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Update: Raspberry Pi-Compatible Development Board Cancelled 165

Posted by samzenpus
from the not-so-fast dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Anyone who might have been interested in the miniature Raspberry Pi compatible board mentioned here a month ago should know the board has been cancelled due to problems sourcing the Broadcom SoC. Given the less than welcoming response from the rpi community to the board's release, there is speculation as to why Hardkernel is having trouble buying the chip.
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Update: Raspberry Pi-Compatible Development Board Cancelled

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  • Broadcom... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    ... need i say more. Who in their right mind would make anything with a broadcom chip.

    • Re:Broadcom... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by gweihir (88907) on Sunday August 31, 2014 @12:58PM (#47795921)

      Indeed. The choice by the RPi-team was utterly stupid and can only be attributed to incompetence. I mean, a computer aimed at education, and then you cannot publish the full datasheet? That is just insane!

      Personally, I also found the official forum overrun with people with big egos and small skills and a lot more techno-mysticism than actual engineering. It is no surprise that the RPi is such a badly designed device. Basically all competitors are significantly superior.

      • Would you mind tell me who are the competitors? I am pretty interested in alternative products if any at a competitive price.
        • by gweihir (88907)

          Get a Beagle Bone Black. It is about $10 more, but you get a good design, the full specs and nobody is lying to you and you have none of the reliability issues the RPi suffers from.

          • Re: Broadcom... (Score:4, Informative)

            by LoRdTAW (99712) on Sunday August 31, 2014 @03:38PM (#47796567)

            As good as the BBB is, the layout sucks. My beef is the micro HDMI port is so close to the only USB port that thumb drives or fat USB plus interfere with the HDMI plug. If you have a previous gen BBB with the 2GB eMMC, the new Debian distro leaves you with 60 MB free space. The Angstrom distro is dead. So you have to boot from the SD card.

            But the biggest benefit is the external memory bus for FPGA connectivity. But that disables the HDMI port as the ports are shared on the SoC.

            I wish they would add more USB ports, move the HDMI port and if possible, move to an SoC that does not sacrifice the HDMI for the external memory bus. Overall it blows away the RPI.

        • Beagleboard Black is my favorite. http://beagleboard.org/black [beagleboard.org]

          I have a couple RPis and they are fun for out-of-the-box projects like RetroPi, but it's a BBB that I trust to run my 3.25hp router around my CNC table at 200in/min. Though, recently with the work going into MachineKit [machinekit.io] that's pretty much an out-of-the-box project too.

          RPi had quite a bit of energy in the community to begin with and that momentum still persists and give a bit of an advantage to them in project development, but that will only go

        • by julesh (229690)

          Would you mind tell me who are the competitors? I am pretty interested in alternative products if any at a competitive price.

          I'm personally a fan of Olimex's boards. They're open hardware, and tend to have superior boards to the RPi at only slightly higher prices. E.g. their entry level board (details here [olimex.com]) is £28 versus about £20 for a RPi model A. It has a much faster processor (1GHz superscalar Cortex A8 vs 700MHz previous-generation single-dispatch ARM11, so probably about twice as fast), more GPIOs (74 pins vs RPi's 26), USB-OTG, audio-in, RTC, plus uses a processor that does not rely on an undocumented propri

          • I'm a long-time Olimex customer... From back when ARM7 (not ARMv7) was the rage. Great company, great products.
      • It was chosen because the brains behind the project works for Broadcom and got a sweetheart deal with some great licensing. Its called working with the resources you have. There would BE no competitors if Pi hadnt come out. They even moved INTEL to get into the micro space with Galileo.
        • Re:Broadcom... (Score:5, Informative)

          by DamnOregonian (963763) on Sunday August 31, 2014 @02:10PM (#47796177)
          Pretty sure the Arduino market is what pulled Intel in. http://arduino.cc/en/ArduinoCe... [arduino.cc]
          And you know... You may be right. There was no embedded SBC market before the Pi came out.

