turn on an expert cartridge like the old freeze frame and action replay cartridges of the C=64

Re: Fantasy RPi 2 spec (what's yours?)

Posted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:47 pm
by cheery
I've used the Pi for couple times now.

Raspberry pi lacks properly standardized and specified computer ports. There's only GPIO that work reliably at the moment. About the rest of those ports are filled with various gunks, bugs and design violations.

Raspberry Pi lacks a proper, reviewed, open source, software stack to support all the capabilities it has. At the moment it all makes up a linux desktop.

Third, although it has good performance at most places, it lacks memory. Some 500MB or so.

Overall I believe everything should be made lot simpler than it is. Leaking abstractions should be torn apart and new non-leaking ones should be established. Most importantly, it should be trivial for everyone to write games, visualizations and entertainment.

Re: Fantasy RPi 2 spec (what's yours?)

Posted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:13 pm
by pygmy_giant
Not sure I agree with the previous post.

Do any boffinly inclined posters know whether this type of architecture could be easily broken out to enable the inconnectivity of nimerous boards into an expandable budget super-computer?

Perhaps there could be one central Pi administering processing tasks to other speedily networked pis...?

Is there a standard inter-CPU communication protocol?

Re: Fantasy RPi 2 spec (what's yours?)

Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:04 am
by jamesh
cheery wrote:I've used the Pi for couple times now.

Raspberry pi lacks properly standardized and specified computer ports. There's only GPIO that work reliably at the moment. About the rest of those ports are filled with various gunks, bugs and design violations.
? HDMI is to spec, the DSI and CSI ports obey the respective specs, RCA works. USB is a problem at the moment until the drivers are sorted out. Please explain more on gunks, bugs and design violations
cheery wrote:Raspberry Pi lacks a proper, reviewed, open source, software stack to support all the capabilities it has. At the moment it all makes up a linux desktop.
And the tagline says "A linux machine for $25" or similar. So I'm not sure what you point is. It does exactly what was promised. You get 2D/3D/Media drivers with open APIs (although code is closed, but who cares - use the API, it's easier and standardised). It's not like cool stuff is being hidden from you, the vast majority of GPU features are already exposed.
cheery wrote: Third, although it has good performance at most places, it lacks memory. Some 500MB or so.

Overall I believe everything should be made lot simpler than it is. Leaking abstractions should be torn apart and new non-leaking ones should be established. Most importantly, it should be trivial for everyone to write games, visualizations and entertainment.
Not sure what you mean by leaking abstrations at all. And as for games - all the 2D and 3D API's for acceleration are right there to use right now. Anyone writing games etc has access to all the acceleration the device has via standard API's.

Re: Fantasy RPi 2 spec (what's yours?)

Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:25 am
by Jade
I would be really happy with the pi if they changed the cpu to a cortex-a8(or up, but a8 is fine) and boosted the ram to 512mb, the rest is all fine for me

Re: Fantasy RPi 2 spec (what's yours?)

Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:05 am
by W. H. Heydt
Jade wrote:I would be really happy with the pi if they changed the cpu to a cortex-a8(or up, but a8 is fine) and boosted the ram to 512mb, the rest is all fine for me
As was pointed out to me when I mentioned some other features, take a look here:
http://cubieboard.org/#

Your choice of 512MB or 1GB and a CortexA8...exactly what you're asking for. Price isn't bad, either. Might be a bit of problem with software development and support (doesn't appear to have nearly as large a community behind it).

Re: Fantasy RPi 2 spec (what's yours?)

Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:59 am
by cheery
jamesh wrote:? HDMI is to spec, the DSI and CSI ports obey the respective specs, RCA works. USB is a problem at the moment until the drivers are sorted out. Please explain more on gunks, bugs and design violations
HDMI-compliant port cannot be used for recording, because there was an obsolete industry trying to save their profits involved in the requirements. DSI and CSI ports obey the specs, but I haven't seen the DSI being used yet even once, so it's the sort of port that you are unable to use at the moment. RCA is an old, single-purpose port. Those generally work every time.

