Welcome! Log In Create A New Profile

Advanced

Please somebody soon give us a decent *board.org

Posted by gnexus 
Please somebody soon give us a decent *board.org
December 27, 2012 09:23PM
I was just reading Slashdot post on "another" Raspi vs MK802 (is not that LAST year's News for Nerds topic?).

One post was good enough to list a few of the better alternatives to the MK802. Here's my take on that for a new year:

  • Cubieboard.org - good price, no case, "leaked" kernel with not-so-great Linux support, obsolete single-core SoC
  • Gooseberry board.org - same as above but crappier
  • Wandboard.org - good price, dual-core SoC, Gigabit LAN. . .but no SATA
  • ODROID board.org - same as above but better with quad-core. Probably best option presently. . .but no SATA

I could go on and on with many more *board.org (Pandaboard, Beagleboard, Dragonboard). But where is something that we all can actually WANT to buy? Something that can RELIABLY and cheaply replace our aging SATA Kirkwood boxes. I don't give a crap what you call it. Call it a moldboard for all we care. Just please:
  • have a mfr.-supported non-Android Linux kernel
  • with more than 1 core
  • and at least one SATA port
  • and Gigabit ethernet that does not steal cpu cycles
  • >= 1GB RAM
  • at less than $100 USD

anything else is just gravy. . .
I just bought a NEW dual-core Intel Core i3 laptop with 2GB RAM and a 320GB HDD for $200. . .
Is this really too much to ask?
Or must ARM enthusiasts continue to get ripped off with so-called "development boards" for the same price as a full laptop?

Marvell just got their pants sued off. So don't expect much more from them.

I should probably just forget about ARM entirely and get another $200 C7 Chromebook to use as my HTPC. . . Then get another one, pull the M/B and put it in a case, and replace my GoFlex with that. I'm sick of this waiting and waiting crap.
Re: Please somebody soon give us a decent *board.org
December 29, 2012 03:55PM
I read somewhere that according to a Google technician you can stack Chromebooks on top of each others without getting a heat problem :-)

But yeah, a lot of the boards that are coming out these days are either too cheap (everything run through usb, no sata) or too expensive. The odroid-U2 would be awesome, if it had sata. It would even be Ok if they sold it separately on an expansion board. Maybe we should mail them and ask?
Re: Please somebody soon give us a decent *board.org
December 29, 2012 04:46PM
No need to stack Chromebooks. I only need one HTPC, not a cluster. But I don't need the laptop screen, battery, etc., or a big mainboard. I like the small footprint of the GoFlex devices. But they need more power so I can use them to transcode MythTV. I am also STILL looking for something to use as a low-power HTPC. The Mele was worthless for that. So it's gone.
The Acer C7 Chromebook replaced my old Atom-based Eee 900HA. The Eee was replaced due to the crappy Atom GPU. So using the Eee for the HTPC is not an option. But another C7 stuck inside a HTPC case would work extremely well!

Like many others I would buy ODROID, or an iMX6q device, in an instant if there was SATA and it is less than $100. I would prefer the iMX6q device due to the better documentation and the availability of linux graphics drivers. But anything quad-core that runs Debian would get my blessing.

There is no excuse for the bare iMX6q boards with SATA to cost more than a 10" tablet, and double the cost of a HI802. That is my big complaint and the reason for my rant. The only reason they are that price is that they are called either "development boards (TM)" or "industrial boards(TM)." The use of those terms requires exorbitant licence fees ;)

Why doesn't somebody make a iMX6q based HTPC similar to a Mele, or at least a iMX6q based *board.

The $65 - 85 HI802 is perfect for people that don't need SATA. But we need SATA The iMX6q has SATA pins. Maybe there's a way to break out the SATA from the HI802 PCB? I would like to see a HI802 PCB.
Re: Please somebody soon give us a decent *board.org
December 29, 2012 05:24PM
I just checked Samsung website and saw a block diagram of Exynos 4. Exynos 4 does not have SATA. That is why the ODROID does not have SATA.

Exynos 5 does have SATA, but is dual-core. It is dual Cortex-A15, however. So WAY faster than the Cortex-A8 in iMX6q.
We need either an iMX6q or Exynos 5 device to satisfy our requirements. I would be happy with either one.

Use of an Exynos 5 for an HTPC may be problematic, however. The GPU is Mali T-604. It is WAY better than Mali 400. Drivers are there for Android and ChromeOS. But I am uncertain if the Chromium drivers could be used in a GNU/Linux like Debian. iMX6, on the other hand, has an accelerated Linux binary blob driver already available and supported by Freescale.

