eggn1n3
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Re: Broadcom BCM2835 SoC

Tue Aug 30, 2011 7:08 pm

The GPU interface is via a closed-source userland module, which communicates via a proprietary (but GPL'd) stream interface in the kernel to a RISC core on the GPU side. No AES coprocessor I'm afraid; wouldn't want RP to be a munition, would we?
Although I have read serveral times already in the forums that people want to port other OS's to the R-Pi, it will be impossible without the help of the R-Pi team to provide some userland module/code to communicate with the GPU?

KanjiMonster
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Re: Broadcom BCM2835 SoC

Tue Aug 30, 2011 7:08 pm

Quote from liz on August 30, 2011, 15:58
Dude - Jamesh *is* one of the developers. Read around the board a bit more carefully next time.

I never said he isn't a dev, I just gathered he isn't working on the Videocore driver directly because of him saying

That is my understanding.

which is to me not a "Yes, it works that way", but a "I don't know personally, but it sounds like it from what I heard/read".

Therefore my request for a clarification with a clear "Yes" or "no" (which is quite important to me and likely a lot of people working on embedded hardware).

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Re: Broadcom BCM2835 SoC

Tue Aug 30, 2011 7:37 pm

There isn't yet a clear yes or no on the FOSS status of the Linux side driver. It's my understanding (!) from what I have read and heard that no decision has yet been made by Da Management. I hope for them to be FOSS, but it's not my decision.

The decision will of course be made before the board goes on sale, so if you are waiting for that information before making a purchase, you should have it in time. My thoughts are that whether FOSS or not, it wouldn't prevent me from purchasing one, as I can see few very limitations either way (especially for something that costs $35)
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hajj_3
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Re: Broadcom BCM2835 SoC

Tue Aug 30, 2011 7:50 pm

just curious if it can hardware decode VP8?

Any chance of a block diagram of the broadcom chip?

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Re: Broadcom BCM2835 SoC

Tue Aug 30, 2011 11:06 pm

Quote from jamesh on August 30, 2011, 19:09
Well, Linux ABI changes are rather out of our control, but you are under no obligation to upgrade your kernel to a point where it's no longer supported! In fact, you are more likely to run out of distros that support ARMv6 instructions than finding the GPU driver not working!

Oh, so you're going to advocate people running without security fixes? ;)

Seriously, the space is littered with devices that otherwise work well, but can't work with later versions of the Kernel, X11, etc. I can point to a lot of them if you don't think there are- the ones that are supported or supportable past a threshold are the ones with FOSS support, either provided or reverse engineered. Doesn't matter if you're talking a Webcam, Scanner, Printer, NIC, GPU, etc.


Let's say, that as sold, the device will work, and the GPU will be supported!


Which is why I say I've only SOME issues with the situation. You're better off with it being FOSS (And you might just find yourselves with a tiger by the tail- if it's as good as advertised, a FOSS driver might just get you some Android design wins, etc... Seriously.) but I'm not going to be one to pressure your employer over it at this time. I might, down the line, if I succeed at my plans (Sorry, can't disclose the big plans...wouldn't do any good violating my own NDAs... :D)- but that's at least 6-18 months down the road before that becomes a subject to contemplate.


My hope is that the kernel side stuff will be OSS but that is a director level manager decision, so well out of my remit! That would mean users are safe from kernel changes. Since you cannot 'upgrade' a raspi to a different GPU, the other point is moot.


Heh... Kernel level stuff HAS to be GPLed or compatible BSD (So it can be GPLed...) or you'll violate the GPL license on the kernel if you ship with it included in a distribution. As for users being "safe" from kernel changes, depends on how much critical path is in the Kernel code.


I expect (but I cannot give assurances - my personal view) there will be a steady stream of binary blob releases, as bug fixes are introduced, and more features added. One of the really cool features of the videocore is it's combination of software and hardware, so you can upgrade it - for example, by adding new codecs, or supporting new cameras, or new LCD panels. These software changes leverage the HW blocks to add new HW acceleration. Not possible (to the same extent) with other GPU's.

