Most powerful CPU with open specification

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Hi Freaks,

I have several open hardware projects in my mind that require a powerful CPU, more specifically:

* Its specification must be open without signing any NDAs.
* It must be able to run Linux.
* The more MIPS is has the happier I am.

I guess ARM is the most serious contender in this arena but I'm open to any alternatives.

Thanks in advance!

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That's a fairly open specification! As for NDAs, most of that would be with the silicon vendor, not the cpu. Many of the SOC devices have NDAs attached to them - be it ARM based or whatever.

According to your spec, why not an Intel i7? Has plenty of mips and I can buy it down the corner store. I think the cpu is the least of your problems - its what goes around it will most likely dictate which way you go.

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Kartman wrote:
According to your spec, why not an Intel i7? Has plenty of mips and I can buy it down the corner store. I think the cpu is the least of your problems - its what goes around it will most likely dictate which way you go.

Can I download the full datasheet of the i7? I'm more than surprised.

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How about ARMs or similar caliber hardware?

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Quote:

Intel Atom?

Also like:

http://www.provantage.com/intel-...

$62 for a 1.6GHz system. Add a $10-$15 DDR2 DIMM some secondary storage (USB memory stick perhaps?) and an ATX PSU and you are off.

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I appreciate you sending links about these very nice and compact mainboards, but I have yet to find a full-blown datasheet of a powerful CPU openly aceessible.

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But there's no mysteries about the Intel Atom CPU? The datasheet is downloadable from intel.com

In my experience the only CPUs that did not have open specifications were those that contained security modules and then access to the datasheet was under NDA. But these are used for specialist applications like smartcards or digital TV encryption etc.

Most ARMs are completely open in their documentation. If you don't want the 1.6GHz "power" of a full blown Intel CPU (though it is nice because most pre-built Linux repositories already have x386 code) then consider something like the TI OMAPs - you get considerable "power" in those - enough to do moderately sized MP4 realtime decode. Another power house are the ADI Blackfin's but you may find a lack of MMU meaning you can only run ucLinux not full memory virtualising Linux.

To be honest I think your fears about open specification are unfounded - you have to go to considerable lengths to even find those CPUs that are kept secure. (I'm guessing there will probably be quite a few in the defence arena too)

Cliff

PS but what's your time budget anyway? what kind of application is it and how many MIPS do you think you need? (personally I cannot think of much that is more CPU intensive than MP4 soft decode - especially HDTV doing 1080p - but (apart from laptops/desktops) that wouldn't usually be done "soft" anyway)

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clawson wrote:
PS but what's your time budget anyway? what kind of application is it and how many MIPS do you think you need? (personally I cannot think of much that is more CPU intensive than MP4 soft decode - especially HDTV doing 1080p - but (apart from laptops/desktops) that wouldn't usually be done "soft" anyway)

I was thinking about a very powerful router with vast computing power, some ethernet ports, maybe with WiFi and plenty of RAM but I'm generally interested in this issue. x86 and ARM would be both fine.

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The thing I don't understand as a newbie is this: How on earth is this datasheet 71 pages long when the datasheet of a simple ATmega is about 400 pages long?

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Well to be honest the cheapest way to get such an ARM or MIPS computer is to buy a wireless router that can be "hacked". Not only will it have all the right hardware (802.11, Ethernet sockets, etc.) but it'll be running Linux setup as a router already. That does then kind of raise the question as to what else is left for you to do but I guess you can add your own additional functionality or modify the existing operation if it doesn't work exactly the way you require. It's unlikely you could make a design such as this for the $60-$80 that it might cost to buy a ready made unit. Just check the internet first to make sure that it's a design that's already been broken open.

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clawson wrote:
Well to be honest the cheapest way to get such an ARM or MIPS computer is to buy a wireless router that can be "hacked". Not only will it have all the right hardware (802.11, Ethernet sockets, etc.) but it'll be running Linux setup as a router already. That does then kind of raise the question as to what else is left for you to do but I guess you can add your own additional functionality or modify the existing operation if it doesn't work exactly the way you require. It's unlikely you could make a design such as this for the $60-$80 that it might cost to buy a ready made unit. Just check the internet first to make sure that it's a design that's already been broken open.

As I will press the submit button on this page the stream will flow through an ASUS WL500GPV2 sitting on my desk running OpenWrt so I'm aware of the options you mentioned.

I'm not concerned with the price, I'm concerned with building something much more powerful and completely open.