Seems to me the Exynos would be better suited as a KIrkwood replacement, and iMX6q would be better for a HTPC.
Re: Please somebody soon give us a decent *board.org
December 31, 2012 12:13PM
perhaps this may give u what u want ... added benefit of usb3 and GPIO pins as well

sadly it looks like yet another ARM board "not got a pot to p*ss in" vapourware "outfit" looking to herd preorders to finance an intial board run ... perhaps we have to wait for decent "outfit" with a track record like hard kernel to get something like this board out properly !

http://www.cnx-software.com/2012/12/26/135-armbrix-zero-exynos-5-development-board-is-now-available-for-pre-order/

http://www.armbrix.com/
Re: Please somebody soon give us a decent *board.org
December 31, 2012 02:52PM
Quote

perhaps this may give u what u want

Been there. . . seen that . . .

Cost is $135, shipping is $45!

Much thanks for your post, but the previously stated requirement is a cost of under $100, which includes the shipping cost, since a bare ARM board should be priced at significantly under $100. Anything else is just a plain ripoff.

The Armbrix is sadly just another item which includes the costly "development board" license fee, and also ripoff shipping.

I can get a Acer C7 Chromebook, pull the M/B and sell the rest of the parts, and have a WAY better platform than even Exynos 5 for under $100. I can do that right now. What I want is an ARM-based alternative to that with lower power usage.

Edit:

Another thing to note is that if somebody really wanted to have an ARM-based device like Exynos 5 then the Samsung Chromebook XE303 would be a far better choice than an Armbrix board. It is available right now. It has the same Exynos 5 SoC. It already has a power supply, keyboard and mouse, and it has a 11.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixel LED display and a 16GB SSD. You could use it as is with an external monitor/TV, or do as I plan with a C7 and sell the unneeded components to lower the final costs. The XE303 will easily run any Linux distro that has an ARMv7 port. But the Acer C7 is x86, is cheaper, and it has 2 upgradable SoDIMM slots that support up to 16GB DDR3. According to Anandtech the Exynos 5 uses 10.5W vs. 17W TDP for the Acer Celeron 1.1 GHz. Personally I'm willing to trade 7W for the $50 savings and far better specs. and performance of the Acer. It would take years of 24/7 usage to save the $50 in electricity costs, even at my rate of $0.33/kwh.

Edit # 2:

I was wrong about the performance of the Exynos 5. According to Anandtech the Exynos 5 is 40-60% faster than the Atom N570 1.66GHz. The Passmark score for the Atom N570 is 639. The score for the Celeron 847 1.1 GHz is 1044. So the Exynos 5 is as fast or faster than the Core i3-based Celeron 847 1.1 GHz, and is similar in speed to my laptop Intel Core2 Duo T7300 @ 2.00GHz. Therefore the Exynos 5 or other Cortex-A15 would be the ideal choice if priced appropriately.
They just need to eliminate the "development board" license fee. . . then we would have the ideal ARM platform.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/01/2013 03:46PM by gnexus.
Re: Please somebody soon give us a decent *board.org
January 02, 2013 07:14PM
Specs wise the ODROID-U smokes all the other boards for the bucks.

But let's keep in mind that there are two goals for these boards:

1) media player
2) home server

and:

1) Not a single board so far is even a little step closer to release a working Linux-XBMC stable, and they probably never will. The only one that could work one day is the Pivos Xios, which is overpriced for the specs offered (and still doesn't work properly). I don't consider XBMC under Android, which is pure cr*p.

2) For home server you don't need many ponies under the hood, but SATA is necessary. And the only boards here are Mele and Cubie.


Said that I am more than happy with my Mele so far
David Stark
Re: Please somebody soon give us a decent *board.org
January 03, 2013 08:50AM
I've been playing around with my newly arrived odroid-u2 for just over a week now and apart from some fixable bugs its the dogs bollocks, even handles xbmc under android well (very surprisingly)

1) I don't even remotely want sata as I have all my storage on redundant and on ethernet (like any sensible geek)

2) As previously stated SATA, USB3 and Gig NICs are not part of the SoC design, thats just the way it is.

[HOWEVER]
Currently (alas) we are just waiting and waiting for the Mali-400 DDK so we can run (real) linux with GPU accel, I'm expecting at least 6months for usable results.

I don't blame HardKernel and am happy to give them my money as they are seriosuly nice guys.. but yes, I don't think anything is really "ready" for xbmc yet although being so close yet so far at the same time does drive me utterly mad.... I just want xbmc on something silent (and it all works well).

