eben
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Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
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Re: What have we missed?

Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:48 pm

Our provisional specification is as follows:

700MHz ARM11
128MB or 256MB of SDRAM
OpenGL ES 2.0
1080p30 H.264 high-profile decode
Composite and HDMI video output
USB 2.0
SD/MMC/SDIO memory card slot
General-purpose I/O
Optional integrated 2-port USB hub and 10/100 Ethernet controller
Open software (Ubuntu, Iceweasel, KOffice, Python)

What have we missed? What do we need to add to enable your application? Wi-Fi? PoE? ZX Spectrum compatibility?

tsamb
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:29 pm

Re: What have we missed?

Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:34 pm

Hi Eben,

What's the pixel clock of the GPU? Can it output at 1920x1080 (or 1920x1200) at 60Hz?

Also, a combo WiFi/Bluetooth chip would be nice...

pmcmorris
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:16 pm

Re: What have we missed?

Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:42 pm

What kind of SD cards will be supported? Will it be able to use SDXC? Essentially, will it take the 64GB cards or just the smaller ones?

Also, that's a very small amount of ram, especially considering that there is no dedicated video memory. The cost difference between 128 and 256 seems negligible compared to the differences in capabilities afforded by more space.

As an embedded systems developer I'm accustomed to making things fit in tight spaces. But I also know how much developer time can be saved just by having more space. Since this is a general purpose device, I expect that a lot of people will want to start porting code bases from platforms like the PC.

How much of a cost difference would there be for a 512MB model?

eben
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Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
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Re: What have we missed?

Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:52 pm

Quote from tsamb on July 27, 2011, 22:34
Hi Eben,

What's the pixel clock of the GPU? Can it output at 1920x1080 (or 1920x1200) at 60Hz?

Also, a combo WiFi/Bluetooth chip would be nice...



Specs on the GPU are 1Gpixel/s, 1.5Gtexel/s, 24GFLOPs. Comfortably enough to run, say, Quake 3 at 1080p30.

eben
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Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
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Re: What have we missed?

Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:54 pm

Quote from pmcmorris on July 27, 2011, 22:42
What kind of SD cards will be supported? Will it be able to use SDXC? Essentially, will it take the 64GB cards or just the smaller ones?

Also, that's a very small amount of ram, especially considering that there is no dedicated video memory. The cost difference between 128 and 256 seems negligible compared to the differences in capabilities afforded by more space.

As an embedded systems developer I'm accustomed to making things fit in tight spaces. But I also know how much developer time can be saved just by having more space. Since this is a general purpose device, I expect that a lot of people will want to start porting code bases from platforms like the PC.

How much of a cost difference would there be for a 512MB model?

I've not actually tried SDXC - we do support SDHC though. Adding more RAM (512MB) is actually a matter of waiting for suitable top packages to appear on the merchant market. Cost delta is likely to be ~$5 over the 256MB version.

clarence1
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:22 pm

Re: What have we missed?

Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:38 pm

I was just looking some info on Windows 8.
This little guy has a pretty good chance of running it,(an ARM11 starter version).
People who should be in the know say it should run on 512M, anyhow thats the plan.
Windows would be a pretty expensive operating system. But it would nice to know it could.
Also of course Windows would come with alot of bells and whisles.
Keep up the great work. 1 question: which ARM11? Or whos ARM11? ARM's?

deggy
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 2:28 am

Re: What have we missed?

Thu Jul 28, 2011 2:34 am

I can imagine lots of people looking at these computers for embedded media applications. From that perspective an integrated audio capability would be useful - maybe just a simple 3.5mm output (as opposed to needing to add a USB sound card).

That said, I can see how feature bloat would quickly eat into the cost and size of this unit. How would the developers suggest taking an audio only output?

My ideal use? A hidden home security server with remote access.

petek
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 2:15 am

Re: What have we missed?

Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:00 am

As it's potentially going to be so portable the thing I'd like is convenient power! :)
It'll be great to carry around a credit card sized puter, but not so cool if you have to carry a big brick transformer and lead with you.
So if you could use something like a simple 12v car socket that is an established global standard or better still find a way of running it via the other global power standard that is USB, (like I believe the beagleboard can be), and ideally from the hub that your keyboard and mouse are already powered from, (maybe via a 'Y' cable if the draw is more than a single powered port will allow?). Then that would make it a really convenient machine! And internationally portable too! :)
Other than that I think you've got it pretty spot on, cheap, able to run Ubuntu and play web video makes it attractive to a hell of a lot of people, yet not too powerful so that in it's teaching of programming role it'll encourage tidy, efficient results!
More power to your elbows! :)

Cafe
Posts: 62
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Re: What have we missed?

Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:51 am

Quote from clarence1 on July 27, 2011, 23:38
which ARM11? Or whos ARM11? ARM's?

From the various pages on RaspberryPi.org:

The processor is ARM1176JZFS packaged in BCMxxxx by Broadcom.
The 2 USB ports and the lone Ethernet port in Model B are provided using LAN9512 by SMSC.

[mod edit to redact chip name for Broadcom proprietary reasons!]

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abishur
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Re: What have we missed?

Thu Jul 28, 2011 4:32 am

I'm actually pretty excited about this just the way it is! As more and more features get added, the price is going to get further and further away from that 25 dollar sweet spot, and I'd also imagine that if you provided too many different "flavors" that too would drive the price up (More options equals less of each option purchased from manufacture equals higher per unit production cost).

The only big thing I can think of is a quick and efficient way to restore the device to it's original settings. I know I'm going to be tweaking settings all over the place with this guy, so being able to restore the whole system without having to go through a huge production of re-installing the OS from scratch each time would be nice.
Dear forum: Play nice ;-)

pmcmorris
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Re: What have we missed?

Thu Jul 28, 2011 4:32 am

Quote from deggy on July 28, 2011, 03:34
I can imagine lots of people looking at these computers for embedded media applications. From that perspective an integrated audio capability would be useful - maybe just a simple 3.5mm output (as opposed to needing to add a USB sound card).

That said, I can see how feature bloat would quickly eat into the cost and size of this unit. How would the developers suggest taking an audio only output?.

I expect that there would be a multichannel digital audio stream coming out over the HDMI as raw PCM. That's really the best quality option and doesn't require any special hardware on the Pi itself. My concern is that if you put the DAC in the device then you have more problems to deal with, what quality are the components? how clean is the signal? do we need drivers for the audio hardware? If you're outputting a 5.1 mix on the HDMI outputs what comes out of the analog jack? Is it independent or is using the other channel data? What kind of downmixing would it use to go from multichannel to stereo? Where does the work occur? on the CPU or audio hardware? what is the latency introduced by the conversion?

A user could easily add a converter as an external attachment that captures the audio stream from the HDMI and offers analog outputs. In most cases, I don't think you would actually to attach separate USB audio devices. Do you have drivers for that device? I can see USB headphones (especially headsets with a mic) being something that adds value though.

I'm really hoping they keep it as simple as possible.

ArturO
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 6:23 am

Re: What have we missed?

Thu Jul 28, 2011 6:37 am

As audio I suggest PCM2704 chip (28SSOP package).

benjohnbarnes
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 6:30 am

Re: What have we missed?

Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:10 am

I think you guys have thought a great deal about how to make the device work well for the extremely diverse user base you are targeting. Disclaimer aside, I'll wade in with my feelings :-)

I'm not clear if you are intending to require an external power adapter (brick?), or if you'll be able to run from USB bus power. In the UK, USB is extremely readily available (the power supplies are all over the place and people have the cables already, and this will increase with phones all switching to support this too). Many people also have the two generations of Nokia power supply to hand too. I wonder what the situation is in other countries? Do you think your end users will be up for the relatively simple job of modifying what ever power sources they do have to hand so that they can be used? Maybe encouraging electronics tinkering is a project for another time :-)

I was hoping the WiFi would make it in to the first model because it needs less physical configuration and seems so ubiquitous now that I need to go and find an ethernet cable on the odd occasion I actually use one. It also seems to fit really well with the take the computer with you feel. Plugging in a USB dongle isn't too demanding though.

