31 Replies Latest reply on Feb 4, 2015 5:20 PM by Drew Fustini

    Raspberry Pi 2 - does it hit the mark?

    tekmeister

      While previous articles had the release slated for 2017, it seems the next-gen Raspberry Pi is being released today:

       

      http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/02/02/raspberry_pi_model_2/

       

      Pi v2 will come with a quad-core 900MHz processor and 1GB RAM (an upgrade from the single-core 700MHz and 512MB RAM of the original). Also the price will be the same ($35). It looks like the footprint is the same as the B+.

       

      As I mentioned in November How to make a better Pi, the two main things in the Pi's favour are cost and community, but I have run into a number of limitations with the original Pi. I'm hoping this new version addresses most of them, but time will tell, as full details aren't available yet.

       

      Aside: I'm wondering if this is what the upcoming "Enchanted Objects" challenge is about.

        • Re: Raspberry Pi 2 - does it hit the mark?
          John Beetem

          Very interesting.  I'll be interested in seeing how much cache it has.  The BCM2835 is hobbled by having just 128KB level-2 cache shared between CPU and GPU, and I don't know how much individual I and D cache the CPU has.

           

          From what I see, for my intended use I'm better off with an ODROID-C1 ODroid - Oh Boy! which has gigabit Ethernet through dedicated MAC pins instead of USB, UHS-1 SD card or eMMC for mass storage, and quad 1.5 GHz ARMv7 processors.  Each processor has 32KB I and D caches, and a shared 512KB level-2 cache.  It has a separate 160KB level-2 cache for the GPUs.

           

          Update: according to this Make interview with Eben Upton, the BCM2836 has 512KB of level-2 cache like ODROID's AmS805.  Dr. Upton didn't say how much level-1 cache each ARM Cortex-A7 core has.

            • Re: Raspberry Pi 2 - does it hit the mark?
              mcb1

              It's not showing on the AUS/NZ website ...so how do I order one?

               

              Considering all the controversy around the B+ and details leaked ...this one has been quietly slipped in and the suppliers aren't there yet.

              The UK site is also non existant.

               

               

              Mark

              • Re: Raspberry Pi 2 - does it hit the mark?
                tekmeister

                Yeah the ODROID-C1 is a great little board. Don't rule out the RPi 2 just yet though, it will likely succeed due to sheer momentum. Remember the Pi is quite popular in education.

                • Re: Raspberry Pi 2 - does it hit the mark?
                  gdstew

                  I like the ODROID-C1 (I have one) but at this time there are a few problems with them:

                   

                  1.  No documents on the ARM SOC. In one of the wiki threads it said it was going to be released Jan. 15 but I have been back several times since then and I am still waiting.

                  2.  No documents on the GPU, and there is not likely to be any in the future because it is not their IP.

                  3.  This one is just for you John, no PCB layout information. In one of the FAQs they state that this is NOT an open hardware platform and they will only release the schematics.

                       As I have said several times in Raspberry Pi forums schematics are all I really need to find most problems so I have no problem with this as long as the schematics are accurate.

                       There are a couple of problems with the current schematics however. There are two page 21s and two page 22s, both sets are for the USB1 - USB4 circuits. Both are related to

                       the same issue, copying pages where the schematic is virtually the same, but not changing the signal net/bus names. All the nets/buses are labeled USB1 and USB2 on both

                       pages so it is difficult to tell which is 1/2 and which is 3/4. There are different reference designators on the pages using A/B to differentiate between them which is carried over to

                       the PCB silk screen so by it can determined which is which on the schematic, it's just better to have accurate schematics to start with.

                   

                  Other than the above I also like that:

                   

                  1.  You can use eMMC for the OS which is much faster (and much more expensive) than the micro-SDHC card.

                  2.  It has an optional reasonable priced battery backup for the RTC,

                  3.  A dedicated serial port for the console, although they use a "non-standard" connector that will not work with most RS232 level converters. They do offer a serial to USB converter.

                  4.  Several interesting reasonably priced add-ons and according to them, more to come.

                    • Re: Raspberry Pi 2 - does it hit the mark?
                      mconners

                      Hey Gary,

                       

                      Here is the link the the SOC:

                      http://dn.odroid.com/S805/Datasheet/S805_Datasheet%20V0.8%2020150126.pdf

                       

                      I found it here:

                       

                      http://hardkernel.com/main/products/prdt_info.php?g_code=G141578608433&tab_idx=2

                       

                      On the technical details tab. It's been there for a while IIRC.