The mk802 is nice for its price and I just had two arrive which I grabbed on ibood for a nice £25 pricetag

I just plan to setup simple http monitor pages 1080p so for this purpose they are fine, I'm trying to not make a rule of expecting much yet though as I've spent too much money on xbmc dreams the last few years also.
Re: Please somebody soon give us a decent *board.org
January 03, 2013 12:12PM
Quote

Not a single board so far is even a little step closer to release a working Linux-XBMC stable

I don't know about XBMC as I don't use it. I use MythTV. But, supposedly according to Freescale, the i.MX6 dual and quad-core SoCs already have an accelerated Vivante GC200 GPU blob available which works with any GNU/Linux distro such as Debian, Ubuntu, etc. If that is the case then a device with that SOC is all we need for MythTV/XBMC, etc. Both those SoCs also have SATA. But currently only the "development boards" have the connector.

The Exynos 5 has video drivers for ChromeOS, which is basically a stripped down version of Gentoo. So it is possible those drivers may work in std. Linux distros. But it is not possible to say for certain at this point.

The SoCs with Mali and the current drivers, although they "sort of" work, are not capable of my needs at present, and the video acceleration is handled by a separate decoder, which, while it may work in some things like XBMC, also has insufficient Linux driver support for my needs.

Quote

But let's keep in mind that there are two goals for these boards

Other user needs may vary from yours quite a bit. I need additional power for video transcoding, serving web pages, and for file transfers. I need Gigabit Ethernet to stream the huge video files. I also need very low power usage for 24/7 use.

So far the closest thing to my needs is a gutted $199 Acer C7 x86 Chromebook. But the HI802 may be very close to the specs IF the accelerated Vivante GC200 GPU blob works. All we would need then is a similar device or board with SATA.

I would expect to see SOMETHING that meets the specs sometime during this year. Please post if you find something. In the meantime I would love to hear about Linux video driver support from a user with an Exynos 5 or iMX6q. It looks like many people are loading Ubuntu on to their new Samsung Exynos 5 Chromebook. Does the video acceleration work there?

Edit:
CNX Software has confirmed that the Linaro Ubuntu 11.10 for the iMX6q has working full 2/3D + 1080p video acceleration.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/04/2013 06:42PM by gnexus.
Re: Please somebody soon give us a decent *board.org
January 03, 2013 05:19PM
David Stark Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Currently (alas) we are just waiting and waiting
> for the Mali-400 DDK so we can run (real) linux
> with GPU accel, I'm expecting at least 6months for
> usable results.


What made you think so?
Re: Please somebody soon give us a decent *board.org
January 18, 2013 06:04AM
This board comes directly from Freescale and $179. But at least to watch:
MCIMX6Q-SL Quad-Sabre-Lite
http://uk.farnell.com/freescale-semiconductor/mcimx6q-sl/board-dev-imx6-sabre-lite/dp/2124398
http://www.newark.com/freescale-semiconductor/mcimx6q-sl/i-mx6q-sabre-lite-board/dp/05W6138

Quad ARM Cortex-A9 processor 1.2GHz, 10/100/Gb Ethernet Port, SATA-II, Touch Screen Interface

------------------------------------------------------------
My A10 tablet (Point Of View [NL] ProTab2XXL 10" ICS)
Re: Please somebody soon give us a decent *board.org
January 19, 2013 12:19PM
Quote

This board comes directly from Freescale

Sorry, you are wrong. Actually that board is made by Boundary Devices. It is available directly from them and several other sources besides the ones you have linked.

Unfortunately it is also one of the boards that includes the "development board (TM)" or "industrial board(TM)" license fee in the price tag. There are also many similar i.MX6 boards by other mfrs. - some at 10x that price!

Such devices are a simply just a big ripoff when you can get an identical i.MX6q SoC in a 10" tablet, or a HDMI key, for much less. A SATA connector costs a few cents, not $100. Those boards should cost less than the Hi802/GK802.

Quote

and $179. But at least to watch

Maybe good "to watch" and see if somebody else clones it or makes a similar board/device for under $100. But I have to question why anybody - including companies looking for a fast low-cost board for an embedded device, would ever consider this board when you can get a full Acer C7 Chromebook for $199. The Core i3-based 1.1 GHz Celeron in the C7 board would be a much better choice for most embedded systems, and if you really wanted full-embedded you can either boot from the MMC, or swap the HDD for a SSD. The Boundary Devices boards will have zero demand and are thus priced accordingly.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/21/2013 01:30PM by gnexus.
Re: Please somebody soon give us a decent *board.org
January 22, 2013 03:50AM
Re: Please somebody soon give us a decent *board.org
January 22, 2013 10:01AM
Thanks very much for the link! That board looks really sweet! It has all the right specs. - except the main one:

Unfortunately the article says:
Quote

BIS-6332A (and BIS-6332B) are available now at an undisclosed price.

