Rockpro64 ARM CPU A72/A53 seems to be avaible for kickstarter projects

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by rohezal, Feb 20, 2018.

  1. levi

    levi Still fresh, damnit!

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    I don't know if they do 68ks these days with hdmi out or the USB ports we'd need to build a CPU board without too many supplementary chips on.
     
  2. Silent-Hunter

    Silent-Hunter Advanced Member

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    Well, I'm sure an HDMI chip wouldn't be too large. And I doubt a USB one would either. But I can't find any 68k chips for sale anywhere anyway. At least not new ones.
     
  3. levi

    levi Still fresh, damnit!

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    Yeah, as far as I know the 68k was an internal motorola design, like the vast majority of chips that have ever been made. Once Motorola moved on to PowerPC chips they simply stopped making 68ks and that was the end of it. The Z80 layout was published openly enough to allow clones to be made, and that has made it interesting for fabs to keep making (although as far a I can tell nobody makes the 16-bi Z280 still). If you don't need a 32-bit ARM chip, a fast clocked eZ80 chip can often do enough for slightly cheaper margins than even an ARM chip. If you want a 68k for its internal machine code features then I think you're looking an an FPGA these days, and that probably puts the power budget out of the specs for a Pyra CPU board.

    I don't know off the top of my head how they've managed to make a 68k compatible FPGA core without using any of Motorola IP.
     
  4. Silent-Hunter

    Silent-Hunter Advanced Member

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    I believe Freescale owns the 68k design now. They were still making them until somewhat recently I think.
     
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  5. Kev2442

    Kev2442 Still French

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    42 (Loire) is the answer.
    Aren't they called NXP now ? (checked it up : yes)
    But it seems the DragonBall and its cousins aren't produced anymore. These architectures are slowly disappearing it seems...
    ...and there are plenty of reasons : less and less assembly programmers (at least to maintain the compilers), ARM-derived SoCs and controllers being mature even for critical applications, cost optimization from the reduction of product families, etc.
     
  6. Caine

    Caine Hardcore Member

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    Yes, Freescale was bought by NXP, which may in turn be bought by Qualcomm which may be bought by Broadcom unless they are bought by Intel. :p
     
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  7. ible

    ible Advanced Guard Tower

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    looks like the US president put a stop to that.
     
  8. Dark Pulse

    Dark Pulse Retreaux

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    Warning, keep Pyra away from Alien Soldier at all times.

    It will set the 68000 heart on fire.
     
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  9. rohezal

    rohezal Advanced Member

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    I agree that it is annoying when people derail your on topic discussion. Like availability, dmips / mhz and power consumption / heat generation / cooling requirements are on topic. "Keep Pyra away from Alien Soldier at all times" is not on topic. Hopefully this stops soon, especially on EDs posts. It is hard to find the technical replies from notaz, exophase and ptibseb hidden in all the oftopic comments.
     
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  10. levi

    levi Still fresh, damnit!

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    I don't think Exo or Ptitseb have prototype units yet. Notaz does, but he mostly posts in the mailing list these days, I think.
     
  11. Yogurt

    Yogurt Still Fresh

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    Maybe worry about a new cpu after shipments go out?
     
  12. rohezal

    rohezal Advanced Member

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    Under normal circumstances this would be a good idea. But since there are problems ordering cpus low numbers (1k-5K) mentioning a cpu which is

    a) an actual improvement to the current cpu (and gpu)
    b) available in low numbers, so even a small kickstarter project can get it

    seems like a good thing.
     
  13. Yogurt

    Yogurt Still Fresh

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    I'm all for a better cpu board, but I'd also like to have a real pyra. If there are supply issues on the cpu then maybe a new chip is needed, but the current board design is done and I'd rather have a pyra now and get an upgrade later rather than wait another year or two for a redesign.
     
  14. sebt3

    sebt3 homebrew player (P. & C.)

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    Dont worry, that's the plan. If an other CPU board is made, it will be as an upgrade for already shipped pyrae. and that work would only begin after the pyra is done and begin to ship to customers
     
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  15. rohezal

    rohezal Advanced Member

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    This is a misunderstanding, ED choosed a cpu which is an automotive chip which have a very long production life

    This is a misunderstanding, this is what this post is talking about. Which cpu to use for a future upgrade :)
     
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  16. Grench

    Grench Forum Addict!

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    I know that MediaTek has a bad reputation for Linux cooperation. BUT - I'm liking what Debian & Sailfish on the Gemini are looking like. Something to consider would be to have more compatibility between the Pyra and the Gemini projects - in which case it would be a hypothetical benefit to consider a MediatTek X30 for the next Pyra Soc.
    https://www.mediatek.com/products/smartphones/mediatek-helio-x30

    Yes, the two devices overlap a bit and compete a bit for a portion of their customers. BUT - they share a fair amount in common and could both benefit from applications ported to the other.

    The list of manufacturers who will sell their SoC to smaller projects is pretty limited after all. Maybe if MediaTek sees multiple Linux OS projects going on their SoC they could open up to that more ... or maybe not.
     
  17. levi

    levi Still fresh, damnit!

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    The Gemini team are supposedly getting help from Mediatek with their efforts to port various linux kernels and userspaces to their hardware. Maybe this will give them some more exposure to the needs of linux porters.

    That said, I tend to agree that too much speculation about better CPUs that we've got risks invoking the osbourne effect. But at the same time I have an interest in the latest ARM chips, so it's a tricky balance. I think I'd prefer it if the OP of these threads didn't suggest it's a possible CPU upgrade though, even with the caviat that it's for later in the Pyra's story.

    Edit: And also I'm forgetting that ED himself did it in a recent news post comment. What do I know?
     

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