- BananaPi (Allwinner, MediaTek): http://www.banana-pi.org/
- Le Potato (Amlogic) and Renegate (Rockchip): https://libre.computer/
- NanoPi (Samsung, Allwinner) : http://www.friendlyarm.com/index.php?route=product/category&...
- OLinuXino (open hardware, Allwinner A20, A64, etc, iMX, Ralink): https://www.olimex.com/Products/OLinuXino/
- Odroid (Amlogic, Samsung): http://www.hardkernel.com/main/main.php
- OrangePi (Allwinner): http://www.orangepi.org/
- Pine64 (Allwinner) and Rock64 (Rockchip): https://www.pine64.org/
I am not affiliated with the site, but use it regularly. Sometimes, it allows to find really obscure boards which fit a niche application.
The good: they're definitely cheaper, I paid about a third of the raspberry Pi 2 price for a comparable Orange Pi. Other models seem to have similar aggressive pricing.
The bad: Armbian distros are a mixed bag, I had the impression some of them were put together by developers who didn't even have the particular board on hand. I spent a good three hours just getting WiFi to work (not being familiar with linux didn't help either though) , while putting up with an invisible cursor editing config files. Setting up a raspberry pi zero W in comparison was 5 minutes. Also I found out later that the pin header was 180 degrees rotated compared to the Raspberry, which made it not compatible with standard hats.
In retrospect I did learn a lot, and the Orange Pi has been running without issue for 2 years now. But Raspberry's have my definite preference.
One example is the new WandPi 8M. It's based on the NXP i.MX8M and has a few key advantages (particularly, true gigabit Ethernet and USB 3.0). I've ordered one myself, but I'm not sure exactly when they're supposed to start shipping.
There's also the x86 based UP boards. They're based on newer Intel Atom SoCs, so my guess is that the out-of-the-box Linux support would be fairly decent.
The upboards are interesting, some have an FPGA, and some NN processing soon courtesy of Movidious.
The Pine64/Rock64 and Orange Pi are as cheap or cheaper than the RPi, and some Allwinner/Rockchip boards have binary GPU drivers, but really YMMV.
For ARMv8 specifically: https://archlinuxarm.org/platforms/armv8
Zero support, even in the forums (which are still such a JS mess they don't work on my iPhone). For a lot of users, the microSD slot didn't work. For many others, wifi was a nightmare.
It's gotten significantly better over the months, but it's still not ready for primetime. The good news is that the Onion folks are still actively working on it, and many of the issues have been addressed via firmware updates. But it's still flakey as hell. I've never been able to get its native GUI to work; even the new one released last week.
On one hand, the base unit is only $5. On the other... you get what you pay for.
And even then, it doesn't even tell me the very basics, such as what SoC does it use.
When it's this bad, it's automatic discard.
~4-10x Raspberry pee 3 speed, SATA, pcie, 1Gbit ethernet, battery backup.
Can get them as low as $10 with one USB port broken (either mechanical or fried).
Those were just first random links from ebay, you can get better deals if you search harder, for example EU $15 http://allegro.pl/org-sprawna-plyta-glowna-lenovo-x220-core-... whole lower case +wifi +bt +cooling, one usb mechanically broken (out of 3 sockets, 9 more usb available if you solder directly to motherboard in strategic places like camera/mpcie/fingerprint/expresscard/dock connectors). Thinkpads can boot from SD card just like raspberry pee. You boot without keyboard by shorting one pin on keyboard/dock/debug connector.
did I mention full schematic? http://plan9.stanleylieber.com/hardware/thinkpad/x220/x220.s...
mostly open source firmware is also available https://www.coreboot.org/Board:lenovo/x220
As an aside, the schematics really take me back to a moment in the late 1980s. Radio Shack sold Tandys and TRS-80s at one point, and I remember an especially thick series of binders full of the system schematics for one (or some) of the computers they sold. I was too young with no money of my own then to buy them, and now I really wish I knew what that was so I could find it on eBay. Little did I know that was the end of an era, and not something I'd see the likes of again until today.
Technical Reference Manual: http://rockchip.fr/RK3288%20TRM/
This is on par with what TI offers for its OMAP series, and a great deal better than anything Broadcom has ever released for its RPi SoCs.
