Discussion in 'Pyra News' started by EvilDragon, Oct 2, 2017.
Project management is all about picking random dates in the future, carving them in stone tablets then beating developers over the head with the stone tablets until the project is complete.
Well, we are not there yet, but that sounds like progress to me.
Yes, but two™ months is much longer than three months.
Yeah, I don't think of it as pessimism, especially in this sense. When passing the timeline it is for everyone's benefit, as usually something comes up, and after everything is "fixed" it still needs to be verified that everything is working as it should (because sometimes fixing one thing balls something else, or causes other problems). There is nothing worse than, for example, having someone in a life or death situation relying on you to come through no later than when you told them everything would be ready, and not meeting your own deadline. In a less severe situation, let's say the other workers at your company are held up because of downtime of whatever (but they are getting paid to wait if they don't have other tasks they can complete), and you either get it done earlier than you estimated, and they can get back to work, and attaboy, or you get it done on time...or you don't, and don't work for that company anymore. Saying it will take however long means that you can work instead of answering constant questions, and those relying on you can kind of back off and feel a little better than if they know nothing.
The Pyra isn't quite like any of these situations though, however, as we have seen, ED and the team will get lots of questions even though ED tries to keep us informed of what is going on (but he has the rest of his life to deal with in addition to trying to help get things sorted with the Pyra). That is one of the problems with "it will be done when it is ready". In a way, this is worse for the project than those other situations because the rest of the world is still moving on. Other products with a functional overlap have been released, with potentially more on the way. Also, as has been brought up a few times, there is the possibility that the SOC could be discontinued and the supply will dry up (shouldn't happen, but what we are getting at is shit happens, and the longer things take the greater the chances of said shit). Eventually it will probably need to be replaced to function effectively with where everything else in the tech world is at that time. That isn't pessimism, it is realism.
Knowing and accepting all that, I will still wait and let them work things out, since I can't really help. This isn't something I need. If it gets to a point where I need a mobile communication device, I will have to buy one if the Pyra hasn't been finished or it doesn't do whatever I need. Until then I have a couple of older keyboard smartphones.
I did want to address the possibility of people padding timelines so they can sit on their ass or otherwise screw around. Luckily, I haven't worked in an environment where that was noticeably done. My guess is that is because it has mostly been those life or death things and everyone I worked with respected that.
Spoiler: Irrelevant rambling about personal experience
Hell, I remember one time where I went out to set up communication at a remote location where it was primarily planning, so not serious, and I had to figure out how to get some stuff working I had never seen before (in addition to having a crash course on other equipment that I had worked around, but had never had as my responsibility, and that equipment was malfunctioning). I got all my usual stuff set up quickly, then tried to tackle the new thing...and bounced right off it. We potentially had a VIP coming in the next morning, when the planning event was supposed to start, so it needed to be up when they arrived in case they needed to use it. I worked alone (only IT type on site) through the night (had worked a 12 hour shift the night before, slept for two hours, then was alerted that this was going to happen, gathered all my stuff, got the basic info from a guy I worked with on how to set everything up, picked up the equipment, arranged to have it and myself transported to the site, went there, had that crash course, as people started to arrive I ran lines where they needed to go, set up phones, routers and switches, shoved food down my throat when I could grab some, etc...probably 30+ hours after they told me they needed me). Everything was good to go with a little less than an hour before everything started, so I ate breakfast and waited to make sure everyone could get their computers on the network and the other IT types to show up. Our VIP never showed up, so the stuff that took all night to get up never got used.
Yeah, I don't know what my point was either.
OTOH if you wanted a common software platform at the expense of not going for something more powerful, there is the similar AM5728 which is AFAICS an OMAP5 with better DSP and a few extra features, but should be software compatible and have a longer lifespan. Unfortunately it's not pin compatible (larger package) so a respin of the CPU board would be needed.
So much for CPU board upgrades...
Huh, CPU boards were always expected to have a different PCB layout to existing CPU boards, because it's unusual to find anything worth upgrading to that has the exact same pin layout.
Yep, that is the one of the main reasons for the modular design.
So these parts are fine right?
What do you mean by not pin compatible?
Just because it's similar-looking parts doesn't mean pin-compatible. Intel just released their Coffee Lake processors, which have the same number of pins and fit into the same socket as the older Kaby Lake ones.
They're not pin compatible, because some of the pins that had been reserved became used, and others shuffled their usages around.
If it doesn't drop right in and be immediately reusable, that's not pin-compatible. The layout would thus have to be changed on the CPU board's end, but it'd still plugin to the same Pyra baseboard in the same way as any other CPU board would.
Not pin compatible mean if you put it on a bare PCB and put it in the oven, the pins won't line up with the pads and it won't turn on.
Looking at that CPU board, unless this new CPU uses PoP RAM there might be physical constraints over fitting the other chips on there, although I guess the PCB could be slightly bigger overall to the left before it stops you opening the MicroSD/SIM card slot.
Edit: It's also possible to have the same number of pins in the same configuration but with different meanings to each pin, but I don't think that's what's we're talking about here.
Also, Even if it's the same size and package and the pins line up perfectly, the pins may have different functions. like an array address on one chip could be a ground pin on the other.
Ninja'd by @levi own correction.
Yes, in theory the main board would still work and the connectors would be the same - just the plug in CPU board would need to be redesigned. It is 6mm bigger (23*23 compared to 17*17mm) so indeed there is would be potential mechanical issues. This is because it uses a larger pin pitch, presumably as it's designed to favour ease of assembly and reliability over minimum size for the applications it's intended for.
It is too early for any serious talk about the next SoC/CPU board. The existing one needs to sell in large numbers first.
Yep no point in redesigning boards at this stage.
To be honest the current CPU will be very appropriate for my needs for a while with either 2 or 4gb (4gb preferred if issue solvable)
ED was talking about it, and he seemed pretty serious.
I know it is "soon" to talk about a new CPU, but the reality is different. I mean, I know Pyra has to sell some substancious number of units in order to be able to produce the new CPU, but the reality is (and I am almost agree with it) a lot of people are going to wait until a modern SoC is available to buy a Pyra. There is more life outside this boards and believe me when I say that I saw the same answer over and over again ("The SoC is too old nowadays, perhaps, if they update it I'll think to buy a Pyra").
What do you base the "a lot of people" part on? Surely you have more than conjecture to make such a claim. I could justify "some people", sure.
The latest and greatest SoC doesn't interest me as much. Sure it's always plus, but the main attraction to me is the form factor, connections and usability Pyra provides, as well as the care ED has taken to craft quality end product, instead of shipping it already in probably dissapointing state. Sure there are now new affordable SoC options available even for small customers, but that part of Pyra can always be updated later. It always needs to be reminded Pyra hits certain niche that many products just simply don't cater to. Of course I have my worries too, but they are mainly related to software side than hardware (such as the GPU blobs)
This said, Pyra kind of shell where you can put smartphone / computer stick inside could be interesting product, assuming you can still run real os and not some android.
TL;DR The soc Pyra has, already gives plenty of power for device of such form factor, you should be more worried whether software can actually take use of that hardware properly.
Just my useless contribution to this discussion.
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