Pyra and Raspberry Pi?


Wally

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I raised this question on IRC but I think it's probably a good community thing to discuss.

What if somehow the gang that makes the Raspberry Pi decided to support the Pyra and make a Raspberry Pi CPU board?

I reckon it'd be a great thing, would bridge two communities and sell a lot of Pyras.

I think you'd call it raspberry pyra ;)
 

rygD

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I thought about something like this a while ago. I am all for expanding the community and working with RPi enthusiasts (we aren't all that different in many ways, and surely some people already fall into both camps).

There are a couple potential downsides , such as the cost for the Pyra stuff to go along with the RPi. One product is rather expensive since it has such a small following, while the other has a large community because it is so inexpensive. Despite that, it would give the Pi fans a way to have a mobile and fully featured way to use their RPi anywhere.

I don't know how many people would be interested in a Pyra with a Raspberry Pi as the brain. If it is still somewhat pricey people will want the best value for their money, and will go with the top model offered. For it to sell well I think it would need to be a significant discount over an actual Pyra. It might work out, I just don't know how much ED would lose by doing that. If it is a purely Raspberry Pi branded product, manufactured and sold by them (and inexpensive) it could be enough to kill off the Pyra.

I would love people to experiment and share what they come up with. Maybe if it isn't a finished product someone can share their instructions on how to hack together a Raspberry Pyra (which is far more believable than a certain KS that is currently going on).
 

levi

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I can't see many RPi owners being interested in a Pyra - most people bought one because they're cheap and cheerful. I've no idea how well the compute module sold, but they don't seem keen to make an updated one after the first one, so perhaps not all that well at the price (although having something concrete to plug it into would have probably helped sales).

Also, I can't see many RPi power users being enamoured with PNDs/DBPs over their trusted package manager, or building from source, so I do see differences in the culture. Nothing wrong with having two cultures sharing bits of hardware and increasing sales though.
 

Neelix

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That does bring up an interesting question though... What kind of price would ED need to be asking for to sell the base unit sans CPU module? (and for what I'm thinking of, sans 4G)

-Neelix
 

Wally

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The thing I was thinking, you only need to buy one Pyra. Perhaps Element14 could help fund the Pyra thus making it even cheaper for people who want a Raspberry Pyra and maybe have a limited edition Pyra case and Logo :p

The Pyra itself is expensive yes but maybe as neelix pointed out, ED could sell them without CPU modules or perhaps resell the RPI CPU board as a bundle.
 

comradekingu

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The raspberry foundation looks to bring digital tools to a bigger audience.
Aligning quite well with free software and security.
It would be a good match, but they are not in the business of selling Pyras.

I think quite a lot of features like touchscreen and lid logo and illumination of that and keyboard would need to be stripped before it would make sense, not only with the power-envelope of pi-like products, but also price overall.

If it could be made into something like an olpc, that would be ideal.

I dont think its where either of them are, but it would be nice to see it get closer even if we arent there yet.

The early computers like Amiga and C64 really got kids into things other than games eventually, so i dont think we should understate that element of it.
 
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Askarus

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Why should I want a Pyra with a raspberry Pi when I can have one with the OMAP5?
Isn't the Pi3 still slower than the Pyra?
 
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sulu

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Also, I can't see many RPi power users being enamoured with PNDs/DBPs over their trusted package manager, or building from source, so I do see differences in the culture.
Don't worry about that!
Those "RPi power users" are already here. I for one don't care for all the gaming stuff on the Pyra at all. And I know I'm not the only one. All I want is a mini computer running a standard Linux distribution. And I want it to be as mobile as possible, which is why a RPi or similar board doesn't cut it for me. Personally, I'd be totally fine with sacrificing all the Pyra's gaming controls for a better keyboard.
Right now I'm still using a Nokia N900, but the aging hardware is limiting it's usefulness more and more, and with regards to a "standard Linux distribution" Maemo has always been a bad choice, shining in a bunch of even worse alternatives.

My question would rather be, what a RPi CPU board could do, that the stock Pyra board can't? Granted, the SoC would be more advanced, but I thought the main selling point of RPi-like computers were the external interfaces like GPIO, video out or ethernet. These are either included in the Pyra regardless of the CPU board or they can't be exposed if the board is burried in the middle of the device.
If you only want the SoC, then I think it would make more sense to aim for a cooperation that just lets Openpandora GmbH buy some of the RPi SoCs instead of outsourcing the CPU board production.
 

benoitb

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The point of using the raspberry pi compute module would be the assurance to have SoC upgrades in the future for a cheap price.
It would require a Pyra type device engineered around it.

