1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

News HummingBoard, Banana Pi take on the Raspberry Pi

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Gareth Halfacree, 23 Apr 2014.

  1. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    4 Dec 2007
    Posts:
    11,508
    Likes Received:
    1,335
  2. Xlog

    Xlog Active Member

    Joined:
    16 Dec 2006
    Posts:
    519
    Likes Received:
    33
    While humming board looks interesting, banana pi looks like typical Chinese clone (or more like a hoax or a joke maybe?) - single page site with no usable info, with references to non-existent wiki.
    Also A20 SOC doesn't support CSI or DSI interfaces, so what exactly are those flatflex connectors for? If it doesn't accept RPI addons & accessories - why bother with that form-factor at all?

    As for price, rpi cost £28 with VAT, bpi - $59 without, so the difference will be a bit bigger than £7.
     
  3. Unicorn

    Unicorn Uniform November India

    Joined:
    25 Jul 2006
    Posts:
    12,718
    Likes Received:
    444
    Meh, a dual core RPi will come along and blow them out of the water. Nothing else is going to have the support and learning resources of the Raspberry Pi Foundation which has been years in the making.
     
  4. K.I.T.T.

    K.I.T.T. Hasselhoff™ Inside

    Joined:
    1 Jan 2005
    Posts:
    624
    Likes Received:
    1
  5. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    4 Dec 2007
    Posts:
    11,508
    Likes Received:
    1,335
    The website's broken - or not finished yet - I'll grant you, but I'm pretty certain it's no hoax: mine's on the way from China as I write this.
    Where are you getting that from? The A20 has two CSI channels as well as LVDS display support.
    Because it does accept Raspberry Pi add-ons and accessories? The GPIO header is pin-for-pin compatible with the Pi. At least, it's supposed to be - I'll know more when mine arrives.
    I'll give you that one - assuming it gets hit by Customs. Will be interesting to see what the price is when it hits the UK proper; I know CPC are investigating stocking the thing.
    Don't hold your breath for that.
    Interesting, I hadn't seen that - although why are those two entries in the feature list italicised, when nothing else is? Hmm. I've got a mate who's been testing a pair of HummingBoards for the last six months - I'll drop him an email, see if he can confirm or deny their presence. If they've managed to cram both on board, then that's a pretty stunning bit of engineering...
     
    Last edited: 24 Apr 2014
  6. K.I.T.T.

    K.I.T.T. Hasselhoff™ Inside

    Joined:
    1 Jan 2005
    Posts:
    624
    Likes Received:
    1
    Yeah, that's why I'd like to see the underside. One thought I did have was maybe it means anything in the slots doesn't fit within the footprint of the board because most things m-SATA would do a good job of taking up all the space.

    I guess the other possibility is a flat flex connector to go to m-SATA and M-PCIE breakout boards that host the full connector and have the mechanical mounting points too.
     
  7. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    4 Dec 2007
    Posts:
    11,508
    Likes Received:
    1,335
    Spoken to my mate: the samples he's got don't have mSATA or PCIe anywhere on 'em, broken out or otherwise. Now, his samples are from the very first production run six months ago, so it's possible that things have changed since - but he also says Solid-Run hasn't mentioned such a change any time in the last couple of months. I'm wondering if the italics mean that the SoC supports 'em but they're not broken out - a sort of "would be nice to have if we can engineer it into a future revision" of sorts? Looking at the i.MX 6 block diagram, both SATA and PCIe are supported but only on "selected product lines"...

    EDIT: Seriously, how did I miss this whackin' gert explanation at the top of the feature list? "Italic lines below are features not populated in the first batch for developers." Guess that explains it!
     
    Last edited: 24 Apr 2014
  8. K.I.T.T.

    K.I.T.T. Hasselhoff™ Inside

    Joined:
    1 Jan 2005
    Posts:
    624
    Likes Received:
    1
    Oh derp, don't worry. I'd completely missed that little bit too. Still, it'll be interesting to see how they do go about getting them on there because the form factor doesn't leave a whole lot of room.

    What's your mate been up to with them?
     
  9. Xlog

    Xlog Active Member

    Joined:
    16 Dec 2006
    Posts:
    519
    Likes Received:
    33
    http://linux-sunxi.org/A20
    http://dl.linux-sunxi.org/A20/A20 Brief 2013-04-07.pdf
    http://dl.linux-sunxi.org/A20/A20 User Manual 2013-03-22.pdf

    I was not aware that LVDS can work as/emulate DSI. If it can - I stand corrected.

    As for camera - A20 has parallel camera bus, and while its named CSI in UM, I cant find where it says that it can work in serial mode or that it support differential pairs.

    Of course they could also be converting Serial-to-Parallel streams in FPGA (misteriuous chip at the right side of SOC, probably for hdmi or sata), but until I see a schematic, I'll remain sceptical.

    While GPIO's are probably compatible, mounting holes are not, so bigger boards that need extra support (to be fair, all boards that are big enough to go over that hole should have it) will need some sort of adapter. Its a small thing, but its still a thing.

    [edit while writing this]
    And it seems they fixed their site, sort of (cant understand how I got to it from http://bananapi.org/ in the first place): http://www.lemaker.org/
    From, I guess, official forum:

     
    Last edited: 24 Apr 2014
  10. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    4 Dec 2007
    Posts:
    11,508
    Likes Received:
    1,335
    Should be possible with an interposer chip, although I have no idea if this is what they're doing; the website is absolutely atrocious. I'll know more when (if) my board arrives.
    I'm not surprised. As far as I'm aware, the RPi Camera Module only works on the RPi; it's tied heavily into the BCM2835's VideoCore-IV processor. At least, I've not heard of anyone managing to get it running on any other CSI-enabled board.
    Trialling 'em for import; he runs a low-power PC retail specialist and is a reseller for Solid-Run stuff among others. He's also said he's going to pop one of his samples in the post for me to have a play with, so yay!
     
  11. Xlog

    Xlog Active Member

    Joined:
    16 Dec 2006
    Posts:
    519
    Likes Received:
    33
    bpi pinout: http://forum.lemaker.org/viewthread.php?tid=30&extra=page=1
    1) No DSI
    2) No mipi compliant CSI. I still can't understand why its called CSI in A20 docmentation. Probably the meaning of it was lost in translation :lol:,

    People have successfully used OV5647 camera (same as in rpi camera module) with other soc, its not like this camera was made only for broadcom soc.
     
  12. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    4 Dec 2007
    Posts:
    11,508
    Likes Received:
    1,335
    Now I'm *really* confused, 'cos the very first post on that page says "CON2 is a DSI display connector."
    The joy of Chinese SoCs!
    Don't look at me, I've never tried a non-official camera with the Pi, nor the official Pi camera on another board. All's I know is that a journey to the tenth page of a Google search found absolutely no reference to anyone having got it working on anything but a Pi. (Mind you, that could be 'cos nobody's tried, but given I literally wrote the book on the Pi you'd think I'd have heard something to the contrary.)

    Incidentally, despite the Pi's CSI connector being allegedly fully MIPI-compliant, no other CSI camera beyond the official Raspberry Pi Camera Board will work. As I said: the Camera Board is heavily tied into the VideoCore-IV processor, which remains locked down and proprietary. To get a camera to work over the CSI port, you need to write drivers that run on the VideoCore-IV; trouble is, Broadcom hasn't released the information required to write said drivers. So, I'm not seeing much difference betwix the Banana and Raspberry here: while both have what they claim is a CSI port, neither will really drive anything except their respective dedicated camera modules.

    EDIT: As an aside, I'm actually testing out a Freescale i.MX 6 quad-core board right now: the TBS Matrix. Quick performance comparison to a Pi: compressing a 100MB file of randomness took 1m54.8s on a Raspberry Pi, and only 54.6s on the Matrix. Switching to the multi-threaded pigz boosted that to 14.4s. So, you can expect the HummingBoard to be around twice as fast as the Pi for single-threaded software, and eight times as fast for multi-threaded software. Not too shabby!
     
    Last edited: 24 Apr 2014
  13. Unicorn

    Unicorn Uniform November India

    Joined:
    25 Jul 2006
    Posts:
    12,718
    Likes Received:
    444

    I'm not, being perfectly happy with the versions that I have at the moment. But it will come, eventually.
     
  14. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    4 Dec 2007
    Posts:
    11,508
    Likes Received:
    1,335
    So, I've got a prototype HummingBoard. It's a six-month old design, back from when it was known as the Carrier-One or C1. Unlike the final design, it has a single-core iMX.6 Solo and just 512MB of RAM - but still manages to trounce the Pi in performance, running through my compression test in around a third the time(!)

    [​IMG]

    Sure enough, the P1 header is present and correct. The board size, however, doesn't match the Pi - it's wider. As a result, it doesn't fit in any of the Pi cases I've got lying around. Whether that's something that's been resolved in a subsequent board respin I don't know.

    [​IMG]

    (Apologies for the blurry shot - I'm trying to do this in a rush, 'cos I'm supposed to be doing something I'm actually getting paid for!)

    The underside shows a bunch of unpopulated surface-mount solder pads. I'm guessing these are where the PCIe and SATA connections will go on the finished board. Also, you can see the micro-SD slot - a better choice, I reckon, than the full-size SD card slot of the Pi.
     
  15. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    4 Dec 2007
    Posts:
    11,508
    Likes Received:
    1,335
    Right, I now have a Banana Pi. So clearly it *does* exist.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    GPIO is currently shafted in software, with an updated image promised soon. Boots Raspbian fine, but I've got it running Linaro for performance reasons. Speaking of which: yes, it's considerably faster than a Raspberry Pi. I can get 140Mb/s over its Ethernet port without trouble, and 13MB/s file transfers via SSH if I use 128-bit RC4. That compares to the Pi's ~3.5MB/s throughput.

    The board is physically larger than a Pi, which is a pain, and the GPIO header has been shifted towards the composite jack to make room for a mounting hole - which means that larger piggyback-board add-ons won't fit properly. Stupid decision, that. There are also considerable changes since the prototype board pictures that are doing the rounds: aside from PCB colour, note the straight rather than right-angle SATA connector and the shifted IrDA receiver.
     
  16. Nexxo

    Nexxo Queue Jumper

    Joined:
    23 Oct 2001
    Posts:
    33,232
    Likes Received:
    1,163
    How does the Raspberry Pi stand up as a TV recorder/streamer? Can it handle up to three 1080p video streams at the same time, or would one of these be a better candidate?
     
  17. Yadda

    Yadda Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    25 Jul 2003
    Posts:
    3,217
    Likes Received:
    49
    If you mean in the same way as FTTC is "up to 72Mb" then yes, definitely. :D
     
  18. El_panda

    El_panda New Member

    Joined:
    20 May 2014
    Posts:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
  19. El_panda

    El_panda New Member

    Joined:
    20 May 2014
    Posts:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
  20. glnds

    glnds New Member

    Joined:
    21 Jul 2014
    Posts:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0

Share This Page