Raspberry Pi Computer

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speed
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Raspberry Pi Computer

Postby speed » Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:54 pm

Has anyone had a chance to try the newly released Raspberry Pi?

http://www.raspberrypi.org/

I wonder how this will work with phidgets?
How will it compare to the Phidget SBC?

spoolboyy
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Re: Raspberry Pi Computer

Postby spoolboyy » Fri Mar 02, 2012 11:24 pm

I had the same thought when I first started looking at Phidgets. I've been following the RasPi for a while. I imagine it will work just fine, or at least as well as a traditional desktop computer, because that is in fact what it is.

I just got my first Phidgets today and am beginning to tinker with them. I'm planning to use either Python or Java and as long as the Pi can run the JRE or has the native Python they promised, I think the Pi is going to be a great option for phidget projects.

Performance-wise, its more powerful than the Phidgets board, but it does have to haul around a bit what I would imagine is more software running an ARM-compiled version of Fedora or Debian. I'm not sure what runs on the Phidgets board.

One concern would be compiling any phidgets libs and your own code to work on ARM, but we won't know that til we try it either on a RasPi or another ARM device.

Assuming all that works, Pis biggest advantage will be price. That said, it isn't purpose built to run Phidgets. What are your thoughts on the matter?

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Re: Raspberry Pi Computer

Postby anewsome » Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:22 am

I thought I remember reading here on the forum that the first guy to try running Phidgets on ARM, ran into all sorts of issues.

Can someone from phidgets comment on whether or not there is an issue running phidgets on Linux, ARM?

arcarius
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Re: Raspberry Pi Computer

Postby arcarius » Mon Apr 02, 2012 6:01 pm

Considering the Phidgets SBC2 is an arm9 (arm920t) based computer, which is in the Arm9E family, and that is an ARMv5 architecture.

The raspberry pi is an arm11-based soc (ARM1176JZFS) based computer, which is in the arm11 family, and that is an ARMv6 architecture.

The Armv6 architecture says that Armv6 includes Armv5 compliant memory and exception handling, supporting the reuse of existing software and design experience. I'm hoping that means that they're backwards compatible, even though Arm's later architectures aren't meant to replace earlier architectures.

You know, the only way to find out is to try, I think. I'm still waiting for my raspberry pi, so I can't. Considering phidgets provides the source for their drivers, it might be as simple as a recompile. At least that's what I hope.

I also hope that the raspberry pi will drive prices down in other SBCs, like the phidgets SBC. I mean, it's close to 10 times more expensive than the raspberry pi! Of course all of phidgets' stuff seems overpriced to me. :?

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Patrick
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Re: Raspberry Pi Computer

Postby Patrick » Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:51 am

The Phidgets drivers will definitely work on the Raspberry Pi - you just need to compile like on any Linux machine.

The price of our SBC is based on a combination of things - the SBC itself, the integrated InterfaceKit 8/8/8, and the supporting software and APIs, etc.

We provide APIs and ease of use (hopefully) for the majority of popular languages - this is where the real cost of Phidgets lie. There are solutions which may be cheaper up-front (ie. arduino), but time to complete a project is generally much higher then with Phidgets, so you need to take into account the worth of your time.

We are (of course) looking into lower-cost SBC solutions. We will never sell an SBC at the Raspberry Pi prices - they are only able to do this because Broadcom is helping them out with special SoC pricing and they are selling the finished SBCs at no (or very little) profit. Also, you don't get a power supply, or flash (SD) in the $25 price. You also don't get Ethernet, 6 USB ports, or an integrated 8/8/8.

-Patrick

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Re: Raspberry Pi Computer

Postby mjskier » Tue Apr 03, 2012 10:43 am

Can you even boot the Pi without monitor and keyboard?
It was designed as an extremely low cost PC, not a controller.

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Patrick
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Re: Raspberry Pi Computer

Postby Patrick » Tue Apr 03, 2012 12:15 pm

I don't see why not - it's just a Linux machine. It's not really any different then the PhidgetSBC - just a newer ARM generation and some different I/O.

-Patrick

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Re: Raspberry Pi Computer

Postby mjskier » Tue Apr 03, 2012 1:39 pm

In PC land, some (older?) BIOS won't let you boot without a keyboard and display. I'm not sure if ARM based computer impose the same kind of restriction.

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Re: Raspberry Pi Computer

Postby borisg » Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:44 pm

When I saw the price, I thought it was too good to be true. And, it looks like I was right. Ordering a unit now will get you a machine sometime in July. Fine for those with patience, but I like the 2 day delivery time from Calgary for Phidgets products.

Patrick's quite right about factoring in the cost of ones time in determining the final cost of a project. Right now, for the projects that I'm doing, the hardware cost is the smallest portion of the project cost and ease of use of Phidgets is definitely an advantage. Like every other system they have their frustrating limitations, but I can't justify spending a weekend getting up to speed with a more basic SBC when I can get a prototype of a project working on an SBC2 system in a couple of hours.

For those that do have the time, it's very nice that Phidgets are totally open source so one can adapt the software to any Arm system. I'd prefer the hardware to be open also, but I'd still have to write test programs for every Phidget sensor to get an idea of its capabilities even if I had the circuit diagram of the sensor.

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Re: Raspberry Pi Computer

Postby mattbrain » Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:16 am

I received my Pi a few days ago and plugged in an 8/8/8 rev 1, compiled the drivers and webservice (which took a little while) and it seems to work fine.

All good from my point of view.


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