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Bootlin Wraps Up Feature Development On The Allwinner Cedrus VPU Driver

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  • #11
    Originally posted by pabloski View Post
    Can you really use these SoCs to do something in the real world? Yet you can do it with a simple RPi Zero.
    I heard RPI zero is great if you want to run multi-threaded ARMv7 binaries.

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    • #12
      Originally posted by pabloski View Post

      Yeah but this doesn't justify the deplorable state of affairs in regard to other SBCs. I buy a board and cannot use it to its full extent, because there is no opensource support? And the closed source support is horrible.
      FWIW, according to this page the open source support is pretty good for some chips, but you'll need a recent kernel, not a LTS one: http://linux-sunxi.org/Linux_mainlin...#Status_Matrix

      Looking at that table, you'll mostly face problems if you need MsgBox (whatever that is), CVBS, or HDMI audio. TBH, I wouldn't use these on desktop (obviously, if you just recently finished with video support, what can you expect?). But e.g. some people who bought the Nintendo classic edition say that the Allwinner chip is pretty much fully supported. Some tablet users run Linux on A33. The affordable Orange Pi boards run quite well they say. So, YMMV.

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      • #13
        Originally posted by caligula View Post
        I heard RPI zero is great if you want to run multi-threaded ARMv7 binaries.
        If you are building a smart doorbell, you don't need ARMv7, multithreading/processing, etc... You just need to encode video and audio in h264 and send it to the hub. And the RPi Zero is perfect for the role. Also, it has software support for the encoder, so you can really use it.

        The other boards give you nothing. You have a h264 encoder but you cannot use it. So you are forced to use the cpu for encoding ( are you really saying it is better this way? ) and, if you are lucky, you have neon instructions to help.

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        • #14
          Originally posted by pabloski View Post

          If you are building a smart doorbell, you don't need ARMv7, multithreading/processing, etc... You just need to encode video and audio in h264 and send it to the hub. And the RPi Zero is perfect for the role. Also, it has software support for the encoder, so you can really use it..
          If you just need video, there are dozens of boards out there. I'd probably use ESP32, but don't know about your requirements. For what it's worth, this seems like a rather specific niche. If I needed a smart doorbell, I'd probably use some MCU that can harvest power from the button when pressed. It's smart since it doesn't need a power source.

          edit: Anyway, my point was, why are you even comparing these boards. Why would anyone consider a huge multi-purpose board if you only need a subset of the features. You need a larger case, more expensive parts, more power etc.
          Last edited by caligula; 01-10-2020, 08:17 AM.

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          • #15
            Originally posted by bavay View Post
            Well, that's kind of an overstatement: the competition produces USB3 with USB-C connectors with unsatisfactory power regulation leading to massive data corruption when connecting some usb3 drives (like an ssd) to the said usb-c.
            Admittedly running non-trivial power sinks directly off a SBC has never been a good idea. The RPi too has undergone several revisions in the past regarding its USB power output. Don't do that and expect it to work.

            The main and almost exclusive purpose of the USB-C connector in the RPi 4 is however supplying it with power, and they managed to mess up even that.
            Originally posted by OneTimeShot View Post
            PiCamera is a separate product to the RPi.
            The mere existence of the PiCamera is detrimental to RPi owners. The RPi will perform the DRM check if you connect another camera with the same sensor, and refuse to work if the crypto key does not match.

            Originally posted by OneTimeShot View Post
            There are no competitors to the RPi who properly support OpenSouce.
            Originally posted by pabloski View Post
            Yeah but this doesn't justify the deplorable state of affairs in regard to other SBCs. I buy a board and cannot use it to its full extent, because there is no opensource support?
            Using the "full extent" isn't even possible on the RPi, all boards have incomplete support. Question is whether the important functions work. There are a number of SBCs which have proper open source (even mainline) support nowadays, thanks to sunxi-cedrus, Panfrost/Lima/Etnaviv/Freedreno, etc. The DragonBoard 410 was the first such board iirc. And there were even other competing boards with BCM2835 until Broadcom suddenly stopped supplying chips, presumably due to exclusivity demands of the RPi Foundation.

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            • #16
              Originally posted by caligula View Post

              FWIW, according to this page the open source support is pretty good for some chips, but you'll need a recent kernel, not a LTS one: http://linux-sunxi.org/Linux_mainlin...#Status_Matrix

              Looking at that table, you'll mostly face problems if you need MsgBox (whatever that is), CVBS, or HDMI audio. TBH, I wouldn't use these on desktop (obviously, if you just recently finished with video support, what can you expect?). But e.g. some people who bought the Nintendo classic edition say that the Allwinner chip is pretty much fully supported. Some tablet users run Linux on A33. The affordable Orange Pi boards run quite well they say. So, YMMV.
              Yes, on paper. I watched at the same exact table. Then bought the BananaPi and the NanoPi. Both have horrible support in real life. With the NanoPi even the official images cannot boot. It starts booting, then stops with a black screen. Changing the sd card, flashing the emmc, changing display. Nothing. Zero. But it boots with Armbian. So it is not a hardware problem.

              In summary, I am very disappointed with the "chinese boards".

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              • #17
                Originally posted by caligula View Post

                If you just need video, there are dozens of boards out there. I'd probably use ESP32,
                Nope, no h264 encoding with ESP32.

                Originally posted by caligula View Post
                edit: Anyway, my point was, why are you even comparing these boards. Why would anyone consider a huge multi-purpose board if you only need a subset of the features. You need a larger case, more expensive parts, more power etc.
                I am not comparing them. I am comparing the software support the makers offer. The RPi Foundation offers top notch support. The others...meh!

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                • #18
                  Originally posted by chithanh View Post
                  Plus the non-conforming USB-C issue, and the foundation will not even give a rough timeframe when it's going to be fixed.
                  Actually, it seems to be already fixed in revision 1.2 boards that have been showing up here and there. But yes, the foundation says nothing about it because they likely have original revision boards in the sales pipeline that they do not want to Osbourne.
                  Last edited by ed31337; 01-10-2020, 02:24 PM.

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                  • #19
                    Originally posted by pabloski View Post
                    Nope, no h264 encoding with ESP32.
                    Not needed as the camera module does that task. And way more power efficiently than some old Broadcomm chip.

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                    • #20
                      Originally posted by pabloski View Post
                      With the NanoPi even the official images cannot boot.

                      In summary, I am very disappointed with the "chinese boards".
                      I'm guessing the official image doesn't even use a mainline kernel. So.. you're looking at table that's describing kernel X (version 5.x from vendor A) and then install kernel Y (4.x or maybe even 3.x series from vendor B). What did you expect?

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