System on Chip programmer and boards needed

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System on Chip programmer and boards needed

Postby Q6xhJprn6Xq7 » Tue Sep 25, 2012 8:51 pm

Hi All

straight up I am looking to hire someone for a 1 month mini project.
My typical outsourcing sites are turning up blanks. This is a bit of a specialists job apparently.
Please don't join in/post unless you are a SOCs specialist.

I want to run BOINC (google it) on a *lot* of SOCs.
I need you to find the boards, and to be able to program them, or better yet provide the SOC manufacturer the goodies and they preinstall it, ready to be delivered.

Getting BOINC to run on a SOC is relatively easy. In short I would think it would need
Internet connectivity - wireless, TCP/IP, dns resolution, file transfer skills
file storage
CPU access.
Everything else in the OS can be cutdown. oh Linux preferred.

Finding the SOC might be harder, and this is where I need specialists, people who have done this before.
I want good bang for buck which in this case is a lot of CPU grunt, couple gb of RAM, connectivity to outside world, and not much else. Stand alone, plug in to the wall for power.
I need to know prices and manufacturer contact details so that I can negotiate prices.
Need a couple of different models of SOCs so that I can do comparisons.

Drop me a line if you can do this.

Cheers

Sam
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Re: System on Chip programmer and boards needed

Postby Sauron_Daz » Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:05 pm

Welcome!
Interesting nick..

Here's a link to BOINC: click for those interested.
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Re: System on Chip programmer and boards needed

Postby Hammer_Time » Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:38 am

You can't find SOC specialist on monster.com?? :wink: :mrgreen:

http://jobsearch.monster.com/search/?q=soc
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Re: System on Chip programmer and boards needed

Postby Q6xhJprn6Xq7 » Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:05 pm

Thank you Hammer Time, I will check that out. Looks promising so far.
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Re: System on Chip programmer and boards needed

Postby Hammer_Time » Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:11 am

You are welcome, hopefully you find your SOC person soon!

BTW I am sure you have already read this news:

http://www.brightsideofnews.com/news/20 ... arket.aspx

VIDEO: Meet the $49 Android PC for the Five Billion People Market


http://www.geek.com/articles/chips/via- ... -20120522/

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The APC’s spec includes a VIA WonderMedia ARM 11 processor at its core, 512MB DDR3 RAM, 2GB of on-board flash storage, 4 USB 2.0 ports, a microSD slot, Ethernet port, and both VGA and HDMI display ports. As for power consumption, it tops out at 13 watts under load and 4 watts when idle.

The ARM 11 SoC being used is the WonderMedia WM8750, which runs at 800MHz, supports OpenGL-ES 2.0, and includes H.264 video encoding and 720p video playback. In other words, it’s probably going to function quite well as a cheap media playback machine or as a development board for testing Android apps if you can cope with using the included Android 2.3 OS. That’s sure to be upgradeable, though.


Dunno if that SoC is powerful enough for your needs, but it shows how cheap you can get a complete computer/SoC these days!! ( $50 bux ) 8)

My eco-light bulb in my lamp here at 14 watts uses more power than the above SoC!! :shock: :D

Oh wait, that SoC does not have any wireless builtin, only 10/100 ethernet port. nvm...

For $74 you can get a wireless computer on a usb stick:

http://phandroid.com/2012/05/18/get-an- ... ck-for-74/

Image

The device is equipped with hardware that can be found inside a mid-range phone. It’s sporting a 1GHz Cortex-A8 processor, 512MB o RAM, 4GB of internal storage, 1080p playback capabilities and more. If the 4GB of storage is a little on the low side, fret not: a microSD card slot is available for expanding storage up to 32GB.

WiFi is included for downloading apps and browsing the web, and it all hooks up to your monitor or TV using an HDMI port (cable not included). It’s an interesting device for $74.
If the development community gets their hands on it this could become an inexpensive, yet functional Google TV module. I wouldn’t fully bet on that, of course, but it’s possible.
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Re: System on Chip programmer and boards needed

Postby Sauron_Daz » Fri Sep 28, 2012 2:29 am

Only $ 49....
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Re: System on Chip programmer and boards needed

Postby Q6xhJprn6Xq7 » Wed Oct 03, 2012 12:53 am

@Hammer Time you are amazingly awesome. I had not seen these. Been getting rather confused on the Intel site instead.
Saw the Raspberry Pi, which is very bare bones, and cheap. 2 flavors, I vote option B.
A Cotton Candy, not released yet, but fair bit of grunt... and I am mostly looking for MHz/$
The above Android PC is overkill for what I need but interesting neither the less. Makes me appreciate what is out there now.
Have you seen anything else?