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mondalaci wrote:

The thing I don't understand as a newbie is this: How on earth is this datasheet 71 pages long when the datasheet of a simple ATmega is about 400 pages long?


Bacaus for the ATmega it all fits in to one 400 page document. For the Atom, the datasheet is so large that it is split up into multiple documents. Simple as that.

Google gave me this link:http://www.intel.com/products/processor/atom/techdocs.htm

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High end routers seem to use PowerPC and maybe some special hardware to help it along. Cheapo routers use MIPs (generally) but I wouldn't describe the computing performance as 'vast'. The one I'm playing with at the moment has a 400MHz MIPS architecture cpu but only manages 260odd bogomips due to the slow memory interface.

Have you looked at:
http://www.globalscaletechnologi...

If you're talking Linux, how many bogomips would you consider 'vast'?

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AgwanII wrote:
mondalaci wrote:

The thing I don't understand as a newbie is this: How on earth is this datasheet 71 pages long when the datasheet of a simple ATmega is about 400 pages long?


Bacaus for the ATmega it all fits in to one 400 page document. For the Atom, the datasheet is so large that it is split up into multiple documents. Simple as that.

Google gave me this link:http://www.intel.com/products/processor/atom/techdocs.htm

It seems you're completely right. I wonder why I can't see any hobby projects designed around a more serious ARM or x86. I guess it's way overkill for most projects and people are much more prone to take something off the shelf than designing something of this caliber.

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Kartman wrote:
High end routers seem to use PowerPC and maybe some special hardware to help it along. Cheapo routers use MIPs (generally) but I wouldn't describe the computing performance as 'vast'. The one I'm playing with at the moment has a 400MHz MIPS architecture cpu but only manages 260odd bogomips due to the slow memory interface.

Have you looked at:
http://www.globalscaletechnologi...

If you're talking Linux, how many bogomips would you consider 'vast'?

I'm aware about SheevaPlug.

I'd certainly consider 5,000 BogoMIPS vast for the applications I can think, but an ARM with half of this horsepower would also be fine.

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The killer with higher end chips is you need a specially designed pcb. The last pcb I saw had to have the tracks to the ram chip all length matched to within 3mm for it to work. Big chips are usually BGA, so that creates another hurdle and the pcbs are multilayer and you really need to know what you're doing. An AVR you can slap it into a plug board and you're away.

Besides, how could you build a motherboard like device cheaper than what they're already available at? And at a similar performance level?

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The guruplug would be one of the fastest ARM devices available, but I doubt it would register 2500 bogomips - again the memory subsystem on the guruplug is designed for low cost not high speed. The cheapest way I see of getting the performance level you're talking is to use a PC motherboard and x86 style cpu

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Kartman wrote:
The killer with higher end chips is you need a specially designed pcb. The last pcb I saw had to have the tracks to the ram chip all length matched to within 3mm for it to work. Big chips are usually BGA, so that creates another hurdle and the pcbs are multilayer and you really need to know what you're doing. An AVR you can slap it into a plug board and you're away.

Besides, how could you build a motherboard like device cheaper than what they're already available at? And at a similar performance level?

A specifically designed hardware, like a powerful router could be cheaper than a Mini-ITX board because we don't need many bells and whistles like video, audio, etc.

In practice the economics of scale play against the small players and it seems there are lots of technical challenges that you mentioned.

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Quote:

I'd certainly consider 5,000 BogoMIPS vast

The Intel Atom board I mentioned above reports:

[    0.001864] Calibrating delay loop (skipped), value calculated using timer frequency.. 3333.18 BogoMIPS (lpj=6666372)
[    0.004000] Calibrating delay using timer specific routine.. 3333.31 BogoMIPS (lpj=6666636)
[    0.272045] Total of 2 processors activated (6666.50 BogoMIPS).

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Indeed. Intel mention the price of their Atom N270 at $44 for 1000 off but you can buy a complete motherboard for around $100usd and it will be faster than any ARM chip I'm aware of.

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Cliff hits us with the numbers! Well that just pees over my little $100 router then doesn't it!

Pity the ATOM boards suck so much power due to the magic glue chip, even so it's less that the average PC motherboard but not quite close to the few watts an ARM based device draws.

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Kartman wrote:
Cliff hits us with the numbers! Well that just pees over my little $100 router then doesn't it!

So as mine. I think the lowest end routers are very well priced due to their special purpose highly integrated and cheap ARM router processor but the more powerful routers like the ASUS WL500GPV2 are not so well priced and something much more powerful could be created that is not much more expensive. USB is integrated into the Atom, right? Adding Ethernet shouldn't be a big cost. WiFi is probably more costly.

