The schematics and Eagle files are on their github page. More info here: https://www.olimex.com/wiki/A20-OLinuXino-MICRO
They're already working on a board for the next generation A31 SoC too.
I have come to believe that this is really a form of saying "I want the computer I have at the price of this computer which can't do what I can do on the one I'm using." Sort of a having cake and eating it too sort of comment.
Looking at the various entrants in this space, the Pi, the Beaglebone Black, the Galileo, Etc it is clear to me that manufacturers are exploring this space. Its unfortunate that there isn't a lot of coherent feedback to them. I was talking to Carl Helmers last week (we were at the same conference) and mentioned that once again there is probably a need for a journal like the one BYTE magazine started out to be. A place where folks to deconstruct the various offerings that manufacturers were putting out there and having discussions about worked and what didn't work in that space. Unfortunately magazines are somewhat out of favor and there hasn't been a really solid tech site to fill that particular niche.
Raspberry Pi is a nice thing for $35. For $75, much nicer alternatives exist.
On x86 front, if size matters, you can take a look at this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813135... ($32 after rebate). It needs a stick of alaptop RAM and a laptop power brick. You can load XBMC from a USB stick.
If size doesn't matter, look for AM1 CPU/motherboard. CPU will run you $31 (http://www.amazon.com/AMD-Sempron-2650-1-45Ghz-AD2650JAHMBOX...) and motherboard, $34 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157...).
Also case and PSU aren't a problem, either you get a Pico PSU for 50$ with a cheap case, or you take a case that include a PSU. They are cheap and the fan are noisy but for under $60... http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811154...
I believe that includes the Wifi/Bluetooth module already, but not the DDR3L RAM module or an SSD/HDD.
If that model is missing something you need you can of course opt for one of the more expensive ones - there is a reasonable range. I'm considering getting one to act as a router, DD-WRT/OpenWRT on consumer/SOHO router hardware is incredibly fiddly. The power consumption of some of these devices is comparable.
These ARM boards certainly have their place. We use one to drive a TV with build/bug/CI status. RPi is too slow, and x86 is too big to fit, but a beefier board (Odroid-u3) is just fine, and still hangs behind the TV running on its USB port. But for most of the other projects, either a RPi is good, or you'd be better off with x86.
Even if the Raspberry Pi foundation were to just take the old model A and drop the analog I/O ports and LED lights - with their economies of scale and the natural decrease in chip prices, I'm guessing they could ship a ~20$ board.
edit: I guess you could drop the analog video and sound output, but that would probably just save a few cents for the connectors.
Other than that, do any of you know of a chip I could buy to program from scratch? I'd be interested to learn a very simple processor but I have no idea where to start. I heard M68Ks are nice.
The next logical progression IMHO after Arduino/AVR chips is bare metal ARM development. Check out chips like the NXP LPC series which can be programmed with a free GCC toolchain, and more importably support on chip debugging with OpenOCD. Good getting started guide here: https://learn.adafruit.com/getting-started-with-the-lpc810/i...
There's tons of ARM development hardware out there, but two cheap, awesome development boards I'd recommend might include:
* The TI Tiva LaunchPad - http://www.ti.com/tool/ek-tm4c123gxl
* The STM32F4 Discovery - http://www.st.com/web/catalog/tools/FM116/SC959/SS1532/PF252...
Or, if you want to get adventurous, there's tons of ultra-cheap ARM development boards on eBay. You'll usually need to get your own JTAG adapter to work with them, and figuring out how to drive some of the peripherals may be a bit of an adventure, but the prices are unbeatable. (I paid about $40 for a "HY-STM32" board with a 3.2" touchscreen, for instance.)
Look at Atmel ATTiny and Microchip PIC10/PIC12 series.
Someone has fundamentally understood the reason that the Pi exists.
Also, these guys have immediately blown their trustworthiness by deliberately creating confusion between their brand and an established one ("[fruit] Pi").
