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

Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:20 am

I'm going to try out the first RPi a bit before I'll say anything into this thread.

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

Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:23 am

jamesh, not denying that some of the problems are hard, but we do have some reason to be hopeful things can be improved.

just look at the aparrent progress that seems to have been made by a single developer on sd card stuff in the last few days.

The more people that get their hands on one the better the chance that you find someone who can do something amazing. Difficult problems just need the right person to want to scratch that itch

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

Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:51 pm

My dream RPi specs are as follows:
- ARMv7 CPU
- at least 512MB RAM
- 2x 100mb sockets (not on an USB hub)
- ditch the 1bit pwm sound solution
- a slightly bigger PCB providing some of the features that are left behind now, even if in a single GPIO-like connector (edge connector would be nice) :
-- I2S
-- LVDS
-- SATA
-- maybe a PCIe 1x
-- all these would need ~25 pins
-- power users could choose what they need to use from it and implement their own interfaces

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

Mon Jun 11, 2012 6:55 pm

  • Wheels
    Sandwich
Director of Communications, Raspberry Pi

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

Mon Jun 11, 2012 6:57 pm

liz wrote:
  • Wheels
    Sandwich
Important :lol:
Alex Eames RasPi.TV, RasP.iO

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

Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:08 pm

liz wrote:
  • Wheels
    Sandwich
you forgot the beer :D

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

Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:02 pm

jamesh wrote: Maybe, just maybe, it's a bit more difficult than you seem to think...as is this mythical 'if we have the source we can add new features to the graphics drivers'. Broadcom have teams of dozens of people working on the GPU blob and the graphics drivers full time - people who really really know what they are doing. It seems unlikely any community effort would produce anything better
Let's get this clear since a fair number of people are asking about this. Are you saying the prospects of decent performance of basic X operations like moving windows are slim?

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

Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:04 pm

No.
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Re: Fantasy RPi 2 spec (what's yours?)

Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:14 pm

For a revision of this board, I'd really like it if the connectors were on one side, or at least not all 4!

I think (I'm no expert) that the micro USB could be rotated 90 degrees, as could the ethernet socket. Maybe even the pair of USBs?

If all of them could be moved to the one side, it'd be fantastic.

Also, mounting holes :P

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

Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:27 pm

OK, just some simple things:

- solve power limit on usb
- no microUSB phone charger power
- make leds less bright and maybe programmable
- make the pcb a little larger and align the connectors, try to keep 1 side free
- microSD, current one take too much space
- mounting holes
- split the io connector, accross the pcb so that extension boards get supported on 2 sides
- use a standard UEXT connector
- perhaps a 9513 instead of a 9512 and 3x usb connectors, use vertical usb connectors (limit the height of the board)

I don't care about the cpu or memory

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

Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:28 pm

jamesh wrote:
chris_c wrote:oh my, those problems sound terrible. I never realised things were is such a state!

audio drivers and usb drivers would be the type of thing that could have been solved fairly quickly by the community - I wonder how long we'll have to wait. :cry:
re: USB and audio driver source is available. Fill 'yer boots.

Oh, hold on, the USB source has been available for ages (2 years?) and the community hasn't managed to fix it yet....and neither have the manufacturer, who have all the chip docs etc. Audio - currently being worked on, by the community. Problem is that are very few people with the required skill set, which makes the community rather small.
Those manufacturers do not care to fix "IT" they are running it on CPU's that it only eats 1% or 2%. On these SoC's it eats 20% or more.

So now it does need to be fixed. Question is how. The fix would be to add a pony processor to the SoC that would handle the majority of USB requests. That will raise the costs of the SoC. I think you would have to come up with a new standard, then you have to have new devices. This is the same arguement against USB 3.0 it would probably eat all of the CPU time on RasPi and never reach its theoretical capability. Talk Broadcom into designing a USB acceleration chip that has its own USB controller CPU and memory (for caching) and acts like a hub, to replace the LAN9512, and RasPi performance would really go up. But RasPi price would also go up also.