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The ATOM alone does very little - you need the northbridge (or is it southbridge) chip that adds all the i/o and an ethernet chip on top of that along with your memory. If you want something more economical, then you're going to have to make 1million of them to get the cost within the range and them you'll only be making 3-5% profit.

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Quote:

USB is integrated into the Atom, right? Adding Ethernet shouldn't be a big cost. WiFi is probably more costly.

Just to note that one of the changes in the N450 Atom (apart from a GPU being included) is that there's no longer both Northbridge and Southbridge but just one "support" chip known as NM10 (PCH in picture). Here's a pretty picture at intel.com:

but as Kartman pointed out above these kind of 6/8 layer + BGA + 1.6GHz board designs are not something a "home hobbyist" would stand much chance with. What's more there is no way on earth that a hobbyist (or probably anyone but Intel, with the possible exception of Asus) is going to be able to put together a complete board design like the D410PT (single core) or D510MO (dual core) boards that Intel produce for $60..$70. If they retail for $61 then there's probably 7..15% sales tax on that, the retailer is probably making a 20-30% margin so Intel are making a profit selling these boards at about $40+ - utterly incredible! (if you wanted to buy in bulk you may find Intel willing to offer that kind of price if you are ready to buy a few thousand)

The D410PT has one Ethernet, eight USB (four sockets, four on a header), two SATA, two UART headers (no DB9), audio, onboard VGA, one PCI

It does not have wi-fi so the PCI would need to be used to add that (or USB)

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Just the 8 layer board will cost several hundred dollars to manufacture, even at cheap board houses. Even a very experienced high speed digital layout engineer does not get the design right first time, so a couple of respins are surely needed. Not to mention the measurement equipment required to check signals.

Not to mention it won't be easy to get that blinky LED test program running.

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When talking about a Mini-ITX or Nano-ITX sized board I doubt that the PCB would be so expensive, even for one board.

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You think? Let's look at multipcb.de ECOPOOL for a 120x120mm board, 10 and 2 pieces, 150um spacing with 0.3mm drills and NO special but likely required options like impedance control:

             10      2
2 layer : € 21,87 € 94,00
4 layer : € 51,61 €161,50
6 layer : € 77,63 €244,00
8 layer : €103,42 €324,50

Prices per PCB

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Huh, ordering small amounts is dangerously expensive, indeed.

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Here we go again with the superlatives--"most powerful".

I guess then we need to recommend the chip that has the most total amps of drive on the pins?

If you don't know what I'm getting at, answer this one: Recommend to me the "most powerful vehicle". It makes no matter that I'm looking for a highway vehicle, and you recommend a farm tractor or earthmover or mining truck (or vice-versa). Sheesh.

You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig.

I've never met a pig I didn't like, as long as you have some salt and pepper.

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I guess that must be a space shuttle, or better the rockets it sits at. The Solid Rocker Booster delivers 12.5 mega newtons of force.

edit: it has two of them, for a combined total of 44 million bhp.

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Mondalaci, its easy to get fooled into thinking designing and building such devices is easy - we can buy the finished products for a small amount of money. The reality is that it takes many $1000's of engineering time and tooling up for manufacture is also very expensive.

For pcbs you have the phototooling - thats the majority of the the cost when you buy small quantities. You also have the setup cost for bare board testing which is mandatory for multilayer boards.

For assembly, you need a paste mask so that might be another few $100 especially for a stainless steel mask for high quantity production.

There's the setup of the pick and place machine to assemble the board. It has to be programmed and the components loaded - this takes time.

Once you crank up a production line to make the board the cost per board is quite low.

You then need to devise a functional test program. This can be quite costly ie $1000's

Then you have the cost of CE or whatever certification needs to be done. Say goodbye to at least $10,000.

So, your $100 router probably cost $1000,000 to design and bring to production so you'd want to make a few of them to get the finished price down.

So for your mega router, just get an atom board, some ram, psu ,case and a wifi dongle + 3G just in case. Load up openwrt and for around $200usd you're done. Your performance crieria has been met, your 'open' requirement is met by published architecture and published interfaces. Job Done.

Last Edited: Thu. Mar 11, 2010 - 11:07 PM
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theusch stated it right: The most powerful one is:

Tractooor!

See it to believe it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J...

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Kartman: I'm more or less conscious about such financial matters and about the economies of scale but didn't do the detailed math in this case. It certainly takes loads of money to create something this complex.

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In the past it's generally cost our company somewhere between about $2m and $6m to produce something of this kind of complexity. Just to give you an idea!

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Open? Non-licensed IP?
I think the CPU that Jennic uses in their 802.15.4 modules came from open source, not ARM. Don't know more than that. They use an open source compiler for it.

http://www.jennic.com/files/supp...

Someone recently said that most cheap flash thumb drives have a cheap ARM7 on them. So in volume, the ARM fees must be quite low.

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Quote:
Someone recently said that most cheap flash thumb drives have a cheap ARM7 on them. So in volume, the ARM fees must be quite low.

As do GPS baseband processors, WiFI and Bluetooth chips.

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mondalaci wrote:
I wonder why I can't see any hobby projects designed around a more serious ARM or x86.

Look at the Beagleboard with TI OMAP3530 ARM Cortex-A8. It's open hardware and open source.
http://beagleboard.org
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bea...
There's lots of hobby projetcs designed for the Beagleboard. Check out their projets section, forum etc.

Also have look at the ISEE IGEPv2 board with a faster ARM, more Flash and more RAM.
http://www.igep-platform.com/ind...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IGEPv2

https://www.avrfreaks.net/index.p...

nocturnal1 wrote:
The IGEPv2 BOARD from ISEE uses the newest TI OMAP3550 rev E (720MHZ) with 4 times the RAM (512MB) and double the NAND (512MB) "ONENAND-FLASH" of the Beagle Board. It will run Ubuntu.
http://www.igep-platform.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=46&Itemid=55
It can use the same expansion board as the Beagleboard.(28 pins 2x14 dual row 2.54mm.) It's 148 Euro's approx $221 US dollars.
http://igep-platform.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=23&zenid=1843e186ab305c971067488ad0934c26

http://beagleboard.org/resources
Quote:
ISEE IGEPv2 Platform provides all the functionality of a BeagleBoard (65x93mm), completely industrial grade (40 + 85ºC) and includes Ethernet 10/100 Mb, Wifi 802.11b/g, Bluetooth 2.0, RS485/232, Expansion Connectors and available in the thousands for commercial applications.

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AndersAnd: Thanks for pointing out to these great resources! I've heard about the Beagleboard, but the IGEPv2 is new to me.

http://mbed.org is also an ARM offering around 100Mhz.

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"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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Quote:
http://mbed.org is also an ARM offering around 100Mhz.

Hardly a device that will run Linux and wouldn't be even close to your 5000 bogomips! There is a difference between microcontrollers and microprocessors! And all ARMs aren't the same (apart from the company that designed them). Your WL500 router doesn't have an ARM processor in it - it is a MIPS architecture in a Broadcom chipset which most likely needed an NDA for the datasheet.

As for the Marvell devices, we've already covered these in the Pogoplug/Sheevaplug and Guruplug units. I haven't checked up on the bogomips rating, but my DNS323 nas device has an orion and it rates at around 340bogomips. The later devices are clocked twice as fast, but the memory interface is still a bottleneck so they won't rate anywhere near 5000 bogomips.

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Kartman: I know that mbed is far from what I specificed. I just thought I list it because the thread has diverged toward ARM based solutions.

But I'm just realizing that there are ARM based microcontollers and microprocessors. Are there any speed limitations imposed on microcontrollers due to their design as opposed to microprocessors?

The MIPS in my ASUS WL500GPV2 is surely under NDA, I've checked it out long ago. I has less horsepower than your DNS323:

root@sunshine:~# dmesg | grep -i bogomips
Calibrating delay loop... 237.56 BogoMIPS

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Quote:
But I'm just realizing that there are ARM based microcontollers and microprocessors. Are there any speed limitations imposed on microcontrollers due to their design as opposed to microprocessors?

Microcontrollers usually have flash, ram and the peripherals all in one device, microprocessors have external flash and ram and usually lots of it. The humble AVR is a microcontroller so is the Cortex M3 in the MBED device. You wont run Linux on a microcontroller (not yet anyway) due to the limitation of ram and flash. If you lift the lid on your WL500, you'll see a ram chip, a flash chip and the Broadcom SoC.

There's been a recent thread on the ARM microcontrollers, so we don't need to rehash this here.