I remember around a decade or so ago, Rockchip was one of the main producers of PMP SoCs, mainly the RK26xx and RK27xx series (Actions was the other popular one), and there was a community around firmware-modding those PMPs, including, appropriately enough, porting RockBox to run on them. It's interesting to see them "growing up" in the market.
I'm working on a simply Yocto image that will autoplay a music video. It will serve as a nice test camera source for the medical device recorders I develop.
I still got to work out some kernel panics, but when it's done, I can just dd an image to an SD card. It beats the $10,000 medical camera I currently use :)
I am currently using a Yocto image for Raspberry Pi for 1080p60.
Also, in case you misunderstood, I'm not using a camera with these devices, I am using these devices as a camera. I plug the HDMI out directly into my capture device to test capture/rendering/encoding/etc. Previously, I had to use a real camera and point it at a move to get some nice motion and color. Now, I just power on my RaspPi and use the HDMI out. Our assembly line now also uses them to burn in our devices.
http://linux-sunxi.org/Main_Page is pretty useful for a list of boards and info.
H5's mainline support is still lacking in key areas. I2C, I2S, and cpufreq are deal-breakers for our product. Of course, combined with the fact that it will soon be out of support for a not-huge-buyer like us, it is out-of-question.
The status of their latest offering, the H6, in that matrix shows how bleak it was when we were looking at H5 for our board design. It was when the latest release of Linux was 4.4. You can see how few H5 features were supported with 4.4, almost exactly like how few are supported on the H6 today.
The then-older chips were not available with the future volume we needed, unless we increased our volumes a few times. We had little choice but to build on their newer chips for the volume bracket we fell into. Perhaps the situation has changed in two years.
> I wouldn't expect jack from Allwinner besides their crummy kernel 3.4 branch, but that is the beauty in mainline support, you aren't limited to what Allwinner supports!
You can see how that is off-putting, especially when other vendors (e.g., the Raspberry Pi Foundation) themselves support the latest LTS (and non-LTS) kernel with maintained patches, and upstream their patches. And their code is not utter garbage. New RPis have a much easier time getting mainlined precisely because of these reasons.
The Raspberry Pi Foundation (and Broadcom, in contract partnership), on the other hand, had a proven track record of both continuing to manufacture RPis 1 and 2 and to maintain backwards compatibility when putting out new RPi SoCs and boards.
Perhaps the situation with Allwinner has changed now. Perhaps they're willing to support their products for longer for smaller clients. We'd have to look into that again. But, of course, without mainline support anytime soon (and the quality of their past code doesn't help a bit) it's very hard for us to actually build a good product with it.
On that note, there has been a fair bit of activity on Lima as of late, which is a big change from a few years ago: https://github.com/yuq/linux-lima/tree/lima-4.16-rc5/drivers...
i.e. using ARM's proprietary driver for Mali from Android.
(FOSS drivers might be in development but pragmatically I'd choose something that works)
In my experience SD cards are much slower but more reliable and easier to manage (backups and such).
The eMMC that orangePi uses seems to be more reliable than the average SD card. Of course there are good SD cards out there and bad eMMC.
Unless you enjoy hours of wtfs googling and trying to figure out why does this thing does not do what you want it to, then you are spending a few hours to save a few bucks. You can judge how rational that is based on your hourly rate. Just because RPi is popular it's way more likely that somebody has already solved given problem for you.
So the only argument would be that other boards are more powerful. Does that really matter in 99% of use cases though?
From what I've observed, the community feels almost like a walled garden in terms of mentality: if you're doing what everyone else is doing, it's great. If you try to go beyond that, don't be surprised if you encounter hostility or discouragement.
By "go beyond that", I mean simple things like trying to find the electrical specifications of the GPIO pins. The comments here are worth reading, for example: http://tansi.info/rp/interfacing5v.html
> without complete Upstream Kernel support and Open Sourcing of all necessary drivers, none of these Boards is really useful.
it's not clear if you refer to SBCs in general, or Pi alternatives. nonetheless, essentially all of them have Linux support (at least, Armbian support); of course, having upstream support would make them more usable, but this is different from "useful".
If there is something specific you are trying to do, you'll want an SBC that is geared towards that purpose (sata, adc, etc). If you just want an SBC as a general computer, rpi is your best bet.
