Chickens, Eggs, and SOEdge
#1
I noted that there's a call to action for people to develop things for the SOEdge, but I also noted that it's hard to determine where its niche is felt to be. That might make it difficult for chickens to provide eggs that others can consume.  Big Grin

However, I was looking at the upstream Github for the BSP and wasn't immediately finding licensing information or what the difference between the full and Neural AI Stick BSPs is. Does anyone have this information readily available? Downloading 25 GB of BSP SDKs to compare them, for a board I don't have, isn't high on the "this is a fun way to get started" list. Wink

But, more than anything, what do you (both PINE64 and the community) see as the most likely use cases and software to be run on them? That will help interested developers decide if it's a project where their $50-60 + time is going to be well spent by producing output that is going to continue to be useful to a community.

It's obvious that it is positionable for AI, but that's still a very wide range of uses (machine learning, speech, vision, language processing, robotics, expert systems, and more...) and associated software. I see a viable approach in bootstrapping a JeOS baseline image to validate functionality and performance, and then building images based on that for specific tasks.

I know that most buying the board will want to use Acuity with the Vivante NPUIP, but what sorts of things will people be doing with the NPU? What sorts of non-NPU things are people wanting to do?

I'm interested in hearing from the buyers and potential buyers of the SOEdge,of course. What do you want to see this become? Are you planning on basing a business model on using these boards? What do you need to be successful? As a hobbyist, what will make your life easier and save you time by already having common stuff in place?

I'm not explicitly volunteering to start putting some images together, partially because I don't have the hardware to test on right now, and partially because I don't know what would be useful to others. But I expect that anyone else who might want to build images for wider consumption than themselves will also want to know how to make them as useful as possible. Smile
#2
They have also said very little about the device, including specifications, pricing, and when available. In this case of a device, they are not generating very much excitement . They did say there is no LINUX available to run on it. Then what did they run to even see if it functions?

I can see companies using this who are complaining about prices of Amazon's AWS.
#3
(10-20-2020, 07:56 PM)KNERD Wrote: They have also said very little about the device, including specifications, pricing, and when available. In this case of a device, they are not generating very much excitement . They did say there is no LINUX available to run on it. Then what did they run to even see if it functions?

I can see companies using this who are complaining about prices of Amazon's AWS.

I admit to guesstimating on pricing (perhaps too optimistically, in honesty). Downloads (including a bootable Linux image, apparently?) and specs are in the wiki. The October 2020 Community Update contains a bit more information, including the chicken-and-egg problem I created this thread about.

But while there's a call to get interested developers on board, there's a lot of silence as to what these developers are desired to usefully do. The SOEdge has specialized hardware in the form of the NPU, so "lol i just got a random distro to run" isn't really where I see this module landing. It's not really something I see as being very interesting for the sorts who would consider an RPi for the task first.

So that leaves the questions: where do they intend to target the sales; and, where do those interested in using it expect to find value?

Just bootstrapping mainstream distros on new hardware is relatively easy (and relatively boring) these days. Using the platform's unique features is potentially more challenging and more fulfilling, both. But I don't see anyone doing that work unless they know it's not going to immediately stagnate because no one wants what they did.

And you mentioned AWS. Which AWS offerings do you see this as being interesting to replace?
#4
Hello,

I think the SOEdge will be available very soon (in like 1-2 months by my opinion). There isn't much information about SOEdge, because developers receiving prototypes only now, and it will take some time, but step by step, the wiki will be filled with information, so also I expect more information published on next community blog. About USB SDK and normal SDK, I tried to compare it without unpacking, there isn't much differences on first sight, need to unpack it and make some bigger comparison. I will write here with results.

About the usage of SOEdge, I want to try to make License plate and road signs recognition + car driving recorder.
- gamiee
Also known as gamiee
#5
(10-21-2020, 01:04 AM)gamelaster Wrote: Hello,

I think the SOEdge will be available very soon (in like 1-2 months by my opinion).

That was the impression I was getting from the phrasing used in the Community Update. It is also why I think now is about the right time to try to get "this is a good use case" defined for people to start getting themselves hyped about the platform, and for those who can build OS images to figure out what "value add" type things would make sense for starter images to allow new buyers to hit the ground running with more than a base OS.

(10-21-2020, 01:04 AM)gamelaster Wrote: There isn't much information about SOEdge, because developers receiving prototypes only now, and it will take some time, but step by step, the wiki will be filled with information, so also I expect more information published on next community blog. About USB SDK and normal SDK, I tried to compare it without unpacking, there isn't much differences on first sight, need to unpack it and make some bigger comparison. I will write here with results.

Thanks. 25 gigabytes is a lot to download on my current internet connection, for hardware I probably won't be able to buy until the new year. I'm really quite curious, though, what comprises the 4 gigabytes of difference and whether the larger SDK is just a superset of the smaller one.

