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Samsung Launches Exynos-Based Origen Dev Board

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the shiny-new-toys dept.

Hardware 79

siliconbits writes "You may recall a little group of Linux-loving chums called Linaro, which was formed almost a year ago in the hopes of speeding up Linux development. Today at Computex, the company's taking it one step further with the announcement of the Origen development board. Based on Samsung's beefy Exynos 4210 dual core chipset, the kit packs all the essential ports — including HDMI, USB 2.0 host, SD slot, etc. — for keen developers to get their hands dirty on, and its base board is also removable to accommodate future chipsets. Potential buyers are told to keep an eye on Insignal, which will soon be offering the basic Origen package for $199, along with optional parts at an extra cost."

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...what? (3, Insightful)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#36291216)

A little context would go a long way towards explaining what the hell the summary is babbling about.

Re:...what? (-1, Troll)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#36291284)

It was quite apparent to me what the summary was talking about. Maybe it'd be handy to click the link and see what's being referred to. Perhaps working on your reading comprehension would help you, instead of asking to be talked down to because you don't instantly understand the subject matter.

Re:...what? (1)

SiMac (409541) | more than 3 years ago | (#36291358)

Maybe the link has the same text as the summary. Maybe we have no idea how this board is supposed to "speed up Linux development."

Re:...what? (5, Informative)

tomthepom (314977) | more than 3 years ago | (#36291462)

No it's not terribly clear to anyone not in the field - and the linked article really doesn't shed much light. A quick glossary might help;

Linaro = a bunch of engineers who write Linux based tools and software for ARM devices.
Origen = an ARM based motherboard for developing software for smartphones, tablets and various other small devices with screens.

That's it.

Re:...what? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36291714)

No it's not terribly clear to anyone not in the field - and the linked article really doesn't shed much light. A quick glossary might help;

Linaro = a bunch of engineers who write Linux based tools and software for ARM devices.
Origen = an ARM based motherboard for developing software for smartphones, tablets and various other small devices with screens.

That's it.

I know you think that's the kind and nice thing to do but you're feeding the guy's weakness. If you ever seriously wonder why the world is as dysfunctional as it is today, why so many people struggle with things that a little knowledge and discipline would resolve, it is for this one reason: what so often looks like a nice favor is actually an act of validating someone's weakness. Most of the time people do this because it looks nice on the surface and the disservice it actually represents is not easily noticed, or because they have an unconscious need to be liked and thought of as a good person, to win approval, etc. The road to Hell is truly paved with the most wonderful of intentions.

The thing about personal weaknesses is that they are inherently difficult to even admit, let alone overcome. If that was easy he'd have already done it by now. It's not easy. You are making it still more difficult by making it effortless not to. If left to its natural course, where a weakness is not propped up by otherwise well-intentioned people, he would be increasingly confronted by his ignorance and his intellectual laziness and it would become less and less comfortable to maintain those. Remaining in denial, continuing to deny that a literate grown man should be able to educate himself would become more expensive. Water would seek its own level and he would slowly experiment with trying to educate himself and would become more and more skilled at quickly finding his own answers.

You just deprived him of that. I mean that for a statement of fact and not as an accusation or personal attack and I apologize if it sounds that way. I don't think you are a bad guy for a moment. I think you mean well and don't understand that the whole society doing this all the time is part of why people are so dumb and so helpless. The repeated examples all around you are probably why this seems normal to you. Likewise, you are teaching him through repeated (and thus reinforced) example that it is better to depend on strangers to perform trivial tasks for him rather than take the 1-2 minutes necessary to look up something and inform himself. You are teaching him how to be helpless and dependent.

We've built a whole culture on this kind of practice. What has it gotten us? Is the world a better, saner, more stable place now than it was a generation ago? Is it moving in the right direction? No, it isn't. There's a saying, no matter how far down the wrong road you have travelled, turn back. If you start caring about someone's personal growth and well-being more than you care about them liking you, you will find that many of your "friends" will abandon you the moment it's even slightly convenient to do so. You will also find that those who remain are your real friends, like adopted family members, that what most people call a friend is barely a passing acquaintence to you. Real person or a type-cast being who's putting on a show: your choice.

Irony or just recursion? (1)

mevets (322601) | more than 3 years ago | (#36291806)

Good luck on your crusade.

Light a fire for a man, he has warmth for a day; light a man on fire and he is warm for the rest of his life.

