The 1000-traces-puzzle


hns

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I wonder if this little (and complex) CPU-PCB could be used for other pyra-compatible devices. Imagine some Pyra-Tablet that could be offered compared cheap without the CPU SOC if you own an normal Pyra. You could ust remove the PCB and put it int the Tablet. :D
There is a plan to make the OMAP5 CPU boards available separately (with technical support to build a tablet around it) through http://shop.goldelico.com. But before this happens, it must work perfectly and be in mass production for the Pyra.
 
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hns

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How would you get it talking to SATA hard drives?  AIUI the OMAP chips don't have the gubbins to talk SATA natively.
OMAP5 has SATA and it needs just a SN75LVCP412RTJ chip, 8 capacitors and a 3.3V supply. Well, you also need some connector and cables.On the Pyra all this is located on the external USB-to-eSATA plug because the OMAP5 SATA signals are routed to the high speed pins of the USB 3 socket and need some signal shaping.

Software (Linux kernel) supports SATA on OMAP5.
 

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How would you get it talking to SATA hard drives?  AIUI the OMAP chips don't have the gubbins to talk SATA natively.
OMAP5 supports SATA 2.0 (300MB/s), which will also be available on the Pyra through a special adapter.

The Pyra base, in a bigger case so there's room for a 3.5" hard disk, keeping the SD slots, the USB ports and the HDMI output and adding an Ethernet port, would be an excellent NAS / game console / media player / living room PC / web server.

You would hook it to your TV or a big monitor, and plug it into your internet access point.

You can put an SSD in it, or just one or two big SD cards, and it will be completely silent. Or you can put a spinning disk in it and get more and cheaper storage.

This could be based on the Pyra CPU board, plus an additional PCB that would mostly be a simplified version of the Pyra PCB:

  • Probably best to keep the wifi/bluetooth chip, not so much for wifi but mostly for bluetooth input devices.
  • No need for the 3G/4G/GPS chip and sim card / microSD combo thing
  • No need for rumble, accelerometer, GPS/altimeter
  • No need for keyboard, keyboard backlight
  • Could keep audio jack and volume wheel, but probably that's not really useful, since audio can be done over HDMI and volume setting in software is more convenient; microphone also not really needed (could add a line in and line out though)
  • Could use the same eMMC as the Pyra, or use some cheaper option (there are less size constraints, so maybe eMMC is not the best option; also it could just be dropped entirely and have it boot from whatever hard disk or SD card you put into it)
  • No lid and screen, no touch layer, no screen backlight, no screen cable, no rotation chip
  • No battery, no charging stuff
  • Add an ethernet port and a 2.5" or 3.5" SATA bay
  • Add a power connector and some kind of relatively simple case

So it could be quite a bit cheaper than an actual Pyra, yet still very useful. Of course not for on-the-go use, but in a home (or work) it would be nice.

Since it would essentially be identical to the Pyra in most respects, it could be used by Pyra devs. It would also be a nice companion device for the Pyra itself.

Also: if you keep it minimal (no sound, no wifi/3G, no use of the GPU), it could probably pass the "Respects Your Freedom" requirements of the FSF, and be a nice silent low-power, high-performance NAS / web server.
 

fusion_power

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I wonder if this little (and complex) CPU-PCB could be used for other pyra-compatible devices. Imagine some Pyra-Tablet that could be offered compared cheap without the CPU SOC if you own an normal Pyra. You could ust remove the PCB and put it int the Tablet. :D
There is a plan to make the OMAP5 CPU boards available separately (with technical support to build a tablet around it) through http://shop.goldelico.com. But before this happens, it must work perfectly and be in mass production for the Pyra.
Cool, of course it should work flawless at first and is tested long enough in the Pyra. :)  If all goes well I'm sure the Pyra modular concept may get some attention out there. 

The base of the Pyra, minus the keyboard and battery, would also make a nice silent NAS imo...
Sounds like an Raspberry Pi to me. ;)
 

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The base of the Pyra, minus the keyboard and battery, would also make a nice silent NAS imo...
Sounds like an Raspberry Pi to me. ;)
Not really. The Raspberry Pi does not have USB 3.0 nor SATA, so high-speed storage is not really possible. Everything is connected via one USB 2.0 connection (including Ethernet), so that gives significant speed limits. Also it has only 1 SD slot. Its CPU is quite weak compared to that of the Pyra. And it does not come with a case.
 

