Pyra and Raspberry Pi?


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sulu

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Hi..as per my knowledge the raspberry foundation looks to bring digital tools to a bigger audience.Aligning quite well with free software and security.
That statement is directly from an RPi foundation press release, right?
Now don't get me wrong, I mean no disrespect towards them, but "aligning with free software" is about ... well ... software. The foundation really screwed that up when designing the RPi1. There was a perfectly working, officially supported Debian armel port. All they would have had to do was use a SoC that supports ARMv7 right from the start. That was state of the art back then. Instead, to save some money, they opted for a ARMv6 SoC, which required them to recompile the whole Debian repo. Doing that once is perfectly fine, but due to security updates and general progress you need to do that over and over again. And you need to pay someone to do this job. I don't have the numbers, but I'm pretty sure, in the long run that's way more expensive than an ARMv7 SoC.

So basically what they did was to reinvent the wheel. Because it was cheaper they decided their wheel should have the shape of a square. To make that square wheel roll smoothly they had to make their roads look like a rack. I think they did a very good job at that. And they rightfully advertise their product with that good work.
But had they designed their wheels as circles they could have just used the same plane roads everyone else uses and the good work they advertise now wouldn't have been necessary in the first place. In that way their technically good work is conceptually bad work, which even in the best case sums up to zero - the same zero that would have been their workload, had they made a better SoC choice.

It would be a good match, but they are not in the business of selling Pyras.
Right, they aren't in that business. Because if they were, ED wouldn't be designing a Pyra for 500+ Euros. Instead there would be a Pyra-like "RPi laptop" for 200-300 Euros on the market already. They would surely have studied the Pandora, maybe they would have even asked ED for his expertise, but even in the best of all cases ED would just be an expendable junior partner.


I think dragonbox should consider making a Pyra mainboard with the intention of just accepting a Raspberry Pi zero. Ostensibly this would make the Pyra body capable of using a raspberry pi. Sure it wouldn't be fast or anything, but I know tons of people who would just like a nice gaming enclosure for their Pi's.
Um, no! Just as I said, it doesn't make sense to buy a beefed-up RPi case for 500 Euros to stick an underpowered computer in it that costs 5 Euros.

RPI's are also at this weird price point where a lot of people think "Oh it's just 5 dollars, no big deal!" and then spend over a hundred on weird peripherals like touchscreen and CNC milled enclosures.
They do this BECAUSE of the weird stuff and the work involved in that. They want to see what they can accomplish by their own work. Essentially it's like playing LEGO. It's about building the car, not about driving it when it's finished.

I could build more or less weird computers all day long just to see what works out and what doesn't. To that end I often browse shopping websites just to look for interesting components and put them together in my mind. But I rarely actually order any parts, because I know the fun is over after having assembled all the parts, installed the OS and verified (or falsified) that it works with some stress tests. I usually have no actual use for whatever system will be the result.
 

pyrat

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I wonder if one could go the other way around.Maybe someone could design a board where you can plug the Pyra CPU board and use as a Raspberry Pi or aduino compatible breakout board. It might have some ports and the connectors to add capes or extensions. Buyers could have a more powerful (I'd have to check) processor with more RAM and a more free bootloader and still use all the peripherals designed for the Raspberry Pi (or arduino, or whatever is choosen).
And tinkerers wanting to build their own desktop, robot, signage display, or arcade machine could use the same software as in the Pyra.
Then the CPU board (and any eventual upgrades) would have more uses that just the Pyra brains, and might eventually be produced in higher volume and cheaper.
The same idea could be used to put the Pyra CPU board inside an EOMA-68 enclosure, or connect it to to a SO-DIMM-like board that can replace the Rapsberry PI compute module.
It may not be technically possible (EOMA-68 too thin for the two boards and the connector, too much power need, too much heat ?, compute module too thin for two boards and shorter than the Pyra CPU board? ).
And it may not be economically possible (the combination of the Pyra CPU board and the raspberry Pi compatible mainboard would be much more expensive than the bulk raspberry pis).
Maybe not even politically possible (getting EOMA-68 certified? getting acceptance in the raspberry Pi community? I don't know really but the comments on the Raspberry Pi and Pyra being too different to try to mix communities/development might be right).
But food for thought, anyway...
 

TrashyMG

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pyrat

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Actually I think @hns was planning a version of the CPU board with the uSD card slots on it for just that kind of purpose. I'm not sure about a breakout board.

http://shop.goldelico.com/wiki.php?page=Letux Cortex 15

Oh. I didn't know. So, the Pyra CPU board is 33x81x2.4 mm . That would fit inside an EOMA-68 enclosure (55x85x5 mm) . It's quite tight if you need to plug it to another board carrying the PCMCIA connector and the microSD, microUSB OTG and microHDMI... And then there's power dissipated as discussed in this thread.So close, and yet not possible.

But I don't understand. It talks of an EVAL version with additional connectors, and 5.5 mm height. Is this a different CPU board, or a kit consisting of the same CPU board and another board connected to the B2B connectors carrying the connectors? In my ignorance it seems more practical to have the CPU board unchanged to simplify stock, and then make a separate EVAL board that plugs to it.

In that EVAL board one could add connectors compatible with either rasberry Pi, raspberry compute module, (30x67.6 mm) arduino, or both (or something as popular) and enable people to use peripherals for those boards. Or maybe it's not that easy, I don't know. But it's also a matter of price, in that market.
 