          The Pi competed on one front, and one front only. Price. And no one really competed with it. The boards of similar (but still higher) price that destroyed the Pi in functionality were around before the Pi was.
          • Fair enough. I will amend to say that the Pi greatly expanded the market for players that were already in the game. Unfortunately, the others were never able to capture any real mindshare from it. Love it or hate it, the Pi made the market what it is now. Also, Intel has offerings on both fronts, real time microcontrollers and multi-tasking OS chips. (quark and galileo)
            • There's no arguing the RPi's incredible mind-share, but I still contend that the market minus the Pi isn't really much different than it was before the Pi. More people have just been brought into it. I don't see more choice than I saw before, or better prices. I think what the Pi brought to the table was a bunch of people who weren't willing to spend more than $35 on SBC toys. I don't love or hate the Pi. I have 2 of them, and an ODROID-W (yay, on-topic!). It's one of my lower-end SBC hobbyist boards, but d
        • by gweihir (88907)

          Dream on. The Beagle Board, for example is from 2008 and fas fully open from the start. The Cubieboard is from 2012, same time as the RPi.

        • by gl4ss (559668)

          they're claiming all the micro board successeses, but don't want others cloning.

          you know what they are really doing? working _for_ the resources they are resources to.

          the broadcom chip is stupid and it is stupid to make a clone with it. if you're cloning something clone the bbb.. or at least something capable of _decently_ driving a cnc or 3d printer(pi is shit for that, even if there's a proof of concept of doing it worse than 8 bit atmel..).

      • Re:Broadcom... (Score:5, Informative)

        by Cyberdyne (104305) * on Sunday August 31, 2014 @02:19PM (#47796203) Journal

        The choice [of a Broadcom SoC] by the RPi-team was utterly stupid and can only be attributed to incompetence.

        Well, Eben Upton's job working for Broadcom was probably a factor there... Personally, I'd trace the idea back before he had that job - I recall a discussion about the Gameboy Advance developer kit in the summer of 2002, and the lack of affordable programmable devices at the time. I suspect he'd have had a real struggle getting anywhere close to the Pi's target price without getting discounted access to the Broadcom SoC he used, though. I haven't spoken to him recently, but my impression was that far from "RPi Foundation pressed Broadcom to stop selling BCM2835 to competing projects" as claimed, it was more "Eben twisted arms and got Broadcom to give RPF a special cut-price deal so they could afford it".

        If anyone were to bring out a rival device from a "significantly superior" competitor, I'd be delighted to see it - and I suspect most if not all of the RPF people would too, since it wasn't about making money by selling lots of systems. (Of course, Broadcom didn't buy up the remains of ARM's parent company for nothing, so I'd be surprised to see something much better from a rival!) I was happy to see the Pi being ARM based, as a fan of ARM as far back as the ARM2 I first programmed, but I'm also happy to see rivals like the MIPS32 one mentioned recently: I like ARM, but I also like having a choice of platform, both hardware and software!

        • by gweihir (88907)

          Anything that has the full MCU datasheet published is significantly superior. Get a Beagle Bone Black for example.

        • by mark-t (151149)
          I have to admit to some excitement about the recently mentioned MIPS32 board as well, but to be fair, I don't think anybody is actually sure how much of a rival the MIPS32 microcontroller board is liable to be, since its price point has not been announced. If it costs 50 times as much, for instance, then it's not really in going to rival the Pi because it's targeting a different market entirely.
      • The choice by the RPi-team was utterly stupid and can only be attributed to incompetence.

        Are you a moron?

        Oh, sorry, yes, you are a moron.

        The RPi team are Broadcom you idiot.

        • by gweihir (88907)

          You confuse knowledge and intelligence. That makes you and "idiot" and a "moron", but not me. Nice fail.

      • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

        I mean, a computer aimed at education, and then you cannot publish the full datasheet?

        Considering that all the computers in use at the time the RPi was introduced were proprietary and didn't come with a datasheet it doesn't sound that crazy. The RPi is designed to get children interesting in programming and a bit of electronics, not teach them about low level CPU architecture or how to interface with a hardware UART. That's advanced stuff and there are platforms that cater to it. The Pi is there to get you started cheaply and doing some interesting and useful stuff.

        Most of the kids who learn

  • Get over it (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    There's a wide and robust SoC community out there. You people who keep pushing the Pi in our faces are doing a disservice to the larger progressive community.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 31, 2014 @12:23PM (#47795809)

    I used to work at Sun Microsystems and had to deal with Broadcom chips in the servers. In order to get access to Hardware Reference Manuals, I almost was compelled to sign away rights to my 1st *and* 2nd born. Broadcom does not want anyone to be able to write drivers to their hardware ever, unless you pay them a huge royalty.