FYI
USB Wireless dongles can be found. Dont let lack of wireless deter you.

Oh and I also interested in Watts/MHz. The Total Cost of Ownership also has to be factored in, so the running costs (electricity) come into play.

Much food for thought. Thank you very much Hammer Time
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Re: System on Chip programmer and boards needed

Postby Hammer_Time » Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:53 am

You are most welcome of course! Glad to help in any way.

BTW Cotton Candy minicomputer will cost $200 when it finally launches, proof here:

http://blog.laptopmag.com/fxi-taking-pr ... ast-gaming

Whether you’re a serious developer or just an early adopter who wants to play with the Cotton Candy, Cstick.com will allow you to order the device and it has started taking preorders now for a limited March 2012 production run. A single Cotton Candy will cost 189 Euros or $199 in the U.S. As of this writing, the site only shows the European price, but Ljosland told us that the U.S. price should be $199.


and here:

http://www.geek.com/articles/chips/74-m ... -20120517/

$74 MK802 Android micro-PC beats Cotton Candy to the punch

May. 17, 2012 (12:34 pm) By: Lee Mathews

A pair of inexpensive micro-PCs have generated quite a bit of buzz this year. The dirt-cheap Raspberry Pi started shipping in mid-April, but the FXI Cotton Candy has yet to make it out the door. The $200 Android PC-on-a-stick will also have some competition once it finally arrives: a very similar $74 AllWinner A10-based system has already popped up on online shopping sites.

Meet the MK802, which (like the Cotton Candy) features an ARM processor, Android 4.0, and WiFi connectivity. It’s not quite as powerful, with a single-core 1.5GHz AllWinner A10 processor and 512MB memory compared to a dual-core 1.2GHz Exynos chip and 1GB. The MK802 does offer two USB ports — one full-sized and one micro — and it utilizes the same Mali 400 GPU as the Cotton Candy.

One other difference is that the MK802 sports an HDMI port, not an HDMI plug. That means, of course, that you’ll still need a cable or a male-to-male plug to hook up to your HDTV or monitor. Really, though, that’s a reasonable trade-off when you consider that you can buy almost three MK802s for the same price as a single Cotton Candy.

If you do decide to pick up the MK802, remember that you’ll have to rely on your own stash of APKs or a third-party marketplace like the Amazon Appstore, at least initially. With the ridiculously low price tag on this device, it’s a good bet that the Android developer community will jump on this solid little stick computer and hack in support for Google Play in the very near future.

CNX Software , via Liliputing


The Raspberry Pi would probably be your best choice for "bang for the buck" but it lacks wireless as you mentioned:

http://www.raspberrypi.org/faqs

Image

What SoC are you using?

The SoC is a Broadcom BCM2835. This contains an ARM1176JZFS, with floating point, running at 700Mhz, and a Videocore 4 GPU. The GPU is capable of BluRay quality playback, using H.264 at 40MBits/s. It has a fast 3D core accessed using the supplied OpenGL ES2.0 and OpenVG libraries.

Why did you select the ARM11?

Cost and performance.

How powerful is it?

The GPU provides Open GL ES 2.0, hardware-accelerated OpenVG, and 1080p30 H.264 high-profile decode.

The GPU is capable of 1Gpixel/s, 1.5Gtexel/s or 24 GFLOPs of general purpose compute and features a bunch of texture filtering and DMA infrastructure.

That is, graphics capabilities are roughly equivalent to Xbox 1 level of performance. Overall real world performance is something like a 300MHz Pentium 2, only with much, much swankier graphics.


How much will it cost?

The Model A will cost $25 and the Model B $35, plus local taxes.


What’s the difference between Model A and Model B?

Model A has 128Mb of RAM - Model A has been redesigned to have 256Mb RAM, one USB port and no Ethernet (network connection).

Model B has 256Mb RAM, 2 USB port and an Ethernet port.


Since Model A now has 256 MB RAM, same as Model B , the only difference is that Model A has 1 USB port and no ethernet port, and Model B has 2 USB ports and an ethernet port.