TrashyMG

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I read quickly I was assuming you meant like a RPi model A or B format board.
 

pyrat

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I read quickly I was assuming you meant like a RPi model A or B format board.
My fault. I wasn't being very clear and mixed ideas.
I guess the idea (if possible technically, economically and socially) would be to have a few mainboards where one can plug a Pyra CPU board.
  1. The Pyra mainboard.
  2. One could have the connectors a raspbery PI has so that people can use its peripherals (and as far as possible it's format so that people can use Raspberry Pi cases or more easily replace their raspberry Pi in their custom devices).
  3. Another mainboard could have the connectors of an arduino so that when you plug the CPU board you get a kind of UDOO (I don't know if the cortex-M4 could be used with the arduino toolchain or one would have to add some cortex-M3 to the board, but I was just thinking on getting more widely available peripherals with the arduino bus, accessible to the A15, not necessarily reuse the toolchain).
  4. Another one could have the connectors and enclosure of an EOMA-68 card (difficult, maybe with some radiator or heat sink or something protuding outside)
  5. Another one might just have the edge connector to plug into an raspberry compute module socket (but the CPU board is larger, so it might not fit in some devices ?)
  6. etc...
Some of them could maybe function as an EVAL board.
 

Grench

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I get it that Pi fans like the concept of plugging a Pi into everything.

However, isn't the Pyra is already a more powerful ARM based computer?

I don't see anything to gain by putting Pi hardware in a Pyra.

However, I DO see the potential for going the other direction. If the Pyra's SoC module were paired with a ports & power board, it could very well replace the Pi in the vast majority of it's applications.
 

Ted

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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).
Actually, there are already some 3rd party RPI 3 bundles sale in China (Taobao), regardless the build quality, those bundles provide the RPi motherboard with: case with touch screen and build-in battery, USB/ wireless keyboard, as well as a GUI Linux, function-wise, they are already Pyra-like handled computer.
The only thing and the most important thing need to improve is, high quality design and high quality production.
Is it possible to build a RPi version of Pyra (Pyra case, keyboard and accessories/peripherals with Raspberry Pi inside) based on the Pyra blueprint?
That should be cheaper than OMAP5, and more universally.

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TrashyMG

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Is it possible to build a RPi version of Pyra (Pyra case, keyboard and accessories/peripherals with Raspberry Pi inside) based on the Pyra blueprint?
That should be cheaper than OMAP5, and more universally.
Like stated prior to build a RPI board would be only marginally different in cost and would have poorer features. The most expensive part of the Pyra is in the base.
 

Grench

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they are already Pyra-like handled computer.

Not even remotely similar. Your reference "device" is a kludged up mess. The Pyra is a highly integrated convergence device. Your suggestion of using Rpi parts would make it worse, not better.
 

WizardStan

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That should be cheaper than OMAP5, and more universally.
It's not. As was hinted at, the cost difference in parts would only be $10-$20. Add in the cost of developing an entirely new board and the difference wouldn't even be that much.
[doublepost=1472383304,1472383096][/doublepost]
Not even remotely similar. Your reference "device" is a kludged up mess. The Pyra is a highly integrated convergence device. Your suggestion of using Rpi parts would make it worse, not better.
Little harsh there, eh? You're right, but could've been stated a little less aggressively. We're still trying to garner more users here.
 

SNESFAN

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Filthy single board computer peasants... BEHOLD! The glorious modular mobile computing platform that is the Pyra! Our device cannot be tainted by the filth that is some $5 lowly drop in replacement board. What is this fun and interesting you speak of!?

No! I will not have it! Shoehorning some so called "popular" commoner tinkerer project into our pristine platform.... Begone with these ideas of grandeur!
 

FlapJack

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That's the spirit! :D

I love the smell of sarcasm in the morning...it smells like VIC-20...

The Pyra will be a superior product to anything that the Raspberry Pi Guys will build. That being said, the Raspi has a HUGE community. I'm not sure of their loyalty, but there are a lot of them and some of them have money. I wondered about an empty Pandora or Pyra case, with just a slim board, the keyboard mat side....and some interface(s). If done well, ED could sell thousands of units. People really are willing to spend $35 for a computer and $500 for the perfect "case".
 

WizardStan

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I still don't understand the appeal though. They're both ARM, pretty much everything built for one will run on the other, minus anything that uses specialized hardware, like video decoding on the Pi. But emulators, games, all that "regular" stuff should just work. What does having a Pi in it actually do for anyone besides "because I can"?
 

FlapJack

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I still don't understand the appeal though. They're both ARM, pretty much everything built for one will run on the other, minus anything that uses specialized hardware, like video decoding on the Pi. But emulators, games, all that "regular" stuff should just work. What does having a Pi in it actually do for anyone besides "because I can"?

Because schools might be pushing the Pi, because of the low cost and accessibility to the masses. It's so crazy cheap that it's disposable and you don't worry about a kid messing with the board. There are those parents/adults that would buy expensive cases for their kid's $5/$35 computer.
[doublepost=1472558287,1472557945][/doublepost]Obviously the Pandora and now the Pyra will be a better product. That's not debatable. It's that about 6+million Pis have been sold and some of them want a portable solution. ED could make some money here.
 

TrashyMG

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Because schools might be pushing the Pi, because of the low cost and accessibility to the masses. It's so crazy cheap that it's disposable and you don't worry about a kid messing with the board. There are those parents/adults that would buy expensive cases for their kid's $5/$35 computer.
With development and production costs involved a Pi board would still be around $100 and the base of the Pyra would still cost around $400-500 ish. The end result is still the same an almost exact OS and software environment, but with poorer performance and less features.
 
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