That likely means they are too embarrassed to say the price. It would be nice to know the price. But since it is a "digital signage platform" it undoubtedly includes a very high "development board (TM)" or "industrial board(TM)" license fee.

I thus repeat my observation that decent x86 mainboards with processor can be had for under $100. ARM processors have much lower margins than x86. So boards such as these must be less than $100 if the mfr. wants to actually sell them.
mongrol
Re: Please somebody soon give us a decent *board.org
January 22, 2013 07:22PM
Anyone looked at the Cubox from www.solid-run.com ? It has GB ethernet, SATA but has Kirkwood 510 dual core cpu. I've no idea how fast that is in comparison. I was considering replacing my Mythbuntu Mythbackend with this.
Re: Please somebody soon give us a decent *board.org
January 23, 2013 12:15PM
Cubox is semi-interesting. . .

It almost fits the requirements. But €99 is USD$135. So it exceeds the limit on cost. The SoC is single-core at only 800MHz. The SoC is Marvell, but Armada 510 is not a Kirkwood core, which is ARMv5te, it is Armada core which is ARMv7. That is a plus. But, as noted, the SoC is a slow single ARMv7 core. It is actually slower than an A10. That alone removes it from consideration for the purposes of this thread due to lack of the "decent" current multi-core performance requirement. The GPU is the older Vivante GC600. That GPU is not very good either. The VideoCore in the Raspi is much better.

The Cubox is in about the same class as a Raspi. Not much better than KIrkwood. The hardware is already outdated, and at $135 it is way overpriced. SATA does not make up for that. A Raspi, or even a Mele, would be a much better purchase than the Cubox.

The device would be very marginal at best as a MythTV frontend. There are better devices here now and coming very soon. A GK802 would be better suited as a MythTV frontend if you don't need the SATA. If you were to a Cubox you will likely be very disappointed. If you need a Mythfrontend device right now I would very strongly suggest an Acer C7 Chromebook. Although it is not ARM architecture it is the only currently available device which most closely meets the specs of this thread (If you sell the extra parts such as the LCD - otherwise it also exceeds the price target.) The C7 works great as a MythTV frontend using any mainstream Linux distro using the std. packages without the need for any added video drivers.

[ Moderator edit: remove off-topic political commentary ]



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/24/2013 03:16PM by Jeff.
mongrol
Re: Please somebody soon give us a decent *board.org
January 23, 2013 08:03PM
Thanks for the info on the Cubox CPU. I'm actually looking to replace my Myth "backend" with an ARM device, hence the interest in GB Ethernet and SATA. A single core won't cut it though since I still need to run comflagging while being able to stream to the front end. I have read of people running it on a Dreamplug but it must be pretty limited.

After some review I don't see any ARM devices capable of running Mythfrontend. The app is simply too heavy, has no OpenGLES acceleration, limited hardware decode (VAAPI and VDPAU only) and the WAF must be met at all times. The closest I see if XBMC PVR coming of age and running on whatever the latest flavour of Raspi/Odroid is around at that time.
Re: Please somebody soon give us a decent *board.org
January 24, 2013 11:18AM
I don't see the prices for these drop at any time. (Especially with dev or industrial tags as you mention so many times.)
Just as you can't get a new, good digital camera for under €80 ...

[ Moderator edit: remove off-topic political commentary ]

------------------------------------------------------------
My A10 tablet (Point Of View [NL] ProTab2XXL 10" ICS)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/24/2013 03:16PM by Jeff.
Re: Please somebody soon give us a decent *board.org
January 24, 2013 12:15PM
Quote
mongrol
I'm actually looking to replace my Myth "backend" with an ARM device, hence the interest in GB Ethernet and SATA

Oh! Sorry. I thought for sure you said a frontend. FYI, I have been using Seagate GoFlex Net's for my Myth backend's for a couple of years now with no issues. They work perfectly and have GB Ethernet and SATA.

Quote
axl
Also: I don't see the prices for these drop at any time.

The development boards will never drop in price. Consumer devices such as GK802 will drop in price very quickly. . .

