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

Fri Jun 08, 2012 7:28 am

having paid for my pi and forced to wait (bloody cheek RS :evil: you kind of expect stuff to be in stock when you're asked to pay for it....), in idle moments I find myself day dreaming....

I imagine a dream spec (because its a few years down the line and the spec is not too drastic I can kid myself the price point would be unchanged from the original pi....)

CPU dual core cortex @1ghz - because having an extra core is very useful!

RAM 1MB - on the basis that once upon a time no one could need more than 640kb surely 1MB is plenty :lol:

GPU mali 400 - Seems to be better open source support and an actual xwindows driver with xwindow egl too! and don't forget its designed by our favourite chip designer...

It should boot from easily replaceable media like SD - for none brickable and who cares if it breaks just replace the media niceness

on board (none usb) wifi (no ethernet) - the physically slimmer the better

hdmi only - for same reason slimmer / flatter is better and most displays have hdmi/dvi

single usb for mini hub, micro usb for power only

I wonder how long it would take for the prices to come down enough to make it a similar price point...

So whats your dream spec and why?

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

Fri Jun 08, 2012 7:51 am

Most of what you say; dual core 1GHz with 1GB should be reasonable in three years,
  • WiFi would be nice, but keep the Ethernet port and make it gigabit.
  • Add a microphone/Line-in.
  • A full spec USB3 port, preferably two or three.
  • A programmable GPU would be nice. X drivers of course.
  • A range of LCDs and camaras because it's compatible with the RaspPi 1.
You could power it from a dedicated PSU and make it marginally more expensive to suit, if the RaspPi 1 was still available and moderately upgraded -- say 512MB RAM on the model B. You should be able to do RaspPi 1A for $10, RaspPi 1B for $20 and Raspi 2 for $30 including PSU.

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

Fri Jun 08, 2012 8:03 am

Dual NIC support [100Mb is fine ]
Excellent Audio I/O
Dual Core could be done by having another SOC on board [makes for Dual HDMI output ....]
but see other , older threads ;-p
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Re: Fantasy RPi 2 spec (what's yours?)

Fri Jun 08, 2012 8:36 am

The alpha board (although possibly with the whole polyfuse thing revisited)

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Lob0426
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Re: Fantasy RPi 2 spec (what's yours?)

Fri Jun 08, 2012 4:18 pm

Actually some modest changes would do for me. A CPU that is V7 and a little more memory to start. The full GPIO from the Alpha board. The newer CPU would probably be 1 GHz anyway, so no need to address that. Another item, for my wish list, would be the original power scheme with fully powered USB. Get in under $60 USD and all would be good. The GPU is already good so no need to change it.

What chris_c is asking for is beyond the Panda Board ES and will cost more. Keep the features reasonable and you can keep the price reasonable. An open source GPU would be an advantage for many. USB 3.0 is powerfull, but would triple the price of the board and the higher performance peripherals.

For these boards to be usefull to the majority, the price needs to be a consideration. There have always been development boards out there, but they were so high priced that the majority of us could not afford to work with them. I looked at the "tillamook" (pentium processor) board from Intel years ago. It was a development board on the PC104 spec. It was $1400. The PC104's are still expensive today. Trimslice is another ARM based device that has just missed the entire point of my argument. It looked reasonable at first, but it is now spiralling upward in price. Look at the interest in the RasPi forums compared to Panda, Beagle and Trimslice. Lower price appears to equal a larger more diverse community of users.
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Re: Fantasy RPi 2 spec (what's yours?)

Fri Jun 08, 2012 4:37 pm

ARMv7, videocore or similar, working usb, working audio, sd that works at normal speed, 1G ram, accelerated X, fully open drivers.