I'd have to say it'd be a poor choice of an SoC if you didn't at least expect that. :D

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Re: Broadcom BCM2835 SoC

Wed Aug 31, 2011 3:47 am

careful now! Insulting one of the admins? I wouldn't be surprised if they sent you a lump of coal instead of an r-pi ;) :P
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Re: Broadcom BCM2835 SoC

Wed Aug 31, 2011 8:00 am

Quote from jamesh on August 30, 2011, 20:37
There isn't yet a clear yes or no on the FOSS status of the Linux side driver. It's my understanding (!) from what I have read and heard that no decision has yet been made by Da Management. I hope for them to be FOSS, but it's not my decision.

Thank you, that was the piece I was missing from your first reply! So it still has to be decided by management; then I'll hold my horses until it has been made.


The decision will of course be made before the board goes on sale, so if you are waiting for that information before making a purchase, you should have it in time. My thoughts are that whether FOSS or not, it wouldn't prevent me from purchasing one, as I can see few very limitations either way (especially for something that costs $35)

Since I will want to put OpenWrt (or something similar) and bleeding-edge kernels on it and do generally (kernel) dev work on it, this has a direct buy or not buy effect for me (since my time is too valuable for mucking around trying to make binary modules/software to run).

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Re: Broadcom BCM2835 SoC

Wed Aug 31, 2011 8:20 am

Quote from Svartalf on August 31, 2011, 00:06
Quote from jamesh on August 30, 2011, 19:09
Well, Linux ABI changes are rather out of our control, but you are under no obligation to upgrade your kernel to a point where it's no longer supported! In fact, you are more likely to run out of distros that support ARMv6 instructions than finding the GPU driver not working!

Oh, so you're going to advocate people running without security fixes? ;)

Seriously, the space is littered with devices that otherwise work well, but can't work with later versions of the Kernel, X11, etc. I can point to a lot of them if you don't think there are- the ones that are supported or supportable past a threshold are the ones with FOSS support, either provided or reverse engineered. Doesn't matter if you're talking a Webcam, Scanner, Printer, NIC, GPU, etc.


Let's say, that as sold, the device will work, and the GPU will be supported!


Which is why I say I've only SOME issues with the situation. You're better off with it being FOSS (And you might just find yourselves with a tiger by the tail- if it's as good as advertised, a FOSS driver might just get you some Android design wins, etc... Seriously.) but I'm not going to be one to pressure your employer over it at this time. I might, down the line, if I succeed at my plans (Sorry, can't disclose the big plans...wouldn't do any good violating my own NDAs... :D)- but that's at least 6-18 months down the road before that becomes a subject to contemplate.


My hope is that the kernel side stuff will be OSS but that is a director level manager decision, so well out of my remit! That would mean users are safe from kernel changes. Since you cannot 'upgrade' a raspi to a different GPU, the other point is moot.


Heh... Kernel level stuff HAS to be GPLed or compatible BSD (So it can be GPLed...) or you'll violate the GPL license on the kernel if you ship with it included in a distribution. As for users being "safe" from kernel changes, depends on how much critical path is in the Kernel code.


I expect (but I cannot give assurances - my personal view) there will be a steady stream of binary blob releases, as bug fixes are introduced, and more features added. One of the really cool features of the videocore is it's combination of software and hardware, so you can upgrade it - for example, by adding new codecs, or supporting new cameras, or new LCD panels. These software changes leverage the HW blocks to add new HW acceleration. Not possible (to the same extent) with other GPU's.

I'd have to say it'd be a poor choice of an SoC if you didn't at least expect that. :D

Sorry, when I said Kernel side stuff, I mean to say Linux side stuff - i.e. the stuff that runs on the Arm. This is entirely implemented as libraries (I think) at the moment, and depending on your reading of the GPL may or may not be required to be OSS. Actually, I think there is one kernel object.