The MIPs architecture is published and it also has a patent on it. The Broadcom chip with all the extra bits as well as the processor, is not pusblished although Linux code was released that explained a lot of the magic. Note that WiFi on a 2.6 kernel using a Broadcom chipset is still bleeding edge since Broadcom didn't release drivers for 2.6, only 2.4 kernels.

ARM isn't fighting at the high end of the market with the likes of Intel for the fastest cpu. They want mass market devices and they're doing quite well. Another reason why the cpus in our routers aren't super swift is because the ram interface is 16bit! Its a tradeoff of cost vs speed.

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You want an open specification? http://www.opensparc.net/ should be hard to beat. Everything you need to build the open versions of the UltraSPARC T1 and UltraSPARC T2 CPUs. The first being a 32 bit processor, the later a 64 bit processor.

Granted, you need a lot of money, some time (years) and the ability to manufacture your own silicon or hire a foundry, but that's a small price compared to really have the most powerful CPU with open specifications you can get.

Stealing Proteus doesn't make you an engineer.

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I think why most projects are not based on really powerful CPUs is because most hobby projects simply don't require them; or for the more ambitious projects that require one, the person in question does not have the skills to use them and possibly does not want to go through the learning curve. Or the functionality is available for little money off the shelf. Not all hobbyists are good at actually finishing projects :) and ambitious power hungry projects can easily become a never-ending project. With a bit of self-knowledge you might decide not to start with it at all :)

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Seeing the extreme complexity of designing such hardware it's not a surprise that there aren't really hobby projects at this caliber.

ArnoldB: I've heard about the OpenSPARC project before but did't know how powerful these processors are until this time.

jayjay1974: Your words are not very motivating but completely realistic :)

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I have been looking at the TI Stellaris LM3S6918 Eval board with graphic display. Nice starter but have not located tools for it. IAR probably wants $3300 for a full compiler. The kickstart kits are limited in code size. Does anyone have a link to GCC tools that will be easy to merge with the free graphic libs that TI gives away?

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Quote:
Does anyone have a link to GCC tools that will be easy to merge with the free graphic libs that TI gives away?

This is probably the reference free & open GCC for bare ARM:
http://www.codesourcery.com/sgpp...
Try this to see the more integrated versions:
http://www.codesourcery.com/sgpp/datasheet?target_arch=ARM&target_os=EABI
Differentiation primarily by tech support duration and quick defect correction.
Other stuff:
A good article:
http://www.embedded.com/200000632?cid=NL_embedded
Possible alternatives:
http://www.microcross.com/index.html
http://www.yagarto.de/
http://www.code-red-tech.com/index.php

If you have a ARM GCC on Linux on ARM:
http://www.debian.org/ports/arm/
your almost there for bare metal ARM target. One project we did was bare metal 486DX target but Pentium PC for host; the Pentium had GCC. Straightforward to use; used an O'Reilly book (don't recall the title) to help. Some work to figure out object library usage, how to operate the linker, and objcopy to convert to binary for the flash boot ROM burn. Most difficult part was creating the bootstrap (very custom hardware). A lot easier when the bootstrap already exists or is easy to configure.

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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GChapman, Thanks for the tips and links

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GChapman, From what I could tell you have to pay money to get a compiler IDE not matter where you go. CodeComposer from TI works for 90-120 days and then you pay big dollars for a one year license. CodeSourcery wants money as well. I looked at Microchip and to get a full compiler you pay. This has brought me back to AVR to do my touchscreen and graphic display project. I liked the graphic libs that Stellaris gives away but having to buy the compiler makes it not so good a deal. I think it is missleading when Microchip advertises a development kit for under $100 but the compiler is limited. At min. they should make the point that is the case in the adds.

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alwelch wrote:
... you have to pay money to get a compiler IDE ...
Would Eclipse and Yagarto work?
For AVR32, Eclipse and AVR32 Studio seem to work OK.

alwelch wrote:
CodeSourcery wants money as well.
Price seems reasonable (that depends on the user) if you're willing to forego full tech support and run-time for big-endian and hardware floating point.

alwelch wrote:
I looked at Microchip and to get a full compiler you pay.
True but, per Google, there is an open PIC32 GCC out there.

alwelch wrote:
This has brought me back to AVR to do my touchscreen and graphic display project.
For AVR, there is at least one project at AVR Freaks that may aid you; I don't recall the name of it.
For AVR32 or ARM, the quickest way to go may be AVR32 AP7 or ARM9, Linux, and the Qt package. If a framebuffer implementation you're good to go else Qt has a kinda how-to for creating the device driver. A number of maybe-small-enough Atmel ARM9 G45 and AVR32 AP7 CPU boards out there; you'd then make a custom board for your specific IO.
If tightly integrated then AVR32 UC3 (maybe UC3A3) or ARM Cortex using Nano-X (with some work).
If willing to hang a graphics co-processor or its PCB, EarthLCD has EzLCD (IIRC one series uses a AVR32 AP7000), 4D Systems has a 16-bit MCU for theirs, and Amulet Technologies has 8-bit MCU or an ARM7 for mono or color.