                       

                      Mike

                      • Re: Raspberry Pi 2 - does it hit the mark?
                        John Beetem

                        Gary Stewart wrote:

                         

                        I like the ODROID-C1 (I have one) but at this time there are a few problems with them:

                         

                        1.  No documents on the ARM SOC. In one of the wiki threads it said it was going to be released Jan. 15 but I have been back several times since then and I am still waiting.

                         

                        AmS805 data sheet link is on this page: http://hardkernel.com/main/products/prdt_info.php?g_code=G141578608433&tab_idx=2

                        2.  No documents on the GPU, and there is not likely to be any in the future because it is not their IP.

                        It's a MALI GPU.  There's an open-source project called LIMA that's trying to produce open-source documentation and drivers.  I don't know how far they've gotten.  I'm delighted that RasPi opened up the VideoCore 4 last year and hope that starts a trend toward open documentation.  I've read that it's mostly USA patent law that preventing Progress in Science and Useful Arts in the GPU arena.

                        As I have said several times in Raspberry Pi forums schematics are all I really need to find most problems so I have no problem with this as long as the schematics are accurate.

                         

                             There are a couple of problems with the current ODROID-C1 schematics however. There are two page 21s and two page 22s, both sets are for the USB1 - USB4 circuits. Both are related to the same issue, copying pages where the schematic is virtually the same, but not changing the signal net/bus names. All the nets/buses are labeled USB1 and USB2 on both pages so it is difficult to tell which is 1/2 and which is 3/4. There are different reference designators on the pages using A/B to differentiate between them which is carried over to the PCB silk screen so by it can determined which is which on the schematic, it's just better to have accurate schematics to start with.

                        We're still waiting for the RasPi B+ schematics.  The RasPi page only has a single-pager with interfaces: http://www.raspberrypi.org/documentation/hardware/raspberrypi/schematics/

                         

                        There's no A+ schematic at all.  Who knows when the RasPi 2 schematics will be released.  It took a long time for the RasPi Model A/B schematics to come out.

                         

                        The ODROID schematics are a bit hard to follow since they're hierarchical instead of flat.  There is only one page 21 and one page 22 in the design, but the printout has two instances of each with different component names.  You have to go back to the root schematic on page 1 to make sense of it and see how the signal names map.  It's a pain: I far prefer flat schematics for a board this size, but schematic styles vary.

                          • Re: Raspberry Pi 2 - does it hit the mark?
                            gdstew

                            "It's a MALI GPU.  There's an open-source project called LIMA that's trying to produce open-source documentation and drivers.  I don't know how far they've gotten.  I'm delighted that RasPi opened up the VideoCore 4 last year and hope that starts a trend toward open documentation.  I've read that it's mostly USA patent law that preventing Progress in Science and Useful Arts in the GPU arena."

                             

                            Yes I am aware of this project and trying is exactly the right way to put it. GPUs are very complicated devices and open documentation is really the only way to get it right . Like you I hope the others follow suit however I would not hold my breath,

                            there have been rumors but they are at least a couple of years old now and nothing has changed.

                             

                             

                            "We're still waiting for the RasPi B+ schematics.  The RasPi page only has a single-pager with interfaces:"

                             

                            Yes I know, I have brought up my displeasure with this several times in these forums. As far as I can tell the one page details all of the changes made between the B and B+ EXCEPT the new USB IC  and USB interface circuits. I have no idea why they

                            have suddenly gotten secretive about this and it does not sit well with me that they have. Plus my attempts to get this changed have to date been ignored. I may wait until the schematics are(?) published before buying a Pi 2.

                             

                             

                            "The ODROID schematics are a bit hard to follow since they're hierarchical instead of flat.  There is only one page 21 and one page 22 in the design, but the printout has two instances of each with different component names.  You have to go back to the root schematic

                            on page 1 to make sense of it and see how the signal names map.  It's a pain: I far prefer flat schematics for a board this size, but schematic styles vary."

                             

                            My explanation pretty much describes exactly what they are. The part of page one you describe is just a block description that does not give any details that are useful when trying to trace a problem back to the source (pins). Not differentiating

                            between which circuits on the schematics are for USB ports 1/2 and which are for USB ports 3/4 is just not the right "style" period. In my 30+ years in electronics I have never seen another schematic (other than maybe a bad preliminary one) that

                            used this "style".

                              • Re: Raspberry Pi 2 - does it hit the mark?
                                John Beetem

                                Gary Stewart wrote:

                                 

                                "We're still waiting for the RasPi B+ schematics.  The RasPi page only has a single-pager with interfaces:"

                                 

                                I have no idea why they have suddenly gotten secretive about this and it does not sit well with me that they have. Plus my attempts to get this changed have to date been ignored. I may wait until the schematics are(?) published before buying a Pi 2.