We use a vanilla kernel, so there are no GPL implications there. And as an aside, there are very few security fixes that change the Linux ABI.....

You are preaching to the converted. I think the Linux side stuff should be FOSS, I'm just writing with my employee hat on. I can certainly see where Broadcom are coming from in this. You are unlikely to be able to put pressure on Broadcom BTW - you need to be selling chips in the millions before pressure starts to take effect. The cost to develop and support chips like this is very very high (you wouldn't believe how high), and the money to do this has to come some somewhere.

You don't have to worry about design wins either. Good chippery sells itself...well, a bit!! Remember, there is already product out there with the same chip in (Roku2 is one example), and many more with Videocore tech in (in the tens of millions), including Android. Raspberry PI is benefiting greatly from those existing customers - without them paying for the development of all these Linux libraries (by buying the product in the first place), the Raspi would not exist.
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Re: Broadcom BCM2835 SoC

Wed Aug 31, 2011 4:56 pm

Quote from jamesh on August 31, 2011, 09:20
Sorry, when I said Kernel side stuff, I mean to say Linux side stuff - i.e. the stuff that runs on the Arm. This is entirely implemented as libraries (I think) at the moment, and depending on your reading of the GPL may or may not be required to be OSS. Actually, I think there is one kernel object.

If it's userland libraries, you don't need to GPL it if you don't want to. It'd be NICE, mind, but it's not needed.


We use a vanilla kernel, so there are no GPL implications there. And as an aside, there are very few security fixes that change the Linux ABI.....


No, but there've been some changes in the past that broke things and security fixes didn't get propagated backwards to them. Same goes for some versions of glibc. I know of titles I helped Loki games verify when I was working as one of the Utah-GLX devs, that got busted. The same can happen to closed binary libraries from time to time. Security fixes go in varying places and time moves on. Unless you've got someone refreshing the code from time to time, eventually it gets busted and can't be used ever again.


You are preaching to the converted. I think the Linux side stuff should be
FOSS, I'm just writing with my employee hat on.


Indeed. You'll note that I'm trying to keep this respectful beyond words- you're not the one to convince/screech at (not that screeching at anyone would do any damn good... ;) ).


I can certainly see where Broadcom are coming from in this. You are unlikely to be able to put pressure on Broadcom BTW - you need to be selling chips in the millions before pressure starts to take effect. The cost to develop and support chips like this is very very high (you wouldn't believe how high), and the money to do this has to come some somewhere.


Actually, you might be surprised how much I do believe and know. One of the hats I wear is that of CTO of a corporation. Used to do set-top boxes. Now we "do" energy management/utility security tech in addition to embedded Linux stuff. If we were fully funded, I'd be one of those people you're talking about buying a LOT of the things. Since it's not, I'm stuck doing contract and consulting work in a play to try to drag the company I'm also the CEO of back to life by the bootstraps.

There's a reason I tell people that there's got to be certain circumstances before you might have a snowball's chance in Hell of getting FOSS driver components for things like GPUs. ;)


You don't have to worry about design wins either. Good chippery sells itself...well, a bit!! Remember, there is already product out there with the same chip in (Roku2 is one example), and many more with Videocore tech in (in the tens of millions), including Android. Raspberry PI is benefiting greatly from those existing customers - without them paying for the development of all these Linux libraries (by buying the product in the first place), the Raspi would not exist.


Actually, I do always worry about design wins... Stories like this are...fickle. Ask 3DfX about that... Ask me about it...I can tell you what fortunes of a company can end up being. To quote the lyrics from one of my favorite bands:

"As holly pricks and ivy clings, your fate is none too clear. The Lord may find you wanting, let your good fortune disappear. All homely comforts blown away and all that's left to show is to share your joy at Christmas time with Jack Frost and the Hooded Crow. "

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Re: Broadcom BCM2835 SoC

Thu Sep 01, 2011 3:16 pm

This is the classic issue of GPU/SoC vendor providing their GPU driver with an open source kernel 'shim' and 99% of the driver functionality (shader compilers etc) in a closed source binary userland blob.

