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blittled
02-02-2012, 01:13 AM
I was recently told about a new ultra cheap micro computer called the Raspberry Pi www.raspberrypi.org. It is an impressive piece of hardware with a SoC containing an Arm running at 700MHz and a Videocore 4 GPU. It comes in two flavors, A and B. A "Educational" goes for $25 with one USB, HDMI, Composite Video, Stereo and 128MB of ram. The B "Developer" at $35 comes with everything A has except it also has 2 USBs, Ethernet and 256MB of ram. It runs a Linux OS booted from an SD card. Oh yes, it also comes with an IO port. Both are powered by 5v through a miniUSB connection.

This screams that it needs to be hacked and I think a Propeller would be a perfect addition to the IO port. If nothing else it it would be a portable platform to use to develop code using BST.

It does raise some concerns though. At $35 it could knock the Arduino out of its place on the microcontroller food chain. Even more so since it is geared for educational use it could be a big hurdle for the Propeller 1 and 2 to overcome. The only downfall I see is that there is no mention of it being open source. In fact there are no plans to release the schematics and manual until they release the first production run of 10,000 B series later this month.

I know I'll be standing in line to pick one up for my microcontroller collection.

$WMc%
02-02-2012, 02:52 AM
@blittled
'
Do you have and IDE/Compiler to program this little guy with?

blittled
02-02-2012, 03:12 AM
I'm downloading a Virtual Box Debian image that has been set up to emulate the Raspberry Pi for developing programs right now :). Its located at http://russelldavis.org/2012/01/20/new-raspberry-pi-development-vm-v0-2/

Gadgetman
02-02-2012, 09:05 AM
Too mainstream...

I prefer my FIGnition.
http://sites.google.com/site/libby8dev/fignition
8bit wonder, VGA output, 384KB of Flash storage, FORTH interpreter... and you get the pleasure of soldering it together yourself!
It doesn't come with Ethernet, but it does have a keypad...

OK, FIGForth isn't exactly PropForth, but you can run games(Noughs and Crosses, Lunar Lander... ) and there's a debugger for it.

Heater.
02-02-2012, 11:12 AM
blittled,

Yep, I'm eagerly waiting to get my hands on a batch of rasperrypi.



..Propeller would be a perfect addition..


Yep, I have been thinking for a long time that small embedded systems with an ARM to run the big code, networking etc and a Prop or two for real-time I/O work would be just great.



If nothing else it it would be a portable platform to use to develop code using BST.


Yep. Except that would require BradC to release an ARM build of BST or at least the BSTC/BSTL command line tools.

However Prop development can already be done on small ARM boards like the Beagle/Panda/ISEE IGEP:

1) Install the mono run time there to run C# and use Homespun. I have tried this on an ISEE IGEP board and it works.

2) Build the new C++ version of the Spin compiler from Parallax and use that. That also works now on my IGEP board.

3) Build the new propgcc compiler for Propeller development in C++. I have yet to try that but am quite optimistic.

I optimistic that all the above works on rasperrypi.


$WMc%,



Do you have and IDE/Compiler to program this little guy with?


None required. It's a linux machine it will be able to run gcc and other language tools. Self hosted development.


Gadgetman



Too mainstream...


I do hope you are joking. Any way that Ignition is fascinating.

Heater.
02-02-2012, 11:36 AM
Just noticed they have the Qt GUI libraries working on rasperry pi. Which means it will be dead easy to compile the wonderful PZST Propeller IDE to run there.
Only hitch is that PZST relies on BSTC to do it's compiling but I'm sure it could be massaged into using homespun or the new Spin compiler from Parallax.

Gadgetman
02-02-2012, 12:58 PM
I do hope you are joking. Any way that Ignition is fascinating.

Of course I'm joking...
Or am I?

;-)

The FIGnition should really be much more 'up our alley' here on this forum.
Think of it as a BasicStamp, slightly longer, runs FORTH instead of BASIC, got a bit more storage, runs way faster, can do VGA, got a keyboard...
Actually, when I think about it, maybe it's not that similar after all... ;-)
There's work in progress for a PS/2 keyboard, which means the 2x4 keypad can be removed, and a few extra pins will be available.

Martin_H
02-02-2012, 01:37 PM
The Fignition is using a 28 pin AVR. Is it an ATmega328p?

Update: In reading the docs it looks like a ATmega128. I'm kind of shocked they could do that much with a 128.

Heater.
02-02-2012, 01:57 PM
Looks to me like you can do most of that with a Propeller. The Raspy as a tiny self contained Propeller dev box is something else entirely.

Paul Sr.
02-03-2012, 11:27 PM
Lots of hype - STILL unavailable. I'm not sure what to believe except that people with the "Beta's" act like there is nothing else in the world worth working on! I was interested in getting one, but that's fading!


I was recently told about a new ultra cheap micro computer called the Raspberry Pi www.raspberrypi.org. It is an impressive piece of hardware with a SoC containing an Arm running at 700MHz and a Videocore 4 GPU. It comes in two flavors, A and B. A "Educational" goes for $25 with one USB, HDMI, Composite Video, Stereo and 128MB of ram. The B "Developer" at $35 comes with everything A has except it also has 2 USBs, Ethernet and 256MB of ram. It runs a Linux OS booted from an SD card. Oh yes, it also comes with an IO port. Both are powered by 5v through a miniUSB connection.

This screams that it needs to be hacked and I think a Propeller would be a perfect addition to the IO port. If nothing else it it would be a portable platform to use to develop code using BST.

