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News VIA announces APC 8750 Raspberry Pi competitor

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by brumgrunt, 23 May 2012.

  1. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    Nup, no GPS - but a USB one should work. The site still works for me - here's the block diagram for the processor:

    [​IMG]

    Note that the processor itself supports 1080p, but VIA has for no readily apparent reason decided to restrict it to 720p in the APC. Also, check out the stuff VIA is leaving unused: infra-red support, MPEG-TS decoding for DVB reception, camera input, TV/LCD/LVDS outputs, gigabit Ethernet (if you spend the cash adding in the required PHY), JTAG port, six UARTs, two I2Cs, two SPIs...

    The other final bit of interest from the block diagram: the WonderMedia 87x0 family has an on-board real-time clock, which the BCM2835 on the Raspberry Pi lacks. That may or may not be important, depending on what you're planning on doing with 'em. (If you've got GPS, mind you, an onboard clock is fairly redundant.)
     
    Last edited: 23 May 2012
  2. Dave Lister

    Dave Lister Minimodder

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    Thanks man, shame about the lack of IR. I'm looking around for a small computer for the car to plug into it's screen and use for a satnav, IR would have been useful. It must just be my internet stopping me from seeing the link, it's been hella slow today.
     
  3. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    The four USB ports can make up for a lot: keyboard in one, mouse in another, GPS in the third and the fourth is free for an IrDA dongle. Mind you, you're then stuck with the 2GB onboard and whatever you can stuff in the microSD slot for storage. If you used an all-in-one multimedia keyboard (you know, the ones with an IBM-style clitmouse or small touchpad) you'd have a USB free for external storage - same if you ditched both keyboard and mouse for a USB-connected touch-screen.
     
    Last edited: 23 May 2012
  4. Dave Lister

    Dave Lister Minimodder

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    Hmm it could be possible then ! although my screens connections are only analogue. Maybe a bluetooth dongle and ps3 controller to navigate android would work and a cheap 32gb sd card for some music videos and the navigation maps ! Cool I'll keep an eye out for more news on this.
    Cheers.
     
  5. Webby63

    Webby63 What's a Dremel?

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    It might be the Commodore 64 / Spectrum war all over again...
     
  6. AmEv

    AmEv Meow meow. See yall in 2-ish years!

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    Oh...

    Thanks for the clarification.


    ...




    Still....







    *You could also use a keyboard with a built-in USB hub.
     
    Last edited: 24 May 2012
  7. badders

    badders Neuken in de Keuken

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    Probably not a recent version. ARMV6 was only partially supported in Karmic Koala, and has been dropped in favour of ARMV7 in later versions.
     
  8. AmEv

    AmEv Meow meow. See yall in 2-ish years!

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    Wait....

    This'd be almost PERFECT for my Dell GX150 case I have!
     
  9. slipperyskip

    slipperyskip Member

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  10. AmEv

    AmEv Meow meow. See yall in 2-ish years!

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    My question is, will they release an ATX-style backplane with it?
     
  11. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    Got confirmation from VIA late last night: the bootloader will be unlocked, so devs just need to port a given OS to the SoC and you're ready to go. Because it's an ARMv6, a lot of the work done for the Raspberry Pi can be applied to the APC - they're the same architecture - so expect to see Debian et al appearing on the device shortly after launch.
     
  12. Byron C

    Byron C Over-reacting and over-analysing since 1982

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    Much of the work that needs to be done with the Rasbperry Pi will also need to be done with this: drivers. Part of the problem with the Pi at the moment is that very little can tap into the GPU powerhouse because there is a distinct lack of accelerated drivers. The foundation have already stated that it is unlikely that either they or Broadcom will be releasing accelerated X drivers, kernel modules, etc. There's a lot of work ongoing to try and offload graphics processing onto the GPU, but one of the biggest issues is that the GPU supports OpenGL ES rather than standard OpenGL.

    If the APC is to succeed with another operating system it's going to need drivers. Especially if people hope to utilise all those funky widgets in the block diagram. If VIA isn't going to release drivers - or will only release/support Android drivers - then it'll need a big O/S community behind it, and I doubt they'll match the level of interest that the Pi has.

    It's certainly a promising and capable device, but I've kinda planted my flag in the Raspberry Pi camp already :)
     
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