[ Moderator edit: remove off-topic political commentary ]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/24/2013 03:17PM by Jeff.
Re: Please somebody soon give us a decent *board.org
January 24, 2013 03:18PM
Please keep discussions on-topic. This forum is NOT an appropriate place for political discussions.
mongrol
Re: Please somebody soon give us a decent *board.org
January 24, 2013 05:48PM
gnexus Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
Quote
mongrol
I'm actually looking to replace my
> Myth "backend" with an ARM device, hence
> the interest in GB Ethernet and SATA
>
> Oh! Sorry. I thought for sure you said a frontend.
> FYI, I have been using Seagate GoFlex Net's for my
> Myth backend's for a couple of years now with no
> issues. They work perfectly and have GB Ethernet
> and SATA.
>

Well colour me surprised. Does it perform comflagging etc without choking streaming performance?
Re: Please somebody soon give us a decent *board.org
January 25, 2013 11:23AM
Quote

Does it perform comflagging etc without choking streaming performance?

Flagging the commercials is fine, although we don't get too many here. Just don't try to transcode ;)

It is probably best to commflag at at a time when you are not watching, but I never noticed any hiccups from the GoFlex when streaming to an x86 PC even when the flagging was in progress (I did, however, get tons of stutters trying to play back in Android UpnP with a Mele - that is why my A10 devices are now gone.) Playback from the GoFlex's (I have a pair - one for each tuner) is perfect to my new Acer C7 Chromebook running bone stock Fedora 17 (now 18). The Core-i3 based Celeron in the C7 is rated at 17W TDP. Myth frontend playback is as good or better than my C2D 2.0 GHz laptop with GeForce 8600M graphics. Very impressive for less than $200! I'm still debating on whether to gut the old C2D laptop or the C7, sell the LCD, etc. and put the m/b into a mini HTPC chassis. I want to keep a C7 for a travel laptop. I may buy another C7 unless somebody gets a decent ARM board out soon. I would prefer something like the Mele with decent performance. Maybe Hi802?
Re: Please somebody soon give us a decent *board.org
January 26, 2013 07:47AM
Quote
axl
Also: I don't see the prices for these drop at any time.

The i.MX6 quad based Zenithink C94 Quad core 10 inch tablet w/ 8GB ROM has dropped $10 now in less than a month on the market. Undoubtedly it will drop further, as will the other tablets and TV sticks.

The i.MX6 quad based tablets, and the TV sticks, meet all the specifications of this thread except for the SATA. No need to buy some bare "development board" at ripoff prices which will never drop. If you need SATA it is best to wait a while and stick with Kirkwood SoC device like a GoFlex, or get an x86-based device. We should boycott the ripoff ARM "development boards" to send the sellers a message.
Re: Please somebody soon give us a decent *board.org
January 27, 2013 02:10PM
Is there any of these i.MX6 boards that also has a PCIe slot?
Re: Please somebody soon give us a decent *board.org
January 29, 2013 05:24AM
Has the wandboard been mentioned here yet? $69/$89 for a Single/Dualcore i.MX6 and 512MB/1GB RAM. Not sure how hard it would be to add a SATA connector since it says "unpopulated".
It says unpopulated for a simple reason: the dual core version they are using of the imx6 don't do SATA. Only the quad core and a new dualcore does SATA.
Better wait for ARMBrix 0, in march for a quad core A15 with SATA.
If only one had PCIe, I'd use that for SATA
By the way, did you look at Amlogic 8726-Mx cpu (x = 1, dual core 800MHz A9, x = 3 1Ghz A9, x=6 1.5Ghz A9)
They have SATA, and A9, low power, looks like the Mele but no shitty harddrive bay.
like this one: http://www.geniatech.com/pa/atv4000.asp
Re: Please somebody soon give us a decent *board.org
February 06, 2013 02:27AM
Wonder what ever happened to this wandboard? http://www.geeky-gadgets.com/wandboard-freescale-i-mx6-69-developer-board-launches-25-10-2012/ It looks like the one they release, but with a sata connector.
Yamashita Ren
Re: Please somebody soon give us a decent *board.org
February 11, 2013 10:58AM
The board that we are hoping may arrive sooner or later ...
Wandboard with a dual processor (or better a quad) instead of the dualite would be very nice.
Armbrix could be okay if only the shipping costs were not this high ...
Maybe the Kontron product will give us what we're seeking but I highly doubt it ...
Author:

Your Email:


Subject:


Spam prevention:
Please, enter the code that you see below in the input field. This is for blocking bots that try to post this form automatically. If the code is hard to read, then just try to guess it right. If you enter the wrong code, a new image is created and you get another chance to enter it right.
Message: