Watch Out Raspberry Pi, Here Comes The Pine A64

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kenjitamura

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You lost me at Kickstarter. Kickstarter campaigns almost always take much longer than their "expect by" dates so I'm guessing by the time this thing hits the market we'll already be really close to a Raspberry Pi 3 release.
 

d_kuhn

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Reading this article was like opening Steam and seeing a cool new game pop up... then going in and watching the trailer and thinking "TAKE MY MONEY"... then seeing that it's a kickstarter and all the trailers were hand animated mockups of what it "might look like".

Kickstarter = "Pay and Pray". Last report I read indicated that 60% never hit funding targets and only 25% of funded projects are successful. Not a good bet... when it's a product let me know - because it sounds cool.
 

IInuyasha74

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You lost me at Kickstarter.
This means you read the whole article. The author is pleased by this.
Haha I have to admit, it does please me to see people read through the article and comment below. It is true that not everything in kickstarter actually comes out, but at the moment, the company hoped to get about $31,000, and has received over $80,000. So the company should have plenty of financial support for now at least.
 

Hanin33

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The price is nice, but the specs make it a little weak and one of the biggest issues with all of these SBCs is community support, as that seems to be the only way to get anywhere with these things. From what I've had to deal with, none of these platforms seem to have GPU/VPU support in linux yet, so while they will technically work in linux, they don't run very well in it. On the android side, unless there's already a device out with similar hardware, the GPU/VPU issue remains as they often port working ROMs over to these SBCs. On paper, these things seem nice, but there so much work left to do, that these should remain in the domain of your ardent tweaker or EE/CS student.
 

d_kuhn

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You're right... they're not speed demons if you want to plug a kb/mouse in and run a full gui... but the range of IoT (Internet of Things) apps open to a sub-$10 low power connected device is pretty staggering. I can live with a cmd line os (or more likely a web based remote interface) for that kind of cost/performance. A $15 IoT Camera using this board could blow the 'surveillance camera' market to little chunks of overpriced plastic.
 

IInuyasha74

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It isn't really that weak. CPU wise judging by the specs it should be above some mid-range smartphones which still rely on Cortex-A7 processors clocked at around 1 GHz. When you consider the $35 Raspberry Pi, the first one which was a single-core ARM11 700 MHz processor and the newer model which is a quad-core 900 MHz Cortex-A7 quad-core, it is actually relatively fast and should have more than enough performance for web browsing, playing videos, or other basic tasks.
 

willy481

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"...
The Pine A64 contains a quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU clocked at 1.2 GHz. Compared to the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B that was released earlier this year and uses four Cortex-A7 cores clocked at 900 MHz, not only does the Pine A64 have a higher clock speed, but it also has a more advanced architecture, which consumes less power and achieves greater performance."
As both use 4 Cortex-A7 cores, the Pi2 900Mhz, the Pine 1.2GHz, can you explain why the Pine is more advanced architecture, and although clocks higher, takes less power ?

Also, acc to other sites, the A64+ has advantage of GBe, but you state both are just FastEthernet.
 

IInuyasha74

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I'm not sure where the other sites get their information but we were told directly by Pine64 that the Pine A64 and Pine A64+ have 10/100 Mbps Ethernet connections. The company mentioned that the Pine A64+ has other optional upgrades available. Although they did not go into detail, it is possible the Pine A64+ will have a Gigabit Ethernet controller as an optional upgrade but the company hasn't said so yet.
 
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A lot of problems with these kits is also the lack of drivers for the gpu. There's no open source one, so you need to use a packaged distro. If one of these had a gpu with an open source driver, I'd get it right away.

Right now the only options are intel or amd gpu.
 

richalt2

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There is no value in a 64bit cpu until memory is over 4GB. The 64 bit program cannot be exercised usefully without perhaps 8gb available. A 1GB memory is only using 1/4 of the 32 bit program address space.
Please offer reasonable configurations!
 