    • by gweihir (88907) on Sunday August 31, 2014 @01:00PM (#47795929)

      Indeed. And if you look at the competing chips, for example from Ti (e.g. on the Beagle Bone black), you have the full, detailed datasheet after a minute of web-searching. Broadcom chips have no place in "open" hardware.

      • Sure, I agree with this bad attitude toward hardware hackers and low-level software developers. However, this board has still a place in the OS. I don't believe the original initiative from Raspberry Pi Foundation was to provide an open hardware platform at all. It was all about providing a cheap solution to encourage coding skills development early in school. From this point of view, Linux was a natural choice given it costs nothing. Open hardware was not a concern since you do not expect youngsters to hac

        • by gweihir (88907)

          That is just my point: They FAILED to publish the full GPIO specs! How demented is that?

      • by Goaway (82658)

        The TI datasheets are not really "full". They are quite extensive, but there are large parts they leave out too.

        • by gweihir (88907)

          Well, first I have not found any "large parts they leave out" so far, and second, the RPi datasheet "excerpts" are missing things as fundamental as the full GPIO specs. TI does no such utter BS.

          • by romiz (757548)
            From what I remember, what is missing in the OMAP/Sitara TRM is documentation about:
            - The secure bootloader, so you cannot use secure mode: some features (precise, limited, useful only in very specific cases) in the CPU are blocked
            - The GPU documentation, but I've never seen the SGX documentation in any SoC TRM, or for any other GPU

            But you still have ~5000 pages of doc in the main TRM, plus all the erratas, which is much better than what many other manufacturers give you, even after signing a NDA.
            • Well, to be fair, the secure bootloader is only enabled on Secure parts, which you don't have (unless you got them on a phone, or some such device that ships with them).

              On a non-secure part, the secure-bootloader documentation is irrelevant.

              While it does suck that the average hacker doesn't have access to those docs (especially when we're fighting against beating the secure bootloader in shipped devices), one can hardly claim TI provides shitty docs because of the omission.

              You've got good ground to st
              • by gweihir (88907)

                I think th SGX part (which may be anything from completely irrelevant to critically important) is probably due to licensing conditions and not really TIs fault. It does suck though.

            • by Narishma (822073)

              - The GPU documentation, but I've never seen the SGX documentation in any SoC TRM, or for any other GPU

              Some documentation [broadcom.com] is available for the GPU in the Raspberry Pi.

      • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

        That's because they target different markets. Texas parts do more in hardware, and thus much of their operation is "secret" as in to figure it out you would have to reverse engineer at the transistor level. They also cost more.

        Broadcom parts target the very low cost end of the market by doing things in software to save silicon. They are also a bit more cutting edge so there are more trade secrets in there to start with. Software is very easy to analyze and anyone writing their own drivers will need document

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 31, 2014 @12:23PM (#47795813)

    I've worked with Broadcom chips in some circumstances in my job as an embedded software engineer. It's seldom been pleasant.

    They won't even talk to a little player, or anyone else who is unlikely to place an order for large numbers of chips. I know of tier-2 telecommunications equipment companies - well-known names - who were turned down by Broadcom. Even if you are a big player, technical support is even harder to get. They make you sign NDAs for every little thing. I saw this becoming an issue with the Raspberry Pi when it came out a few years ago as there was no documentation for the graphics hardware.

    It's just the way they do business. I think they're about volume rather than margin. They're not even vaguely interested in enthusiasts or small scale jobs.

    My favourite supplier is Freescale. They make almost all their documentation and software public, and you can buy their chips singly in the channel if you want. I have a suspicion that Intel (who are showing in interest in this market) and Atmel would probably also be very helpful.

    Best advice to a small project like this is very much as follows : don't bother with Broadcom. They don't want your business.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I can corroborate most of this. Broadcom wants to know they're going to make their money before they commit to anything, so to get their attention, you've got to drop a lot of money up front or commit to huge quantities. They really aren't into the whole goodwill/loss-leader efforts for catching the smaller customers.
      I can't really blame them for this, but it makes them a pain in the ass to work with if you can't do either of those.

      • by Aighearach (97333)

        Small volumes aren't loss-leaders here, they're higher margin!

        Nobody is asking any of the chip companies to do loss-leaders, just to be willing to sell. Most companies are coming around and dealing with customers of all sizes now. They're usually not developing new chips for this market, just selling their existing chips to whoever wants them.

        Broadcom needs to know a lot about you and have you sign a bunch of NDAs before they'll even take your money. Your money is NOT as good as someone elses, to them.