Re:...what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36291852)

No, parent was right in being confused. We can't know everything about everything, so the summary should at least give context and explain a bit what the hell they're talking about. And if you think you know everything, get your head out of your ass.

Re:...what? (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 3 years ago | (#36291916)

The summaty was just fine. The OP was being both snarky and lazy.

Re:...what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36292224)

No, parent was right in being confused. We can't know everything about everything, so the summary should at least give context and explain a bit what the hell they're talking about. And if you think you know everything, get your head out of your ass.

I suggested he learn to use Google and other resources (since presence on Slashdot proves he has 'net access) to look up whatever it is he does not know. That is not the same thing as knowing everything off the top of one's head. Is failure to understand my message your only argument? Figures. There is no way you could contend against it in any sort of dignified manner.

Re:...what? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36292912)

No, the summary was crap. A summary should be able to give a layman the the gist of the article. This summary failed utterly because it

A) Assumed you knew who Linaro is
B) "speeding up Linux development." is vague as hell.
C) Other problems which I cannot be bothered to list

Starts going into product details without mentioning what the hell it is about. I was looking at the summary and thinking "So they have released a small form-factor PC motherboard? So what?". Nowhere to they mention ARM, nowhere do they mention that it is aimed at mobile development.

The summary utterly failed to catch my interest due to not explaining what areas the article would be covering...i.e., it failed as a summary.

Re:...what? (1)

freedumb2000 (966222) | more than 3 years ago | (#36294264)

You are arrogant and apparently no nothing about journalistic writing. But you do seem awfully content with yourself so all the luck to you.

Re:...what? (1)

thsths (31372) | more than 3 years ago | (#36293990)

> Origen = an ARM based motherboard

See, *ARM* is the key word here. It is not in the summary, and that makes it an absolute terrible summary. The fact that all the ARM fan boys don't realise that is quite illuminating in a way.

Excuse me? (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#36292124)

If I have to click the link in the summary, then can you explain what the hell the point of the summary is?

Why not just post a bunch of links with no text?

Re:...what? (0)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 3 years ago | (#36291324)

A little context would go a long way towards explaining what the hell the summary is babbling about.

It's a development board Samsung's Exynos 4210 dual core chipset.

Hope that helps!

Lardassification of America (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36291500)

so I saw this big fat heifer-sow of a woman at the grocery store. this one was easily in the 300-350lb range and i was surpirsed to see she could waddle on her own without the assistance of a wheeled electric fat-cart. i also was really very shocked and amazed to observe that she was raiding the donuts. no mere half-dozen or full dozen box is enough for her. oh, no. she had to nab the biggest box the place sold, the two-dozen box.

but you see, there was a problem. she simply could not hold out. it would be a whole 10-15 minutes before she could complete her shopping and check-out. though i am certain she struggled mightily to control herself, alas, it was far too long to wait. the craving and the temptation became far too much for her puny willpower. she was overcome and she knew it. still standing in the bakery/pastry area of the store, she could not help her self. she cracked open the box right then and there and started eating the fat-sugar-and-grease filled donuts. i think it was an empty box she brought to the check-out.

but oh how it was worth it. though she said nothing you could see how her heart sang. like the lover to his long-lost beloved, or the heroin addict to the needle and spoon, or the crackhead to that white rock, she was propelled by what she most cared about. of course she was a bit self-conscious. you could almost see it written on her face, thoughts like "they're going to think this is why I am so grotesquely fat" and "my decision making obviously could never have anything to do with my disgusting self-hating bloated fatbody obesity, i am not responsible, could not be responsible, it must be my big bones because bone always looks exactly like flabby jiggling rolls of fat".

listen up and learn well. hear the words of wisdom. even though it is proven absolutely by empirical observation, basic physics and mathematics, and the like, that you CANNOT POSSIBLY gain weight if you eat fewer calories than you burn... well despite all of these fancy "facts" and all of that bullshit book-learnin', obscenely fat heifers like her have no responsibility for their condition. it is always someone or something else's fault. true they could eat less or exercise more, or preferably both, but who has time for that? i mean damn, YOU try spending 10 hours of your waking day eating yourself into an early grave and then see how much time is left over for things like eating less or exercising more. quit being so damned insensitive.

so the next time you see a big fat sweaty sow of a woman whose rolls of fat on her shoulder blades look like a distorted, backward-facing second pair of breasts, you need to give her a mercy fuck. do it to take one for the team. do it to prove how much of a non-bigot you are. do it so you can finally expose the LIE that people who take responsibility for their lives gain the ability to improve themselves. we sure as hell can't have people believing in that.

just be sure to have on hand a 10 pound bag of flour. better make that two, just in case. you might need it for that mercy fuck. you see, there is so much more to love that you might have difficulty locating the vaginal opening. that's where the flour kicks in and saves the day, or the night. you simply roll her around in it and look for the wet spot. that, good sir, is your target. you will thank me in the morning, but fear not -- from the kindness of my heart i give this wisdom freely.