Grench

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Pyra base unit plus the eSATA adapter plus something like one of these:

http://www.amazon.com/Port-Multiplier-SATA-hardware-controller/dp/B004JPHAF0/

http://www.amazon.com/multiplier-hardware-RAID0-CLONE-Controller/dp/B004JPUZWU/

http://www.amazon.com/Oodelay-eSATA-Port-Multiplier-Controller/dp/B00PZ7347E/

If I understand it right, those can be ganged too. I.e. if you got 6 of them you could have 25 SATA devices connected to a single eSATA port on a Pyra. You could even have them all running in a multi-tier RAID 5. Would you call that RAID 55? RAID 5+5? Raid 5^5? Or just plain silly?

Add in an external case and PSU for the drives. Maybe a multi-drive hot swap SATA cage or two...

At that point you can have a pretty nifty NAS running a full Debian install.

The hypothetical 'could' and the 'should' may be two different things though.
 

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Pyra base unit plus the eSATA adapter plus something like one of these:

http://www.amazon.com/Port-Multiplier-SATA-hardware-controller/dp/B004JPHAF0/

http://www.amazon.com/multiplier-hardware-RAID0-CLONE-Controller/dp/B004JPUZWU/

http://www.amazon.com/Oodelay-eSATA-Port-Multiplier-Controller/dp/B00PZ7347E/


If I understand it right, those can be ganged too. I.e. if you got 6 of them you could have 25 SATA devices connected to a single eSATA port on a Pyra. You could even have them all running in a multi-tier RAID 5. Would you call that RAID 55? RAID 5+5? Raid 5^5? Or just plain silly?


Add in an external case and PSU for the drives. Maybe a multi-drive hot swap SATA cage or two...


At that point you can have a pretty nifty NAS running a full Debian install.


The hypothetical 'could' and the 'should' may be two different things though.
You can chain all sorts of things together, but in the end, it will still be no more than 300MB/s going into the OMAP5.

If the RAID is just for reliability, that doesn't matter, but if it's mostly for performance, then it does not really help much.
 

hns

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The base of the Pyra, minus the keyboard and battery, would also make a nice silent NAS imo...
Sounds like an Raspberry Pi to me. ;)
 Not really. The Raspberry Pi does not have USB 3.0 nor SATA, so high-speed storage is not really possible. Everything is connected via one USB 2.0 connection (including Ethernet), so that gives significant speed limits. Also it has only 1 SD slot. Its CPU is quite weak compared to that of the Pyra. And it does not come with a case.
Well, the OMAP5432 Evaluation Board by SVTronics (DigiKey 1055-1004-ND) is sort of an OMAP5 based RasPi++. It has all what you ask for. Except bluetooth because the WiLink8 chip (WLAN+Bluetooth+NFC) is not installed for unknown reasons.
 
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_wb_

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The base of the Pyra, minus the keyboard and battery, would also make a nice silent NAS imo...
Sounds like an Raspberry Pi to me. ;)
 
Not really. The Raspberry Pi does not have USB 3.0 nor SATA, so high-speed storage is not really possible. Everything is connected via one USB 2.0 connection (including Ethernet), so that gives significant speed limits. Also it has only 1 SD slot. Its CPU is quite weak compared to that of the Pyra. And it does not come with a case.
Well, the OMAP5432 Evaluation Board by SVTronics (DigiKey 1055-1004-ND) is sort of an OMAP5 based RasPi++. It has all what you ask for. Except bluetooth because the WiLink8 chip (WLAN+Bluetooth+NFC) is not installed for unknown reasons.
Yes, but I was thinking more like something ED (or perhaps you, or someone else entirely) would develop, which explicitly uses the Pyra CPU board (so it can presumably also be "upgraded", at least theoretically), and which has a nice user-friendly plastic case and all that.

It could be a project for when the Pyra is ready. It could be quite a bit cheaper than the Pyra itself, so it could help to make the community larger by reaching people who cannot afford a Pyra or don't need / want to pay for an ultra-portable device.
 
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Letalis Sonus

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The base of the Pyra, minus the keyboard and battery, would also make a nice silent NAS imo...
Sounds like an Raspberry Pi to me. ;)
There are a lot of alternative boards that do a lot better than a Raspberry Pi for several purposes, like the Banana Pi: Allwinner A20 with SATA, GBit LAN and 2 USB 2.0 ports (all native, no onboard USB Hub) for 35€ - it's by far the cheapest if you want SATA.
 

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Not really. The Raspberry Pi does not have USB 3.0 nor SATA, so high-speed storage is not really possible. Everything is connected via one USB 2.0 connection (including Ethernet), so that gives significant speed limits. Also it has only 1 SD slot. Its CPU is quite weak compared to that of the Pyra. And it does not come with a case.
I thought ED mentioned that the Pyra does not support USB 3.0 because the SoC does not. (It will HAVE a USB 3.0 jack though) Not sure about the real speed in comparison to an Raspberry but I've heared the ne Raspberry Pi 2 B is actualy quite beefy (ARM Cortex-A7 Quad). it also has 4x USb slots, neat.
 