If you want to use a cheap USB wireless dongle , then no need for any ethernet port right? However, this thing requires a USB-cable type power supply ( not included ) so then you need TWO USB ports like Model B has ( one for wireless dongle, one for USB cable from mini power supply ).

What will I get when I buy one?

A Raspberry Pi. Leads, a power supply or SD cards are NOT included but can be purchased at the same time from Farnell and RS.
You will be able to buy preloaded SD cards too.


http://www.alliedelec.com/Search/Produc ... U=70232557

Mean Well USA

Power Supply; AC-DC; 5V@1A; 90-264V In; Enclosed; Wall Plug; USB; Switching; GS Series

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Universal AC input: 90-264 VAC, 127-370 VDC, 47-63 Hz.
No load power consumption <0.3W
Compact size
Meet EISA 2007 (Energy Independence and Security Act)
2 pole USA plug
Class II power (without earth pin)
Protections: Short circuit / Overload / Over voltage / Over temperature
Pass LPS
100% full load burn-in test
Fully enclosed plastic case
Low cost, high reliability
2-year warranty

$8.00 (Each)


Cute, isn't it???

USB cables are cheap, $5 or less...

NETWORKING, USB AND WIRELESS

Does the device support networking? Is there Wi-Fi?

The Model B version of the device includes 10/100 wired Ethernet. There is no Ethernet on the Model A version (which we expect to be taken up mostly by the education market), but Wi-Fi will be available via a standard USB dongle.


Will there be a WiFi option?

Not in the first version, though you can add a dongle. ARM Linux WiFi support can be a bit patchy; there’s a list of tested dongles on the wiki.


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6833315091

EDIMAX EW-7811Un Wireless Nano Adapter IEEE 802.11b/g/n USB 2.0 Up to 150Mbps Data Rates, with 16 languages EZmax setup wizard for easy installation

IEEE 802.11b/g/n
Up to 150Mbps Wireless Data Rates
WEP 64/128, WPA, WPA2, IEEE802.1x, WPS

Windows 7/Vista/XP, Mac OS, Linux


$9.99


Wireless n nano-adapter for $10! Perfect... and it is linux compatible too!

How does it boot?

You have to boot from SD but a USB HD can “take over” after the initial boot. You cannot boot without an SD card.


What operating system (OS) does it use?

We recommend Debian as our default distribution. It’s straightforward to replace the root partition on the SD card with another ARM Linux distro if you want to use something else (there are several available on our downloads page). The OS is stored on the SD card.


SD cards and storage

We have tried cards up to 32GB and most cards seem to work OK. The Wiki has more information about which makes and models work best. You can also attach a USB stick or USB hard drive for storage
.


So you have to buy a cheap SD card ( not Micro-SD, the FAQ says "SD Card" ) for it in order for it to boot...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 12K0CT6828
(
ATP ProMax 2GB SD 2G SD Secure Digital Card (bulk pack) - OEM

$4.70

FREE SHIPPING


2 GB should be plenty of space, Ubuntu only needs 1 GB to install ( no Desktop, with Desktop requires 5 GB space just fyi ) :

http://www.ubuntu.com/download/help/ins ... tu-desktop

Same requirements for Debian of course:

http://www.debian.org/releases/stable/i ... 04.html.en

If you plan to install Debian or Ubuntu without the Desktop, then you only need a 1 GB SD card and those cost $3.75 on newegg.com right now, so you would save $1.75 by getting that instead of an 8 GB SD card...

It looks like your best solution ( bang for the buck ) is Raspberry Pi Model B ( $35 ) and that Wireless USB nano-adapter for $10 and the 2 GB SD card ( to install linux with ) for $4.70, plus the $8 USB power supply and $5 ( or less ) for a male to male USB cable. The total cost here is $62.70 ( mebbe a bit less if you can get a deal on USB cables )...and you have a complete wireless linux mini-pc !!! 8) ( not included is the price of a USB kbd and mouse ( removed after initial setup ), HDMI cable ( removed after setup ) or a cheap USB hub also removed after setup ).

Of course latest Ubuntu runs a bit better with 512 MB of ram instead of 256 MB but the ram is not upgradeable on the Raspberry Pi, so a concession must be made, sacrifice a bit of performance to get a super low price... should work okay with 256MB.

You could buy just one to start with, see how it performs, and if all goes well then place a massive order for them. Good luck!!