Re:...what? (4, Informative)

LordVader717 (888547) | more than 3 years ago | (#36291512)

It would also help explaining what the Samsung Exynos is in the first place. From Samsung's website:

General Description
Exynos 4210 is a system-on-a-chip (SoC) based on the 32-bit RISC processor for smartphones, tablet PCs, and Netbook markets. Exynos 4210 provides the best performance features such as dual core CPU, highest memory bandwidth, world's first native triple display, 1080p video decode and encode hardware, 3D graphics hardware, and high-speed interfaces such as SATA and USB.

Exynos 4210 uses the CortexA9 dual core, which is 25% DMIPS faster than the CortexA8 core. It provides 6.4GB/s memory bandwidth for heavy traffic operations such as 1080p video en/decoding, 3D graphics display, and native triple display. The application processor supports dynamic virtual address mapping. This feature will help the software engineers to fully utilize the memory resources with ease.

Exynos 4210 provides the best 3D graphics performance and native triple display. The native triple display, in particular, supports WSVGA resolution of two main LCD displays and 1080p HDTV display throughout HDMI, simultaneously. This is possible due to the capability of Exynos 4210 to support separate post processing pipelines.

Exynos 4210 lowers the Bill of Materials (BOM) by integrating the following IPs: world's first DDR3 interfaces that will prepare bit cross with DDR2; 8 channels of I2C for a variety of sensors; SATA2; the GPS baseband; and a variety of USB derivatives (USB Host 2.0, Device 2.0, and HSIC interfaces with PHY transceivers to be connected with 802.11n, Ethernet, HSPA+, and 4G LTE modem). The application processor also supports industry's first DDR based eMMC 4.4 interfaces to increase the file system's performance.

Exynos 4210 is available as FCMSP Package on Package (PoP), which has a 0.45mm ball pitch with LPDDR2 configuration. The MCP will depend upon the customer's requirement.

Exynos 4210 Block Diagram
Features

        ARM CortexA9 dual core subsystem with 64-/128-bit SIMD NEON
        - 32KB (Instruction)/32KB (Data) L1 Cache and 1MB L2 Cache
        - 1.2Hz and 1.0GHz Core Frequency: Voltage 1.2V
        64-bit Multi-layered bus architecture
        Internal ROM and RAM for secure booting, security, and general purposes
        Memory Subsystem:
        - SRAM/ROM/NOR/NAND Interface with x8 or x16 data bus
        - OneNAND Interface with x16 data bus
        - 2-ports 32-bit 800Mbps LPDDR2/DDR2/DDR3 Interfaces
        8-bit ITU 601/656 Camera Interface
        Multi-format Video Hardware Codec: 1080p 30fps (capable of decoding and encoding MPEG-4/H.263/H.264) and 1080p 30fps (capable of decoding MPEG-2/VC1)
        JPEG Hardware Codec
        3D and 2D graphics hardware, supporting OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0, and OpenVG 1.1
        LCD single or dual display, supporting 24bpp RGB, MIPI
        Native triple display, supporting WSVGA LCD dual display and 1080p HDMI, simultaneously
        Composite TV-out and HDMI 1.3a interfaces
        GPS baseband integration with GPS RF interface
        2-ports (4-lanes and 2-lanes) MIPI DSI and MIPI CSI interfaces
        1-channel AC-97, 2-channel PCM, and 3-channel 24-bit I2S audio interface, supporting 5.1 channel audio
        1-channel S/PDIF interface support for digital audio
        8-channel I2C interface support for PMIC, HDMI, and general-purpose multi-master
        3-channel high-speed SPI
        4-channel high-speed UART (up to 3Mbps data rate for Bluetooth 2.1 EDR and IrDA 1.0 SIR)
        USB 2.0 Device 1-channel, supporting FS/HS (12Mbps/480Mbps) with on-chip PHY
        USB 2.0 Host 1-channel, supporting LS/FS/HS (1.5Mbps/12Mbps/480Mbps) with on-chip PHY
        USB HSIC 2-channel, supporting (480Mbps) with on-chip PHY
        Asynchronous Direct Modem Interface with 16KB DPSRAM
        4-channel SD/MMC interface, supporting SD 2.0, HS-MMC 4.3, and 1ch HS-MMC 4.4 DDR 4-bit interface muxed with HS-MMC 4.3
        SATA AHCI 1-channel, supporting SATA1 (1.5Gbps) and SATA2 (3.0Gbps) with on-chip PHY
        32-channel DMA Controller
        14x8 keypad support
        10-channel 12-bit multiplexed ADCs
        Configurable GPIOs
        Real time clock, PLLs, timer with PWM, and watchdog timer