RasPi can do what it was designed to do pretty much right now. There are some problems but they are being worked on, read the forums. SD card issues making progress @dom @lb @ chris_c and some others. Sound not really sure. Power limits on USB? there is a thread showing how to circumvent them @Gert @dom and some others. Several threads on other power schemes. The Community is working it out. Xorg drivers being worked on. If this was all solved then it would be a full retail device rather than a quasi development board. I have both a RasPi and a Panda Board. The RasPi is a lot more fun. Much more community support than what is available for the Panda Board. The Panda Board has Xorg drivers but without them it is not much faster than the RasPi in a desktop. The videos do run better but I still find that the limiting factor is the browsers are not really working out the plugins for ARM based boards. So far my brother found Chromium to be the best on the Panda Board. He is playing with it while he waits for his RasPi. It all takes time. I hope the ALSA drivers will be fixed soon, but really want sound in Quake3. Tried Chromium on RasPi but it seems too big for it. Seems to be using the swap hard.
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Re: Fantasy RPi 2 spec (what's yours?)

Thu Jun 21, 2012 12:56 pm

jamesh wrote:No.
Jamesh, could you try to desist from treating people who want information as the enemy? Did your previous post mean that Broadcom has a team close to fixing the R-Pi X performance problem? I just wanted to understand that correctly.

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

Thu Jun 21, 2012 4:24 pm

philipm wrote:Jamesh, could you try to desist from treating people who want information as the enemy? Did your previous post mean that Broadcom has a team close to fixing the R-Pi X performance problem? I just wanted to understand that correctly.
Here's the situation as I see it (so please forgive any mistakes)...
There's a difference between graphics drivers (that run on the GPU) and accelerated X drivers (which will run on the CPU, and talk to the graphics drivers on the GPU) - I think this is where some of the confusion is arising.

There's lots of OpenSource zealots asking for the GPU graphic-drivers (start.elf etc.) to be open-sourced - but as JamesH and others keep pointing out, the GPU is horribly complicated, and it's extremely unlikely that anybody outside Broadcom would be able to program it. However Broadcom does make available higher-level APIs (OpenGLES, OpenVG, OpenIL, etc.) and it's these that any accelerated X drivers would need to be built on top of. Broadcom doesn't have much/any experience with Linux / X drivers so they're expecting the community to write this layer. See e.g. this thread http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewt ... =63&t=6768 and the other threads that it links to.

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

Thu Jun 21, 2012 4:33 pm

philipm wrote:
jamesh wrote:No.
Jamesh, could you try to desist from treating people who want information as the enemy? Did your previous post mean that Broadcom has a team close to fixing the R-Pi X performance problem? I just wanted to understand that correctly.
No.
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Re: Fantasy RPi 2 spec (what's yours?)

Thu Jun 21, 2012 4:38 pm

jamesh wrote:
philipm wrote:
jamesh wrote:No.
Jamesh, could you try to desist from treating people who want information as the enemy? Did your previous post mean that Broadcom has a team close to fixing the R-Pi X performance problem? I just wanted to understand that correctly.
No.
Nah, just kidding.

Although I have just replied to a couple of forums posts by people who really are the enemy, or at least, very troll like. You should try moderating some of the stuff we get on here.

Although I would say my answer was entirely accurate, although you may like to read AndrewS' post above for more details.
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Re: Fantasy RPi 2 spec (what's yours?)

Thu Jun 21, 2012 4:48 pm

And for a bit more clarity, Broadcom engineers work on the GPU blob, and the host side drivers such as OpenGL etc. They don't work on things like X drivers as there simply isn't any demand (1million Raspi's isn't enough demand to make back the cost of development). They also work on stuff to integrate the Videocore into Android and similar as this is a direct customer requirement. This Android dev work (I've started doing it - painful learning curve) isn't on the 2835 though but on more powerful devices that use the Videocore. Code is probably portable though.
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Re: Fantasy RPi 2 spec (what's yours?)

Thu Jun 21, 2012 4:58 pm

jamesh wrote:They don't work on things like X drivers as there simply isn't any demand (1million Raspi's isn't enough demand to make back the cost of development).
I'm going to guess that this is because Broadcom makes little profit from each BCM2835 sold to the Raspi Foundation, rather than because the Broadcom engineers are super-mega-expensive ;) :lol:

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

Mon Jun 25, 2012 4:50 pm

We do have some very smart people here....myself not included. I guess they get paid accordingly!