I have several ODROID-C2 that I have replaced with RPis because of the poor hardware support (Amlogic kernel was way late at the time, may still is).
Stick to mainline.
(I tried kodi as well and it kinda could play h256 in software, but I now stick to my raspberry pi as a media center)
And yes I explicity tested software decoding and my 720p sample played without noticeable delay/framedrop and 1080p was uhm kinda running.
I'm going to try building the latest 4.17 RC later today to see if I can't get it to boot. But I didn't get very far a few months ago
If you're wanting to put it to some practical application then probably more power is better.
If, like me, it's a hobby, and you enjoy the idea of tiny machines, and the challenge of pushing a computer to do things a resource constrained environment, then tiny and powerful machines like RPi that can run full Linux distros are no more interesting than any other computer. There's nothing particularly interesting about loading and running Linux.
So for the hobbyist wanting to be challenged, tiny machines/CPUs like the esp8266 and esp32 are where the fun is really at.
It's a strange inversion because for 40 years I've always found that the most interesting computer is one that is more powerful than anything else - not so now when pursuing that old school feel.
While I agree with you, ESP32 is over 1000 times more powerful than C64 and has more RAM than unexpanded Amiga 500. (Can't wait when my ESP32 arrives in mail soon. :-))
Doom for ESP32 (running from RAM connected over SPI of all things...!): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gb_JFDa0AIo
For example the esp32 only has 520 KiB SRAM - that imposes constraints.
Just like you said we did wonders back in the Atari, Amiga, MS-DOS days.
Thanks for the video.
In our B2B application, the Pi's are just headless data collectors and all C code and data normally runs in RAM with the SSD card only written to as a backup if the device loses Internet connectivity (rare). The SSD card's system partition is configured as read only and we have had no problems with data corruption.
I think many people are trying to use these small computers for things that were not intended. The RPi's are cheap, well supported, and more than powerful enough for the price. If you need more power, spend more on some of the other options or step up to a full computer.
P.S. remember Android 6.0 has COSU mode to set your device in a single-purpose single-app mode (https://developer.android.com/work/cosu.html) just like the rpi3. Which has the pleasant side-effect that you can manage a ton of these devices using a central enterprise-grade management system.
In addition, you can build custom hardware that interfaces with Android in a standard way (the AOA protocol) - https://source.android.com/devices/accessories/custom. Which makes doing a hardware startup prototyping easier on the android platform than rpi.
Is the rpi (or the Asus Tinker Board) merely a consequence of what was possible at a particular price point some time back ?
- It runs Linux as a first-party-sanctioned OS. Great ecosystem for tinkering. Not locked in to the whims of the manufacturer OS updates.
- GPIO pins.
- No built-in screen (which I guess draws less power).
- HDMI, USB and Ethernet ports.
>"Prior to this , the Raspberry Pi was made in China; some models are now also made in Japan." (https://www.zdnet.com/article/14-million-raspberry-pis-sold-...) //
Now made primarily in UK.
For other points, I have mentioned in other comments.
RPi and Android phones might overlap for some applications but I see them as very distinct devices.
If your manufacturer hasn't decided to lock the bootloader, that is.
The application dev ecosystem and abstractions are very different in the Android world. Accessing the GPS is completely independent of underlying hardware and is already something we run happily on a daily basis.
On gpio - curious. What applications would you use it for ? Generally they are useful for attaching peripherals like GPS modules, wifi,etc....And I grant there might be some modules that you might need. But isn't the phone solving the 99 percentile use case without need for gpio?
Really the GPIO pins are what makes SBCs so great for me... a smartphone is just a closed-off portable computer with very limited built-in sensors.
I have a custom-built fluid handler built from a Rpi and a $20 3.5" touchscreen, a $6 Arduino relay board and some additional hardware. I need the GPIO to run pumps and valves and additional I/O. Could it be done on a phone? Yes, with additional hardware and more effort. The lower cost of the phone would be eaten up in the first hour it took me longer than on the Pi.
I've recommended to many people contemplating complex Arduino projects that they move to the Pi instead. Often, by the time you purchase multiple Arduino "shields" to do a task, you're well past the price of a Raspberry Pi that has all the needed I/O: networking, audio output, storage and more built in.
