Wishlist for the B-Pi version 2

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I'd buy a next generation BPi immediately if

Why not simply get a CuBox on eBay (without "-i" since its successor, the CuBox-i, is no longer powered by an Marvell Armada 510)?

I don't get the whole discussion. The BananaPi is meant for education, fun and hardware experiments. It was never meant to be a real mediacenter or NAS. These devices already exist

Post Last Edited by roses2at at 2014-10-4 11:20
The B-Pi can do true 1GB.

Unfortunately not.
tkaiser Posted at 4-10-2014 10:33 AM

Perhaps I may be allowed to edit that quote and replace it with:

As far as I understand it, the B-Pi can do true 1Gbit/s.

As I said in Post #8 to ryad, I really am the wrong person to discuss this with.

only one single USB interface available on the CPU which is then connected to a cheap USB switch

Well, horses for courses. I guess it depends on what you want to use your Pi for. Me, I just want to be able to plug in 4 devices at the same time without the need for a hub (passive or active). And as the OTG is disabled Out-of-the-Box for most of LeMaker's Linux distros (something I found very annoying, even if I now know there a simple fix for it which involves simply overwriting the existing script.bin file with another updated one which is only a few bytes larger while your SD card is still connected to your main PC), 4 USB ports - and preferably v3.0 - would be excellent.

But if what you say is true (and I have no reason to doubt you), then using a Pi as a NAS with heavy Ethernet and USB traffic might indeed lead to problems - although again. I am not the right person to discuss this with.

Reply 10# roses2at

There are already A80 boards in the wild: http://linux-sunxi.org/Category:A80_Boards (have a look at the 'support status' to see when this will be useful for end users. And BTW: Each board manufacturer seem to 'forgot' SATA)

The BananaPi is meant for education, fun and hardware experiments.
tkaiser Posted at 4-10-2014 10:49 AM

Oops, now we've opened a whole can of worms - which was never my intention with starting this thread - discussing what the B-Pi can and should be used for. Each to his own, I say.

So can we please refrain from pursuing that "Yes it is a media centre/NAS/etc" "No, it isn't" form of discussion à la Monty Python The Argument Sketch or otherwise I fear the Moderator(s) might close this thread.

All I was hoping to get was some ideas for what specs a version 2 board should/might have, rather than what it can be used for.

Reply 12# roses2at

using a Pi as a NAS with heavy Ethernet and USB traffic might indeed lead to problems.

The main "problem" is that you won't get the performance you might expect when only looking at specs (Gbit Ethernet, SATA). And using USB without UASP -- USB Attached SCSI, an optional USB 3.0 feature -- is not a good idea at all since it's slow and using more ressources than necessary. Fortunately the BananaPi features a SATA connector, the more powerful successors A31/A80 do not

The BananaPi/A20's SATA implementation isn't that fast either (never got more than 48 MByte/sec writing and 120 MByte/sec reading when testing) and this combined with the network issues (CPU intensive, not able to get half of the theoretical maximum when utilizing a single CPU core with 100%) don't make a fast NAS. But if you set it up correctly you will get a NAS able to achieve speeds up to 40/60 MBytes/sec (which is really good for a small device that cheap).

Reply 15# tkaiser

   Please continue this discussion about performance issues - if you want to - in another thread or start a new one as it is getting very off-topic.
Post #1 of this thread simply asks for suggestions on what new features (hardware or software) could be implemented in the next generation B-Pi.

Reply 2# snypa

Now you made me curious about the GPU in this cubieboard 8

The one integrated in the A80 SoC: http://sunxi.org/A80#A80_SoC_Features

Wow, OpenCL capable GPU, 8 CPU cores with NEON/SIMD. That would make the A80 a powerful OpenCL cluster node.

Reply 14# roses2at

All I was hoping to get was some ideas for what specs a version 2 board should/might have, rather than what it can be used for.

And it seems you neither want to discuss potential 'use cases' (like ryad's Mediacenter/NAS) nor technical implications of different hardware features?

The heart of the BananaPi (both technically and pricewise) is an Allwinner 'system on a chip'. The used SoC determines the hardware features available (since cheap SoCs like Allwinner's don't have PCIe there's no way to add features like USB 3 or SATA by simply adding controllers like ASM1074 or ASM1061 to the PCB).

So if you want an octacore CPU like the A80 in Cubieboard8 as you suggested in your first post you loose SATA and you have a totally different GPU (which means current BananaPi focussed distros will be useless/incompatible). Even if you suggest using a quad core SoC featuring the same Mali-400MP2 GPU (the new A33 for example) you loose SATA therefore rendering a 2nd BPi revision useless for many people/scenarios.

In my opinion development is driven by needs (use cases) and when talking about lowend/cheap boards like the BananaPi everything technically depends on the SoC used (except of an integrated USB hub of course). Upgrading or choosing a different SoC will break compatibilty and let hardware features disappear now widely in use

Everyone has it's own ideas about the ideal hardware. About the 4 USB on Raspberry, they are extended by a USB hub. On Banana Pi,  the 3 USB (include the OTG) are all directly to the A20 chip. I have considered to open OTG by default. The fex file in the LeMaker github has updated.
As tkaiser said, the hardware feature is limited by SoC. So the usb3.0 and sata3.0 is not available on A20. I am very agree with tkaiser, the development is driven by need. At the moment, the ability of Banana Pi is enough to make many projects. In my opinion, I think a onboard wifi may be a good choice.  Or more different pins function can be left out such as I2S.

Post Last Edited by roses2at at 2014-10-4 14:39
.....development is driven by needs
tkaiser Posted at 4-10-2014 01:47 PM

Fair point. What you might gain from one particular hardware improvement might lead to another useful feature not being available anymore. I have to admit that when I casually suggested a octa-core CPU like the A80 I had no idea it would mean losing SATA. And personally I would rather keep that latter feature (as being able to use and possibly even boot an OS (at least the rootfs partition of it) from a fast and larger than an SD card external 2.5 SSD, and having lots of storage into the bargain) MUCH MORE than having a faster CPU. It's all swings and roundabouts as they say.

......And it seems you neither want to discuss potential 'use cases'
tkaiser Posted at 4-10-2014 01:47 PM

I'm not sure if you mean here with the word 'you' specifically me personally or in general 'you the whole forum community'.

Please understand that I do not claim ownership of this forum, nor of this thread just because I originated it.

All I was gently trying to say is 'let's be careful not to get too off-topic' as I don't want the thread locked or closed down or even deleted by the Moderators or Administrator.

But I think it's only fair that we can point out to other posters the advantages and disadvantages of each particular suggestion for a new feature on B-Pi Rev 2 e.g. 4 USB sockets, USB 3 or USB 2, same CPU or another one, if so -which?, true 1Gbit/s Ethernet, SATA or no SATA, etc., without getting TOO deep into 'use cases' i.e. "I think the Pi should be used for purposes X, Y and Z" "No I disagree, only for A, B and C".

Is that OK 4 U??

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