It does raise some concerns though. At $35 it could knock the Arduino out of its place on the microcontroller food chain. Even more so since it is geared for educational use it could be a big hurdle for the Propeller 1 and 2 to overcome. The only downfall I see is that there is no mention of it being open source. In fact there are no plans to release the schematics and manual until they release the first production run of 10,000 B series later this month.

I know I'll be standing in line to pick one up for my microcontroller collection.

blittled
02-04-2012, 02:05 AM
Hopefully the Raspberry Pi won't become a Pi in the sky :). I have done some more research and it looks like there will be only a little documentation. Most of it will, thankfully, be on the GPIO port. I won't get one until they release how that works so I can interface a Propeller to it.

rod1963
02-04-2012, 03:04 AM
Looks to be a nice little board with a lotta processing power and cheap enough that if you brick one of them you won't hit the wallet too hard. Linux wise, the OS isn't ready from prime time according to it's chief Linux developer, he won't even give a time frame, which is bad. The hardware may be ready to ship by end of February but software will probably delay it by a couple of months.

Personally I don't understand the obsession with stuffing and running Linux on a embedded system like this. It may make the hard core geek in the basement crowd happy but I can't see it being marketed at a tool for kids to learn about computers when it comes with a industrial strength and very complex os. I remember when I got my first ZX-81, it was a cinch to code for. Same with the Atari 800, even the IBM PC with DOS was easy and quite easy to access the hardware such as custom I/O boards.

That said they will release a I/O board as well, called the Gert board. If the Raspberry takes off, there will be opportunities for lots of others to make various I/O boards for it.

jmg
02-04-2012, 03:04 AM
There are pro's and con's on the RaspPi :

Pros are the Stacked-die SDRAM, and the HDMI video interface.

Cons are the complete lack of open silicon data, and the high risk of using a single-sourced, consumer arena custom chip.
Another minor con, is the connectors face in all directions...

I'm certainly less than convinced you can use closed-silicon, as a wide teaching platform. The WHOLE system needs to be open, and visible.

Meanwhile, other vendors are approaching this from below : I like the look of the New 88MC200 Micro from Marvel - Combines large 512K Fast Code/Data SRAM, and QuadSPI access, and devices like the new Nuvoton W55VA95DDN, boasts stacked die (32Mx16 DDR2 ) and a more friendly LQFP-128 (MCP) package.

jmg
02-04-2012, 03:20 AM
Personally I don't understand the obsession with stuffing and running Linux on a embedded system like this. It may make the hard core geek in the basement crowd happy but I can't see it being marketed at a tool for kids to learn about computers when it comes with a industrial strength and very complex os. I remember when I got my first ZX-81, it was a cinch to code for. Same with the Atari 800, even the IBM PC with DOS was easy and quite easy to access the hardware such as custom I/O boards.


I'd agree, and it may yet be outflanked by various Android offerings, with better touch screens.

If they really want to educate programmers, they need to include a 2012 version of what TurboPascal was for the PC.

ie Integrated Editor (syntax highlighting these days), and Symbolic Single Step debugger, are needed with any compiler.

With a closed chip, that may be a l-o-n-g wait.

Excluding the screen keeps the price down, but will make Software less portable, and dilute the eco-system.

John A. Zoidberg
02-08-2012, 11:09 AM
If it is out - would I compile a Linux program with OpenCV, and install it into the little computer? I'm pretty that curious. :)

Heater.
02-09-2012, 11:46 AM
jmg,



Cons are the complete lack of open silicon data, and the high risk of using a
single-sourced, consumer arena custom chip.


Sounds like the typical PC or many other machines that could be used for
educational purposes today. It's a sad state of the world I agree.



I'm certainly less than convinced you can use closed-silicon, as a wide teaching
platform. The WHOLE system needs to be open, and visible.


I like "open-source everything" as much as any geek but I'm not sure what you
are getting at here.

Pretty much all silicon we use is closed source. Intel does not release the
designs of their processors so that we could build our own (given we a chip FAB
in the garage). Neither does AMD or ARM or the majority of main stream processor
providers. If open source silicon is your criteria then you are saying that the
Propeller is not suitable as a teaching platform, nor the stamps, or PICs or
AVRs etc etc etc.

Away from the processor most peripherals are closed source silicon, think
graphics chips, wifi, etc etc. Worse still their manufactures don't even want to
supply documentation on how to use them at the hardware level. Rather they
supply closed source drivers to use. Gack!

So actually the Raspberry PI is no worse than other options in this respect.




Meanwhile, other vendors are approaching this from below


Yes, and it's all good stuff. However I like the idea of a $25 board that I can
do this on:
[url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=A-vBbqamNBU#t=0s[/
url]

STOP PRESS:

Looks like RasperryPi will be a bit less closed. From their website recently:



We’ve been leaning (gently and charmingly) on Broadcom, who make BCM2835, the
SoC at the heart of the Raspberry Pi, to produce an abbreviated data sheet
describing the ARM peripherals in the chip.

jmg
02-09-2012, 08:27 PM
I like "open-source everything" as much as any geek but I'm not sure what you
are getting at here.


The main issue is the complete lack of chip documentation, and chip distribution, and even your update along the lines of 'we hope for an abbreviated (?!) data sheet', is less than ideal.

Still, much of their Product and PCB approach is somewhat chip portable, and maybe a better stacked-die device will appear, that has better documentation, and distribution, and ideally a long-life supply promise, that makes this more of an educational reality.

It is not that hard to drop a new part into a PCB. eg I like the brief data on the QFP128 Nuvoton Stacked die parts.