I understand that this is common practice in the embedded/SoC but to say that all the important parts of the board are 'open' would be disingenuous. GPU's and the shader code they run are an increasing source of security issues in today's systems. Will Broadcom be responsive when security issues arise? Will Broadcom provide updates to allow the platform to evolve alongside developments in Gallium3D etc? How long do we have before the device becomes unsupported and Broadcom fancy selling us newer shinier hardware?

Most major SoC's are the same on this issue, sad but true. However, Broadcom are amongst the worst offenders for keeping their drivers closed and fragmenting the ARM Linux landscape. Maybe there would have been more chance getting Marvell to provide a SoC with open drivers? Or is this project 'sponsored' by Broadcom? I notice that Eben is Multimedia Platform Architect at Broadcom, would this not represent a conflict of interest for such a charitable foundation such as yourselves and seeing that you have already selected a Broadocom SoC?

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Re: Broadcom BCM2835 SoC

Thu Sep 01, 2011 3:26 pm

Quote from willjcroz on September 1, 2011, 16:16
I notice that Eben is Multimedia Platform Architect at Broadcom, would this not represent a conflict of interest for such a charitable foundation such as yourselves and seeing that you have already selected a Broadocom SoC?

In short, it wouldn't. And, as an observation from someone that's been instrumental in helping blaze new trails in the Linux community for well over a decade (Utah-GLX, Embedded Linux (yes...)), I will tell you that the pose you're taking isn't going to get ANYONE to come forward and open things.

You need to figure out what the right way is and back off from the way you're going about it. It's not going to win ANYONE over.

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Re: Broadcom BCM2835 SoC

Thu Sep 01, 2011 4:51 pm

Quote from Svartalf on September 1, 2011, 16:26
In short, it wouldn't. And, as an observation from someone that's been instrumental in helping blaze new trails in the Linux community for well over a decade (Utah-GLX, Embedded Linux (yes...)), I will tell you that the pose you're taking isn't going to get ANYONE to come forward and open things.

You need to figure out what the right way is and back off from the way you're going about it. It's not going to win ANYONE over.

Hi Svartalf,

OK so it isn't a conflict of interest. Just an honest question, I'll take your word for it. ;-)

I'll also try to 'back off' and find the 'right way', any clues on what you think this might be? What ways are there to put pressure on these vendors? As a consumer and small time developer I feel powerless, the only thing I can do is vote with my wallet and choice of target platforms and discuss with others my rationale for doing so. Surely engaging in discourse such as this helps? I have not said anything factually incorrect AFAICT.

As things stand at some point in not so distant the future some kid is going to try upgrading her Raspberry Pi to the latest Ubuntu (or whatever distro) release and find that their GPU support is broken because some ABI changed and Broadcom or Imagination Technologies or whoever do not consider it economically viable to continue developing and releasing updated userspace drivers for that hardware. Said kid is forced to either stick with old (and possibly insecure) distro release, or upgrade hardware.

People look at new hardware and say 'not open source, so what? oh well look its shiny, lets use it' and then a few years down the line it goes to landfill as distros are not able to support the hardware due to inevitable ABI changes and SoC vendors cutting support. Linux graphics is undergoing large changes these days, this is a problem for the useful lifespan of embedded GPUs with closed drivers.

Ironically, it's likely that some of the Africans that this project aims to help will suffer from much of this hardware being shipped into their cheap landfills.