So yeah, I'm mostly thinking about HDMI and USB, and forgetting there are those other ports that actually work.
jamesh wrote:
cheery wrote:Raspberry Pi lacks a proper, reviewed, open source, software stack to support all the capabilities it has. At the moment it all makes up a linux desktop.
And the tagline says "A linux machine for $25" or similar. So I'm not sure what you point is. It does exactly what was promised. You get 2D/3D/Media drivers with open APIs (although code is closed, but who cares - use the API, it's easier and standardised). It's not like cool stuff is being hidden from you, the vast majority of GPU features are already exposed.
The thing is I'd want linux distributions to be different. Yeah, it's open, available APIs everywhere (you called dispmanx standardised API? It looked more like a nest of some beast, messy and mixed with various things. :shock: ). It's just that you'll get things like Xorg, which by default assumes that user wants about every device to become either a pointer or a keyboard.

The idea in linux based OS is so good that it's shame how badly it's implemented. Although I'm not sure whether I'd do it better myself.
jamesh wrote:
cheery wrote: Third, although it has good performance at most places, it lacks memory. Some 500MB or so.

Overall I believe everything should be made lot simpler than it is. Leaking abstractions should be torn apart and new non-leaking ones should be established. Most importantly, it should be trivial for everyone to write games, visualizations and entertainment.
Not sure what you mean by leaking abstrations at all. And as for games - all the 2D and 3D API's for acceleration are right there to use right now. Anyone writing games etc has access to all the acceleration the device has via standard API's.
I'm about halfways satisfied to what you get for video at the pi. The input is a different thing entirely. The last thing I tried was an access of input over evdev. That was terrible. I needed a separate and complex library to detect plugging/unplugging of devices. Isn't that nice if you're looking for user experience such as "plug in a joystick and play"? Okay so I could use SDL instead? SDL goes to an another extreme and abstracts way too much. They have an assumption about single display in place. That is often correct, because nobody does anything with a second display if the mainstream APIs expect that you have only one display.

Sure we are talking about this kind of things around 25$ computer, but isn't it about invidualistic, do-it-for-kicks-culture anyway? Work culture kind of people just accept that the APIs they build on are just what they are. They have things to do and no time to prepare the underlying system for it any further. If the APIs won't provide at the level they are willing to go, they'll cease or work around. There's also compatibility conditions they need to fill.

Re: Fantasy RPi 2 spec (what's yours?)

Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:10 am
by RaTTuS
my USB ports seem to work fine, [ok there are some problems with some setuyps]
my Ethernet is fine
what more do you need [no want, need]


oh BTW
mine really needs 2 NIC interface and 1Gb RAM and the sockets all on one side

Re: Fantasy RPi 2 spec (what's yours?)

Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:44 am
by thradtke
Better USB hardware would be great.

I think everything else works not only for the goals of the Foundation, but also for (very) moderate media and desktop applications. I can actually handle a recent Scribus on the Pi - with just 224MB of RAM and under vnc! That's an incredible experience :D .

Re: Fantasy RPi 2 spec (what's yours?)

Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:59 am
by jamesh
cheery wrote:
jamesh wrote:? HDMI is to spec, the DSI and CSI ports obey the respective specs, RCA works. USB is a problem at the moment until the drivers are sorted out. Please explain more on gunks, bugs and design violations
HDMI-compliant port cannot be used for recording, because there was an obsolete industry trying to save their profits involved in the requirements. DSI and CSI ports obey the specs, but I haven't seen the DSI being used yet even once, so it's the sort of port that you are unable to use at the moment. RCA is an old, single-purpose port. Those generally work every time.

So yeah, I'm mostly thinking about HDMI and USB, and forgetting there are those other ports that actually work.
jamesh wrote:
cheery wrote:Raspberry Pi lacks a proper, reviewed, open source, software stack to support all the capabilities it has. At the moment it all makes up a linux desktop.
And the tagline says "A linux machine for $25" or similar. So I'm not sure what you point is. It does exactly what was promised. You get 2D/3D/Media drivers with open APIs (although code is closed, but who cares - use the API, it's easier and standardised). It's not like cool stuff is being hidden from you, the vast majority of GPU features are already exposed.
The thing is I'd want linux distributions to be different. Yeah, it's open, available APIs everywhere (you called dispmanx standardised API? It looked more like a nest of some beast, messy and mixed with various things. :shock: ). It's just that you'll get things like Xorg, which by default assumes that user wants about every device to become either a pointer or a keyboard.