Hell, I'm involved in a high-speed signal processing project where I use an Arduino M0 for the speed but I still needed to do some of the behavior in analog circuits because the Cortex M0 still wasn't fast enough to process everything digitally. I would have preferred to use a Pi but I don't trust the reliability (industrial application), and I need guaranteed real-time behavior.
I wholeheartedly agree with you that many hobbyist RPi projects could be done just as well on a phone: I noticed that quite some time ago. But hardware is less and less the limiting factor these days. Learning curves can be expensive. I tend to build things in small volumes, so any price savings from using a cheap phone or tablet is often meaningless in comparison to how long it will take me to get up to speed on a new platform.
That said, some easy things that come to mind regarding the usefulness of the Raspberry Pi and other SBCs:
1. GPIO pins for connecting external sensors/modules/peripherals
2. More "personal computer"-style ports than a phone (standard USB, ethernet, HDMI ports) which are good for things like small file servers, retro game consoles, or light desktop use (to name a few things)
And adding on to GPIO, the Pi has easy to use SPI and i2c busses. That opens up a huge range of sensors and other things like displays that work with easy to understand code. For a lot of use cases it's better to think of the RasPi as a very beefed up Arduino, not a barebones PC (or phone).
Beyond the fact that the most common sensors/peripherals are built in...I can find a lot of USB sensors that work with Android. In general you can also drop down to NDK (c code) on Android if you want.
So I'm still curious on which sensors would not work with a Android phone that people would want to.
How would you stick an Android phone plus a whole octopus of usb peripherals inside a nice neat box? It would be at least shoe box size.
If you need a board that will run 24/7 and control some process, remember Android goes into power management to save battery, and you need to fight it to operate continously. Might not even be possible any more with newer Androids that restrict wake locks.
RPi reliability isn't as good as it could be, at least not without cooling, but I would trust it for long time operation any time over a $30 phone that had to include a screen and a battery in that price and thus has made a lot more compromises.
It's important to note that I'm talking good old electronics projects, not things like single-use kiosk devices. Like I said earlier, the RasPi is similar to the Arduino in that it's suited to "edge" tasks - interfacing a computer / network with the physical world through sensors and actuators.
Some of this stuff is possible on an Android device, but more complex because they aren't designed for it. Meanwhile this is what the Raspberry Pi was always intended for and is much simpler. There are cases where an old phone might work better, but there are many where it won't work at all or would be a lot of extra work.
Not to mention most sensors (humidity or CO2 for example, or even just a simple potentiometer) are not USB (and for a good reason, I don't want/need USB chips and connectors in each one of my sensors).
Example applications I use Pi for: automated irrigation, custom digital musical instruments.
This got me curious: I tried to plug ethernet cable to a phone via USB adapter, and to my surprise, it worked!
Simply got a prompt to configure ethernet IP settings.
Disabled wifi and mobile data, web browsing via ethernet connection worked fine.
Also in my experience (which was admittedly limited since it didn't work well) it was very crashy, with the connection going down after a few hours. Probably a quirk of my specific tablet or ethernet adapter but still it's a potential problem.
>On gpio - curious. What applications would you use it for ? Generally they are useful for attaching peripherals like GPS modules, wifi,etc....And I grant there might be some modules that you might need. But isn't the phone solving the 99 percentile use case without need for gpio?
External ports like USB, HDMI,etc are easily done. In fact, there are zillions more accessories for the Android world than the RPI world. And cheaper too. https://youtu.be/n1BBX6hEo8E
I agree that it's easily done, but can you do 2-4 USB ports and HDMI at the same time for a gaming console, or USB + ethernet for a file server? I genuinely don't know, but knowing what I know about iPhone accessories (admittedly also not a ton) I don't think you can. At the very least it adds to the cost and removes some convenience.
Some GPIO sensors I've played with are: IR receiver, RGB LED, waterproof temperature sensors, combination temperature/humidity sensors. You can connect many of these at once, and solder the connections for a more permanent tiny appliance. This link lists lots of interesting/useful sensors and components: https://tutorials-raspberrypi.com/raspberry-pi-sensors-overv...
E.g. turning it into a handheld emulator with RetroPie and a nice custom (3D printed or otherwise) case .
Yes, GDP XD (which uses Android) exists but it's a custom built product and not a phone and you take it or leave it (unlike the customization you get from Raspberry Pi).