Don't get me wrong, there isn't currently much alternative to closed graphics in SoCs and I wish Raspberry Pi the best of luck in what they do. However, if I actually could see the fact that they are adding their voice to the growing call for GPU vendors to open up their stack then I would be much more enthusiastic about this platform. RP has had large amounts of publicity and stands to sell many boards if they can keep the price right, their voice carries some weight. Just choosing a closed graphics stack and saying 'oh well that's life' seems part of the problem not the solution to me.

cheers, Will

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Re: Broadcom BCM2835 SoC

Thu Sep 01, 2011 5:18 pm

Will - how much weight do you honestly think a charity like ours has? This is a vendor which is selling chips in the hundreds of millions to any one of its other customers. They are generously letting us buy chips in much, much, much smaller numbers than that at the bulk price because we have explained the charity's goals to them and they believe we are doing a good thing, which they want to support. We are lucky enough to have a founder/architect who works for Broadcom, which did mean that we were able to get a foot in the door to start *that* conversation, but beyond that our relationship is strictly one of supplier/customer.

We're not making any money from this, and Broadcom isn't going to see its coffers filled by the project either because our volumes are never going to be in the sorts of numbers you get from the mobile phone/set top box territory that they require to get shareholder value. Fortunately for us, they also have a charitable arm, and we satisfied their requirements for helping us. So, after they've done all that, what's the benefit to them of opening the core up for this project? They're doing us a big enough favour as it is, and we are smart enough to know which battles we can win and which ones not to even bother start fighting; we would love to see the core open, but we also have to live in the real world, where making a $25 computer is…you know…kind of hard work.

If this means that the Raspberry Pi's not for you, bottom line is you don't have to buy it. I am considerably more optimistic about you on the landfill question, which does feel a bit like a straw man.
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Re: Broadcom BCM2835 SoC

Thu Sep 01, 2011 5:50 pm

Quote from willjcroz on September 1, 2011, 17:51
I'll also try to 'back off' and find the 'right way', any clues on what you think this might be? What ways are there to put pressure on these vendors?


Buy a million or more of the SoC's... Seriously. Unless you can convince their upper management to open it, you will need that much to START to catch their attention in the pressure arena. You're going about this from the "I'm buying your stuff, so you should listen to me". For that to work, you're going to have to have a major impact on their bottom line. You just owned up to being a consumer and a small time developer- unless you can get a substantive number of the people buying the end devices to realise that this is important to pressure those companies and then have them pressure Broadcom, you're getting nowhere. Do realise, that unless you are buying parts FROM Broadcom, you're not their customer in the slightest and they're under absolutely no obligations to listen to you unless you're someone like Michael Dell or Mark Shuttleworth.


As a consumer and small time developer I feel powerless, the only thing I can do is vote with my wallet and choice of target platforms and discuss with others my rationale for doing so. Surely engaging in discourse such as this helps? I have not said anything factually incorrect AFAICT.


It's the manner unto which you are attempting to change things. I can assure you I had a bit of a whisper in the right ears of AMD- but at the time I was working for them and then afterwards, they only heard the whispers. They didn't give a tinker's damn about my piddly input into their bottom line- and what you're asking for will impact it in the short term, even if it helps them in the long.


As things stand at some point in not so distant the future some kid is going to try upgrading her Raspberry Pi to the latest Ubuntu (or whatever distro) release and find that their GPU support is broken because some ABI changed and Broadcom or Imagination Technologies or whoever do not consider it economically viable to continue developing and releasing updated userspace drivers for that hardware. Said kid is forced to either stick with old (and possibly insecure) distro release, or upgrade hardware.


You're preaching to the choir. The problem is...you don't need to convince ME or any of the R-Pi people. They get it. I get it- have for years now. The problem is that you're going about this all the wrong way with the wrong people. You're doing the same stuff I was doing ages ago when I started out on this journey with the Utah-GLX stuff. From someone with roughly 15+ years of experience trying to get stuff open, it doesn't work the way you're doing it.


People look at new hardware and say 'not open source, so what? oh well look its shiny, lets use it' and then a few years down the line it goes to landfill as distros are not able to support the hardware due to inevitable ABI changes and SoC vendors cutting support. Linux graphics is undergoing large changes these days, this is a problem for the useful lifespan of embedded GPUs with closed drivers.


Again, you're preaching to the choir. I'm marginally connected enough to maybe slowly work at making a difference. Bowing up at these folks isn't going to get there. They're more connected than I and they won't because there's not enough lean power at their disposal. I might, if I had the corporation I'm the CTO for had sufficient funding past what comes out of my own hide. I'd be buying the million plus of the SoC's to actually have the start of the kind of conversation you're trying for. You're a consumer and a small time developer- and you feel like you're powerless. You are if you go about it this way. Go look at some of my responses to the devs (and to you...) for hints on how to actually approach the activism you're trying for here. Seriously. Your heart's in the right place, but what you're doing right now isn't helping and is actually making it harder for other people to try to accomplish what needs to happen for things to change.

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Re: Broadcom BCM2835 SoC

Thu Sep 01, 2011 6:04 pm

Nicely summed up, Liz, thanks. I admire your patience and pedagogy.

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Re: Broadcom BCM2835 SoC

Thu Sep 01, 2011 6:05 pm

Quote from obarthelemy on September 1, 2011, 19:04
Nicely summed up, Liz, thanks. I admire your patience and pedagogy.


Seconded.

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Re: Broadcom BCM2835 SoC

Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:07 pm

Hi Liz,

Thanks for the informed response, it certainly helps to get a picture of the situation you guys are working from. I did not realise that Broadcom were doing you such a favour and that without them this project would not be happening.

Apologies for the possibly provocative way I phrased the question regarding the 'conflict of interest' issue. It was a genuine question and I did not mean to imply that it was necessarily the case. Thanks for clarifying.

I suppose I am holding you guys up to unrealistic (idealistic) expectations due to your emphasis on "open source" and "open hardware", along with the educational and DIY focus of the project. I do appreciate that this project must be really hard work. My original point was that this is a common problem with SoC vendors but that it is still a problem with quite far reaching consequences. Earlier on in this thread implication was that it was 'only' the multimedia that wasn't open and that all the code running in Linux kernel and userspace would be open source. It wasn't until KanjiMonster and Svartalf dug a bit deeper that it was clear that it was the 'old chestnut' GPU open-kernel/closed-userspace issue:

https://lkml.org/lkml/2010/7/1/915
http://airlied.livejournal.com.....73337.html

Maybe you consider the landfill issue to be a 'red herring' but for me it really is an issue. I worked for a few years in an electronics and computer recycling project based in London, supplying PCs and networking equipment and support to charity groups and families on benefits. The amount of electronic waste coming our way was astonishing and sadly the amount of kit that we could not use due to obsolete drivers or locked firmwares was also astonishing. Printers, video cards, motherboards, laptops, routers, modems.... the list goes on, all physically good. Linux helped us breathe life into some old hardware but the odds were often against us due to closed hardware. This stuff is supposed to be recycled but if your eyes are open it is clear that large amounts of end up in landfill in 3rd world countries.

Of course you are working in the real world and take the opportunities you can get. Its warming to hear that you would like to produce a system with fully open Linux drivers, let's hope that you can achieve that goal one day!

Best of luck to you and the team. Personally I think that if you can hold the price down as you hope you will be selling a lot more of these units than you make out. There's been considerable buzz in many circles from what I've seen.

(thanks for being 'patient' with me) ;-)

cheers, Will

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Re: Broadcom BCM2835 SoC

Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:52 pm

Just a couple of additional comment - there are no known security issues with the code running on the GPU, and I cannot see how there even could be, although I'm not a devious hacker. The GPU is a separate processor (actually bunch of processors), so you cannot run malicious code on from the Arm, or even get it on there. And you would have to know the machine code for it - its a custom instruction set. Drivers don't do anything except translate public APIs to messages sent to the GPU. Unknown messages are ignored. No actual graphics work is done on the Linux side.

And to reiterate what was said above, this project would not exist without Broadcom generosity; they have provided more than just cheap chips.

