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Raspberry Pi: the Upcoming $25 1080p-Capable ARM-Based Hobby Computer

qubit

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#1
Yes, you heard that right, when completed, the Raspberry Pi foundation will be selling a credit card sized computer running Linux that can plug into your television and play H.264 1080p30 videos. Raspberry Pi is the somewhat cheekily-named UK registered charity which has been set up to design and build a very low cost computer that is targeted for use in computer science lessons in schools, to "put the fun back into learning computing." Why, was it ever not fun?! However, such a simple and cheap general purpose gadget has the potential for many other uses than the classroom, as the world is full of inventive tech-minded people that can tinker with something like this and build innovative projects with them, perhaps by using several of these together.

Show full news post
 
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qubit

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#2
Thanks to Easy Rhino for the tip. :toast:
 
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#3
I have no idea what use I would have for this. It's weaker than any phone from the last 2 years. 1080p youtube videos? Meh, I'll pass.
 
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#4
Cool, nice and cheap. I might go ahead with my car pc project after all. I had considered a Via Nano board but prices are through the roof.
 
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#5
Cool, nice and cheap. I might go ahead with my car pc project after all. I had considered a Via Nano board but prices are through the roof.
Thanks, I didn't think of that. I'm still good though.
 
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#6
Where can I plug in my GTX 580 thankyou ^_^
 

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#7
For $25 that's a great hobby kit. One can already think of so many applications even for the 128 MB model.

Where can I plug in my GTX 580 thankyou ^_^
  • Stick two wires into its power connectors
  • Stick the other ends of those wires to the L and N of your 120V wall socket
  • Enjoy the stunning visuals™ (in Intel's words)
 
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#8
Ah, thankyou lionheart and btarunr, funny words!

This could be good for a pushbike, with a rear facing cam and a small screen mounted on the handlebars? Doesnt seem quite powerful enough at its current spec.

Good idea though.
 
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#9
FXI Cotton Candy is a LOT better, but I guess this has a little more connectivity instead.
 

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#10
What kind of OS can this thing run 1080p from?

I doubt you could run Windows 7 on 700Mhz ARM.
 

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#11
What kind of OS can this thing run 1080p from?
Debian, Fedora, any modern Linux-based OS for the ARM architecture.

I doubt you could run Windows 7 on 700Mhz ARM.
You should be able to run Windows Mobile 7 "Mango". You can't run Windows 7 (the PC operating system) on any ARM platform for that matter. Not even NVIDIA Tegra penta-core chips.
 
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#12
Complain all you want the low specs, but at this price it's pretty damn cool. Could make a very cheap alternative to an HTPC for those on a tight budget.
 
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#13
Exactly, people complaining about the specs need to realize they can't even get a decent router for $25.
 
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#14
What kind of OS can this thing run 1080p from?

I doubt you could run Windows 7 on 700Mhz ARM.
Windows is compiled for the X86 architecture, so even if the embedded CPU of this device ran at a clock speed of, say 20 PHz, neither Windows nor Mac OS and not even gaming console OSes (being compiled for IBM's PowerPC arch, AFAIK) would be compatible. You are currently trying to compare peaches to cauliflowers.

And you should now (as a TPU member) that Linux and BSD, especially when properly adapted to the hardware that is used, is more leightweight than Windows.

And this is mainly meant to fiddle with and to practice programming on, as it seems.
 
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qubit

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#16
Model A and Model B. Anyone else recognise that? I think you going to have to be over 35 and British to recognise Acorn BBC Micro. And their ARM evaluation system:

http://www.stumpie.com/armeval/
http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/det/4617/Acorn-ARM-Evaluation-System
http://www.heyrick.co.uk/assembler/proctype.html

1985 to anyone that is interested in retro/classic computing :)
Yeah, I remember it and I was thinking about it when I wrote up the article. :)
 
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#17
Original ARM processor in Acorn Evaluation System



I remember it being "unbelievable" when it came out. The performance was not a % or double of existing systems. It was like 20-100x faster depending on what it was doing. Reason? It was 32-bit and had 25 separate registers, whereas, the CPUs of the time (excluding mainframes) were 8-bit with just 3x 8-bit registers and perhaps 1x or 2x hybrid 16bit registers.

So old 8-bit code was constantly swapping registers and PUSHing and PULLing to the stack. So there was a lot of "overhead" to actual computation time. Any 16, 32 or float calculations required a lot of lengthy routines and scratch space using memory as virtual registers. This was slow. Multiply didnt exist in 8-bit (typically) whereas these new processes had a MUL instruction.

Incredible breakthrough at the time.
 
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Frick

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#18
Ohh, possible release date! BTW, if you're interested there's an old thread about it here.

Do wantwantwant noew!

@C Bonkers: When was that released?

Oh, and here we can see it playing Quake 3!
 

qubit

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#19
Original ARM processor in Acorn Evaluation System

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipe...tem.jpg/800px-Acorn-ARM-Evaluation-System.jpg

I remember it being "unbelievable" when it came out. The performance was not a % or double of existing systems. It was like 20-100x faster depending on what it was doing. Reason? It was 32-bit and had 25 separate registers, whereas, the CPUs of the time (excluding mainframes) were 8-bit with just 3x 8-bit registers and perhaps 1x or 2x hybrid 16bit registers.

So old 8-bit code was constantly swapping registers and PUSHing and PULLing to the stack. So there was a lot of "overhead" to actual computation time. Any 16, 32 or float calculations required a lot of lengthy routines and scratch space using memory as virtual registers. This was slow. Multiply didnt exist in 8-bit (typically) whereas these new processes had a MUL instruction.

Incredible breakthrough at the time.
Nice find. Yes, the performace gain was astronomical and those original Archimedes computers, which had an ARM2 CPU, absolutely flew. It was the first taste of high performance that mere mortals had seen in a desktop computer. :D Trust Acorn to f*ck up such a huge advantage. :rolleyes:

I think the Z80 had a multiply instruction, but it's been so long now, I'm not sure.
 
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#20
@Frick, 1986/87 I think

@qubit. No. Z80 had no Multiply. You had to do it with a series of adds and binary rotates (multiply by 2 in binary means shift all 1 and 0 to the left).

Here is someone showing you how to do it on the Z80
http://sgate.emt.bme.hu/patai/publications/z80guide/part4.html

IIRC, the Comodore 64 used a "special" 6509 processor called the 6510 which DID have a simple 8bit hardware multiply for one of its registers. It wasnt a "true" multiply, but it helped the coding significantly, meaning long-hand multiply as shown in the link above could be simplified and be about 4-5x times quicker. DIVIDE was still a PITA.

Remember that 8 and 16 bit integer multiple is EASY PEASY compared to the code needed on 8-bit processors to do floating point! Now THOSE PROGRAMMERS I really admire.

http://6502.org/source/floats/wozfp1.txt / http://6502.org/source/floats/wozfp3.txt

Steve Wozniak (and friends). Genius.
 
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#21
Yey! Finally my toaster will be able to display 1080p pr0n!
 
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#22
Can pick up a 48 10/100 + 2 Gb port switch for a little over $200.

Now to think of something to do with 48 ARMS.
 
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#23
Can pick up a 48 10/100 + 2 Gb port switch for a little over $200.

Now to think of something to do with 48 ARMS.
Ya but can you fit it into a toaster?
 

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#24
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#25
Ya but can you fit it into a toaster?
Yeah, MY toaster. Can do a whole loaf at a time :D

Hmm... may not have a need for a toaster with an ARM cluster. But I wonder if they would make good thin clients. Plug in into a TV, connect up to other computers in the house.