What's the point of a summary when the article contains less useful information than a company press release?

Re:...what? (1)

xMrFishx (1956084) | more than 3 years ago | (#36291710)

Excellent, technical data, thankyou for that. Saves me going a hunting.

Re:...what? (0)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 3 years ago | (#36291716)

It would also help explaining what the Samsung Exynos is in the first place.

That is what Google (or Bing, if you prefer) is for...

Re:...what? (1)

LordVader717 (888547) | more than 3 years ago | (#36301956)

To compensate for journalistic laziness? I think not.

Re:...what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36294668)

Yeah, thanks
I like the look of the audio channels personally

Re:...what? (2)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 3 years ago | (#36291388)

It's a dual-core ARM single board PC.

It's basically a tablet minus the screen, battery, and storage.

If you're looking for a small box for a NAS, router, etc, look elsewhere—it lacks ethernet, SATA, expandable memory, etc.

Re:...what? (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 3 years ago | (#36294110)

It does, however, have wireless.

I'm not entirely sure what I'd do with it, though, and it does seem like other boards would be better. For example, I could turn it into a wireless media frontend (though I wish it did 1080p@60fps) or a web/X11 terminal, 1 gig of RAM is plenty for that -- but in both of those cases, it's going to pretty much be sitting in one place for a long time, so Ethernet is going to be a better option. (Yes, running Ethernet is annoying, even more so if you want it to look pretty, but your connection doesn't drop every time someone makes nachos [xkcd.com] .)

It's also more than enough horsepower for a NAS or a media server, but in both cases, ethernet would be helpful, and so would SATA -- so that's pushing it.

But I can't really think of a case where I'd want expandable memory -- 1 gig is plenty for almost any application I can think of where I'd want a single board PC.

Re:...what? (1)

pmontra (738736) | more than 3 years ago | (#36294498)

It's what's inside a Samsung Galaxy S2 [samsung.com] .

Re:...what? (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 3 years ago | (#36294744)

I couldn't figure out what market they are targeting. There are already plenty of single board ARM based computers, with varying features and prices. Not many dual core ones perhaps. Generally speaking though there are many cheaper and better equipped boards out there, and since they all run Linux in some form or another there isn't much difference other than the spec.

For hackers looking for a cheap ARM platform many home routers can be hacked to run your own software and are extremely cheap, plus you get built in wifi and ethernet with a 5 port switch.

Re:...what? (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 3 years ago | (#36295140)

The market they're targeting is "companies who want to develop for the Samsung Exynos SoC".

If you're developing some hardware around it, you buy one of these dev boards, and develop your software on the dev board before your hardware is ready.

Re:...what? (1)

belthize (990217) | more than 3 years ago | (#36291458)

It's a board based on Samsung's beefy Exynos 4210 dual core, designed to speed up Linux development by a bunch of fun loving chums. All right there in the summary conveniently cut and pasted from the Engadget article lest something be lost in translation.

I took the liberty of assuming linux was synonymous with fun in this context. Apologies if the chums in question love linux but not fun.

I'm sure this board differs from other boards of similar use: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BeagleBoard#Similar_products [wikipedia.org]
I was going to link to the Origen wikipedia article as a reference rather than the BeagleBoard but was a bit confused by it's relevance.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origen [wikipedia.org]

Re:...what? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#36291468)

It is an embedded development board that used a dual core Cortex A9. If that doesn't help then you are lacking the basic knowledge to use this information. It maybe of no interest to you unless you are a developer that is into Linux, and the Cortex line of embedded devices.
Now the specs are are missing some info. They say it supports SPI,I2C, and several other ports but most of them are not shown being available on headers.

Re:...what? (1)

xMrFishx (1956084) | more than 3 years ago | (#36291744)

They say it supports SPI,I2C, and several other ports but most of them are not shown being available on headers.

