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That Open, Upgradeable ARM Dev Board Is Trying To Make A Comeback

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  • That Open, Upgradeable ARM Dev Board Is Trying To Make A Comeback

    Phoronix: That Open, Upgradeable ARM Dev Board Is Trying To Make A Comeback

    Remember that Improve Dev Board using an open-source, upgradeable design and running Mer from 2013~2014 before the project collapsed? It's back now in the form of a new crowdfunding campaign with some changes to the hardware and the option of a build-your-own laptop...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...mpaign-Returns

  • #2
    ...has an Allwinner A20 SoC with 2GB of RAM and 8GB of NAND Flash. They will be trying to get the Free Software Foundation's Respect-Your-Freedom certification on this hardware...
    Wait, what? They're trying to get FSF accreditation on a device using components from a known GPL violator? That's brazen to say the least.

    Cool concept, let down by the fact that they're using Allwinner tech.
    Last edited by kaprikawn; 07-02-2016, 08:58 AM. Reason: Added link

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    • #3
      Not Alwinner, but Mali the issue. With all half-decent chips from Freescale that have a Vivante GPU and other stuff that has a half-working opensource driver that only needs more help to go full-blown support, they choose a crap chip with a Mali.

      Still, their laptop is the best shot at a good chassis for a decent DYI ARM laptop.

      I'd love to be able to design a different modular board for that.
      Last edited by starshipeleven; 07-02-2016, 10:00 AM.

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      • #4
        https://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/l.../msg00212.html
        https://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/l.../msg00211.html

        Yea, no.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by starshipeleven View Post
          Not Alwinner, but Mali the issue. With all half-decent chips from Freescale that have a Vivante GPU and other stuff that has a half-working opensource driver that only needs more help to go full-blown support, they choose a crap chip with a Mali.

          Still, their laptop is the best shot at a good chassis for a decent DYI ARM laptop.

          I'd love to be able to design a different modular board for that.
          Thats right. 3D-acceleration on Mali is the issue. So, most likely, that closed source code wont be included, but one can add it later... Otherwise the A20 is fine, although its a bit old.
          As for alternatives: there are (to my knowledge) still none completely open / FSF-proof, atm.
          I am thinking of backing the project...

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          • #6
            lol, laptop for $500 without graphics. why not add $5 and use chip with freedreno support?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by starshipeleven View Post
              Not Alwinner, but Mali the issue
              allwinner is gpl violator

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              • #8
                Originally posted by sverris View Post

                Thats right. 3D-acceleration on Mali is the issue. So, most likely, that closed source code wont be included, but one can add it later... Otherwise the A20 is fine, although its a bit old.
                As for alternatives: there are (to my knowledge) still none completely open / FSF-proof, atm.
                I am thinking of backing the project...
                On the FSF RYF edition, it looks like they are physically disabling the Mali support.
                Michael Larabel
                http://www.michaellarabel.com/

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by pal666 View Post
                  lol, laptop for $500 without graphics. why not add $5 and use chip with freedreno support?
                  Thats quite typical for small scale/quantity projects. In terms of price, they never can compete with the big corporations. Just take a look at the devices from fairphone.com and neo900.org...

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by pal666 View Post
                    lol, laptop for $500 without graphics. why not add $5 and use chip with freedreno support?
                    It seems cost was an issue. Even the other "free" and "open" console went with a powerVR gpu instead.

                    Originally posted by pal666 View Post
                    allwinner is gpl violator
                    None gives a fuck about that, the hardware itself does not, the only thing they care about is the lack of free drivers for Mali
                    https://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/l.../msg00212.html
                    https://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/l.../msg00211.html
                    Last edited by starshipeleven; 07-02-2016, 01:51 PM.

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