And on the subject of low level bits, does mainline U-Boot have a defconfig which works with the SOEdge? Also, is the DTS in the mainline kernel? These sorts of things will determine just how much work it will be for the first developers to roll some software.

Licensing of the components is still a big concern of mine. A lot of what kept me away from the Khadas VIM3 (the closest competitor that comes to mind, which I was debating over for the past year or so) was the combination of Amlogic and VeriSilicon licensing making it so that I wouldn't be able to realistically distribute anything fun I did with the NPU on that board (and also the fact that they require a lot of information such as company name and telephone number just to download their toolkit).

Indeed, that is what interests me most about SOEdge: if the SDKs have all of the stuff needed to use the NPU, being able to provide starter images with things like DarkNet already installed and able to use the NPU out-of-the-box, with working examples, then that would position the SOEdge in a better place than the offerings I've considered in the past.

(10-21-2020, 01:04 AM)gamelaster Wrote: About the usage of SOEdge, I want to try to make License plate and road signs recognition + car driving recorder.
- gamiee

Awesome! So real-time image recognition for the license plates and road signs. This looks like something that is well-suited for the hardware for sure. I think image recognition would be a strong case for a ready-to-run distro. It would be good to have a "ready to go" installable image where you can copy over your code and just run it. Perhaps with some custom examples, and maybe even examples that have simple network connectivity demos built in (such as a web server displaying results/summaries, or bluetooth audio output when a desired target is recognized).

As for car driving recorder, do you mean something that records video plus stores information alongside that video that seems relevant? For example, speed and heading information along with all found license plates when coming to a stop at red lights. Or something else?
#6
(10-21-2020, 02:32 AM)lewellyn Wrote: 25 gigabytes is a lot to download on my current internet connection, for hardware I probably won't be able to buy until the new year.
There is some things that are not needed in SDK archives. I will try to delete them and see if the file is significantly smaller. If yes, I will try to upload it, but my upload speed sucks too (rainy weather... Big Grin)

(10-21-2020, 02:32 AM)lewellyn Wrote: And on the subject of low level bits, does mainline U-Boot have a defconfig which works with the SOEdge? Also, is the DTS in the mainline kernel? These sorts of things will determine just how much work it will be for the first developers to roll some software.
There is only BSP package available with Linux v4.4 and some u-boot 2017-2018 (if I remember correctly) , so there is no defconfig or DTS on mainline kernel. RK1808 is kinda new SoC, so as far as I know, there isn't much mainline efforts.

(10-21-2020, 02:32 AM)lewellyn Wrote: Licensing of the components is still a big concern of mine. A lot of what kept me away from the Khadas VIM3 (the closest competitor that comes to mind, which I was debating over for the past year or so) was the combination of Amlogic and VeriSilicon licensing making it so that I wouldn't be able to realistically distribute anything fun I did with the NPU on that board (and also the fact that they require a lot of information such as company name and telephone number just to download their toolkit).
AFAIK, there is everything required inside the BSP packages. About licensing, no idea, I didn't seen much files or licenses yet in BSP. About examples, there are definitely some examples, but can't list at the moment.

The idea about license plates, road sings etc. is my small idea, not sure if it will be OS or just small test of the NPU Smile

- gamiee
Also known as gamiee
#7
(10-21-2020, 01:04 AM)gamelaster Wrote: There isn't much information about SOEdge, because developers receiving prototypes only now,

That make no sense. We were told there is no bootable Linux OS for it, and currently nobody making an an Linux OS for it. That is why the call for people to make an OS for it. Then just how is any developer suppose to do anything with it? Is there something else which can boot?
#8
(10-21-2020, 07:14 PM)KNERD Wrote: That make no sense. We were told there is no bootable Linux OS for it, and currently nobody making an an Linux OS for it. That is why the call for people to make an OS for it. Then just how is any developer suppose to do anything with it? Is there something else which can boot?

Yes, there isn't bootable Linux OS yet for SOEdge, but that doesn't mean it don't have Linux support.
SOEdge have Linux v4.4 available in BSP SDK, which is available to download (link is on wiki). So the developers,
which received the SOEdge devkit, just need to pickup SDK, and prepare some OS and some examples
for users. Also, on the wiki is link for pre-compiled image with Linux, just it's embedded firmware
with Linux and buildroot.

- gamiee
Also known as gamiee
#9
It might be small and lightweight enough to add to DIY quadcopter projects for AI assisted obstacle avoidance and such.

Robotics in general could be an possible target market.

(note: I am involved in neither, just speculating)
#10
(10-24-2020, 05:41 AM)poVoq Wrote: It might be small and lightweight enough to add to DIY quadcopter projects for AI assisted obstacle avoidance and such.

I have been wanting to get into that. Create an avoidance system for those copters to avoid things coming at them. I have seen various ways to bring them down. Especially with nets, and now even falcons trained to take them down, or by just purely hunting, thinking they are prey.


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