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Questions for Eben Upton to answer at Maker Faire?

Drew Fustini

Got questions for Eben Upton of the Raspberry Pi Foundation?  He will be answering them at Maker Faire Bay Area this weekend.

 

Tweet at @element14 with #AskEben or post your question here.

 

 

Cheers,

Drew

  • 1. Re: Questions for Eben Upton to answer at Maker Faire?
    jbeale

    Can you comment on whether this statement from http://elinux.org/RPi_Hardware is true, and if there are any updates on it?

     

    "SoC:  CPU core [...] GPU core [...] DSP core:

    There is a DSP, but there isn't currently a public API (Liz thinks the BC team are keen to make one available at some point)"

    http://elinux.org/RPi_Hardware

  • 2. Re: Questions for Eben Upton to answer at Maker Faire?
    jbeale

    Also, a surprising number* of SD memory cards are reported as sometimes or always not working with the R-Pi (not counting the Class 10 bug which is apparently fixed). Is there ongoing work to identify possible reasons for this?

     

    *http://elinux.org/RPi_VerifiedPeripherals#SD_cards

  • 3. Re: Questions for Eben Upton to answer at Maker Faire?
    morgaine

    Question for Eben at Maker Faire:

     

    "Now that Pi production volumes have been raised by well over an order of magnitude compared to the original 10k batch, it's clear that Pi's BOM costs have plummetted as is normal in the industry, and will plummet further once manufactured in school volumes.  How will the Foundation and its manufacturing partners use this new BOM cost headroom in the design of Raspberry Pi v2?"

     

    Morgaine.

  • 4. Re: Questions for Eben Upton to answer at Maker Faire?
    morgaine

    In case Eben runs out of questions to answer, here's another:

     

    "I want a Pi with headers on at least two opposite edges of the board in order to provide physical support for daughterboards / Pi plates.  It has been quite a common suggestion.  Is this the kind of improvement that you would consider for Pi v2?"

     

    Morgaine.

  • 5. Re: Questions for Eben Upton to answer at Maker Faire?
    Drew Fustini

    Hi, I was able to ask Eben this directly.  He said they are keen to figure out a way to allow people to access the low-level functionality, but didn't give a definitive answer as to when or how.  He did say though that unfortunately it would not be via OpenCL.

  • 6. Re: Questions for Eben Upton to answer at Maker Faire?
    morgaine

    Broadcom seems to need a top-level tete-a-tete with someone they can't ignore about openess.  Their legendary obsession with keeping information out of the public eye may be fine for commercial applications, but it's not fine for a board with educational goals.

  • 7. Re: Questions for Eben Upton to answer at Maker Faire?
    Drew Fustini

    I believe there should be over hundred thousand Pi's out in the world by the end of June.  If that does happened as planned, then I hope the shear number of people using them should push Broadcom in the right direction.  I took the progress with with the camera module and encoding on the RPi Foundation blog as a positive sign, but there is a lot of latent functionality remaining.

  • 8. Re: Questions for Eben Upton to answer at Maker Faire?
    Drew Fustini

    Sorry didn't get to ask this directly.  But our videographer recorded answers from Eben to many individual questions that were submitted.  I wasn't there at the time so I'm not sure exactly which ones will be included.  I believe the video production work is going on right now and will be posted in this group when ready.

  • 9. Re: Questions for Eben Upton to answer at Maker Faire?
    Drew Fustini

    Hi - sorry didn't get a chance to ask this one directly.  But video answers were filmed when I wasn't there so hopefully it was included.  Video production is going on right now and will posted in this group when ready (I'll post a note here if it ends up being elsewhere).

  • 10. Re: Questions for Eben Upton to answer at Maker Faire?
    Drew Fustini

    Hi - I did get to ask this one directly.  The current PCB design work is alterations for the Model A, but it doesn't appear that there are any current plans to modify the layout to have dual headers for either Model.  Eben did suggest putting Sugru atop the magjack might be a good idea to provide mechanical support for a daughter board. 

     

    Hopefully, this request will be kept in mind when the time comes for a real v2.  I agree it makes for awkward vertical expansion unlike the BeagleBone and Arduino.

  • 11. Re: Questions for Eben Upton to answer at Maker Faire?
    Drew Fustini

    fyi - video answers from Eben filmed at Maker Faire now posted:

     

  • 12. Re: Questions for Eben Upton to answer at Maker Faire?
    morgaine

    Watching this video gave me an uneasy feeling when Eben mentioned the Gert board and the camera board.  The Pi has such good educational goals, yet when it comes to add-ons, the intent seems to be to capitalize on the closed market that's being created, rather than working towards open standards and interoperability.

  • 13. Re: Questions for Eben Upton to answer at Maker Faire?
    morgaine

    I also get an uneasy feeling every time I hear Eben answer the "open hardware?" question with a vague hint that Broadcom might one day open the SoC documentation, but that until then opening the hardware further would be pointless.

     

    Well the score is not in any doubt there.  Here's the score card:

     

    • Broadcom is legendary in the way it keeps its proprietary info to itself.
    • This SoC is part of a current and very highly selling product, the Roku 2.
    • Maintaining a monopoly on the Pi suits Broadcom extremely well.
    • Eben works for Broadcom, and undoubtedly does what is best for them.

     

    Can anyone see how the above 4-nil leads in the direction of open hardware?

     

    No, I thought not.

     

     

    Morgaine.

  • 14. Re: Questions for Eben Upton to answer at Maker Faire?
    Drew Fustini

    I'm encouraged that the intention seems to be to release all the design files in the future, but until that happens, I will have to regard it as not an Open Source Hardware project.  In the meantime, the Pi is still doing an excellent job at promoting Open Source software like Linux.  I'm very excited that there will be so many people being introduced to Linux for the first time.

     

    I know the primary goal of the Pi design was price point, so the decisions aren't going to please everyone.  I think the BeagleBone fulfills my desire much better for Open Source Hardware meets Open Source software.  In fact, after seeing the excellent booth at Maker Faire, I ordered one yesterday.  I also look forward to getting a OLinuXuino in the future.  I'll give the RPi Foundation the benefit of the doubt and time to grow into being more Open Source, but it's good to know there are other options out there.

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