 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ux9lXBexw0o
The ODroid-C2 is also mentioned; those look nice. That company also sells raw EMMC modules as an alternative option to microSD cards, which seems like it could be useful. Does anyone know if those EMMC modules are less likely to spuriously corrupt themselves? I haven't run them for any length of time, but it looks like an ODroid with EMMC would be on a similar price point.
One nice thing about Allwinner based SBCs is the strong development community that mainlines support for their chips in short order. Few other chip vendors have mainline support, which makes their boards abandonware in short order.
Two things that are immensely helpful if you want a stable experience with the Pi:
1. A good power supply.
2. A good microSD card.
And as far as microSD cards go, [I wrote an article on that last week](https://www.jeffgeerling.com/blog/2018/raspberry-pi-microsd-... there's a huge gulf between the best and worst cards, even from name-brand manufacturers.
BTW, your link seems to end up on your front page, rather than the card comparison article.
Not a single issue with storage.
Founder of Vamrs, ROCK960 manufacturer here, iPad 3/4 display is eDP interface and you can drive with RK3399 directly, you don't need DP and controller board. ROCK960 doesn't export eDP due to the small size, ROCK960 EE version has eDP exported.
"AMPAK combines Broadcom Wi-Fi and Bluetooth chips in single modules."
Broadcom + Linux is a very mixed bag. Would require more investigation.
RPi is more compatible i.e. the software stack supports OpenGL.
But for cases where it’s OK to code against GLES, Mali-T764 is awesome. I once used NanoVG to build a very nice looking rich GUI, with alpha transparency, animated state transitions, etc. Moreover, it consumes practically no CPU time, because everything is hardware accelerated.
Yeah, pretty much all of them are proprietary.
1. Licensing. Their commercial license was prohibitively expensive for the project. And their open source license was too limited for our purposes.
2. I wanted the software to work on top of bare Linux kernel, i.e. no desktop managers, no compositors, no mouse pointer. Also I needed to render different stuff to 2 displays at the same time, QT can’t do that.
The GUI wasn’t too complex, just a handful of screens on a 7” 800x480 DSI touch screen, plus simple 2D vector graphics on an external 4k HDMI display. That is why I was able to use lower-level stack without spending too much time on it. I only used C++ for DRM/KMS and NanoVG, everything higher level is in C#, running on .NET Core.
BTW, the most time-consuming part was on-screen keyboard for the “Connect to WiFi” screen, and soft keyboards are only available in commercial QT.
Also, does it have hardware support for HEVC? My poor RBP 2 can't handle HEVC at all.
Anyone knows what kind of board he means? I have been searching and it seems that the next step from the pi would be something like the Intel NUC, which is quite a lot more than $100 when considering a full, minimum system build.
Edit: totally missed the "used" in that sentence, which totally changes things. Thanks for the tips though!
Starting from about $121 shipped you can get an 8GB, 4 core Xeon E5620 (HP DL380 G6) with 10-100x the performance of a Pi. Probably better performance/W value in the used desktop sector (which labgopher doesn't focus on, unfortunately).
A five year old OptiPlex SFF PC though is available for around $100 or so, and capable of much more than any single-board PC.
This is more what I'm talking about; I needed a faster option with much more RAM and a proper SATA SSD for one project. I bought a used Lenovo ThinkCentre for about $80, put in a small SSD I had on hand, upgraded the RAM to 8 GB for $20 (one 4GB stick on eBay), and had an i5 with about 100x better overall performance than a Pi 3 B+ (and maybe 10x more power consumption, so not a bad tradeoff). All-in $100 for me, though if you didn't have an SSD you can pick one up for $35-45 if you just need 32 or 64 GB.
Basically, once you hit the $100 threshold, you have to really ask if an SBC is the right solution—unless you really, really need the small footprint. And if you need I/O for project stuff, an Arduino or similar project board is only a few bucks more and connects via USB.
I guess as long as they won't ship more than a couple GB of RAM they won't bother with it.
Edit: forgot to mention Pine64 starts at like 15 usd for 512Mb Ram or 19 usd for 1GB and like 29USd for 2Gb also from 19 usd up they have gigabit(can be hard to max out due to various issues IIRC, check forum), and the high end version is still cheaper than a RPi3 IIRC
edit: tried both armbian and android
Tinkerboard has b/g/n 2.4Ghz wifi. Pi 3B+ also has 802.11ac 5Ghz wifi.