                                My experience is that RasPi has always been slow about releasing schematics.  Speculating why is not particularly useful IMO -- it is what it is.  I don't think they've ever released Gerbers, which can be useful for understanding power distribution.

                                 

                                RasPi is not open-source hardware.  This hasn't affected sales volume, so they have no incentive to change from proprietary.  For people who want OSHW, there are plenty of alternatives like BeagleBoard/Bone.  For people who just need schematics, there are even more alternatives.

                                  • Re: Raspberry Pi 2 - does it hit the mark?
                                    gdstew

                                    "My experience is that RasPi has always been slow about releasing schematics."

                                     

                                    I said nothing about slow, I said secretive. It only took about two weeks to release the original schematics.

                                    Slow maybe, but not unreasonably so. The semi-useful B+ single page was released in about the same time

                                    frame, maybe a little longer. I haven't tried to download schematics for the model A, so I have no idea about

                                    them and I don't own an A+. It did take too long to get the BCM2835 specification published and even though

                                    it took much longer to get the GPU specification released, they are the first and only boards with an ARM SoC

                                    that has done so.

                                     

                                     

                                    "Speculating why is not particularly useful IMO -- it is what it is."

                                     

                                    No speculation about it in my post, I don't really care. As I said, I just want them to publish the full schematics

                                    of the B+ (all the Pi boards actually). I don't care if, for whatever reason, it takes them a month or two to do it.

                                    JUST DO IT.

                                     

                                     

                                    "RasPi is not open-source hardware"

                                     

                                    There is no ARM SoC open-source hardware, yet. Other than the Raspberry Pi, all ARM SoCs including the

                                    BeagleBone/Black use proprietary GPUs. Argue all you want, and you have before, you can't have open-

                                    source hardware with a large chunk of fully, undeniably, unarguably proprietary hardware.

                                      • Re: Raspberry Pi 2 - does it hit the mark?
                                        John Beetem

                                        Gary Stewart wrote:

                                         

                                        I haven't tried to download schematics for the model A, so I have no idea about them...

                                         

                                        There is no ARM SoC open-source hardware, yet. Other than the Raspberry Pi, all ARM SoCs including the

                                        BeagleBone/Black use proprietary GPUs. Argue all you want, and you have before, you can't have open-

                                        source hardware with a large chunk of fully, undeniably, unarguably proprietary hardware.

                                        The RasPi Model B schematics include Model A: it's the same PCB, just different build options and they're noted on the schematic.

                                         

                                        While you're right in principle about there being no truly open-source hardware, I would argue that BeagleBone/Black complies with more definitions of OSHW than RasPi   BBone is made from parts with data sheets you can buy from distributors, has full schematics, full BOM, and Gerbers.  So you can clone and/or modify BBone instead of starting from scratch, which is the point of OSHW.  Can't do that with RasPi -- you can't even get the BCM2835 reliably.

                                          • Re: Raspberry Pi 2 - does it hit the mark?
                                            gdstew

                                            "The RasPi Model B schematics include Model A: it's the same PCB, just different build options and they're noted on the schematic."

                                             

                                            That is what I assumed, but like I said I haven't actually looked at them.

                                             

                                             

                                            "While you're right in principle about there being no truly open-source hardware, I would argue that BeagleBone/Black complies with more definitions of OSHW than RasPi"

                                             

                                            As I said, and this is the same argument you used before, you argue for something that is simply not correct. By its very definition, you can not have open-source hardware

                                            that uses proprietary hardware. Your original statement made no distinction between mostly?-open-source hardware and true open-source hardware, you just said that the

                                            BeagleBone Black, and the "other alternatives" are open-source hardware, which in principle and in fact they are not.

                                             

                                             

                                            "So you can clone and/or modify BBone instead of starting from scratch, which is the point of OSHW.  Can't do that with RasPi -- you can't even get the BCM2835 reliably."

                                             

                                            But you can't write open-source drivers for the GPU based on the actual device specifications because there are none. You can do that with the BCM2835 and BCM2836.

                                            Still I don't call the BM2835/6 open-source hardware because the USB OTG portion is not Broadcom IP and is not documented. And in the overall design that is just a tiny

                                            portion of the SoC, but it is still proprietary.

                                              • Re: Raspberry Pi 2 - does it hit the mark?
                                                Drew Fustini

                                                Gary Stewart wrote:

                                                 

                                                As I said, and this is the same argument you used before, you argue for something that is simply not correct. By its very definition, you can not have open-source hardware that uses proprietary hardware.

                                                 

                                                This is incorrect as Open Source Hardware (OSHW) products do almost always contain proprietary hardware components such as a SoC.  Parallax Propeller 1 is the only recent processor I know that is Open Source (Propeller 1 Open Source | Parallax Inc).