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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Thanks for all the ideas to look into GChapman. I see the EarthEzLCD eval uses an mega128.

BTW Did you ever get those PowerSlot rotors for your F-350?

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I'm going to use up the Ford rotors then switch.

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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For small; powerful,fan-less and the least expensive Atom boards I've seen look at the Quanmax KEEX-2030 Atom 3.5" Mainboard for $209 from Logicsupply: http://www.logicsupply.com/products/keex_2030
or the PCM-9361FG-S6A1E 3.5" Atom board from Advantech for $263 http://buy.advantech.com/Single-Board-Computer/35-Embedded-Board/model-PCM-9361FG-S6A1E.htm?utm_source=Google&utm_medium=ProductSearch&utm_campaign=GoogleProductSearch
Also Via has announced their Dual-core Nano CPU's
http://www.engadget.com/2008/11/27/dual-core-via-nano-processor-apparently-on-track-for-june-2010/
If you google, these CPU's beat the Intel Atom single-core's by quite a bit. Finally some competition for Intel. Hopefully we should now start to see the single-core Via Nano's and Intel single-core Atom's start to battle each other for price.

Last Edited: Tue. Apr 20, 2010 - 03:47 PM
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Quote:

and the least expensive Atom boards

Small they may be but cheap they most definitely are not. $63 upwards gets you Intel's "Packton" which is Mini-ITX size:

http://www.google.com/products/c...

Re your edit - we've got quotes from Via but there's no way they can get anywhere near Intel on pricing. BTW that $63 is retail - if you buy from Intel it's obviously less which makes more of a challenge for Via to match it. It's clear that Intel do want to go after some of the the ARM9/11 embedded market in a big way. You kind of wonder what's in it for them in fact - how can they be making anything selling a board+CPU for $50..$60 ?

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I should have said:
" The least expensive I've seen in a board that's smaller than Mini-ITX I.E. 3.5" industrial; Nano-ITX, or Pico-ITX"
Compared to board prices I'm still seeing ($300-$600++) these are a bargain. Have a look here:
[url]http://www.orbitmicro.com/global...
Also the original thread starter said money was not such an issue.

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I got one of the Intel motherboards Cliff refers to. I haven't measured the overall power consumption yet so AI don't know how much more economical it will be to run 24/7 vs the usual style motherboard/cpu combos. One thing I have noted is the NM10 chip runs pretty darn hot - probably 50-60degC for a 25degC ambient so it probably won't like higher ambients. Ubuntu 9.10 detects 4 cpus and gives a BogoMips rating of around 12000. How true that is in reality I'm not sure.

For $63 USD you'd be pushing to get much more performance for the price. I paid $110AUD including our 10% tax.

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To the OP: try using "31 8-bit processors" -- link.

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Finally!! Via has out a product with their Nano cpu:
VIA ARTiGO A1100 Pico ITX Barebone System:
1.2 GHz VIA Nano CPU
Front Side Bus Speed 800MHz
1MB L2 cache memory
1 x IDE 44-pin
1 x SATA interface for 2.5" HDD or Flash SSD
1 x SD card reader slot (optional module)
1 x RJ-45 connector for Gigabit Ethernet connection
4 x USB 2.0 host ports, 1 x USB 2.0 device port
1 x Line-out, 1 x Line-in, 1 x Mic-in
1 x HDMI port, 1 x VGA port
IEEE 80.2.11b/g (optional module)
146 x 52 x 99 mm / 5.7” x 2.0” x 3.9” (W x H x D)

http://store.viatech.com/protected/product/frontProductDetail.action?id=9262
A little expensive though $379 at:
http://e-itx.com/artigo-a1100-pico-itx-builder-kit.html
I don't know if it's any less expensive at the via store they listed as a source because the link was dead.

Last Edited: Fri. May 21, 2010 - 05:05 AM
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Update: Via's web store is back up and they have the ARTiGO A1100 for $243.00 in stock. That's $136 less than e-itx.com