I think I would like it even though the latest Raspberry is still a bit weak. It would make sense if the device was much cheaper than the Pyra.
 

Klumpen

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Aren't those two projects exactly the opposite in certain ways?
The Pi is made with a minimalistic and cheap approach to have something affordable for everyone to tinker with and build stuff yourself while the Pyra is made to have everything at once from the start and not limiting oneself too much because of the resulting price.
 
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sulu

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The point of using the raspberry pi compute module would be the assurance to have SoC upgrades in the future for a cheap price.
But then ED only needs a contract with them, that gives him access to their SoCs.
There's no point in outsourcing the actual design and production. ED already has the expertise to do the design. Transferring that to the RPi foundation is certainly possible, but this only creates overhead on both sides, even afterwards, think about warranties etc. (and reduces ED's income btw.). They may have better contracts for mass production, but since you can't sell more Pyra CPU boards of one generation than there are Pyras out there in total, it will always be a niche, compared to the vast number of RPis being sold.
 

kaprikawn

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I don't think having RPi internals to a Pyra makes a lot of sense (in a technical context) to those of us who are informed of the situation. But I still think it's a good idea to do it.

The reason is that the RPi has a lot of mainstream reach and recognition. If you can get a Pyra shell with RPi internals up-and-running then it's free press. There's still plenty of stories about people building stuff with an RPi inside, someone recently took a old Burger King toy shaped like a Gameboy, and used it to build their own Gameboy with an RPi in it. Is that impressive? Mildly, but not so much, but I saw it on a tech or gaming site.

Consider the alternative headlines :

1) Check out this handheld computer with a standard Linux distribution using an OMAP5
2) Check out this computer casing for the Raspberry Pi

Option 1 is our current reality and appeals more to the people on this board. Option 2 would get a lot more press and appeals to a wider audience.
 
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sulu

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I don't think having RPi internals to a Pyra makes a lot of sense (in a technical context) to those of us who are informed of the situation. But I still think it's a good idea to do it.

The reason is that the RPi has a lot of mainstream reach and recognition. If you can get a Pyra shell with RPi internals up-and-running then it's free press.
I don't think that "free press" thing would actually work.
One selling point of the RPi is it's low price. ED once said, that a new CPU board would probably cost 100 EUR. So a "Pyra barebone" would cost somewhere between 400 and 526 EUR (+VAT).
Now imagine the reactions of all the people out there reading about a 500 EUR case (that's what most people will see in the Pyra) for a 30 EUR computer!
 

Letalis Sonus

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I mean for future generations..
The RPi is basically the only reason why Broadcom is still even considering to upgrade this SoC, and even the newer versions are still rather crappy - pretty much the only thing that changed is the CPU architecture. It still has the same GPU, it still only has a single USB 2.0 port, it still has its slow LAN port realized over the shared USB port. At least they managed to use SDIO for Wifi and Bluetooth, but that doesn't really make it faster, either.

By now the community and software support aspects are really the only reason why you should still consider buying a RPi, you can get a lot more bang for the buck from other boards.
 

PowerGod

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Seems to me that the only things the RPi and Pyra have in common are the community support and the openness ... so the only way to merge those two project could be via software, with same OS that uses the same packages etc...

You just can't put an hardware that sells mostly because it's cheap into a thing that it's all except cheap...
 

Askarus

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I did never like those cheap underpowered PCBs.

I would want the Pyra to be as powerful as possible and equipped the latest technology.

For example I dislike not having UHS-II SD-Cards, UCB-C and Display Port for example.

The Pi was never really appealing to me. Maybe as data server but the USB 2.0 Interface makes it much too slow for me to be usable.
I'd better go for the last Atom or any other high end ARM processor we can get.
 

ible

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it wouldn't exactly be free press, since it would cost some money to get an rpi compute module in for the Pyra CPU board (and that in and of itself wouldn't necessarily be easy). but it would raise awareness of the project in a similar demographic, even if it's more expensive than an rpi. if even 1% of the rpi fans liked the product, that might still be a net win. and we could explain that the original Pyra CPU is a better CPU anyways ;).

i got an rpi a few years ago, but gave it to a friend when i went overseas. if i had known about the pandora, i might have gotten that instead. but i think it was through searching rpi-related stuff, trying to figure out how to make it mobile, when i came across the pyra, and decided to get something that would look less hacked together :). still want to hack something else together in the future, but must wait for some cash liquidity...
 
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