Richard
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 6:42 am

Re: What have we missed?

Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:27 am

Having connectivity would be great, so Bluetooth on-board would be added plus.

Throwing in WiFi would be wonderful to :)

Aurele
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 8:21 am

Re: What have we missed?

Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:27 pm

hello all,
I think that your solution provide a way to have low cost embedded to build some home applications and some exercises but build embedded applications such as robot (or webserver or NAS or both ...) we don't need a screen, so maybe a workaround could be : to avoid screen support and provide Wireless communications (like Wifi, bluetooth, zigbe, or something else).
edit : maybe supress ethernet too? if we have wireless (if we are sure wireless work fine) (maybe not a good idea for NAS but for robot it cut costs)
I think universities could be interested for a card like this one.
.
another good thing should be : to provide or to say where to find accessories (like camera) at acceptable pricing (I know that a low cost camera gives low res image but sometimes it is only what we need)

thanks to read (and sorry for my bad english)
Aurèle

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abishur
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Re: What have we missed?

Thu Jul 28, 2011 2:07 pm

In what benjohnbarnes referenced, it might be nice if the device had a "lower" power option where it could be run straight off USB line power. It would be able to run ethernet, but would need a powered USB hub to run USB devices, and a power brick for "full" power options (which near as I can tell from posts so far would be powering the USB hub)
Dear forum: Play nice ;-)

Noe Jean
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 4:42 pm

Re: What have we missed?

Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:50 pm

Quote from pmcmorris on July 28, 2011, 05:32
Quote from deggy on July 28, 2011, 03:34
I can imagine lots of people looking at these computers for embedded media applications. From that perspective an integrated audio capability would be useful - maybe just a simple 3.5mm output (as opposed to needing to add a USB sound card).

That said, I can see how feature bloat would quickly eat into the cost and size of this unit. How would the developers suggest taking an audio only output?.

I expect that there would be a multichannel digital audio stream coming out over the HDMI as raw PCM. That's really the best quality option and doesn't require any special hardware on the Pi itself. My concern is that if you put the DAC in the device then you have more problems to deal with, what quality are the components? how clean is the signal? do we need drivers for the audio hardware? If you're outputting a 5.1 mix on the HDMI outputs what comes out of the analog jack? Is it independent or is using the other channel data? What kind of downmixing would it use to go from multichannel to stereo? Where does the work occur? on the CPU or audio hardware? what is the latency introduced by the conversion?

A user could easily add a converter as an external attachment that captures the audio stream from the HDMI and offers analog outputs. In most cases, I don't think you would actually to attach separate USB audio devices. Do you have drivers for that device? I can see USB headphones (especially headsets with a mic) being something that adds value though.

I'm really hoping they keep it as simple as possible.

Hello,

Quote from Eben Upton on July 26, 2011 at 2:16 pm
We support HDMI and analogue audio out from the base board.

Is the analogue audio will be a 3.5mm jack (I suspect it will)?

If adding video and audio analogues output offer more possibilities, it is probably powered by an additional chip on the motherboard card. I don't know really what are the fallouts on price and size (could you tell us?), but it may be better if that will be offered as an option...

I think also that an integrated WiFi chip would be great.

What do you think about adding a second USB hub for the optional second USB port and RJ45 port insted of including them on the same ship (2*480Mbps = 8-) )?
In the same way, you could also add the WiFi on this additional hub with the USB+RJ45 option...
But I suppose that doing that without increase too much the size and the price is not easy :( .

Regards and congratulations for this beautifull project :) .

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liz
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Re: What have we missed?

Thu Jul 28, 2011 8:09 pm

Is the analogue audio will be a 3.5mm jack (I suspect it will)?

It will, yes. As for WiFi, at the moment it doesn't look like we'll be able to add it and keep to the price point. Future iterations of the device might have WiFi - if we get good sales volume, it means we will have better bargaining power with parts manufacturers.
Director of Communications, Raspberry Pi

amiga65
Posts: 70
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:59 pm

Re: What have we missed?

Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:50 pm

Quote from abishur on July 28, 2011, 05:32
I'm actually pretty excited about this just the way it is! As more and more features get added, the price is going to get further and further away from that 25 dollar sweet spot, and I'd also imagine that if you provided too many different "flavors" that too would drive the price up (More options equals less of each option purchased from manufacture equals higher per unit production cost).

The only big thing I can think of is a quick and efficient way to restore the device to it's original settings. I know I'm going to be tweaking settings all over the place with this guy, so being able to restore the whole system without having to go through a huge production of re-installing the OS from scratch each time would be nice.

If the os is to be installed on a sd card seems to Me the easiest way for a full restore is have 2 or more sd cards 1 for playing with and tweaking the os and 1 for the base os and just copy one to the other when needed. I could be wrong here though. :)

TheShack
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 8:17 am

Re: What have we missed?

Fri Jul 29, 2011 8:23 am

If your still looking for idea's.

One on the main applications I can see this device being used for is remote processing (cameras, information displays, etc) With this in mind what about providing on the model B version power over ethernet facility and a DC output?

power over ethernet runs at 48v so should provide plenty of power to run this an still have some left for a 5 or 12 v output.

carn't wait to get my hands on one of these boards.

Thanks

Ray

alias_neo
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Re: What have we missed?

Fri Jul 29, 2011 9:03 am

Want to jump in here and say the same thing as previous, being the kind of person that likes to kill my devices a lot, to the point of needing a JTAG, it would be nice to see a restore feature for example having a particular disk image file on a USB pen drive present at pre-boot would cause a "reset" automatically.

I'll be in the market for a couple of these and it'd be nice to get them running arch-arm.
http://2byt.es - Just my two bytes - RPi - Android - Arduino - Blog

eggn1n3
Posts: 106
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 10:36 am

Re: What have we missed?

Fri Jul 29, 2011 10:41 am

Will it also be possible to play video files like mpeg or other format? Using as a mediacenter device is not asked to much ;-)

moesenl
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 10:49 am

Re: What have we missed?

Fri Jul 29, 2011 11:34 am

Quote from eben on July 27, 2011, 22:52
Quote from tsamb on July 27, 2011, 22:34
Hi Eben,

What's the pixel clock of the GPU? Can it output at 1920x1080 (or 1920x1200) at 60Hz?


Specs on the GPU are 1Gpixel/s, 1.5Gtexel/s, 24GFLOPs. Comfortably enough to run, say, Quake 3 at 1080p30.


Hi Eben,
this is truly a cool system setup.
Could you be more specific on the actual GPU used (product number) and the videomemory available to this GPU (memsize size, DDR5? clockspeed).
on the forum/website, i read that the system is capable of H264decode for 1080i images, likely this will be gpu hw accelerated decoding, could you elaborate on the specs of this part of the system?

thanks
Luc

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liz
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Re: What have we missed?

Fri Jul 29, 2011 11:37 am

Quote from eggn1n3 on July 29, 2011, 11:41
Will it also be possible to play video files like mpeg or other format? Using as a mediacenter device is not asked to much ;-)

Definitely - because it's based around a mobile phone chip the multimedia performance is great, and I don't think it's a stretch at all do do what you suggest. We should have some demos with some video and some games you might recognise running at 1080p up on the site soon.
Director of Communications, Raspberry Pi

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liz
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Re: What have we missed?

Fri Jul 29, 2011 11:43 am

Quote from alias_neo on July 29, 2011, 10:03
Want to jump in here and say the same thing as previous, being the kind of person that likes to kill my devices a lot, to the point of needing a JTAG, it would be nice to see a restore feature for example having a particular disk image file on a USB pen drive present at pre-boot would cause a "reset" automatically.

I'll be in the market for a couple of these and it'd be nice to get them running arch-arm.

Interesting to see how many people are mentioning a restore feature. We'll definitely have something along those lines, especially given that the target audience is kids, who, we hope, will be killing and restoring the device with the best of us!
Director of Communications, Raspberry Pi

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