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It Looks Like The Raptor Blackbird Open-Source Motherboard Will Sell For Just Under $900

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  • milkylainen
    @phoron: Thanks for the writeup. Agree with the customs part. Geographically well situated resellers is a big plus.
    Regarding the HW. Sure. Part of the SW open. But there isn't much difference between a Coreboot port on an x86 board and this.
    Atleast not for the customer. Sure, there is a bit more closed stuff with the x86, but with regards to hidden backdoors I think is a wash either way.
    Exploits can be non-obvious and CPU's can be fitted with instruction knocking so it doesn't really matter.

    I think the strength in this lies in opening up the Power solution market.
    A "high"-end PC is one of many solutions. A VPX 6U is another. etc...

    I think maybe they should open up a design partner program or something.
    So we can get more solutions of all different kinds.

    I'd love a compact backplane card with OpenCAPI 2.0 / NVLink 2.0 interfaces to other backplane mounted GPU's.

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  • phoron
    Excuse for answering without beinginvolved at the risk of making mistakes
    Originally posted by milkylainen View Post
    What's open source in the products?
    The OpenBMC-code port?
    Schematics for PCB's + BOM? Layout? PCB design rules?
    No, I don't think they're free.

    I think calling the hardware Open Source is a stretch.
    It's hardware with free software for all processors (except network interface card, right now, and SAS/SATA controllers and hard drives).
    It's not Open Hardware, nor do they claim to be.

    Obviously none of the ASICs can be had code for.
    I'm not so sure. Some chips they used possibly can't have free software code running on them or / open design.

    But Power 9 has been specifically selected because
    the different processors in the CPU have free software available and free software tooling to program them (not only the application
    processor, but the bootstrap smaller CPU and so on).

    As far as I understand there is no ASIC designed by Raptor, it's either the Power9, third party chips and an FPGA.
    I believe the code/design for the FPGA is free , the toolchain to build the bitstream is free and the hardware ships with connectors and circuitry allowing reprogramming the FPGA.

    Either way. I'd be interested in another form factor iff all the schematics were free.
    Yes, it'd be even better if it was Open Hardware, but I don't see many alternatives there, sadly.

    Like a VPX 6U form factor with none of the external PC port crap.
    Maybe they can build some quantity of boards with connectors unpopulated if you reach some agreement, but changing the
    board dimensions or including different connectors would require a huge investment, I believe.

    The blackbird looks at PC / workstation replacement. It makes no sense to remove those ports.
    The idea is once you have the board, CPU and possibly the heat sink, you can get the rest of components
    at your local PC components shop and the final cost of the whole system is lower. Not only the final cost,
    but the complexity of the parts procurement, the possibility of reusing some components from a previous PC,
    long distance shipping, make it a little more environmentally friendly.

    Fitting into microATX or ATX boxes, power supplies, etc. is very convenient. Including audio and SATA is also very good.

    I join the people hoping for intraEU availability, though. The headaches and abusive dealings of local customs make
    me willing to pay the margin to any EU reseller when I have the chance. It's not so much the taxes and duties, it's more
    dumb bureaucracy like been required to send 3 times the same documentation to release from customs, abusive
    deadlines, not being allowed to use your own language (official where you live) with customs, after a lot of bureaucracy to get the payment requirement so you can pay and release the parcel, getting a notice one day that you have to pay it all the same day or lose the merchandise, hints that if you try to use any means
    of sending the documentation to customs in a way that you can prove what you sent when , then you'll loose your merchandise
    because customs does not like to give you the option to suing them for incompetence... A nightmare like in Kafka's works.

    I guess Raptor is too busy with its core business but I really hope some company already into the business of importing
    merchandise to the EU and selling in retail can step forward and earn some profit on saving EU customers sanity.

    Many people in the EU say buying from the USA is easy-peasy, but you ask a little more and you find out they really bought
    from some EU subsidiary of a multinational corporatiosn with headquarters in the USA. So they did no importing.

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  • audir8
    Originally posted by George99 View Post

    I don't see any connection between Google and Raptor. Google collaborates with Rackspace:
    Thanks for the link, I hadn't seen the Rackspace link before. Need to work on getting one of these at the job being a OpenJDK/Java/Scala dev.

    Leave a comment:

  • schwarzygesetzlos
    Originally posted by benjamin545 View Post
    So a 4 "core" ibm processor in this board will show 16 cpu's to the OS right? and if so, are the full cpu cores or is it like an intel hyper-threading execution unit?
    Yes, a Quad-POWER9 shows up as 16 cores. But it's SMT, not Hyperthreading.

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  • schwarzygesetzlos
    Originally posted by mattmatteh View Post
    It would be nice if an older cheaper card worked.
    I run my Talos II with a Radeon HD 6450, which works perfectly well.

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  • aht0
    Originally posted by marnux View Post
    I would be really interested in getting my hands on a system. My biggest issue is that i don't want to deal with the hassles of importing it. Unless there will be a reseller within the EU, my options are non existent.
    Oh yeah, EU's import tax on top of it's "price" and postal fees would make the final cost really unpalatable.. Even with a reseller, it would still be much more expensive because of included VAT and reseller's profit margin.
    Last edited by aht0; 15 November 2018, 03:53 PM.

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  • benjamin545
    just to be sure, when they are saying this board supports a 4 core or an 8 core ibm power 9 sforza, each "core" in the sforza line has 4 cpu's right? so a 4 "core" ibm processor in this board will show 16 cpu's to the OS right? and if so, are the full cpu cores or is it like an intel hyper-threading execution unit?

    Leave a comment:

  • edwaleni
    Originally posted by George99 View Post

    I don't see any connection between Google and Raptor. Google collaborates with Rackspace:

    Rackspace Zaius/Barreleye reference platform for POWER9 is used by Google.

    Google confirmed their use of POWER9/Open CAPI/NVidia NVLink/PCIe 4.0

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  • GI_Jack
    Likely no. I don't have the money for it. Also, for a Motherboard that price, more USB3 ports, a few more PCI-E ports

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  • darkbasic
    Originally posted by crystall View Post

    Good point. I'm also interested and I believe that the EU might be an interesting market for them, especially Germany where FOSS penetration is very high. Without a reseller in the EU it's not going to work though, here in the Netherlands I'd be paying 22% VAT on top of the list price plus the import fees.

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