- Male header pins are kind of a pain to connect to a breadboard, at least compared to female pins on a Beaglebone Black or Arduino.
- I'm assuming there's no analog to digital converter, like the Raspberry Pi, so that's annoying if you're reading analog sensors or other things.
- Realtime support. Does the Allwinner A20 have any kind of realtime support microncontroller, kind of like PRU's on the Beaglebone Black? If not that's a bummer since interfacing with anything that has tight timing control (like lighting WS2811 LEDs) will be impossible or require more supporting circuitry.
Don't get me wrong though, an open/hackable stick computer that's not expensive is still very interesting and useful to some folks.
If you want to read some analog sensor and it is at least somehow critical for you, you still have to use external ADC. There are some processors that have usable precision ADCs (MSP430AFExxx comes to mind), but they are not exactly SoCs capable of running Linux. Generally, ADCs on MCUs/SoCs are meant for non-critical applications, mostly concerned with user interface.
And having an ADC on board for non-critical stuff is still super useful for many projects. For example reading a thermister or LM335 to check the temperature of a water bath in a DIY sous-vide setup would be a great application of a cheap ADC on a Linux-based dev board. You don't need a crazy 24-bit ADC with precision voltage references, etc. just to measure if water is 140 vs 150 degrees F. A simple 10-12 bit ADC is great for many uses.
I don't agree with that--it might not be a use case to you, but is certainly a valid use case for these small development boards. Look at the success of Arduino, Maker Faire, 3D printing, DIY drones, etc. to see evidence of a large and vibrant DIY and maker community.
I fear the processor can't handle anywhere near that amount of throughout that NIC could support, so to me it looks like a feature for the sake of being different to the Pi.
Also for many interesting workloads (essentially anything that involves scatter-gather DMA from some other peripheral, eg. routing, file/storage server) you don't need that much powerful CPU to saturate gigabit ethernet.
Why is there no Raspberry Pi C announcement already? The type B is already a bit dated and who needs the "compute module"?
They should just release an type C model with faster CPU and GPU. The type B model is too slow for some "Full HD" resolution computation of the official Rpi-Cam as well it is too slow for most Linux distributions (even basic web browsing).
A ARM board version similar to Intel's first generation ATOM 320 (1.6 GHz dual core with HT) would be fine for "type C".
i can't see the competitors being less convoluted than a debian install.
if your hardware is unreliable you should make a repro to make it fail(i ran a performance benchmark in a loop on one i had trouble with til it crashed) and send it back to the manufacturer.
the rpi's popularity, and low power consumption are it's selling points.
i wonder what utility an android tablet provides than an rpi could be expected to.
I posted instructions on how to make it fail on the RPi forum. My thread was deleted.
The boot and video detection process is a total mess as well. Daring to suggest that is the case is frowned upon apparently as well as I was basically flamed for wanting to use composite video over HDMI. Bear in mind I didn't have an HDMI capable unit around and the thing is marketed as composite capable.
Also I was getting USB brownouts with a powered hub connected. My thread was deleted.
I've worked with embedded systems for a number of years and the RPi was a really low point in head bashing on wall. It's an awful platform.
Its in the bin where it belongs.
Post the instructions here, I will test on mine to see whether it's a general problem or just your box - there have been faulty ones shipped, but it's a tiny percentage of the total.
Having threads deleted seems to be a common theme on popular forums, it doesn't usually signal a cover up - the moderators can take exception to your tone and then you have no recourse.
When my rpi posts it seems to look for a hdmi cable, if none is present it outputs to the yellow composite - how does yours differ?
I can't understand if you mean brownouts in terms of power or in terms of connectivity - what was dropping out?
I can't say I have any experience with embedded systems but typically when people say that they aren't referring to computers that the rpi is comparable to - e.g. hdmi out, usb, ethernet. What were you doing with the embedded systems that you couldn't do with a pi?