It seems to be made up of a motherboard with the CPU and memory nailed to it, this is implanted into an IO daughterboard where everything else is attached. Possibly those signals are either not routed off the motherboard because no peripherals on the daughterboard are using them (unlikely?) or those signals are routed onto the daughterboard and used by IO ICs for the peripheral access but not headered out for GPIO use.

Someone who knows more about board design might be able to correct me there mind you.

Re:...what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36291794)

Unfortunately datasheet is not directly available on Samsung web site. But the the marketing brochure shows the available bus on the SOC :
http://www.samsung.com/global/business/semiconductor/support/brochures/downloads/systemlsi/Exynos4210.pdf

Another product targeted toward developers exist, it's a full featured tablet and it use the same system with a CPU bord :
http://www.hardkernel.com/renewal_2011/shop/good_list.php?lang=en
Look for Odroid-A

So short answer is the low speed bus may not be available directly, we will not know before the schematic are published. But they are 99.99% sure to be present on the CPU module itself. So you can (relatively) easily design your own mother board and use the CPU module on it.

Even if Origen and odroid use the same idea : CPU module + motherboard the two modules look different and they probably not use the same pinout.

One thing really interesting from this SOC is it has both PCIe and Sata which are not available on TI boards.

 

Re:...what? (1)

xMrFishx (1956084) | more than 3 years ago | (#36291864)

Interesting, thanks.

Re:...what? (1)

lennier (44736) | more than 3 years ago | (#36291508)

A little context would go a long way towards explaining what the hell the summary is babbling about.

Sheesh, do some research. Slashdot is obviously now a blog about third century African Christian theologians. [wikipedia.org]

Re:...what? (1)

rjames13 (1178191) | more than 3 years ago | (#36291570)

It's a thing that I can use to create another thing.

Re:...what? (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 3 years ago | (#36291976)

My thing can already create other things, or so I'm told.

Re:...what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36291748)

if you wouldn't be in such a hurry to be fp, and read the comments in TFA.... guess what... it would help!

Re:...what? (1)

creat3d (1489345) | more than 3 years ago | (#36292702)

A little context would go a long way towards explaining what the hell the summary is babbling about.

Have you tried reading it?

Re:...what? (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#36293770)

If I have to RTFA to understand the summary, then what's the point of the summary?

Re:...what? (1)

creat3d (1489345) | more than 3 years ago | (#36294228)

How is the summary not clear enough?

Re:...what? (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#36300134)

Well for starters, it doesn't provide any context as to what it's about. "Board" can mean a lot of things in hardware lingo. Are they talking about a motherboard? That would be a good place to start.

Companies crap out press releases all the time. Skip the techno-babble and tell me WHY this is news-worthy.

Yet Another Development Board (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36291406)

The problem with development boards is that there are gazillions of them out there, and almost all of them exist to try and sell you various bits of silicon. A development board is normally only interesting when you want to try and make something with it.

Re:Yet Another Development Board (1)

xMrFishx (1956084) | more than 3 years ago | (#36291776)

I don't know, are there really that many fully kitted out Cortex-A(n) boards kicking around that are straight forward and affordable to develop for? Beagleboard is one, and there's a quad variant that came out last year I think. Of course everyone who makes more than one product with a chip probably has a dev board, but they're made in low quantities that will push costs a bit. This one is quite nice as it does have options for purchase with readily compatible peripherals such as screens etc that only pushes the price to around $400, which is rather nice I think.

Re:Yet Another Development Board (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#36292068)

The problem with development boards is that there are gazillions of them out there, [...] A development board is normally only interesting when you want to try and make something with it

And why is this a problem?
To put in another way: do you see a problem in having gazillions of manufacturers of power tools for wood/metal works for example?

Re:Yet Another Development Board (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 3 years ago | (#36293364)

And why is this a problem? To put in another way: do you see a problem in having gazillions of manufacturers of power tools for wood/metal works for example?

Yes, I'M AN ENT you insensitive clod!

Re:Yet Another Development Board (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#36293746)

And why is this a problem? To put in another way: do you see a problem in having gazillions of manufacturers of power tools for wood/metal works for example?

Yes, I'M AN ENT you insensitive clod!

Your post must be nothing (i.e. be extremely irrelevant) even for you: it took you less than a few hours for you to post it and it is well know that "ents only say something if it takes a long time to say it"

Re:Yet Another Development Board (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 3 years ago | (#36300248)

No, Ents only say something if it is important enough to say, because "it takes a long time to say it".

