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BPI-M2 - Quade core - 4x USB - Wifi

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tkaiser  
Edited by tkaiser at Fri Dec 5, 2014 03:30
Pasmith replied at Fri Dec 5, 2014 02:25
the reason why pcduino and cubieboard gave up A31S


The A31(s) uses a completely different GPU, a powerful PowerVR SGX which will cause a whole new development approach (maybe ending up in a few months/years where we are today with A20 and its integrated Mali400MP2 GPU: Still no open source drivers and still no satisfying hardware acceleration in Linux for tasks that run flawlessly on Android -- after two years).

If the BPi-M2 would be an upgrade to the BPi then Sinovoip would have chosen the A33 instead: This SoC features the same GPU like A20 but again no SATA (which seems to me like Allwinner included it into their earlier A10/A20 SoCs more or less by mistake: millions of smartphones/tablets/HTPCs are running with these SoCs and none of them 'needs' SATA)

I may prefer to a board with sata. I do not like A31s also because it can only support 1G DDR3 at max.

Edited by destroyedlolo at Fri Dec 5, 2014 22:20
tkaiser replied at Fri Dec 5, 2014 10:29
which seems to me like Allwinner included it into their earlier A10/A20 SoCs more or less by mistake: millions of smartphones/tablets/HTPCs are running with these SoCs and none of them 'needs' SATA


I think it's strategically a mistake : ok, the mainstream for ARM goes to handled devices, but the success of the Raspberry, the Banana, the Cubieboard and so one ... clearly indicate a strong niche for low power consuming servers.
Even big companies like google are doing experiments to switch to ARM in order to reduce energy bills.

tkaiser  
We're speaking about Millions vs. thousands.

And ARM devices that target the specific market do exist (Marvell Kirkwood/Armada: They provide both superiour network speeds and SATA throughput. In the 'maker segment' there exist eg. Freescale's i-MX6. And yes, they're multiple times more expensive than our el cheapo Banana)

Please don't forget, that the ARM architecture both A20 and A31s as in the Banana Pi-M2 are using is defined solely by low power and low price. These are nice toys to play with and are great for gaming, education or maker stuff. But when it comes to 'pro' scenarios a different approach is necessary. Calxeda failed as an early adopter of such a strategy but others continue to go this road:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/77 ... 8core-opteron-a1100

Yep, but seeing the number of Raspberry sell worldwide, there is a market for low power consuming card and the Banana with it's aggressive price AND it's SATA is an interesting competitor.
For home servers, SAN, media server; home automation, we don't need/want $200 or $300 system

Good to see the competition between two new bananas - Banana PI M2 and Banana Pro.
One with A31 and 4USB no SATA, and one with SATA and 2 USB ports

Both have 40 pin headers -- more to attract raspberry pi users

Wonder how the software support will be for banana pi m2 though.

I am guessing that the software support will be similar, as the processors are similar.

Mind you, it will take time...

tkaiser  
Edited by tkaiser at Fri Dec 12, 2014 01:22
mikronauts replied at Thu Dec 11, 2014 18:20
I am guessing that the software support will be similar, as the processors are similar.


Similar processors? LOL. In the world of small ARM boards we're not speaking about 'processors' but instead of SoCs (system on a chip). And while A31 and A20 might use the same ARMv7 instruction set this is of no importance.

Currently there is one board with A31 available: http://linux-sunxi.org/Category:A31_Boards

And this can be used as an Android toy or a headless linux server. And if Tom Cubie didn't left Allwinner a few years ago and started with Cubietech on open source solutions for A10/A20 (that feature both a Mali GPU and not a PowerVR like the A31/A31s) then the situation with A20 would be exactly the same.

tkaiser  
Edited by tkaiser at Fri Dec 12, 2014 01:28
subramanya replied at Thu Dec 11, 2014 15:15
Good to see the competition between two new bananas - Banana PI M2 and Banana Pro.


Yeah, the 'competition' will lead to a divided community and the situation that both software as well as tutorials that match for Banana Pi/Pro will only cause frustration for users of the BPi-M2 and vice versa.

The so called 'Pro' is a bugfix version of the 'Banana Pi' with different color and a weak Wi-Fi solution trying to cash in on the BPi's popularity. But basically it's the same. The BPi-M2 is something completely different in all areas. Just the positions of the mounting holes are the same

Well, I still think it will be easier to support an A31 (with A20) software base than say an i.MX266

I think that on-board WiFi may have been a mistake, an extra USB port may have been better - but I won;t know until I try it.

The advantage to on-board WiFi is the certainty of a supplied working driver and if there is an external antenna connector, then it is probably ok.

The disadvantage is a wasted USB port in case the user wants a different WiFi adapter.

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