    • by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Sunday August 31, 2014 @01:02PM (#47795943)

      They won't even talk to a little player, or anyone else who is unlikely to place an order for large numbers of chips.

      They need to realize that big players start out as little players. I remember seeing an interview of Steve Jobs, and he was asked why they used the 6502 in the original Apple. He listed several technical advantages of the 6502, and then said that none of those factors had anything to with their decision. They used the 6502 because Motorola had given Woz a free sample.

      • by silfen (3720385)

        They need to realize that big players start out as little players.

        Sometimes they do, but so what? It looks like Broadcom still has a good business, as do many other companies that only deal with large customers; in a healthy, diverse market, that's a reasonable strategy for some companies. I don't see why people get so pushed out of shape about this. It's not like Broadcom is the only source you can use.

        • Exactly! Sometimes people think a company should be after every tiny bit of the market and eat it all while many businesses never intent to capture all the opportunities. Only those with the highest ROI are worth going after. It is not because you want to buy a couple of Broadcom chips you deserve outstanding support.

          Support costs money.

          The above example from Apple is irrelevant in today's context. At the time Steve Jobs and Wosniak developed their computer, this was an emerging market. Personal computing w

          • Support costs money.

            Then they should charge for it on an hourly basis, and waive that hourly fee for big customers. They already have data sheets and reference designs, so it would cost them nothing to put those on their website for download, like nearly every other semiconductor company does. It would also cost them very little to set up a wiki, and a forum where customers can interact and ask each other questions. Right now, that is illegal because customers sign an NDA to get specs.

            • by jonwil (467024)

              Not sure where I read it but I believe part of why Broadcom is so secretive when it comes to their SoCs and things is that a lot of their market is (or was) for SoCs used in things like cable TV set-top boxes. Keeping things secret from the public at large makes it harder for hackers to figure out how their chips work so they can hack the firmware of these cable TV boxes and things.

            • by silfen (3720385)

              Then they should charge for it on an hourly basis, and waive that hourly fee for big customers.

              Why "should" they? They aren't in the business of handholding consumers or small customers. If you think they are wrong in their business model, stop whining and vote with your dollars instead. That's what adults do in a free market.

              Of course, you whine and complain because you realize that Broadcom's business model is actually working for them.

              • Broadcom's business model is actually working for them.

                Only for very small values of "working". If you invested $100 in Broadcom stock back in the year 2000, you would have $21 today, and last month they laid off 20% of their workforce [eetimes.com].

        • ... in a healthy, diverse market, that's a reasonable strategy for some companies.

          Because what they are doing is making the market less healthy and less diverse.

          I don't see why people get so pushed out of shape about this.

          We speak out because we want to change their behavior, and discourage other companies from adopting the same customer hostile behavior. Why do you get so pushed out of shape about other people getting pushed out of shape?

      • by Anonymous Coward

        MOS made the 6502, not Motorola.

        More reality-distorted Apple "History".

        • by gregben (844056)

          Mod this up. Indeed, MOS (Metal Oxide Semiconductor) was the maverick company that came up with the 6502, a very clever improvement over the Motorola 6800.

      • by citizenr (871508) on Sunday August 31, 2014 @03:19PM (#47796471) Homepage

        They won't even talk to a little player, or anyone else who is unlikely to place an order for large numbers of chips.

        They need to realize that big players start out as little players. I remember seeing an interview of Steve Jobs, and he was asked why they used the 6502 in the original Apple. He listed several technical advantages of the 6502, and then said that none of those factors had anything to with their decision.

        No, his actual words were:
        "fuck if I know, my nerd did all the technical bs, I could sell you insurance and I wouldnt care less"

        Maybe you were referring to the Woz interview?

        They used the 6502 because Motorola had given Woz a free sample.

        the one where Woz said they used 6502 because MOS, and NOT motorola (motorola was busy trying to sell $300 chips), MOS sold 6502 at $25 out of a jar at Wescon in single quantities with no NDA/moq

        you know, this one :
        http://www.textfiles.com/apple... [textfiles.com]

            "WOZNIAK: In 1975 an 8080 microprocessor cost $370 and you could only get it
        from a distributor set up to deal with companies, not individual computer
        enthusiasts. The 6502 was introduced at Wescon with a unique marketing
        approach (thanks, Chuck Peddle) and was sold over the counter (like register
        chips at the local surplus stores) for $20. I bought mine from Chuck and his
        wife themselves."

