Overview of SoC options


Exophase

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I had serious problems with the quality of nand chips on my jxd handhelds running allwinner. It worked fine at first but died very abruptly after a couple months of use. If quality nand chips are used like something from Samsung for example it might be worth looking at. I would also look at the real world thermal output (not what's quoted) because my allwinner a9 devices seem to always ran quite hot. (Jxd s601, s7300) lots of people on my forum where I support those specific devices seem to report similar problems and have had to replace nand chips or bypass it completely minus the boot loader and load the OS from external storage.
The SoC chosen probably doesn't impact what eMMC you can use at all.

Allwinner made some VERY cheap SoCs that were also very low end, companies like JXD chose Allwinner SoCs along with crappy NAND and poor thermal design. You mentioned JXD S7300, I have one and agree it runs hot, but it doesn't even use Allwinner (uses Rockchip). It's all about making a product as cheap as possible, which is also why it's good there are devices like Shield and Pandora/Pyra instead. A80 sounds more mid-range, you'll probably see them in less barrel scrapingly low end crap. The fact that Allwinner actually hired a competent native English speaker (probably American) to promote the device at CES shows this, to date I've only seen Chinese companies barely promote the devices in the west if at all; always with people who barely speak English. That might seem like something superficial to take notice of but English speakers automatically means a higher spending demographic.
 
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Exophase

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Do they have an english manual for it?
Nothing public yet I don't think. Should note, there are a fair number of dev boards for their older SoCs, you can find info here:

http://www.allwinnertech.com/en/devkit/ProA31Kit.html

Which is a good sign that they sell in low quantities. And several of these run Linux out of the box. Usually you're lucky to get only one company which is contracted to make eval boards for some SoC, if not from the SoC maker themselves.

You can find a lot of English manuals for previous SoCs here:

https://github.com/OLIMEX/OLINUXINO/tree/master/HARDWARE

There's some broken English but they don't seem particularly awful.
 
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rohezal

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Just thinking about Nikolaus Schaller, he is the guy who must read it. I have worked with some avr micro controllers who had pretty good manuals, and I would have failed if it were bad ones. So lets hope they are good :) .
 
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SNESFAN

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Exophase

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Oh yeah, Amlogic, not Rockchip. Guess we both misremembered it. It's so hard to keep track when these Chinese PMP/tablet/whatever companies are constantly juggling Chinese SoCs :/
 

WizardStan

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I've been running 64bit Debian with 32bit libs installed for several months. It doesn't even hiccup. Were you running Sid or something? Start with Jessie. Wheezy doesn't have the Steam installer easy to grab in Synaptic. 64bit Debian Jessie with XFCE = perfect.
Kubuntu 12.04 was my gaming machine before it started going sideways with all the 32bit problems, including replacing 90% of my libraries with their 32bit equivalent after an attempt to fix Wine/gstreamer.Most of my troubles have been on Wheezy, however. It's still live at work like this. Fortunately I don't do a lot of work on this machine anymore, but it is the one that installed the 64bit cross compile libc as I mentioned. It also wanted to wipe out everything and replace them with 32bit libraries but I was keen to this from when it happened on my Kubuntu machine so was paying more attention to what it wanted to install/remove as part of the dependencies and stopped that. I just configured wine to be silent now and hope for the best when I need to use it.

I may try again, just to see if it's working now.

The weird thing is that I seem to recall this happening before (always with *buntu, keep in mind, not pure Debian): wine and other 32bit applications start off fine and then over the course of a year or so I start having problems with them until eventually I've had enough and decide to try a new distro (within the *buntu space).

Actually yeah, everything worked fine when I was on Xubuntu for a while, then eventually couldn't fight it anymore so installed Kubuntu. Everything worked fine but eventually started causing problems so I switched to Mint. When Mint started having problems I completely jumped ship and I'm using Arch now. We'll see how long that lasts.
 

hitbyambulance

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the Snapdragon is beginning to sound interesting, but how are people's experiences with Qualcomm as a company? i'm still annoyed with their BREW licensing (for CDMA phones) back in the mid-00's.

edit: talked to coworker and he said the Qualcomm processor would easily be double or triple the price of the Allwinner.
 
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FBnil

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so removing the .wine and reinstall the applications does not work? what I think is that you experienced an upgrade in Wine, which now has it's own side-by-side dll's for each application. The transition was not smooth, I lost firefox and it stayed like that for almost a half year, until two months ago it finally started working again (I run debian unstable, at my own peril), Also Ubuntu uses Debian unstable at its base, so you inherit all the nasty bugs. Better stick to Fedora/CentOS they get pulled along by RedHat, so you know all problems have been removed. Also, you can get the newest versions of wine straight from wine themselves, it also means you get the fixes sooner, just dont run the nightly builds...

Also, try the WINEDLLOVERRIDES= see ftp://ftp.winehq.org/pub/wine/docs/en/wineusr-guide.html
 
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urisma

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the Snapdragon is beginning to sound interesting, but how are people's experiences with Qualcomm as a company? i'm still annoyed with their BREW licensing (for CDMA phones) back in the mid-00's.

edit: talked to coworker and he said the Qualcomm processor would easily be double or triple the price of the Allwinner.
So I'm biased since I interned for Qualcomm last summer and will be doing so again this summer, but here's what I think: Qualcomm is a great company to work with. It's also a big company to work with, and with big comes complex IP law. Qualcomm makes most of its money off of IP licensing, and isn't generally willing to give up IP. This is fairly evident in the lack of documentation for Qualcomm chipsets and the relatively shoddy open source support. With huge contracts these aren't problems, since big contracts license all the documentation easily and get 24/7 support from Qualcomm. Since the Pyra is a comparatively low budget contract I'm not sure how much support it would get from Qualcomm once the chipsets were received. I doubt that the Pyra could cause Qualcomm to suddenly want to improve its open documentation and open source stuff. My $0.02, anyway.
 
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