                                                 

                                                The OSHW definition requires that the design files for the product be released under an Open Source license.  In the case of an electronics board, this would include the schematics, PCB board layout and Bill of Materials.  The Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA) provides details in their OSHW FAQ:

                                                 

                                                Open-Source Hardware FAQ | Open Source Hardware Association

                                                 

                                                cheers,

                                                drew

                                                 

                                                P.S. I am really hoping that lowRISC will succeed in their goal of fabricating a commercially viable Open Source SoC: lowRISC.org

                                        • Re: Raspberry Pi 2 - does it hit the mark?
                                          John Beetem

                                          John Beetem wrote:

                                           

                                          "The ODROID schematics are a bit hard to follow since they're hierarchical instead of flat.  There is only one page 21 and one page 22 in the design, but the printout has two instances of each with different component names.  You have to go back to the root schematic on page 1 to make sense of it and see how the signal names map.  It's a pain: I far prefer flat schematics for a board this size, but schematic styles vary."

                                          I thought of another explanation.  It's possible that Hardkernel uses a single database of schematic pages for all their products so they don't have to re-draw sheets or make sure they've copied them correctly.  If this is the case, if you want to borrow a page from another product, you just provide new component names.  This would help explain how Hardkernel is able to churn out so many products.

                                           

                                          Just a hypothesis.  Another hypothesis is just that the board designer likes this style.

                                  • Re: Raspberry Pi 2 - does it hit the mark?
                                    doctorcdf

                                    Why not see if you can try one for yourself? Click here.

                                    • Re: Raspberry Pi 2 - does it hit the mark?
                                      Colin Barnard

                                      The Windows 10 support is interesting.

                                       

                                      Colin

                                      --

                                      • Re: Raspberry Pi 2 - does it hit the mark?
                                        mconners

                                        Honestly I'm pretty excited that Raspberry Pi is now available in a quad core package. Plus with the new SOC I might actually be able to run Ubuntu on it. I wouldn't mind trying one out.

                                         

                                        The competition between vendors should ultimately benefit us, the consumer, in the long run. The Ras Pi drove down the price of the BBB, or so it seems, maybe the odroid C1 forced the RPF to accelerate their plans to upgrade. I don't know for sure. But it seems like I had seen some press releases that said nothing significant was planned for a couple of more years.

                                         

                                        Who knows what will come next, but chances are we won't be able to afford to keep up with all the advances.

                                         

                                        Mike

                                        • Re: Raspberry Pi 2 - does it hit the mark?
                                          michaelwylie

                                          Did I miss something or is there still no way to handle analog easily without an addon?

                                            • Re: Raspberry Pi 2 - does it hit the mark?
                                              John Beetem

                                              Michael Wylie wrote:

                                               

                                              Did I miss something or is there still no way to handle analog easily without an add-on?

                                              From what I've read, the RasPi 2 is the same as the RasPi model B+ except for the quad core CPU and 1GB DRAM.  Everything else is the same, so no analog without and add-on.  ODROID-C1 has analog inputs   ADC on the Odroid

                                                • Re: Raspberry Pi 2 - does it hit the mark?
                                                  tekmeister

                                                  Yes it looks like the peripheral set for v2 is the same as for the original. The decision was probably made for compatibility reasons, but it's disappointing to me.

                                                    • Re: Raspberry Pi 2 - does it hit the mark?
                                                      michaelkellett

                                                      The main disappointment for me is that it still seems to use the same brain dead Ethernet via SMC usb chip arrangement. And of course the Ethernet is only 10/100.

                                                       

                                                      Withe the better processor they really should have managed 1G Ethernet and some kind of high speed low latency IO port (PCIE would be ideal but even proprietary would be an advance.)

                                                       

                                                      The PI is still terribly limited by lack of general purpose IO with performance to match the processor.

                                                       

                                                      Despite these gripes the big plus is the possibility of Windows - now if Microsoft could only bring themselves to munch a tiny bit of humble pie and offer VB6 (or better still VB7  - ie VB6 updated but NOT vb.net) on it - then you would have a 21st century computer that anyone could code.

                                                      And while I'm on a rant roll - I can run a VB6 exe (ie binary file) on Windows2k, XP, Vista, 7 and 8 (and 10 promised)  - spanning 15+ years of OS offerings - try that on Linux ! (substitute any language you like for VB6).

                                                       

                                                      (BTW I know that the RPi can't be binary compatible with VB6 on windows)

                                                       

                                                      (Way off thread here  - can't think what was in the breakfast coffee.)

                                                       

                                                      MK

                                                • Re: Raspberry Pi 2 - does it hit the mark?
                                                  felixchiu

                                                  Does anyone know if my B+ case works with Pi2?