PandaBoard (1)

ZeroEpoch (210003) | more than 3 years ago | (#36291436)

The specs for this board are similar to the specs for the PandaBoard, which is less than $200. Linaro also works on the PandaBoard. Is this just a new development board based on Samsung's SOC that happens to support Linaro?

Re:PandaBoard (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#36292122)

The specs for this board are similar to the specs for the PandaBoard, which is less than $200.

The Pandaboard seems to be manufactured in batches, the available stock at their distributors shows a 0 quantity (thus a non-trivial wait time to get one - this may be a problem for some, but again may be not).

Killer XBMC Box. (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 3 years ago | (#36291572)

Once they get the ARM port finalized this would be one awesome little XBMC device. Full 1080p support. 1.2 gHz should be plenty fast for the non HD encoded stuff (old .avi DIVX movies).

Re:Killer XBMC Box. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36291946)

you can already put xbmc on an appletv... for $99 it's a bargain.

But does it have the MOST essential STICKER!? (-1, Offtopic)

Provocateur (133110) | more than 3 years ago | (#36291606)

...with kernel 3.0.0 inside! OMG Poniez!!!

And you will know the Truth of Origen... (1)

Phrogman (80473) | more than 3 years ago | (#36291736)

:P

Linux drivers (2)

ArcRiley (737114) | more than 3 years ago | (#36291812)

This would be worth so much more if the board's chipsets supported freely licensed drivers. As it stands only proprietary drivers are available for most of the hardware which may or may not work with the kernel version/variant you want to use.

Re:Linux drivers (2)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#36292148)

This would be worth so much more if the board's chipsets supported freely licensed drivers.

It seems that Linaro full support for Origen [linaro.org] (see close to the end of the PDF) will be available in Q3/2011 [linaro.org] .

Re:Linux drivers (1)

ArcRiley (737114) | more than 3 years ago | (#36292418)

They never claim that the board will be supported entirely through freely licensed software and drivers. Much of the hardware on the board is only supported through proprietary firmware/drivers. It would be great if Linaro could change that, but I doubt they have that kind of leverage (or interest). What we'll likely get is a board that requires an "evaluation SDK" filled with proprietary drivers compiled for the specific development environments they support while they parade their board around saying "isn't it great you can run Linux on this?"

Until they make a public announcement to the contrary we have no reason to believe otherwise.

Re:Linux drivers (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#36292696)

Until they make a public announcement to the contrary we have no reason to believe otherwise.

Depends on what you understand by hardware support [linaro.org] ... to me, it sounds very much like drivers

The 11.05 cycle will add hardware support for Samsung and Freescale in addition to the existing OMAP, ARM Versatile Express Platform and U8500 based boards.

and

Linaro is also working with its member chip companies to maximize upstream SoC support, i.e. to move most of the SoC specific drivers into the official sources on http://kernel.org/ [kernel.org] .

Sounds like a public enough declaration of support for open-source drivers?

Re:Linux drivers (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#36293488)

Sounds like a public enough declaration of support for open-source drivers?

With respect only to development boards for the SoCs in question. Actual production devices rarely see their board support files upstreamed, instead rotting forever in some Android-specific kernel with Android-isms littered throughout the source, along with more feature-filled and capable drivers for many board peripherals.

This is to say absolutely nothing about video drivers, which are hellish to a degree unknown in the desktop space. They are completely closed source and operate entirely in userspace. As a result, they end up dependent on the system's libc and specific ABI, so were something built for Android using ARM softfp, it would not work with MeeGo built with hardfp. Hell the bionic/glibc difference alone makes it impossible. On top of that, the SoC vendors generally are loathe to support any platform outside a specially chosen set. So you could boot Fedora, Gentoo, or Debian but if there's anything that interferes with the video drivers, you're stuck with software rendered 2D instead of using the 3D facilities of the chip.

GP is right, sadly. I love that all of these ARM dev boards are coming out, but you're still extremely limited in the target OSes you can try them out fully on and it's all due to proprietary, closed source drivers.

Re:Linux drivers (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#36293690)

Sounds like a public enough declaration of support for open-source drivers?

With respect only to development boards for the SoCs in question. Actual production devices ...

Quote from the OP:

This would be worth so much more if the board's chipsets supported freely licensed drivers.

In the context, I understand the "boards" as "development boards for the SoC in question" and not "actual production devices". Thus a Linux port with OSS drivers working strictly for the delivered dev board is good enough for me - as I don't plan to use a dev board as a actual mass production device (like a smart-phone or what-not for an end-consumer).

