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Orange Pi Is The Latest Raspberry Pi Inspired ARM Board

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  • Orange Pi Is The Latest Raspberry Pi Inspired ARM Board

    Phoronix: Orange Pi Is The Latest Raspberry Pi Inspired ARM Board

    The latest low-cost, Linux-friendly ARM single board computer is the Orange Pi that's trying to ride off the success of the Raspberry Pi...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTg3MDk

  • #2
    Is really allwinner open source linux friendly?

    AFAIK they are pretty closed, the linux-sunxi project is based on reverse engineering and allwinner video encoding/decoding hardware unit is totally undocumented. Also they lacks OMX proprietary drivers, they just have a sort-of multimedia driver with non-standard API.

    I matured the opinion that chinese-based boards are pretty interesting for the hardware side, but still a mess for the software side.
    The Odroid-C1, based on AmLogic SoC, should be more promising from this point of view.

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    • #3
      Gigabit? I'll be interested in seeing what the bandwidth on the internal buses is. I know the CuBox spec sheet notes that internal restrictions actually cap it at 470Mbit.

      As for the SATA, I wonder whether it support port multiplexers. I seem to remember the CuBox blog claiming support for them and other ARM-based devices with SATA (Cubieboard?) explicitly claiming a lack of compatibility.

      Who knows. It might turn out to be useful for D.I.Y.-ing a cheap, S.M.A.R.T.-capable NAS using leftover desktop parts. (eg. cases and PSUs)

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      • #4
        Originally posted by blackshard View Post
        Is really allwinner open source linux friendly?

        AFAIK they are pretty closed, the linux-sunxi project is based on reverse engineering and allwinner video encoding/decoding hardware unit is totally undocumented. Also they lacks OMX proprietary drivers, they just have a sort-of multimedia driver with non-standard API.

        I matured the opinion that chinese-based boards are pretty interesting for the hardware side, but still a mess for the software side.
        The Odroid-C1, based on AmLogic SoC, should be more promising from this point of view.
        They suck the least. And there is the lima driver which as been around for awhile and supports the Mail GPUs so I am not sure what Micheal is talking about with respect to the Mali GPUs... the SGX is pure evil though I would never buy one of them.... I even attempt to avoid them in phones too. I got burned pretty bad on the n800 MBX GPU which had opengl but due to closed source drivers from Imagination Technologies getting it working was all but impossible with the non standard n800 framebuffer.


        NOTE: none of the allwinner chips support SATA multiplexers.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by cb88 View Post
          They suck the least. And there is the lima driver which as been around for awhile and supports the Mail GPUs so I am not sure what Micheal is talking about with respect to the Mali GPUs... the SGX is pure evil though I would never buy one of them.... I even attempt to avoid them in phones too. I got burned pretty bad on the n800 MBX GPU which had opengl but due to closed source drivers from Imagination Technologies getting it working was all but impossible with the non standard n800 framebuffer.
          Lima isn't part of mainline Mesa as there isn't yet a public Mesa/Gallium3D driver and hasn't had any new news in almost two years.
          Michael Larabel
          http://www.michaellarabel.com/

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          • #6
            I also use a Cubieboard 2 with an A20 from Allwinner. The performance is decent for lightweight desktops but the drivers for video accel and gpu aren't very stable. Currently I only use it as a development server for ARM Assembly. Recently I saw somewhere (Github?) some stability fixes from sunxi so I should give it another try.

            Originally posted by Michael View Post
            Lima isn't part of mainline Mesa as there isn't yet a public Mesa/Gallium3D driver and hasn't had any new news in almost two years.
            I wanted to start hacking on Lima but when I multiple times asked in the IRC for help, I got no response. Also Lima did no progress in the last month so I wondered if the project is still active. This led to my thread here on phoronix

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            • #7
              Originally posted by cb88 View Post
              They suck the least. And there is the lima driver which as been around for awhile and supports the Mail GPUs so I am not sure what Micheal is talking about with respect to the Mali GPUs... the SGX is pure evil though I would never buy one of them.... I even attempt to avoid them in phones too. I got burned pretty bad on the n800 MBX GPU which had opengl but due to closed source drivers from Imagination Technologies getting it working was all but impossible with the non standard n800 framebuffer.
              The less sucking SoCs about linux support indeed are raspberry pi broadcom SoCs. AmLogic deliberately has an open source linux support site, so I tend to prefer these two options instead of AllWinner and RockChip.

              BTW, the GPU doesn't deal with video encoding and decoding (not always, at least). AllWinner has a thing called Cedar to do video encoding and decoding, which is currently under reverse engineering process and I don't know the current status (take a look to linux-sunxi pages, if you wish) and there is no stable open source driver yet. As I said in the previous post, the proprietary driver for Cedar doesn't expose standard OMX components, but has a proprietary API.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by ssokolow View Post
                Gigabit? I'll be interested in seeing what the bandwidth on the internal buses is. I know the CuBox spec sheet notes that internal restrictions actually cap it at 470Mbit.
                CuBoxi are based on i.mx, which have a 470Mbit limitation on the Gbe controller. The Allwinner A1x and A2x are also limited to ~450Mbit, and ~40MB/s writing on the SATA II interface. I can be wrong, but i think that it's a limitation on the internal bus of the i.mx6 and allwinner SOCs. At least Olinuxino Lime2 (Allwinner A20) and BananaPi (A20) also have that limitations.

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                • #9
                  Hi,

                  Originally posted by cb88 View Post
                  NOTE: none of the allwinner chips support SATA multiplexers.
                  Not true, it was just never tested, starting with 3.19 sata port multiplexers are supported, although you do need to pass a module option to make them work:

                  https://git.kernel.org/cgit/linux/ke...67903f95045159

                  Regards,

                  Hans

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by blackshard View Post
                    The less sucking SoCs about linux support indeed are raspberry pi broadcom SoCs. AmLogic deliberately has an open source linux support site, so I tend to prefer these two options instead of AllWinner and RockChip.
                    In my opinion the best SOC for open source is the Freescale i.MX6, the opensource video driver is nearly as good Freedreno, but the rest of the SOC is more open, both for hardware design and driver programming, than the Qualcomm. The bcm from RPi was one of the worst, from the boot process to the gpu, although is improving, the RPi doesn't use the Gallium free driver yet, and it uses a binary closed firmware to boot (has this changed?).

                    Allwinner is not that bad, it has a big community, nearly all works with opensource drivers, and Lima driver is not as completed as Freedreno or Etnaviv but better than many of the other options. Also important is that the Allwinner A20 is ARMv7 dual core, with VFPv3, NEON SIMD extensions, LPAE, virtualization extension etc while bcm in rpi is a single ARM11 (ARMv6) without any of this extensions and is not well supported in some distributions like Debian.

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