      • by GrahamCox (741991) on Sunday August 31, 2014 @07:09PM (#47797279) Homepage
        I started out as a hardware designer, specialising in RF. I worked for a medium-sized company at first, but one that was quite important in the UK in its particular market, and I had no trouble getting free samples out of any supplier when I mentioned their name. Later, when I wanted to build stuff for myself without the clout of a larger company, I still found getting free samples was easy enough. The trick was, call them up and ask them to give you a quote to supply the chip with price breaks at 10, 100, 10,000 pieces. Then after they'd gone through that process, throw in a "by the way, any chance of a couple of free samples?" (I wouldn't bother with this charade for basic components, free samples were no problem, but for more expensive items they needed to think you were serious). This was in the 80s so cutting edge at that time meant chips such as the 68HC11 SoC - I even got a couple of free development boards out of Motorola for that one.

        A company called CML used to produce codec chips for handling the digital modulation of a baseband signal using GPSK, etc. Getting samples out of them was sometimes tricky because these were highly specialised custom fabrications. But I still got a tube full of free samples out of them which I used in a university project - very much a one-off - using the same BS.
      • The 6502 isn't a Motorola part. The far superior part at the time was Motorola's 6802 part, the 8-bit predecessor of the 68000 chip that went into the first Macintosh, and one of the two premier 8-bit chips at the time (the other was the 8080/Z-80). The 8502 was a weaker clone of the 6802, but as stated, MOS Technology (the producer of the 6502) gave Woz a free sample, and the 6502 was far less expensive than Motorola or Intel's processor at the time.

        It's really a shame that Motorola didn't work closer wi

    • No manufacturer wants to sell in small lots. If I called up Intel directly and said I want a hundred of anything, their salesman would laugh at me too. That's what distributors are for. They buy in volume and sell to the little people. Or other board makers that bought more than they need and want to unload some. Looking at Alibaba.com right now I can see more than one, likely in the latter category. Available in any quantity Hardkernel would likely want to buy, and at a price point that should make t

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      It's just the way they do business. I think they're about volume rather than margin. They're not even vaguely interested in enthusiasts or small scale jobs.

      They are. If you take a look around, you'll find a Broadcom chip in everything. Be it WiFi, Bluetooth, FM radio, NFC, Ethernet (MAC or PHY or both, or switch chips), DOCSIS chipset, DSL chipset, router processors, etc. They make a custom SoC for everything.

      Broadcom's business is basically a line item for your specific purpose - you want a DSL modem? Just

  • Why. (Score:5, Informative)

    by queazocotal (915608) on Sunday August 31, 2014 @12:26PM (#47795821)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]
    Eben Christopher Upton is a Technical Director and ASIC architect for Broadcom. He is also a founder and former trustee of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, and now CEO of the Raspberry PI trading company.[4] He is also responsible for the overall software and hardware architecture of the Raspberry Pi device.[5][6]

    • by gweihir (88907)

      That explains a lot. Really, "targeted at education" and "full datasheet not available" do not go together, except for the most stupid or most corrupt of players. I have been wondering how this incredibly stupid choice was made.

      • Re:Why. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by spire3661 (1038968) on Sunday August 31, 2014 @01:54PM (#47796131) Journal
        For fucks sake, its a $35 piece of silicon that can be used to teach kids things. Stop being a Stallman.
        • by gweihir (88907)

          Oh, because it is low cost, and targeted at kids, that makes regarding the customers as stupid o.k. in your book?

          • I dont care about Broadcom's politics. I cant change them and the Pi has been incredibly useful to me in learning and teaching electronics. I would love for the whole thing to be open, but its just not happening, so we must accept that the net gain from the PI is still a benefit to humanity, no matter how slightly 'impure' the ideology. Most of the device is 'open'.
            • by julesh (229690)

              I dont care about Broadcom's politics. I cant change them and the Pi has been incredibly useful to me in learning and teaching electronics. I would love for the whole thing to be open, but its just not happening, so we must accept that the net gain from the PI is still a benefit to humanity, no matter how slightly 'impure' the ideology. Most of the device is 'open'.

              Yes, but for some reason I find hard to fathom it attracts attention away from other products that would be just as good at fulfilling the same goals and *are* completely open. I have no doubt that if, say, Olimex's OLinuxIno [olimex.com] sold in similar quantities to the RPi it would be available at about the same price, rather than a slightly higher for a much better board, as it is currently.

