Novena, Possibilities for lessons learned/getting ideas from?


Still Fresh
Nov 4, 2010
Hey All,

So along with the Pyra, I have been following along with this device: The Novena

I feel like this and the Pyra (And Open Pandora for that matter) have a lot in common. I was reading through and saw that ED was looking for a main baord CPU, and they use the Freescale iMX6 CPU.

It seems that the creatoe of the novena is also going low quantity, and he can also get a non NDA programming manual.

Thoughts on any of this?
the Novena is a cool project. One of their reached stretch goals is to fund further reverse engineering of the Vivante graphics unit and working on the open source graphics driver Etnaviv. So yeh, the iMX6 might be a cool additional CPU board for the Pyra in the future. I'd surely buy it
Both the vivante and etnaviv drivers are pretty bad compared to the SGX in my tests thus far (I have GC800 and GC2000 devices)
The freescale can be bought in any quantities and you don't need an NDA - I really love that. However, they skipped the A15, so the fastest available Freescale right now is an A9.
Part of the novena project was funding for driver development for etnaviv. I think the goal is to have the whole SoC in mainline. 

Even though its slower, id pick Freescale iMX6/GC2000 over Omap5/PowerVR554 if i had a choice. For the synergy with the novena, and also its the same graphics as the GCW-zero.

Really hope freescale launches something at CTIA in las vegas.
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I would really not recommend GC2000 in a Pandora successor until some serious work has been put into the drivers and they've proven to be viable. For all the issues we have with IMG, the SGX544 will be much better out of the box for just about everything. I support both the GCW Zero and iMX6 (GC2000) with glshim, and you don't want that GPU in your system right now ;)
We should stick with the OMAP5, I think. Seeing that several people already have development boards and such.
Seeing that it is the only practical SoC that can be acquired.

The iMX6 line is not bad, but it is not as good as the OMAP5 and costly. The only benefit the iMX6 has over the OMAP5 that I'm aware of is the open source display driver, and that's only strictly a benefit if the display units are otherwise identical. I guess it also has a quad-core setup, but again you're paying heavily for it. The OMAP5 is the better chip, I'm quite certain.