IInuyasha74

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That is mostly inaccurate. Get a 64-bit computer with 4 GB of memory and you can run essentially everything the same as a 64-bit computer with 8 GB of memory, just you have to watch you don't have too many programs clogging up the RAM. With 1 GB of RAM, you can still use 64-bit programs without issue, there is more to 64-bit processing than how much memory the system can see. So used for developing 64- bit applications or for basic tasks there isn't really any issue in terms of the specs.
 

sykozis

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Cortex-A7 is 32bit. The Pine64 and Pine64+ use Cortex-A53 based processors. Cortex-A53 and Cortex-A57 are 64bit.
 

sykozis

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If you look on the Kickerstarter page, it lists the Pine-A64+ as having gigabit ethernet.
 

torbendalum

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I always find it wierd, that when people comprare the A7 to A53, the talk is always about 32bit and 64bit. The big differece is that the A7 use the armV7 instruction set and the A53 use armV8.
The armV8 instruction set is more powerfull than the V7, like armV7 has 16 SIMD registers and V8 hs 32, so armV8 can handle bigger calulations inside the cpu without using the RAM witch is super slow compared to internal registers.
 

willy481

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Well that is enlightening. What interested me was the claim the A64 being both more advanced architecture AND clocking faster 1.2/0.9, resulted in energy saving. The fact they say its runnable from Li-Po batteries, whereas most articles on Pi2 assume it is too thirsty for non-mains powered use, suppports the claim. I am not sure if significant energy is saved by the A64 having only 2 USB v 4 USB of the Pi2 - assuming only 2 ports lightly used, eg Mouse+KB in comparison. Likewise, the Pi2 uses LPDDR2 v the apparently non-LP DDR3 on the A64.

Have you any thoughts/info on how the energy saving is achieved ?
 

zelog

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"they have a significant amount of software support with which the Pine A64 currently can’t compete."

How do you figure one linux distro on the Pi has more software support than another one has on the Pine?
 

IInuyasha74

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The company stated it supports 64-bit versions of Linux and Android Lollipop. They didn't say they already had this software ready to go. So for one thing, Raspberry Pi has software already available, Pine64 does not. Raspberry Pi also has a lot of other software optimized just for use on Raspberry Pi devices such as custom Android firmware, optimized Linux distros, XBMC installations, etc. This is essentially all user created, so Pine64 may have it in time but they won't have it right away.
 

slapt0p

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So the Pi2 I got thru the post today is obsolete already?

I've just retired after 40 years in IT tech roles, from mainframe, minis, all flavours of UNIX, pre-Windows PC's onward, of course multi-flavours of Linux, the entire networking evolution from baud-rate to date plus all manner of storage networks, visualization and cloud panaceas.

So I decided to develop an epileptic seizure monitoring and alert system based on the cheapest platform possible.....and you tell me there's something half the price of my chosen (cheapest) platform?
MJ you need to learn how to impart bad news man.

Also, before anyone points it out, please note that "flavour" is spelled correctly.....it's just like "colour".

Apart from your slight lack of diplomacy, it's a useful heads-up article that has spawned some informative comment (apart from mine).
Just adding a further application port phase to the end of the project :)
 

willy481

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I seem to remember reading that when 64bit Windows first came out (when windows laptops typically had only 512KB or 1GB RAM the reviews said 64bit ran slower than 32bit - I have forgotten the explanation. I realise that was a long time ago, so maybe CPU architecture and supporting glue improvements may have altered the 'advantage' 32bitWindows had over 64bit

 

billybobser

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Normally I keep my opinions to myself, but everything I read from this guy is junk.

'is about to get a powerful new competitor'

is actually a theoretical device vs something that's been out a long time already.

Also, kick starter at the bottom? Really?
 

IInuyasha74

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1. How does your comment prove or in any way point out that what I said is junk? Can you some how prove that this device and all of the specs listed above were just imagined by me and written about in order to get people to view another page? As there is an attached link, a kickstarter, and dozens of other potential sources to colaborate this information, the answer is no. Which makes everything I said, true.
2. Just because a device is being developed doesn't mean it isn't going to come out. It isn't theoretical. Theoretical means that the subject on the theory exists purely in concept without any non-refutable tangible evidence to prove it. The company actually has prototype devices, expects to ship in the next few months, and is using technology which is widely used in other devices. Nothing about this device is theoretical.
 
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