SoC Poll - What's most important for you?

Power or Battery - what's more important for you?

  • Power - I don't care about battery, as long as it's the FASTEST!

    Votes: 38 11.0%
  • Balanced - I don't mind a little shorter battery life if it has more power

    Votes: 199 57.5%
  • Battery - I'm pretty sure every current SoC is fast enough for my needs, but I want a long battery l

    Votes: 109 31.5%

  • Total voters
    346

God Ginrai

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EDIT: It seems that liliputing is already claiming we're using the A80: http://liliputing.com/2014/02/meet-allwinner-ultraocta-a80-processor.html <.< Although, I hope that becomes true.

-God Ginrai
 Isn't it great how they link to a side where it says that the Pyra will use OMAP 5?
 I don't like this company.
 bingo.. the chip MIGHT be amazing.. but I don't trust them yet :|

Nothing is stopping ED from sourcing a bunch of samples and giving them a go.
He was talking about liliputing because they were misreporting that the Pyra was using an A80...

-God Ginrai
 
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Klumpen

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You are both right, because every 99% positive article about some product is quite likely coming from the company or otherwise bought in my opinion.
 

God Ginrai

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You are both right, because every 99% positive article about some product is quite likely coming from the company or otherwise bought in my opinion.
Honestly, I'm inclined to believe otherwise. There are a lot of publications that will post rumours without any sort of confirmation from the company in question. Even Kotaku does it, although they are normally good at informing their readers whether or not said information has been confirmed.

I don't believe that liliputing heard one thing about the Pyra from AllWinner. I have every confidence that the writer just skimmed the forums and came to a false conclusion.

-God Ginrai
 

PunchOut

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x86 definitely and for various reasons. I think I have to explain my point, because I want to convince as many people as possible:

1. Compatibility.

It's not a secret, x86 has the best compatibility available. OS, software, games and such... nearly everything will be compatible right at the begining, without any work needed. And that's something that ARM lacks. Of course, for some software, some people might be able to do the port job... but what about games ? Of course such handheld would be able to run any Linux distribution, Windows but also Steam OS.

2. It's a niche that has yet to be filled.

Back in the days, Pandora was unique. An open source handheld, with powerfull ARM CPU. Back then, ARM wasn't big, and best ARM CPU available were ARM11... but nowadays ? ARM is big. You can easily find chinese Android handheld for emulation. But there are also powerfull devices such as Nvidia Shield. Sure, none of them are compatible with Linux... but then we're back at the first point: x86 fill this purpose in a better way. Back on point 2, there's no x86 handhelds. None. Sure, there are tablets, but they lack proper controls. With that, you can play any x86 games but also emulators, and that is a HUGE thing.

3. Hardware capabilities.

That's the final point. In theory, ARM Cortex A15 CPU and Baytrail CPU are supposed to be on par in term of horse power... but that Intel HD GPU in Baytrail SoC is really capable. Playing games such as Unreal Engine 3 games, such as Mass Effect 3. Imagine all those games availables ? Indie games, oldies, emulation but also recent games.

And you know what ? Baytrail is already capable of such, but its successor, Cherrytrail (which is supposed ot be released this year) has 4 times the GPU power of Baytrail, and the process node is 14nm, which means nearly the same power consumption.

By going x86, Pyra is filling a niche that is yet to be filled, but also offer more appeal to be something more than niche. Just the fact that it could be considered as a Steam handheld makes it a lot more appealing. I know that some people think that ARM is a better candidate, and I can get their point. But they also need to understand that there's a lot of ARM devices that can fill this job. Heck, Pandora was one. But an x86 handheld ? Pyra might be the only chance to ever get one...
 

levi

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1. It's compatible with x86 software, big whoo! Can it run 68000 Amiga code, or 6502 C64 games? Not without the right software emulator, which - guess what, exist for ARM too and have been ported to the Pandora's PND system.


2.ARM was in phones long before Android. Just because you didn't know what chip was in your phone before Android doesn't mean ARM was new for handhelds. The Pandora was unique for other reasons, the instruction set of it's CPU was not one of them.


3. Don't drink all the kool-aid. You can already buy x86 phones - they're not very good because x86 Android isn't compatible with ARM android apps, last time I checked. Baytrail might be revolutionary, but we've all been burned by Intel's promises before now, surely?
 

SNESFAN

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Your arguments against x86 sound retarded sorry. At least in reference in terms of its use on pyra. The dell venue 8 pro (baytrail x86) isn't imaginary, does run real windows apps games and emulators fine. C64, amiga, real dos through virtualization instead of emulated. There isn't a system being emulated with the exception of maybe drastic that doesn't have a comparable level of performance x86 substitute. There isn't any marketing involved in any of that, so who's getting burnt on what exactly? Its comparable in terms of use and power consumption to the omap. Can't tell which one is better without measurements, but based off rough comparisons they are in the same ballpark for sure. I don't even understand your number 2 statement. Arm has been used for a long time, armv7 hasn't in comparison which is where I feel it became a real option for general computing unless you wanted windows ce or something. Android, ios and windows mobile did really push this market sector and if they didn't exist I seriously doubt we would be seeing desktop comparable performance in current generation embedded systems. I would even go as far as to say we would still be at Pandora level of processing power if the only things really using it were niche little Linux systems and embedded systems in cars and machinery and the 6 windows ce devices that are sold every year (sarcasm). So a little thanks should actually be in order for rocket boosting the segment forward because of the things that are often looked down their noses upon around here. Whatever we hope to use is benefiting directly from those systems success... Arm as well.
 