It's worth noting that the work done on the 2835 is pretty much applicable to other chips that use the Videocore (so much so we could use the Raspi as a dev platform for the Videocore and probably will). So work done can be amortised over the whole VC product range (in many cases). However, X acceleration is simply not required in almost all the chips target markets, hence the lack of interest in doing it. The Raspi market just isn't big enough to pay for a developer to implement it. Hence the community involvement. TBH, a OpenGLES X accelerator is something that would be applicable to many other chips, not just Broadcom's. I'm surprised it's never been done before. (AFAIK) Maybe its just too difficult. I don't know.
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Re: Fantasy RPi 2 spec (what's yours?)

Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:40 pm

@jamesh: RasPi has not even reached the point where multiple orders can be made for RasPii yet. I think there will be some very large orders for it from companies that wish to embed it into a retail product, rather than spend their own money on development. Hopefully this will spur some interest in accelerated x drivers. I think the BCM11311 would fit most peoples specs for RPi2. Cost is another matter entirely :lol:
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Re: Fantasy RPi 2 spec (what's yours?)

Fri Jul 06, 2012 12:56 pm

I saw a few people suggest adding an FPGA to the mix. I think that's also a good idea too.

From what I understand an FPGA will be able to act as a pass through for digital signal. It doesn't sound likely to be able to handle analog signals (I like to be proven wrong though).

Do you think this would be a good idea, that all the pins in the 'expansion headers' are linked to the fpga, as well as the HDMI port (the HDMI port will just be a pass though unless stated otherwise), heck if possible, I would like to see the usb Ethernet chip be replaced by the FPGA (though I hope the fpga would be big enough to include it, and still have space left over).

Also how should we handle the loading of bitstream for the FPGA? I am imagining that the SD card for the RPi2 will have two partitions:

1st Partition: This partition (FAT or EXT2) stores the FPGA config file
2nd Partition: This partition stores the linux boot system

I imagine that during bootup, the SD card will load the bitstream first, then start the linux boot system. This way you can carry your "FPGA" configeration file anywhere you like. It might make it hard to modify the FPGA while its running, but I doubt that's a good idea. Rather it would allow for you to modify the bitstream on the SD card, then restart the system if you want to load the new FPGA design up. If you 'brick' your FPGA, then simply reformat the card, and reinstall the FPGA. (A default FPGA design could be recommended for legacy support for RPi1 SD cards. Which would activate if the RPi2 doesn't find any bitstream config file)

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

Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:13 pm

This is definitely a must for the RPi 2!

You know the 'usb power input', and how it does absolutely nothing? Well what if we can add a FTDI "USB to Serial" chip to it, and hook it to the rpi2's serial output.

This means you can hook your RPi2 to your laptop and use the serial console on the RPI2. This is real convenient for teaching 'programming' the traditional way in classrooms.

You can sort of already do this with RPi1 with some modding: http://tech2077.blogspot.com.au/2012/07 ... ry-pi.html

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

Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:25 pm

Adding to the above. Instead of using embedded FTDI chip for RPi2, maybe we should do it like the 'arudino UNO' and use a atmega chip instead. This means with the right cable, you can turn the microusb 'power input' port, into an advance usb keyboard, mouse, that is directly hooked into a very powerful processor.

Of course if you want it to act as a serial converter, just reflash it back again.

One drawback to this proposal, is the requirement to add a ICSP port (6 pin port) to the board, so you can hook a microprocessor programmer to it.

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

Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:32 pm

My next berry should be something like this:
http://www.cnx-software.com/2012/07/11/ ... ent-board/

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

Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:28 pm

A faster CPU
512 MB RAM
an Ethernet port (or two) that doesn't use the usb bus.

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

Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:39 pm

csgabe wrote:My next berry should be something like this:
http://www.cnx-software.com/2012/07/11/ ... ent-board/
Its been out a little while - I was put off by the initial lack of accelerated X
...and is working on an Ubuntu 12.04 port (GPU hardware acceleration is still missing)

although I may save up and splurge on an intel next unit of computing (could be pricey!) I think things like the Rpi will probably be the last closed platform I buy.... they nearly always end up biting you in the pants

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