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

Fri Jun 08, 2012 5:28 pm

shirro wrote:fully open drivers.
<rant>
I've never understood this rather self defeating meme about proprietary drivers - the excuse seems to be that the techniques are so obscure and so unusual (yeah really) that the need to be guarded, aside from the fact that a driver even open sourced isn't really going to tell massive amounts about the internal implementation, and given that any "evil" competitor could always physically look at the chip by shaving off layer by layer - what protection does secrecy really give you?

Intel, Amd and Nvidia have all published significant information to allow good open source drivers to be written without impacting in any way their ability to monetise their designs....
</rant>

and breath......

I still have to wonder how long it will take for a mali-400 gpu to come down in price enough to fit into the price range of a Pi

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

Fri Jun 08, 2012 6:01 pm

chris_c wrote: I've never understood this rather self defeating meme about proprietary drivers - the excuse seems to be that the techniques are so obscure and so unusual (yeah really) that the need to be guarded, aside from the fact that a driver even open sourced isn't really going to tell massive amounts about the internal implementation
Mostly its the case of management not understanding what should and shouldn't be Intellectual Property. I run into this a lot at work and when management feels that all code I write is owned by the company and the lawyers would rather not deal with Open Source Licensing its going to be an uphill battle.

Sometimes just opening the door for reverse engineering is enough to "give away" trade secretes but a good amount of the time you are right, no good reason not to just open them up.

That being said...I honestly can't think of anything I would add to the RPI. I'm running it as a desktop replacement, but I spend most of my time in cli, hardly ever even in an X Windows session. Oh wait I take that back. My RPI 2 specs would include an FPGA!

For those of you who don't know what an FPGA is, its basically a blank chip that you can write code that defines a hardware structure which then programs the chip to perform specific tasks. FPGA's are cool because you can design new hardware w/o having to actually build chips. You can always do your task in Software but when you put it in Hardware its much faster :D
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chris_c
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Re: Fantasy RPi 2 spec (what's yours?)

Fri Jun 08, 2012 9:47 pm

jecxjo wrote: Mostly its the case of management not understanding what should and shouldn't be Intellectual Property.
...
Sometimes just opening the door for reverse engineering is enough to "give away" trade secretes
...
My RPI 2 specs would include an FPGA!
I hear you, but as it stands it looks like a positive encouragement to reverse engineer, if there were x egl and driver I would just shrug and go ah what the hell

much as I'd love an FPGA on board I think we'd have to wait for a snowball fight at a very low altitude before that would reach the Pi price point.

A previous poster was very right about the price point, it is an important part of the Pi project.

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

Sat Jun 09, 2012 9:31 am

I have something that is close to your fantasy spec. It's called a pandaboard and it's collecting dust on my shelf. Need I say any more?

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

Sat Jun 09, 2012 9:42 am

shirro wrote:fully open drivers.
Everyone needs to move on from this, it will be a long time coming. The coders would love to release the source, but for business people, it would be considered madness. I've worked with many SoCs and seen the driver source. Apart from fixing the odd bug it has never led me to change my code. It will not help to make your game faster, only the driver writers can help to do that.

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

Sat Jun 09, 2012 9:49 am

if that device had hdmi out I'll give you £25 for it - I have just the project for that...

you probably shouldn't buy a pi, it'd probably end up gathering dust for the same reason!

open source drivers have nothing to do with wanting to make faster games! you totally miss the point... its about the freedom to add features / abilities to the drivers something that is completely impossible at the moment.

I'd love to be able to do even a simple thing like open a gles context in a window, without needing to do a dma transfer on the whole windows memory each frame... (thats just one example)

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

Sat Jun 09, 2012 11:13 am

Lob0426 wrote:What chris_c is asking for is beyond the Panda Board ES and will cost more. Keep the features reasonable and you can keep the price reasonable. An open source GPU would be an advantage for many. USB 3.0 is powerfull, but would triple the price of the board and the higher performance peripherals.
We are talking about the next RaspPi, not this one. I assumed the next RaspPi would not be released for a year or three, hence the x4 CPU and RAM. USB3 on the board does not mandate USB3 peripherals, similarly gigabit ethernet. However the pair of them allow a decent NAS or cluster, which the release 1 RaspPi is rather poor at.