The idea in linux based OS is so good that it's shame how badly it's implemented. Although I'm not sure whether I'd do it better myself.
jamesh wrote:
cheery wrote: Third, although it has good performance at most places, it lacks memory. Some 500MB or so.

Overall I believe everything should be made lot simpler than it is. Leaking abstractions should be torn apart and new non-leaking ones should be established. Most importantly, it should be trivial for everyone to write games, visualizations and entertainment.
Not sure what you mean by leaking abstrations at all. And as for games - all the 2D and 3D API's for acceleration are right there to use right now. Anyone writing games etc has access to all the acceleration the device has via standard API's.
I'm about halfways satisfied to what you get for video at the pi. The input is a different thing entirely. The last thing I tried was an access of input over evdev. That was terrible. I needed a separate and complex library to detect plugging/unplugging of devices. Isn't that nice if you're looking for user experience such as "plug in a joystick and play"? Okay so I could use SDL instead? SDL goes to an another extreme and abstracts way too much. They have an assumption about single display in place. That is often correct, because nobody does anything with a second display if the mainstream APIs expect that you have only one display.

Sure we are talking about this kind of things around 25$ computer, but isn't it about invidualistic, do-it-for-kicks-culture anyway? Work culture kind of people just accept that the APIs they build on are just what they are. They have things to do and no time to prepare the underlying system for it any further. If the APIs won't provide at the level they are willing to go, they'll cease or work around. There's also compatibility conditions they need to fill.
The HDMI port is an OUTPUT port - of course it cannot do input. It was never intended to do input. Therefor the argument that its buggy or gunky or doesn't meet specs in invalid.
USB - definitely problematic but getting much better with each new driver release.
DSI - should be some displays coming up when we have time to look at them.
CSI port will be in use before Xmas with the camera module.

As for the rest of your post, not quite sure that the problems you describe are anything to do with the Raspberry Pi itself - more like the general libraries and systems issues with Linux itself. Can't blame us for those! Or expect us to fix them. That's your job. You could try RISCOS instead.

Re: Fantasy RPi 2 spec (what's yours?)

Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:19 am
by pluggy
My fantasy Pi is pretty much as it is now except the USB works as well as all my other machines that run Linux. I haven't had any problems with HDMI. Although I run mainly headless and I haven't tried connecting it to a telly........

I would have said the CPU performance as well, but the latest image with the overclocking to 1 Ghz has improved things in that respect. Memory is fine in my book, its appropriate to the Pi's cost/performance..

Re: Fantasy RPi 2 spec (what's yours?)

Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:38 am
by chris_c
@jamesh what about the completely missing EGL and horrid undocumented thing that you have to use instead, and there is no accelerated X driver

heck even the mali gpu is openly documented so the proprietary excuse is just that, an excuse and a fairly poor one at that.

the Pi is alas not an open platform and without proper documentation for the gpu like Arm and Intel have done for their GPU's I seriously can't see how it will ever get fixed...

both Intel, Arm and many others in other hardware arenas get open source and enjoy the numerous benefits of support from the community, without fear of someone somehow "stealing" their designs from a document about how the chip should be used (and I've yet to see a documentation on use can make the entire design transparent or even give clues...)

Re: Fantasy RPi 2 spec (what's yours?)

Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:59 am
by RaTTuS
chris_c wrote:@jamesh what about the completely missing EGL and horrid undocumented thing that you have to use instead, and there is no accelerated X driver

heck even the mali gpu is openly documented so the proprietary excuse is just that, an excuse and a fairly poor one at that.

the Pi is alas not an open platform and without proper documentation for the gpu like Arm and Intel have done for their GPU's I seriously can't see how it will ever get fixed...

both Intel, Arm and many others in other hardware arenas get open source and enjoy the numerous benefits of support from the community, without fear of someone somehow "stealing" their designs from a document about how the chip should be used (and I've yet to see a documentation on use can make the entire design transparent or even give clues...)
This argument again .... sheesh


... edit
actually ... no I canot be bothered

Re: Fantasy RPi 2 spec (what's yours?)

Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:27 am
by jamesh
chris_c wrote:@jamesh what about the completely missing EGL and horrid undocumented thing that you have to use instead, and there is no accelerated X driver

heck even the mali gpu is openly documented so the proprietary excuse is just that, an excuse and a fairly poor one at that.

the Pi is alas not an open platform and without proper documentation for the gpu like Arm and Intel have done for their GPU's I seriously can't see how it will ever get fixed...

both Intel, Arm and many others in other hardware arenas get open source and enjoy the numerous benefits of support from the community, without fear of someone somehow "stealing" their designs from a document about how the chip should be used (and I've yet to see a documentation on use can make the entire design transparent or even give clues...)
Utter nonsense, there is a EGL provided as well. I don't think it will be too long before accelerated X is available either.

This is NOT a thread for people to complain about the not quite completely open source nature of the device. The GPU is closed. Live with it (and the vast majority of buyers will be more than happy to do so, as they do with ATI or Nvidia) or don't buy it. Any further posts in this thread about it will be deleted.

Re: Fantasy RPi 2 spec (what's yours?)

Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 12:12 pm
by tawalker
There's not much that I'd change with my Pi for a Mk2 version (at least on the hardware front) - yes, it would definitely be welcome to have more RAM to play with (512MB would suit me nicely), and if it were possible to give the "Pi2" a Gigabit Ethernet port, I wouldn't complain.

That said, I seem to have experienced less (suspected) RAM-related woes since I reinstalled Arch on my Pi the other week. I replaced the old "soft float" version with the "hard float" one, and performance has greatly improved (though whether this is down to the HF code, better memory setup, etc., I have no idea). Certainly, the Pi almost never freezes up when browsing the Web via Midori, as it almost always did when running the old "soft" Arch.

Also, I wonder if even a "beefed-up" Pi wouldn't be able to "keep up" with a Gigabit Ethernet adapter, and whether this would jack up the price beyond the "sweet spot"?

Really, the only thing currently missing from the Pi that I'd really like, lies in software rather than hardware: a 2D/3D hardware-accelerated X11 driver, and I'm sure that's coming in due course :)

Re: Fantasy RPi 2 spec (what's yours?)

Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:19 pm
by chris_c
where's the EGL i'd love to be using that instead it would make my life a LOT easier

Re: Fantasy RPi 2 spec (what's yours?)

Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:53 pm
by cheery
jamesh wrote:Can't blame us for those! Or expect us to fix them. That's your job. You could try RISCOS instead.
I'm not blaming you or expect you to fix it all alone, well.. except maybe that lack of memory thing. Besides you've already done quite a lot that I am grateful about.

Re: Fantasy RPi 2 spec (what's yours?)

Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:50 pm
by jamesh
Loads more to come!

Just trying to find the EGL library. I know there's one for the Videocore, now I'm wondering whether it's in the distro or not. It's possible that it's not, but if so I don't know why. I don't have one here to check right now so if anyone else knows....

Re: Fantasy RPi 2 spec (what's yours?)

Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:09 pm
by W. H. Heydt
tawalker wrote:There's not much that I'd change with my Pi for a Mk2 version (at least on the hardware front) - yes, it would definitely be welcome to have more RAM to play with (512MB would suit me nicely), and if it were possible to give the "Pi2" a Gigabit Ethernet port, I wouldn't complain.
I strongly suspect that 512MB will arrive in less than 2 years, and moderately likely in roughly 1 year. It's really just a matter of the price of the memory PoP package coming down to a point that the price of the Pi can be retained.

As for Gigabit Ethernet...That would require a board redesign, at least to some degree, and possibly a change in the processor. The LAN9512 chip is--basically, as I understand it--really just acting like a hub to the single USB port on the processor. As such, it is probably strapped down to 480Mb/s...less than half of 1Gb/s.

To make Gigabit Ethernet realistic would require that there be a dedicated channel on the processor fast enough to keep up with it, and--probably--some sort of controller chip as well. That would complicate things and make it a lot more expensive.