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Exophase

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And for what it's worth, DraSic does run on x86 devices, but the efficiency is significantly worse. A Z3770 is still probably sufficient in playing most things full speed w/o frameskip.
 

Exophase

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As eccentric as he sounds I agree with his points.
Sure, but it's nothing that hasn't been brought up several times before. ED weighed the options pretty earnestly and doesn't want to take the added risk with BayTrail-T (which is the only really worthwhile x86 option)

This isn't without precedent.. Intel has even announced that they're spending a ton of money in so-called contra-revenue to offset the extra BOM costs from using BayTrail-T over other SoCs in mobile devices. I wouldn't count on this being available to everyone, and certainly points towards higher complexity. Recommending that ED use a third party module over doing his own design is also a big red flag.
 

SNESFAN

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I can feel ED on his decision, it makes the most sense given his situation. But I really hope he puts resources into making a x86 optional upgrade module, or releases the information on the module so a 3rd party or community engineered one can be made.
 

klapse

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As far as I understand it, just having an x86 SoC doesnt mean ED automatically gets Windows (XP, 2000, 7, whatever) driver support for all the Pyra hardware.
 

slaeshjag

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No. Stuff like nubs, keyboard and the MIPI display drivers are examples of hardware that would need custom drivers. You'd also need to obtain a BIOS from somewhere, be that coreboot or proriatary.
 

SNESFAN

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All the parts that are on the mainboard will have open source linux arm drivers/firmware correct? The daughterboard is where all the half closed source stuff (if any) will be at right?

(guess the question may be, is wifi/BT going to be on the main board or daughterboard?)
 

worldcitizen

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Apparently, if you haven't been hiding under a rock and followed the boards during the last few days, you will have seen that there's been a lot of discussion going on about which SoC to choose.


It's not a question that can be replied to within a couple of hours or even days, as there's a lot of stuff that needs to be evaluated and tested...


The fastest SoC might not be the best in regards of power usage, or it might have closed source-drivers.


Or the design documentation could be lacking, the price too high and so on.


We need to find out all these things for all the SoCs, and in the end it will be me who has to choose the best one.


However, you can help - by letting us know with this poll what's most important for you.

These SoCs might be usable by us:

  • OMAP5 (what we're using as devboard right now)
  • Snapdragon (need to wait for offers from Qualcomm to know which ones we can get)
  • Allwinner A80 (need to contact Allwinner for that one)
  • Intel BayTrail (available from normal distributors)
The first three are all ARM ones, so there will be difference in power usage, speed, GPU and drivers.

The last one is x86, which is completely different from ARM.

ARM stuff can't natively run on x86 and vice versa.

Here's a quick information about what ARM and x86 would give us as Pros and Cons:

ARM:

  • ARM is what the Pandora is using (compatibility)
  • Up until now, ARM was mostly being used in mobile devices, x86 in Desktop computers. Compared to desktop computers, ARM was always slower and programs especially for ARM (Android games, Emulators etc.) are most probably more optimized than the x86-Versions (i.e. we could not use PCSX ReARMed anymore, only normal PCSX)
  • Mostly all Android systems are still using ARM SoCs - all these games should be possible on the Pyra as well.
  • Android games optimized for small screens

x86:

  • Compatible to normal desktop PCs: Native Linux games (without sourcecode released) should work out of the box.
  • Not compatible with Pandora or GP2X Games.
  • With Wine (or maybe even some Windows installation (not officially supported), Windows games and programs should work
  • x86 games are usually optimized for computer monitors, not small screens
  • about 95% of Android software runs out of the box (according to Intel). We don't know the details, but probably all the software that is NOT using ARM compiled code will work (my guess is that more complex stuff like better games use ARM compiled code)
  • Some core devs of the Pandora (like notaz) will not do much for the Pyra anymore - it MIGHT be we'll get a lot more new devs (but this can't be said for sure)

For more information, please read up this thread... there's a LOT of discussion going on - and give your vote, so I know what's best!
I hope that you will also consider the Tegra K1 with Denver 64 bits i.e ARMv8 compatible cores.

Sertainly as NVidia seems to have the most opensourced Video driver of all ARM SOCs.
 
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sebt3

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spud42

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Tegra was considered a no go because nVidia want control of the development

From ED


I tried to call nvidia a few times, but the German Headquarters never really picked up the phone.

Thanks to some contacts I had, I finally got the right persons from nvidia worldwide headquarters on the phone - however, only to get another "no".

They explained to me that in order to be able to use the Tegra, I need to let the hardware be designed and produced by a contracted partner company from them.

That's certainly not what we want - and my guess is that no company would do such a complex design as we need for such a low quantity anyways.
 
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