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

Sat Jun 09, 2012 1:08 pm

rurwin wrote:... a decent NAS or cluster, which the release 1 RaspPi is rather poor at.
I have to wonder if its possible to implement a high speed parallel bus with the gpio pins, with a kernal driver it could possibly be fast enough

say 8 pins for data 8 for addressing (256 nodes) and probably 4 or so for handshaking

You'd probably need one Pi as full time "master" and you'd need a bunch of electronics for the common bus and isolation, but it would probably make for an interesting project!

And yes by dream Pi I mean something at least a few years away - but I thought I'd said or at least intimated that....

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

Sat Jun 09, 2012 9:20 pm

chris_c wrote: open source drivers have nothing to do with wanting to make faster games! you totally miss the point... its about the freedom to add features / abilities to the drivers something that is completely impossible at the moment.
Valid point, but it is never going to happen, move along, nothing to see here.

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

Sat Jun 09, 2012 9:36 pm

RichardUK wrote:valid point, but it is never going to happen, move along, nothing to see here.
Ah I didn't realise you were the Broadcom CEO, naturally as you say so it must be right!
(For all we know they could be planning a release of information or even some source sufficient for open source drivers as you read...)

Given that Broadcom are asking neigh demanding that their code be reverse engineered by the lack of documentation for even their public api's - one way or the other - given the soon to be wide audience of users, a whole bunch of people will be ripping apart Broadcom code...

interesting days ahead...

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

Sat Jun 09, 2012 10:46 pm

jecxjo wrote:I honestly can't think of anything I would add to the RPI. I'm running it as a desktop replacement, but I spend most of my time in cli, hardly ever even in an X Windows session. Oh wait I take that back. My RPI 2 specs would include an FPGA!
That Xilinx Zynq looks pretty good! But no GPU and a board around it will never be as cheap as the raspi. One good thing Xilinx did is to add support for Zynq to QEMU. Makes it much easier to develop code for it. Xilinx should also sponsor a beaglebone like project around it. The zedboard is a bit too expensive.

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

Sun Jun 10, 2012 2:31 am

I think having open drivers and docs is just pragmatic if the community is going to be left to support the platform. I suspect Eben and the Broadcom people are going to be fairly proactive supporting the videocore side of things so I am not too concerned about that really for the short term. So although I would love to see some more of that side of things opened up it will not solve any of the issues that are really bothersome at the moment.

I am more worried that out of the box
  • sd card is slow
  • sd compatibility is dodgy
  • no sd hardware documentation
  • usb driver loses data
  • usb driver isn't written to linux kernel standards
  • usb driver eats 20% of cpu
  • no usb hardware documentation (apart from driver docs)
  • usb power limitations
  • no high speed bus except for the usb to fall back on
  • while more than happy to give heaps of memory to the GPU I don't get much left for other things
  • headphone audio is dodgy quality to save money
  • the alsa driver is incomplete and buggy
Secondary issues that the community can more easily address I hope would be X acceleration and omx support in gstreamer and major audio/visual apps like mplayer/vlc etc. And a polished startup experience with abundant help for new users that was tailored for the limitations of the device.

So my fantasy RPI 2 would have these issues fixed before anything else. If a kid can plug in any old usb mouse and keyboard, plug in a bundled power supply of known quality, turn it on and have a smooth desktop, can open an editor and type a whole program without losing key presses or having keys repeat and it will work without stuttering sound that would be enough progress for now.

I have a board sitting next to the Pi which has about the same board area and is much faster, has 4 times the memory, sd and usb that perform pretty well and a SATA interface. Surprisingly it isn't half as interesting as the Pi.