              • by gweihir (88907)

                Actually, the cheaper Olimex A20 boards are cheaper than a RPi and superior in basically every aspect. Go figure.

                • Do they have a non-profit foundation behind them striving to make them the pedagogical computer of choice for educators? The Raspberry Pi foundation isn't "in business" to provide SBC geeks on Slashdot with a cheap module to use in their living room, you know. Their entire focus is on providing an affordable easy-to-use part for education. Look at their forum, look at the audience they are successfully reaching out to. It's kids, and educators.

                  • by gweihir (88907)

                    An in what part is "crippled documentation" compatible with "education"? Are we educating people to be uninformed now?

                  • by Aighearach (97333)

                    It is actually even narrower than that; their mandate is to provide an embedded computer of choice for educators... in the UK! They're doing great at that, and even are somewhat useful to the broader "neckbeard-SBC" market. Even people who actually dev on something else like a BBB still have a RPi in a drawer somewhere. And that helps support engineering education in the UK. Good on them, even if their products sucks! (Not saying it does, just saying the rest is true even if you don't like the product)

              • by Aighearach (97333)

                Yes, but for some reason I find hard to fathom it attracts attention away from other products that would be just as good at fulfilling the same goals and *are* completely open.

                Simple, it increases the total market. Competition isn't zero-sum unless the market is mature and flat. A product that gets a bunch of free press and increases the demand for the whole sector is helping their competition almost as much as themselves. In these types of growing markets, cooperation is the most powerful competition. And as such, in the long term it is normal to expect the more open competitors to do better. Not only do they have more appeal to the more serious customers, but they can share not

      • It really depends what the particular aim of the education is. If it's teaching hardware design to university students, sure, you've got a point. But it's not. The educational aims of the RaspPi Foundation are teaching primary school kids how to code and do simple stuff with a GPIO port. You don't need an entirely open platform to do that.

        I'm in favour of things being completely open as much as the next man, but the reality is that there are instances where it's not the greatest concern. It doesn't matter t

      • by thegarbz (1787294)

        Education and openness have NOTHING to do with each other unless you're trying to educate people on the very detailed inner workings of the device they are playing with. This is a $35 linux computer. It may as well be powered by actual raspberries for all I care, if it gets people interested in programming and gets people playing with hardware it has done its job. And it HAS done so very well.

        If you want to stand on some principle then you're right and we should ditch the Rasperry Pi and go back to .... err

      • That explains a lot. Really, "targeted at education" and "full datasheet not available" do not go together, except for the most stupid or most corrupt of players. I have been wondering how this incredibly stupid choice was made.

        And if we always follow the fundamentalist way nothing will get done ever. The Pi isn't perfect, but it is good at what it does and ultimately it did get made and became popular... Hardware doesn't have to be totally open to be useful in teaching software, for example.

        It's like Hurd vs Linux, you can have all the ideals you want but if you fail to make it work and popular, it's worthless.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    a) The response in the linked thread was quite welcoming, most hoping for some competition.
    b) The most likely answer is that ogdroid couldnt muster up a large enough order for SoCs so broadcom said 'nah'. The only way RPI got around this was having a broadcom employee on their team.
    c) The *rumor* is that RPI pressured broadcom into not selling the chips, which was started by someone on a competitor's blog.

    • This attitude is going to cost them dearly in the future when the engineers they've burned design in a competitor's parts. I know I'll never select components from Rambus and Broadcom because of their BS.

      • by Aighearach (97333)

        No need to go into the future for that, their past attitude and refusal to seek placement in upcoming devices might indeed play a role in their recent large layoff announcements, and their stock price has been basically flat since it dropped in the 2001 bust.

        Look at Texas Instruments, who is friendly to customers and competes at all levels, including single units, and they're really strong with an increasing stock price since the bust. They're at about half their boom peak, with steady growth the past few y

    • They did get an initial batch made apparently, because ODROID-W arrived in the mail last week. I like it far better than my RPis. Very small form factor, without all the stuff on the RPi board that I don't need. It's a shame it's being cancelled.
      • by Narishma (822073)

        They don't mention where they got their first batch of chips. It's very likely they got it from some third party since Broadcom doesn't seem to deal in small quantities. When the 3rd party supply dried, they went to Broadcom and were probably told to get lost.