BTW, the Raspberry Pi only uses 5 watts under load: ( slightly more with a wireless usb dongle attached no doubt! )

http://bryanquigley.com/uncategorized/r ... ld-dell-p4

The dell can pull between 70 – 120+ Watts, while the raspberry pi can pull 5. Unfortunately, in performance per watt, I think the P4 still comes in first most of the time.


Of course a Pentium 4 will smoke it in performance, but look how low the wattage is on that Pi!!! For your needs the Pi should be "strong enough" hopefully, try one out and see... :D

Edit: Found much better deal, see post below!!! :wink:
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Re: System on Chip programmer and boards needed

Postby Hammer_Time » Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:11 am

Wait a second, after adding everything you need to make the Raspberry Pi "suitable" for you ( total cost $62.70 ) I found this!!

http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Freeship ... cj_3640101

New arrival!!Rikomagic MK802 II Mini Android 4.0 PC Android TV Box A10 Cortex A8 1GB RAM 4G ROM HDMI TF Card [MK802-II]

Price: US $56.00 / piece
Bulk Price:
US $53.20 / piece (5 pieces or more)



Main features:

1. Use Allwinner A10/1GHZ Cortex-A8 high speed processor
Core frequency reach 1GHZ,which is the most advanced core.

The comprehensive processing ability , hardware performance close to desktop computer .
Play HD video ,share blog ,share game amusement and Website read to give you the delight fully digital experience .
2. With 3D Graphical processor
3. Use 1GB DDR3 high capacity memory.
4. With WIFI 802.1b/g/n Wireless to get rid of the wire bond
5. Support the latest HTML5 ,Flash10.3 ,etc, network standard.

6.Support Full HD 1080P/2160P.
MK802II provide a USB2.0 HOST high speed data interface, and T-Flash card slot,
You may direct connect with USB device for playback high definition movies.Up to 1080p/2160p.
7. The mass application/games, will bring you best experience.
8. Various extension ports, support connecting wireless mouse, keyboard, can be install more memory cards to extend more capacity.


Cortex A8 cpu running at 1 Ghz, 1 GB of DDR-3 ram, 4GB ROM onboard running Android 4.0 ICS, and it includes a USB cable!!! It has wireless n onboard too as shown in specs above.

Improved antenna design,provide more stable WIFI signal.


The only thing you would need to buy is a USB power supply, like the one I listed above for only $8...

So bulk pricing if you buy 5 units or more is only $53.20 each, plus $8 USB power supply , so total cost just $61.20!!! less than the configured Raspberry Pi!!! You could save even more if you ran a bunch of USB hubs off a single computer and connected them to the micro-USB power port on the MK802 II's using the included micro-USB cable, to provide power to all the units instead of buying separate USB power adapters for each one...not sure which method would work better for you...but you could do it either way...

Advantages : 4 times the ram ( 1 GB ) , 4 GB ROM , builtin Wireless n, Android 4.0 ICS preinstalled, and faster 1 Ghz Cortex A8 cpu!!! Plus it costs about a dollar less than the Pi solution!!!

Recommend you order one of these and try it out...it smokes the Pi in performance ( at least on paper ) for the same price!!

Bless the Chinese!! :scout: 8) :lol:

Edit: I forgot that you need to add the price of an SD card, since the 4 GB onboard is ROM ( Read Only Memory ) and you would need a fw programmer to rewrite the ROM to include the BOINC sw, but much easier to just put the BOINC sw on a cheap SD card or USB stick...a few $$ more...
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Re: System on Chip programmer and boards needed

Postby Sauron_Daz » Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:20 am

How many you want/need?
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Re: System on Chip programmer and boards needed

Postby Hammer_Time » Wed Oct 03, 2012 1:35 pm

I am guessing somewhere between 2 and a million!! :wink: :lol:
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Re: System on Chip programmer and boards needed

Postby Stupify » Wed Oct 03, 2012 1:48 pm

i would seriously love to have something in that scale that supports multiple sata ports and be able to run something like FreeNAS or Xubuntu. it would make for a great backup system which is small, eats very little power and is damn cheap in comparison to other options.
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Re: System on Chip programmer and boards needed

Postby Hammer_Time » Wed Oct 03, 2012 1:51 pm

They are pretty powerful for their size, and use less than 0.3 watts in idle mode, and about 5 watts max. under load!! Impressive indeed!! 8)
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Re: System on Chip programmer and boards needed

Postby Q6xhJprn6Xq7 » Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:16 pm

@Hammer. WOW, thats a lot of info mate. That is awesome, thank you very much. I will order WIFI now for the Pi.
Just purchased a single Pi + accessories for 77USD from Farnell, one of the suppliers listed. I saw your post after I purchased of course ;)
Unfortunately I will have to wait until Xmas before I can eat my Raspberry Pi.

