April Community Update thread
(04-15-2020, 02:32 PM)Paraplegic Racehorse Wrote: On the subject of the SBCs:

I really think SBCs should be (still are?) the core of the Pine64 business and should routinely see updates in the blog. I'm not in a position to write SBC-dedicated blog posts; and I'm not sure that's necessary. However, I appreciate seeing even short mentions of development happenings.

It seems to me that the SBCs have suffered in the attention-currency department since the announcement of the PinePhone and PineBook Pro. The rk3399 is getting long in the tooth and is RAM-throttled. Meanwhile, application suites have become more resource hungry. Google TV devices in the same price ranges as the Pine64 product line are considerably more compute-capable using AMLogic or other SoCs, and come pre-installed in an enclosure, with power-supply, and don't need an SD card! Even the Raspberry Pi now outperforms everything on offer from Pine64, at a lower price.

Our intent is to have a few common platforms across devices with very strong FOSS support and inter-compatibility, rather than scattering everything across dozens of mismatched SoCs with varying support based on whatever is fastest at the time of design. At this time, the A64 and RK33xx family are those common platforms.

Also by the way -- despite what the specs look like on paper -- the RockPro64 (and Pinebook Pro) are significantly faster than the Pi4 under most workloads. Granted the RP64 is more expensive than a Pi4... but watch for updates. Wink

Quote:Actual desktop-grade boards with expandable RAM? Nobody's doing it at a price competitive with (sub-$1000) solutions from Intel/AMD systems. Yet, processors have been available for four or five years, now.

Servers? How about a rack-mount chassis with backplane to support, say, 10 ClusterBoards. Or even the earlier suggested desktop-grade PCBs. There are already ARM servers in the wild, but they are all very expensive, very custom, very proprietary systems. Would anyone change out their existing ATX-based, ancient, Intel server motherboard for shiny, new, lower-electricity ARM board in the same form factor from Pine64?

Moving up to boards like that would be an extremely large and risky investment. Development prices would be astronomical, and the market of people who want to buy a $800 ARM tower workstation or $2000 server is a lot smaller than that for a $50 SBC or $200 laptop. The business side of Pine64 is best described as "marginally profitable", so I'm not sure there's the financial capital to make it happen.

Additionally, as mentioned before: FOSS is a major point on all our devices. I'm not sure how the mainline support is on something like the ThunderX(2) chips.

Quote:Will you make available that back-plane in the server-chassis photo?

The backplane board could be made available if there really is enough interest for it. It's probably not of much use without the custom case to go with it though -- and we have zero intent of selling that case. It's just too difficult (and expensive) to set up production of such a thing.

Quote:Power supplies. How many people with SBC clusters have had to kluge together their own? (me! My A64 cluster is powered from a USB hub; awkward but effective) Also handy for any PCIe card(s) that need power not available from the SBC.

We have a power supply designed exactly for A64 cluster use. Wink
Community administrator and sysadmin for PINE64
(Translation: If something breaks on the website, forum, or chat network, I'm a good person to yell at about it)


Messages In This Thread
April Community Update thread - by Luke - 04-15-2020, 07:38 AM
RE: April Community Update thread - by dhosh - 04-15-2020, 07:54 AM
RE: April Community Update thread - by tophneal - 04-15-2020, 09:23 AM
RE: April Community Update thread - by dhosh - 04-15-2020, 06:04 PM
RE: April Community Update thread - by tophneal - 04-15-2020, 06:07 PM
April Community Update thread - by Neat - 04-15-2020, 09:38 AM
RE: April Community Update thread - by fire219 - 04-16-2020, 09:11 AM
RE: April Community Update thread - by as400 - 04-16-2020, 12:05 AM
RE: April Community Update thread - by danielt - 04-16-2020, 04:06 AM
RE: April Community Update thread - by ajbieee - 04-18-2020, 09:24 AM
RE: April Community Update thread - by sebboh - 05-07-2020, 01:02 PM

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