        • I suspect you are entirely correct. I'm just here to lament that I only got one of these things, not to fuel any crazy RPi killed the ODROID conspiracy theories.
  • That's open source (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Enry (630) <`enry' `at' `wayga.net'> on Sunday August 31, 2014 @12:44PM (#47795875) Journal

    Here's what one person said about it:
     

    What I don't like about this project is that they simply use all the work (software development) of the foundation and the RPi community to sell their product. They call it "compatibility" but in fact it means: let other people do all the work and we make money from it.

    Someone is new to open source/designs I see. Arduino has a bazillion knockoffs that are compatible yet they still seem to be doing okay. Unless RPi isn't an open architecture - in which case, why do we advocate its use?

    • why do we advocate its use?

      Why do people rave about it? Because it's cheap.

      Forget all the principled arguments: free software, "for the children", pretty coloured boxes, or hackability. The only reason people buy Pis is the price. The only thing that most of them do is them load XBMC and then brag to their friends how they got a $99 media player for fifty bucks.

      We're all tarts: chasing after the cheapest price and free-est stuff. Nobody really cares whether the software is FOSS, the hardware is open source or if the PCB is made ou

      • by Enry (630)

        There's plenty of other low-cost embedded systems that use Linux.

    • Anyone using a piece of hardware running a few million lines of Linux kernel code not written by them and then bitching about other people using their shit should be swiftly kicked in the fucking balls, and then their taint juices rubbed into their teeth. I see that shit way too much, and it makes me sick.
    • by Aighearach (97333)

      Here's what one person said about it:

      What I don't like about this project is that they simply use all the work (software development) of the foundation and the RPi community to sell their product. They call it "compatibility" but in fact it means: let other people do all the work and we make money from it.

      Someone is new to open source/designs I see. Arduino has a bazillion knockoffs that are compatible yet they still seem to be doing okay. Unless RPi isn't an open architecture - in which case, why do we advocate its use?

      Yeah, not only new to "open," but using recycled complaints from the 90s. It is already well refuted; in emerging markets cooperation is the strongest form of competition, everybody benefits. And in established markets, "open" empowers startups and lowers barrier to entry, preventing monopoly abuse from the established players.

      Please, please, will somebody tell these idiots to download a new stupid version?! This old one is tiring.

  • Hardkernel wasn't using Broadcom SoC anyway?

    The linked article makes it pretty clear they were basing it on Samsung Exynos SoCs - who *cares* whether or not Broadcom would source them parts, if they weren't even using Broadcom in their design?!? This is like using a Motorola 6502 in a design, and then claiming that Intel wouldn't sell you 8008's ... what the hell?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Paul King (2953311)

      No, the linked article says they are better known for their Exynos based products, this board was supposed to have the broadcom chip.

      "none of them have made use of the same Broadcom BCM2835 SoC as the Pi, so none of them (until now) have been software compatible."

      And the labeling on the picture shows the chip to be used.

    • From my reading, Hardkernel has some other, unrelated boards that use the Samsung. They wanted to release a board which would be software compatible with the RPi, and that would mean using the Broadcom SOC.

      Using your analogy, it would be as if a company who previously made products with Motorola chips wanted to release a PC-compatible system to run Windows. Intel and AMD wouldn't work with them , so they had to cancel their planned x86 product.

  • for the rhombus-tech project i also contacted broadcom, to ask for access to one of their chips (this was before the raspberry pi). i can confirm that, just as other people are reporting, the conversation basically indicates that broadcom as a company doesn't wish to make money.

    • Broadcom makes money from people buying in huge bulk. Not little small fries ordering a few chips here and there.

  • Tsk... Tsk.... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    To round up comments so far:

    "Nasty Nasty Broadcom"

    "Pi is bad because it uses Broadcom"

    "You can't use it for "education" because you can't get the graphics datasheet and the works are encased in a blob."

    Yet the Pi IS a cheap and flexible general purpose computer and depending on your educational perspective you don't NEED access to low-level information. Its also important to remember that the Pi originated as Eben Uptons home project consisting of a wire-wrapped board containing an Arduino processor to crea

  • And I predict the carton box will become a great collector's item. The arduino also has a great contender.

    • by Osgeld (1900440)

      arduino and pi are really two different things, one is a sbc the other is more like glue to interface a computer to the physical world, course arduino team is trying everything and using everyone to make a sbc muddling the waters, but the core arduino is still just a convenient interface platform that may handle simple tasks stand alone

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