Tinkerboard has a superior sound chip, supporting 24-bit, 192kHz audio. Pi 3B+ has a totally garbage mono only analog sound (and presumably fine HDMI digital sound).
"This has allowed us to certify the entire board as a radio module under FCC rules, which in turn will significantly reduce the cost of conformance testing Raspberry Pi-based products."
I think the Rpi is one of the few SBCs that have 5ghz support on the board.
1. Boot is still a mystery. It boots from the GPU with "magic registers", then passes to the CPU...?
2. There's no specs available for the GPIOs. 5v tolerant? SPI max speed? Pullups/downs? Nada..
3. DRM baked in. RasPi foundation cheaped out on the MPEG2 decoder, and you need to pay $5 to enable hardware decoding.
4. Needs mystery black box kernel blobs.
5. No power management. No low voltage detection. Hope and pray method
6. Everything is on the USB. Bandwidth ends up sucking. They could have did ethernet on SPI.
3. MPEG2 decoding can be done with software just fine?
4. Again, show me one without driver blobs. This is mostly the fault of the chip makers and not the RPi foundation.
5. Power management is a kernel feature?
Also, the lack of power management on the Pi is mostly a hardware limitation. The hardware simply doesn't support any kind of software-controlled shutdown or suspend.
Even more interesting Odroid is releasing a new board the N1 based on the Rockchip 3399 SOC that has 2 A72 + 4 A53 processors. It also has 2 SATA ports, USB 3.0 and 2 Gigabit lan ports. And Odroid software support is significantly better than most other vendors except the Pi.
Their previous C2 board based on the Amlogic 905 was a great buy at $45 and plays 4k content without missing a beat while my kabylake desktop on Linux seems to struggle.
I've had a rough time with the Rock64, personally. Also I like to mention that you cannot power the Rock64 over MicroUSB like you can an RPi, which is really annoying to me.
I like that the Pi Zero seems to be perfectly stable with any old phone charger I've used, and they seem to range from 800mA to 1mA. I have a couple iPad chargers that go up to 2.1A, so I'd be really happy if I could find a multicore SBC that was good to go with one of those.
Being 15 dollars more expensive breaks the whole purpose of having a descent, small and cheap computer/board as the RPi has been all this time.
Does anyone have experience with a mass produced product that used the Rpi in prototypes?
I know element14 is offering Raspberry Pi customization for mass production.
I'm thinking about buying two of them and using them as a NAS with offsite mirroring for critical data/important documents.
If you don’t want to go for an embedded X86 then this one is a good option it comes with ECC memory and decent enough crypto acceleration for full encryption.
Many of the alternative boards, for all their improvements over he RPi, are virtually impossible to get hold of beyond directly importing from the OEM.
That said, i already have an RPI3B sitting around that i have yet to do anything with.
I guess that's something to be expected, it's probably not a very used feature, but I really enjoy being able to play old video games on a CRT, as they were meant to be played.
Since the reason for using these boards is ease of development, as in not doing a custom kernel, how well the SOC specific bits work is pretty important.
Note: while externally these boards are all similar (same expansion connector etc), internally they use different SoCs and different kernels and configuration utilities. And this sometimes bites.
Same form factor was very convenient since I could use my old case and hats. ASUS ported WiringPi as well, so all my Rpi scripts worked without modification. And finally, a dedicated Ethernet controller means I get way better speeds than my old Pi 2 could even dream about.
If you care about Ethernet speeds the decision is pretty much a no-brainer.
It came with WiFi, bluetooth, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of flash, plenty of GPIO
Don't need display port, GPU, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPIO pins, etc - just a CPU + lots of RAM + an ethernet port to get stuff in/out.
Alternatively, is there a practical way to attach external DDRAM to an existing 64-bit SBC, perhaps using the GPIO pins?
I have zero electronics knowledge so forgive my questions if they are stupid.
As for attaching memory, GPIO probably gives you a transfer rate on the order of a few MB/s. There are various things like SPI-connected SRAM chips, but those don't provide a lot of memory (think KB, not GB).