Landfill....you can get 188 Raspi prototypes in one medium tower case. The complete final board will be 1.5x the size of a AMD Athlon processor (just the processor, not the motherboard).
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Re: Broadcom BCM2835 SoC

Thu Sep 01, 2011 8:33 pm

Landfill - well, what we're selling is the size of a credit card, and we're actually hoping to get the charity collecting second-hand peripherals and sending them to developing countries along with the boards, so I hope our impact will be minimal.
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Re: Broadcom BCM2835 SoC

Thu Sep 01, 2011 8:44 pm

Quote from liz on September 1, 2011, 21:33
Landfill - well, what we're selling is the size of a credit card, and we're actually hoping to get the charity collecting second-hand peripherals and sending them to developing countries along with the boards, so I hope our impact will be minimal.

and if nothing else melt them down for the gold :) there's gold in them there chips. ok might release a few toxic fumes and greenhouse gases but they wouldn't be in a landfill

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Re: Broadcom BCM2835 SoC

Fri Sep 02, 2011 8:32 am

Quote from ukscone on September 1, 2011, 21:44
Quote from liz on September 1, 2011, 21:33
Landfill - well, what we're selling is the size of a credit card, and we're actually hoping to get the charity collecting second-hand peripherals and sending them to developing countries along with the boards, so I hope our impact will be minimal.

and if nothing else melt them down for the gold :) there's gold in them there chips. ok might release a few toxic fumes and greenhouse gases but they wouldn't be in a landfill

I *think* European regs mean electronic equipment is recycled rather than going to landfill nowadays.
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Re: Broadcom BCM2835 SoC

Fri Sep 02, 2011 9:15 am

Even the 50 prototype boards are 100% ROHS compliant. I could provide you with the ROHS certificate of every component if so required.

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Re: Broadcom BCM2835 SoC

Fri Sep 02, 2011 4:52 pm

Quote from willjcroz on September 1, 2011, 20:07
Maybe you consider the landfill issue to be a 'red herring' but for me it really is an issue. I worked for a few years in an electronics and computer recycling project based in London, supplying PCs and networking equipment and support to charity groups and families on benefits. The amount of electronic waste coming our way was astonishing and sadly the amount of kit that we could not use due to obsolete drivers or locked firmwares was also astonishing. Printers, video cards, motherboards, laptops, routers, modems.... the list goes on, all physically good. Linux helped us breathe life into some old hardware but the odds were often against us due to closed hardware. This stuff is supposed to be recycled but if your eyes are open it is clear that large amounts of end up in landfill in 3rd world countries.l

Actually the problem is only indirectly the chip makers, though it is indeed related to the almighty dollar.

The problem is that the million plus unit phone and tablet makers do not want it. They want to sell a new unit to every user every year or two. The only way that they can do that is if you can NOT upgrade your phone.

Even the object of the cider suckers' worship is doing the same thing - my daughter is on her fourth IPhone (5th if you count the one she dropped in the ocean) , her 2nd IPad, and her 3rd IPod.

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liz
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Re: Broadcom BCM2835 SoC

Fri Sep 02, 2011 4:57 pm

I think we can safely say that that particular scenario is not going to play out with Raspberry Pi - you probably will have to buy a new one if you drop it in the sea, though.
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Re: Broadcom BCM2835 SoC

Fri Sep 02, 2011 5:18 pm

Quote from liz on September 2, 2011, 17:57
I think we can safely say that that particular scenario is not going to play out with Raspberry Pi - you probably will have to buy a new one if you drop it in the sea, though.

:) I would hope not. Actually the point was that the big boys want you to view your hardware more like a happy meal and as such want the GPU closed even more than Broadcom does so that they can blame Broadcom.

While most likely destroyed by the salt in the ocean, it would likely survive a soaking in the bathtub. I had a thumb drive that worked fine after 4 times through the wash and high heat dryer! It was finally done in when I forgot to take it out of the machine and put something heavy on it.

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