TrashyMG

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I thought ED mentioned that the Pyra does not support USB 3.0 because the SoC does not. (It will HAVE a USB 3.0 jack though)
No it will have USB 3.0 the SOC has it, but it will be the mini-USB 3.0 style. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c3/Connector_USB_3_IMGP6033_wp.jpg


Socket shown next to ED thumb in this picture: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CIMG5JQWgAA_hMK.jpg:large


There will be a regular sized USB 3.0 port like you said that is essentially just a regular USB 2.0 port, but will carry the SATA lines.  


edit: cleaned up wording.
 
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WizardStan

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I thought ED mentioned that the Pyra does not support USB 3.0 because the SoC does not. (It will HAVE a USB 3.0 jack though)
 No it will have USB 3.0 the SOC has it, but it will be the mini-USB 3.0 style. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c3/Connector_USB_3_IMGP6033_wp.jpg

Socket shown next to ED thumb in this picture: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CIMG5JQWgAA_hMK.jpg:large

There will be a regular sized USB 3.0 port like you said that is essentially just a regular USB 2.0 port, but will carry the SATA lines.
To be specific, the SoC does support USB3.0 but only on the OTG port. It will support USB3.0 in slave mode, and host mode (full sized) with a standard adapter.
 

Galaxis

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There are a lot of alternative boards that do a lot better than a Raspberry Pi for several purposes, like the Banana Pi: Allwinner A20 with SATA, GBit LAN and 2 USB 2.0 ports (all native, no onboard USB Hub) for 35€ - it's by far the cheapest if you want SATA.
I really don't know why people continue to bring up the Allwinner stuff - did you have a look at http://linux-sunxi.org/Linux_mainlining_effortand http://linux-sunxi.org/Mainline_Kernel_Howto (or http://linux-sunxi.org/GPL_Violations, for that matter)?

Except if you want to run some hacked up 3.4 kernel based on Android sources, even basic stuff like framebuffer support has only just shown up in the mainline Linux kernel (3.19) for old A20 SoCs.
 

benoitb

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The base of the Pyra, minus the keyboard and battery, would also make a nice silent NAS imo...
Sounds like an Raspberry Pi to me. ;)
 
Not really. The Raspberry Pi does not have USB 3.0 nor SATA, so high-speed storage is not really possible. Everything is connected via one USB 2.0 connection (including Ethernet), so that gives significant speed limits. Also it has only 1 SD slot. Its CPU is quite weak compared to that of the Pyra. And it does not come with a case.
Well, the OMAP5432 Evaluation Board by SVTronics (DigiKey 1055-1004-ND) is sort of an OMAP5 based RasPi++. It has all what you ask for. Except bluetooth because the WiLink8 chip (WLAN+Bluetooth+NFC) is not installed for unknown reasons.
Looked that TI wlan chip up. It's quite cool: it supports station and AP mode at the same time like Atheros cards do on Linux:

http://processors.wiki.ti.com/index.php/Portable_Wireless_Gateway

Which version will we get ? 2.4GHz only or also 5Ghz ?
 

hns

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I thought ED mentioned that the Pyra does not support USB 3.0 because the SoC does not. (It will HAVE a USB 3.0 jack though)
 No it will have USB 3.0 the SOC has it, but it will be the mini-USB 3.0 style. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c3/Connector_USB_3_IMGP6033_wp.jpg

Socket shown next to ED thumb in this picture: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CIMG5JQWgAA_hMK.jpg:large

There will be a regular sized USB 3.0 port like you said that is essentially just a regular USB 2.0 port, but will carry the SATA lines.
To be specific, the SoC does support USB3.0 but only on the OTG port. It will support USB3.0 in slave mode, and host mode (full sized) with a standard adapter.
Trying to be most precise, there will be for OMAP5 based Pyra:
1 micro USB 1/2/3 port (host and slave and charging)

1 USB 1/2/3 port useable for USB 2 (host; but not USB 3 speeds) or eSATA (through Pyra-Sata-adapter)

1 USB 1/2 only host port

1 micro USB 2 console port (and alternate charging)

Other SoC could provide

1 micro USB 1/2/3 port (host and slave and charging)

1 USB 1/2/3 host port (eSATA possible through external protocol converter)

1 USB 1/2 host port

1 micro USB 2 console port (and alternate charging)
 
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