HW acceleration (its USP) only works with TinkerOS and it is buggy as hell :/
1) Far more open (you can get documentation and chip supply to build your own BeagleBone)
2) No more expensive
3) Mainline Debian
2) Hasn't been updated in a while; thus
3) Lower RAM;
4) Lower perf;
The RPi people quote this incessantly casually leaving out the fact that the BeagleBone already includes 4GB eMMC (a uSD card is at least $5)
> 3) Lower RAM;
> 4) Lower perf;
Less RAM but FASTER RAM. RPi3 is DDR2 vs BeagleBone Black's DDR3.
So, between the eMMC being much faster than uSD and the faster RAM (and the Ethernet on the BBB is way faster), I suspect that the BeagleBone Black probably performs better for most workloads.
In addition, people just blithely skip past the whole closed nature of the Broadcom SoC. If you are serious about creating a product ever shipping in real quantities, that's a killer.
It disappoints me greatly that people never seem to have a genuinely good answer for this when I ask.
> Less RAM but FASTER RAM. RPi3 is DDR2 vs BeagleBone Black's DDR3.
Most people buying don't notice such things. Also, the BBB is at-least $10 more expensive.
> In addition, people just blithely skip past the whole closed nature of the Broadcom SoC. If you are serious about creating a product ever shipping in real quantities, that's a killer.
For people with principles in favour of Free & Open computing (like me) who are buying for personal use, perhaps. Unfortunately for this argument, most people don't care about that. In fact, I'm currently supporting a product shipping with the RPi 3B in quantities large enough to qualify as "real quantities".
How did you get pricing and volume from Broadcom? I'm genuinely interested as that stopped a project I was working on completely cold.
We simply couldn't get them to care about 1K-2K parts.
Have they finally succeeded in pulling all the blob out yet?
For everything else, memory size, network speed, and flash speed trumps everything. For me ODROID XU4 is the best, followed by ODROID C2. The thinker board looks like a contender but I was disappointed by the comparison to RPi3 whose strengths (community) and weaknesses (everything else) are long well understood.
I am with you as a fanboy of the beaglebone's ecosystem, given the fact that its now over a decade old processor, there are mountains of technical reference manuals if you really want to get low level with an RTOS, or just write your own kernel drivers. There are plenty of solid tutorials on Adafruit, as well as from Derek Molloy, and probably others I'm not even aware of. There is a nice ecosystem of shields, capes, or whatever the trademarkable noun we're supposed to use is. The hardware has gone through a boat load of permutations, to provide many things to many users, whether thats different variants of the standard credit card size board, or the pocket beagle, which is as spartan as it gets.
But as an observer of previous economic trends, as they relate to competing technologies, I have to say it makes perfect sense that Raspberry Pi is the market leader. If people wanted higher quality music, they wouldn't have adopted the cassette tape, or the CD, or the mp3. If people wanted higher quality video, they wouldn't have adopted VHS. The masses have so far always valued convenience over quality when it comes to gearlust.
But just like all entrenched players, someone out there will likely pull the rug out from raspberry pi, just when they think they've finally captured the market. My bet is on all of the Armbian boards, mostly Allwinner, but not exclusively. The BananaPi, OrangePi, NanoPi, etc are all pretty much at feature parity or better with raspberry pies they are clones of. They also have a pretty vibrant ecosystem with Armbian, which has great ncurses menus for just about everything that needs to be setup as an enduser. Besides the marketing push, I don't see a single thing Raspberry Pi does better than the Armbian/chinese clone ecosystem.
Bit of warning about the Beaglebone Black. The power controller doesn't have proper brownout detection.
Are you talking about the original RPi? Most people are buying the latest version, which right now is the 3B+ which were released about a month ago.
I'd take a 486 DX4 SoC with no better than VGA output if it was entirely open.
The site looks old but according to this, it's still in production:
I was disappointed to see that the folks at Raspberry are not interested in upping the specs by much. For my workloads I wanted to get more RAM on each node as my processors were not working all that hard.
I've bought ASUS products with confidence for years and I'm glad they have an offering in this space.
> Currently Debian is the only available OS for tinker board. 
 Tinkerboard FAQ (PDF): http://dlcdnet.asus.com/pub/ASUS/mb/Linux/Tinker_Board_2GB/F...