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

Sun Jun 10, 2012 10:32 am

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:

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

Sun Jun 10, 2012 12:56 pm

Coretex-A8
512MB ram
ahci
2x SPI
2x I2C
8 to 16 interrupt capable GPIO
native ethernet (not usb based), one required, two would be nice
2x serial port
battery backed RTC
microSD (but please, a controller with available docs so the community can fix any issues)

NO polyfuses
NO microUSB phone charger power

preferably all connections via easy to use 0.1" pitch connectors, no flat cable or 0.5mm pitch stuff where the connector costs as much as the board !

cost no more than $35, and this is the really important one. There are several other, possibly better, boards out there but when they cost 5x as much people don't appear to have the same creativeness in how to use them

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

Sun Jun 10, 2012 2:23 pm

I can see good uses for all those interfaces, but how you'd get it all physically onto a small board I'm not sure!

I'd even forgo ethernet if there were 2 seperate (working :roll: ) USB 2.0 channels, you could hang wifi off one and have your low speed peripherals on another.

a small footprint connector for storage would be sata but I'm not sure there are any SoC's with sata (much less separate usb channels mind you!)

one horrid thing I have seen is those awful stacked connectors where you have ethernet and multiple stacked usb - small footprint but means you need a much deeper encasement...

GPIO's that are interrupt capable would be very useful - there's no reason they couldn't double as i2c etc, with interrupt pins you could implement i2c and other protocols in software without too much drama.... leading to greater flexibility

512mb is ok but still a little tight....

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

Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:43 am

chris_c wrote:I can see good uses for all those interfaces, but how you'd get it all physically onto a small board I'm not sure!
I think you could get 8 gpio, 2x serial, 2x i2c, 2x spi, 3.3v & GND onto the same 26 pin connector as on the current Pi, so it's not that hard.
0.1" headers are a must though. I have a different board that has a fancy connector for all the gpio's etc. they don't seem to make a breakout board. So I'm stuck with buying a connector that costs more than the Pi and then trying to work out how feasible it is to solder it without specialist equipment. Result is that a lot of the potential uses the Pi will be put to are lost.
chris_c wrote:I'd even forgo ethernet if there were 2 seperate (working :roll: ) USB 2.0 channels, you could hang wifi off one and have your low speed peripherals on another.
I very specifically didn't ask for USB, take that connector off and we have more room for other stuff :)
chris_c wrote:a small footprint connector for storage would be sata but I'm not sure there are any SoC's with sata (much less separate usb channels mind you!)
ahci = sata and there are SoC's that have it
chris_c wrote:GPIO's that are interrupt capable would be very useful - there's no reason they couldn't double as i2c etc,
No thanks, don't want anything that multiplexes several capabilities onto the same pins. One common problem I've had with microcontrollers is that you have to pick either hardware i2c or hardware spi and bit-bang the other one.

The code to interrupt enable the Pi's GPIO's has been posted over in the Interfacing forum.
chris_c wrote:512mb is ok but still a little tight....
Nah, it's fine. I have no interest in putting XBMC on it. Besides, I remember the times when we didn't know how to fill 640k :)

But I suppose it really all comes down to cost, the RPF did a great job of keeping the cost down. The question is whether someone can do slightly better, possibly with different compromises, for the same cost.. or less..

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

Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:07 am

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.

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

Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:36 am

jamesh wrote:....and neither have the manufacturer, who have all the chip docs etc.
well if they can't fix it - is it broken at a hardware level?
Maybe, just maybe, it's a bit more difficult than you seem to think...
....
Problem is that are very few people with the required skill set, which makes the community rather small.
exactly the total number with Pi's let alone kernel hackers with Pi's is tiny

no wonder nothing has been fixed over night by no one

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

Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:40 am

This isn't a who has or who doesn't have a Pi issue. The problem is that the skills required to write USB drivers or Audio drivers are very rare - either in community or in company.

re: USB issue - check out the 8000 interrupts per second thread, and the linked kernel dev thread. This should give some insight in to the problem and the difficulty in fixing it.
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