yyrkoon

Other SBC's I've been considering.

8 posts in this topic

So in interest of full disclosure. I *will* be purchasing the two board I'm about to mention. Soon.

 

The ODROID XU4: http://ameridroid.com/products/odroid-xu4

The ODROID C2  : http://ameridroid.com/products/odroid-c2

 

I've done a lot of reading over the last several months. In hopes of finding an embedded Linux SBC(ARM) that can be used as a desktop, as well as a work station for ARM board development. To come straight to the point. For that purpose, and in the same price range. Nothing comes close to the ODROID XU4. The things that "sinched" the deal for me was the quad A15's( quad A7's too ! ), the inclusion of USB 3.0, and true GbE networking( not shared with the USB buses ). A friend of mine has one and has demonstrated it for me a couple times. This thing is a beast ! Passed all that, one can run Android on this hardware, and I've been considering tinkering around with Android development as well,

 

The ODROID C2 is very much like the Raspberry PI 3, but at a higher price point, and added performance / features. I think I paid $35 for my rPI including a power supply, and free shipping. That's a really good price for the hardware. The C2 on the other hand, like stated above has very similar hardware with a few key differences. First, for all intents and purposes they use the same processor type. An A53 quad core. However the C2 is clocked at 2Ghz. Secondly, the C2 has true GbE networking. Potentially very useful for many applications. Lastly, the C2 has twice the memory - 2G versus 1G.

 

We actually have a project involved using a C2 in a professional capacity. No, this project is nothing like a NAS, SAN, or anything of that nature . . .Although it would perform that type of job very well I think. I am very anxious to get my hands on one. Very anxious to get my hands on an XU4 as well, but the XU4 will be more of a toy for a while. As well as handling any kernel, or debian package compiling I need done in the future.

 

What boards are all you interested in ?

bluehash likes this

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So, I've had an ODROID XU4 sitting next to me for the last month, and I've not really had any time to start off with it - yet. Currently, I have an Asus eeepc with a busted screen serving as my ARM development system, and I'm seriously considering moving all that to the XU4. Because of the USB 3.0, and GbE on the board.

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By the way, the ODRIOD C2 was on a 5 week back order because apparently *someone* was buying all the stock AmeriDRIOD had, for production systems. So I did not bother ordering one, yet.

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The closest I've come to on SBCs are RasPis and BBB. They suffice most of my needs. With real time requirements on specific processes, the choice is towards any of the ARM Cortexs running bare metal or RTOS code.

 

yyrkoon likes this

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Compared to the Raspberry Pi, The BeagleBone offers two PRUs for time-critical and deterministic tasks. However, developing against those PRUs isn't exactly easy. 

I went for alternatives.

  • Very similar to the Arduino Yun, the Mediatek LinkIt Smart 7688 Duo features two cores: the processor MT7688AN runs on Linux for WiFi, and the  ATmega32U4 micro-controller is compatible with Arduino.
  • The Arduino Tian is an updated Arduino Yun with an Atheros AR9342 as CPU for WiFi (dual band WiFi), Ethernet (1000 Mbit/s Ethernet) and Bluetooth, and a Cortex-M0+ SAMD21G18 as MCU with 256 KB of Flash and 32 KB of RAM.
  • The Intel Edison was very promising with a combined MPU + MCU + WiFi + BLE on a single SoC. Unfortunately, programming the MCU requires the reboot of the whole board MCU, and the MCU tick time is 10 ms. The SDK and API aren't mature yet but haven't been updated for a while. Dead project?
  • Last and best choice, the UDOO Neo board combines a Cortex-A9 MPU with a Cortex-M4 MCU on the Freescale i.MX 6SoloX. The Cortex-M4 can be programmed on the fly. The board features Ethernet + WiFi + BLE.
bluehash likes this

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I haven't yet transitioned to the SBCs offering a MCU and a MPU, in one unit. It has been either the MPU or use an ARM MCU for me.

The BBB has PRUs, but it needs getting used to and needs a fair bit of work. Maturity and stability is a big consideration in product based solutions.

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6 hours ago, bluehash said:

The closest I've come to on SBCs are RasPis and BBB. They suffice most of my needs. With real time requirements on specific processes, the choice is towards any of the ARM Cortexs running bare metal or RTOS code.

 

So, the ODROID C2 is nearly exactly the same thing as an rPI3, except the C2 has GbE ethernet, and 2G ram. They both use the same ARM processor type( A53 quad core ), but I also believe the C2 runs at a higher frequency. The C2 also has the ability to use a snap on emmc 5.0 emmc module. At $42 they're only $7 more than an rPI3 shipped, and IMHO well worth the added cost. Additionally, the ODROID C2 is header pin compatible with rPI "hats"

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Anyway, I'm not trying to convince anyone of using anything. I own an rPI 3 too. But am literally swimming in beaglebones ... between 5 blacks and have had around 50 greens come through here semi recently.

SO the advantages of the beaglebone over any other SBC should be obvious to anyone in the field, but for those who are not sure. It's the shear amount of I/O / peripherals the boards is capable of providing all at once. On top of that, there is a pretty solid community behind the board. To be sure there are others that are better for other things. If you just want a low energy usage / "high performance" SBC, the XU4 will wipe out 99% of the boards on the market. At half the cost of the boards that *may* outperform it. I say "may", because an octa-core with 4 of those cores being A15 cores is not something that will be easy to beat. Performance wise. There is only one SBC i know of out there that I'm fairly confident that will beat and XU4, for general purpose computer related things. And that board entry cost is ~$1800 USD, and it has issues. But it's also one of the few ARM based boards with 16G ram as well.

But anyway, my purpose here is pretty simple. I know it's not easy always to get information on various hardware. So I almost feel compelled to share my experiences with others, so they may get an idea of what exists, and how it may be useful to them. The ODROID XU4 is not exactly something I'd say could replace a Beaglebone when considering something for a "pure embedded" system. But it does have probably around twice as much I/O when compared to an rPI 3. Where it will really shine, is running a desktop, comparable in speeds to something like a entry to mid range x86 system. It would also serve very well as a low power NAS, or SAN type of system. Since the USB buses, and GbE networking do not share any I/O at all. With that said, it's known that the GbE interface on the XU4 is not a maximum of 1000Mbit, but rather falls a little short at some where around 850Mbit, if memory serves me.

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