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AMD Launches Xilinx + Linux Powered Robotics Starter Kit

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  • AMD Launches Xilinx + Linux Powered Robotics Starter Kit

    Phoronix: AMD Launches Xilinx + Linux Powered Robotics Starter Kit

    AMD on Tuesday released the Kria KR260 Robotics Starter Kit featuring a Xilinx Kria K26 System-on-Module and tailoring it for robotics, machine vision, and industrial communication/control use-cases while running Ubuntu 22.04 LTS...

    https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pa...KR260-Robotics

  • #2
    Looks like Canonical adding a real-time Linux kernel option to Ubuntu 22.04 LTS is paying off already...

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    • #3
      I wonder how much this differs from other Xilinx development kit boards. It feels like they just added a couple features to cater to the machine vision & robotics markets. Maybe the biggest difference is the price, as hardware development kits can be quite expensive.

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      • #4
        Can someone give me a use case where FOUR GbE ports is even desirable, let alone needed?

        I mean, there has to BE one or they wouldn't bother with the extra two, but damned if I can think of what it might be...

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        • #5
          Originally posted by arQon View Post
          Can someone give me a use case where FOUR GbE ports is even desirable, let alone needed?

          I mean, there has to BE one or they wouldn't bother with the extra two, but damned if I can think of what it might be...
          The first one that popped into my mind was to prototype some sort of router setup... but yah, not a ton of use I can think of for all those ports in a pure "robotics" use case.

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          • #6
            For cameras?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by arQon View Post
              Can someone give me a use case where FOUR GbE ports is even desirable, let alone needed?

              I mean, there has to BE one or they wouldn't bother with the extra two, but damned if I can think of what it might be...

              That "FOUR GbE" must be a typo in the article.

              The image shows only 2 GbE ports, together with 4 USB 3.0 ports, all of which are needed for many applications.

              EDIT: My first impression was wrong, the board has indeed 4 GbE, listed as 2 GbE + 2 "industrial" GbE, even if it is not clear what "industrial" means, maybe they are certified for EtherCAT, or for another Ethernet-based CAN replacement. The application that they had in mind would be to use the 2 simple GbE ports to connect to computers, while the 2 "industrial" GbE will be used to connect to (non TCP/IP) EtherCAT or similar ports on industrial equipment, e.g. robots. 2 "industrial" ports are needed, because such industrial Ethernet links are usually connected in rings.

              Nevertheless, "FOUR GbE" would be very useful if you would want to make a firewall/router with it for your home. Using such a board has the advantage that you can trust it much more than you can trust most Intel/AMD or ARM CPUs, many of which have undesirable remote management features that can be used as backdoors.

              I am using an Intel NUC for such a router, and I had to add to it 4 GbE-on-USB adapters, in order to have 1 GbE port for the Internet and 4 GbE ports for the local computers. Most of the time I use all 4 internal ports, for my main computer, for a testing computer and for the computers of other 2 family members. So less GbE ports would not be acceptable for such an application. An extra Ethernet switch would cost more, occupy more space and consume more power, without any advantage.
              Last edited by AdrianBc; 19 May 2022, 04:23 AM.

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              • #8
                No SBSA/SBBA, no standardised UEFI boot support, no interest.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Sonadow View Post
                  No SBSA/SBBA, no standardised UEFI boot support, no interest.

                  You are right in the sense that such a board is of little interest for most people without specialized knowledge, even if you can take it out of the box, boot immediately the provided Linux image and use it like you would use a Raspberry Pi or any other ARM-based single-board computer.

                  When using just the Cortex-A53 cores, this computer is slow, even if it is adequate for the kind of tasks that people do with a Raspberry Pi.


                  On the other hand, for the kind of users who are able to implement an FPGA design, this board is awesome. It has a much more powerful FPGA than any other board in this price range.

                  If you offload tasks to the FPGA, the board can achieve in many cases a better performance than boards with much more powerful ARM or Intel/AMD cores.

                  The board might not have "SBSA/SBBA" or "standardised UEFI boot support", but this does not matter at all, because it has something far more important. It has complete documentation for the FPGA and ARM cores, with much more hardware details than available for almost any other modern CPU powerful enough to run Linux or another similar operating system.

                  Here you can know precisely every single step that happens from a hardware reset until your operating system is booted, unlike in almost all systems with "standardised UEFI boot support", where you have no knowledge or control of the abilities of your black-box UEFI firmware to override your operating system whenever it desires, using either the Intel/AMD System Management Mode, or one of the ARM hypervisor levels.

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                  • #10
                    This particular SKU appears to lack PL ram... so the FPGA has only its on die ram and no large ram it can acess (all large ram acesses go through the slower ARM - FPGA interface).

                    They DO make versions of this SOM with a dedicated ram for the FPGA though and most applications probably want that.

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