Am I missing something?

Re:Linux drivers (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 3 years ago | (#36293512)

You might read the Linaro FAQ [linaro.org] :

Q11. What license will you use?

A11. The licensing used will be in line with the existing licensing plan for the open source projects. If we were to create a new project, we would choose an appropriate OSI approved license.

Q12. Are Linaro software and tools free and available to anyone?

A12: Yes. Tools and software are available now as monthly releases to make it easy to get the latest code and tools.

Q13. Does Linaro make money?

A13. No. Linaro is a not for profit organization doing useful open source engineering work for the good of the industry.

Essentially it's a club of about 100 engineers from various sources with the mission to accelerate development and use of Linux on ARM. Naturally they would partner with various hardare and distro partners to get various flavors of Linux on various flavors of ARM, and encourage wide distribution of all of this. These groups typically use a "Cambrian Explosion" approach to innovation and selection, so you shouldn't marry any platform they produce, but rather be flexible about exploiting the potentials presented. It's for learning. That geeks will send this thing to the upper levels of the atmosphere and perhaps to space; to the deepest levels of our oceans, fly UAVs, and program robots in elementary schools is incidental to the main thrust. Those folks buy units in the hundreds: they're not the target market - but it's still cool that this stuff is available to do that.

While dev boards are normally available for just about everything, you have to be a ninth level nerd to navigate all the various vendor agreements, partnerships and docs in a way that doesn't lead to a halt in open source progress with development NDA's, unsupported hardware or other roadblocks. Sometimes you have to be working for a Fortune 500 company to get the DevKit. These guys are doing away with all that, and that's a good thing. It's important that they're doing it not for money, but because they crave progress. Whether their craving is personal or institutional is irrelevant because we all benefit from progress. This is a good way to isolate progress drivers such that they can work and not harm their sponsors.

$199? Intel Atom board goes for $79 (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36291988)

$199? are they kidding? I can get the Intel Atom board for $79 and it comes with USB, ethernet, VGA, SATA already at dual core
Software are dirt cheap to free

Re: $199? Intel Atom board goes for $79 (1)

xMrFishx (1956084) | more than 3 years ago | (#36292278)

So? That's like comparing apples to hammers. It's a development kit, not a consumer product.

Re: $199? Intel Atom board goes for $79 (2)

proverbialcow (177020) | more than 3 years ago | (#36292728)

That's like comparing apples to hammers.

You know what they say: "When all you've got is an iPhone, everything starts to look like you're getting screwed."

Re: $199? Intel Atom board goes for $79 (1)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 3 years ago | (#36295550)

When you realize that this will be FASTER than the Atom board and consume roughly 1/10th the power and allow you to target tablets and handhelds...something that the Atom won't do...it becomes a bit more interesting. At least to some people. Never mistake your values for everyone else's.

Re: $199? Intel Atom board goes for $79 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36297904)

you must be joking right? atom is still faster than arm by a long shot
and for development, who needs battery? need the latest tool - already has it on my pc - visual studio,
no need to buy ARM expensive compiler, debugger, etc. If I want to plug a 2G or 4G memory stick
on an Intel atom board - no problem.

Re: $199? Intel Atom board goes for $79 (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 3 years ago | (#36298872)

"When all you've got is an iPhone, everything starts to look like you're getting screwed."

Sure does. [cbsnews.com]

Re: $199? Intel Atom board goes for $79 (1)

proverbialcow (177020) | more than 2 years ago | (#36304952)

Are those numbers "at once" or "ever"?

Re: $199? Intel Atom board goes for $79 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36292662)

Links for the lazy that still has some mod points?

Dev Board (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36292646)

This seems to be a slightly more limited, slightly less expensive version of the Panda Board. I wonder how Samsung's cortex A9 compares to TI's omap version...

Re:Dev Board (1)

ZeroEpoch (210003) | more than 2 years ago | (#36304926)

The PandaBoard is actually cheaper.

my $0.02 (1)

cfriedt (1189527) | more than 3 years ago | (#36292648)

My first question would be about the power that board is consuming ddr3 support (800+ MT/s). Keep in mind that transistors sink the most amount of current (i.e. consume power) when they are in the process of switching from '0' to '1' and vice versa. So if The bus speed has just increased by at least a factor of 4, then power consumption might have increased proportionally. A think a performance-per-watt graph comparing the Exynos chip and a dual core atom is in order (ahem.... tom's ... cough... hardware... sniff).