See how it performs as compared to other options, such as Intel SOCs.
MHz vs Performance is not straight forward so will need to see they perform in the wild. Was thinking of running a bunch of different models for a month and then checking the BOINC credit given, and also measuring the power used by each device in that time.
Would be nice to compare that against my home lappy but it would not be fair - I use this lappy, while the SOCs would be dedicated.

RE the MK802. Unfortunately it runs Android. A port is being developed for Android (google BOINCoid sourceforge) but is not ready yet, where as I want results now, so a proven solution on Linux is appealing (still need to prove it on my chosen platform though...). The less variables I introduce the better.

@Sauron
How many is dependent on total price. Starting budget is circa 1000$, so could buy a new (or used) computer or lappies, OR SOCs.
1000$ / (50$ per SOC) = 20 socs. 20 SOCs at even 1/2 the advertised 700MHz is 3.5GHz.... so about the same as a PC or 2 but I can buy them 1 at a time, and stop at any time. they are small, not big and bulky like a puter, and they look boring to the naked eye (important around kids *sigh*)
Plus I have done Windows to death. SOCs look interesting.
The other option is hosting. Have not looked into that yet. Job for Ron... lateR on... yeah my kids dont laugh at that either.
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Re: System on Chip programmer and boards needed

Postby Sauron_Daz » Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:30 pm

Hammer_Time wrote:I am guessing somewhere between 2 and a million!! :wink: :lol:


Yup, he wants some 20 of 'em..
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Re: System on Chip programmer and boards needed

Postby Sauron_Daz » Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:48 am

Q6xhJprn6Xq7 wrote:How many is dependent on total price. Starting budget is circa 1000$, so could buy a new (or used) computer or lappies, OR SOCs.
1000$ / (50$ per SOC) = 20 socs. 20 SOCs at even 1/2 the advertised 700MHz is 3.5GHz.... so about the same as a PC or 2 but I can buy them 1 at a time, and stop at any time. they are small, not big and bulky like a puter, and they look boring to the naked eye (important around kids *sigh*)


I'm not sure that 20 SOC's at 700 MHz equals a 3.5 GHz speed..
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Re: System on Chip programmer and boards needed

Postby DIREWOLF75 » Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:36 am

Job for Ron... lateR on... yeah my kids dont laugh at that either.

Do they ever? :lol:


1000$ / (50$ per SOC) = 20 socs. 20 SOCs at even 1/2 the advertised 700MHz is 3.5GHz....

That´s probably a dangerous way to calculate performance.

Also, doesn´t BOINC support GP GPU? If so, then it´s possible that a single lowend system with 2 Radeon 7750 might have vastly higher performance.

Notice, "possible", I really don´t have any good info on this at the moment...
Either way, just counting Mhz doesn´t work.
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Re: System on Chip programmer and boards needed

Postby Hammer_Time » Thu Oct 04, 2012 8:45 am

Ah yes, there is currently no BOINC port for Android yet, still in development as you mention, forgot that tidbit...

So Raspberry Pi B plus accessories came to $77 USD ? That is still not bad considering you get WiFi and a USB psu included in that price.

Let us know how it performs once you have tested it with BOINC, lateR on Ron!!! :wink: :lol: 8)
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Re: System on Chip programmer and boards needed

Postby Ray_GTI-R » Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:43 pm

BOINC is available and there are projects running under Android.
Google "nativeboinc" for the app.
Also google my "userid + RPi speed" for a brief comparison of some low-power hardware speeds.
And you can see a link to a photo of both my ODROID-X and my generic tablet doing BOIC Milkyway tasks if you google my "userid + DSCN4735.jpg" ... dig deeper for ARM-based results e.g., via BOINCstats etc.

Enjoy!
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Re: System on Chip programmer and boards needed

Postby Ray_GTI-R » Mon Oct 22, 2012 3:50 pm

... here's a goldmine of info too ...

http://nativeboinc.org/site/host_stats

HTH, Ray
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