My next question would be, "where are the Mali GPU drivers?" A free as in speech implementation of all patent unencumbered interfaces of this GPU would be brilliant. Can't wait to talk to the Linaro devs ;-)

Trustzone lockdown? (4, Interesting)

kent.dickey (685796) | more than 3 years ago | (#36292930)

I've bought about 5 different ARM-based development boards over the past 2 years.

One big issue is ARM CPUs have a security feature called TrustZone which can run an OS with privileged code, but still restrict some hardware to only "secure" software (basically, a hypervisor above the OS). Unfortunately, for example, TI in its OMAP platforms has decided to force Linux to run non-secure always in the cheap development platforms. This is a problem for me since I want to be able to change those registers, and in some cases ARM CPUs have a variety of bugs which require setting workaround bits in CPU registers which cannot be changed by non-secure code. And of course those bits aren't set.

This problem affects the PandaBoard, Beagleboard, and a Zoom board I got from LogicPD with an OMAP chip. All use TI OMAP chips, all boot Linux in non-secure mode. I've been happy with a board I got from Freescale, the MX.51, which lets me run secure code just fine. Unfortunately, Freescale development boards are around $1000, and these TI-based boards are around $200.

So, does anyone know how Samsung is going to handle TrustZone--will Linux be able to run in secure mode?

Re:Trustzone lockdown? (1)

romiz (757548) | more than 3 years ago | (#36294556)

You may be interested by the latest demo board from Freescale, which is less powerful than the Samsung, but very comparable to the BeagleBoard: i.MX53 Quick Start Board [freescale.com] .

At $150, it is a good bargain, and it's a Linaro target as well.

Re:Trustzone lockdown? (1)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 3 years ago | (#36295570)

I think that has less to do with TI and more to do with ARM not divulging all the info to drive the TrustZone feature- it requires kernel support (obviously) and therefore unless ARM lets the info loose, you're not getting it- otherwise you could just recompile the kernel to use it- in spite of TI's "not releasing it".

Re:Trustzone lockdown? (1)

kent.dickey (685796) | more than 3 years ago | (#36296302)

The Trustzone CPU hardware is documented in the ARM Architecture Reference Manual v7-a (yes, the ARM ARM). This manual is free, but requires registration at the ARM website, and you may have to explain why you need it (I did when I downloaded it 2 years ago, and it's not easy to tell if that's still the case or not). It is not under NDA, but you have to agree to some terms, such as I can't make a CPU and say it is an ARM CPU. As far as I know, all ARM instruction set references are under this type of registration protection now (although that wasn't always the case).

The CPU resets to secure mode. It's then up to the boot firmware to decide whether to go through the effort to set up the non-secure domain, or just stay secure when the OS is loaded. In general, the OS doesn't care. But some CPU registers are locked down and cannot be changed from non-secure mode. It's generally easier to stay secure since less has to be initialized, and you don't need hypervisor code, even if it's a trivial implementation.

What I suspect TI is doing is they have some "interesting" hardware which they don't want ordinary users to be able to see. Rather than providing their own hardware protection (write-once to disable, for instance), they rely on the CPU security model to hide it. And that's a problem for me. I don't care about their special hardware, but I care that certain CPU registers are locked down because of their design choice.

ARM netop/thinclient (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36293696)

I'd like to know why there is no $100 ARM netop out there if boards are that cheap.
A basic ARM11 board with plastic case shouldn't cost more than $25 to manufacture so thre is a huge space for profits.

Re:ARM netop/thinclient (1)

wschaub (1992690) | more than 3 years ago | (#36300098)

There is a $125 freescale i.MX51 based nettop and a $200 smartbook out there today look up the Efika MX. The company is very involved with the open source community and for the price and openness you really can't beat it. https://www.genesi-usa.com/products [genesi-usa.com]

Why (1)

Paul1969 (1976328) | more than 3 years ago | (#36293764)

would you want a board to develop an early Christian writer [wikipedia.org] ?

phone platform? (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | more than 3 years ago | (#36294328)

if samsung sponsored this project and agreed to base its future offerings on similar chipsets, we might see fully FOSS phones capable of running not just android but meego, ubuntu et alia.
Kinda like the symbian foundation was aiming for with wild ducks on beagleboard before nokia pulled the plug.

Make your own smartphone? (1)

Eggbloke (1698408) | more than 3 years ago | (#36294572)

Depending on power consumption you could add a touch screen and battery to this and have a very fast smartphone/PDA type thing.
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