[Arm-netbook] "allwinner's A10" codenamed "sun4i crane", linux kernel v2.6.36 patch available

Gordan Bobic gordan at bobich.net
Sat Nov 12 10:47:05 GMT 2011

On 11/12/2011 01:09 AM, Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton wrote:

> right.  on the basis of future mass-volume production deals, allwinner
> very graciously released the GPL source code to RH Technology, even
> though they did not have to do so (even under the terms of the GPL).
> the first cut of a diff/patch is here:
> http://hands.com/~lkcl/sun3i_sun4i_crane_2.6.32.patch.bz2
> linus is going to go ballistic at the 17mb size of the patch, but

17MB?! That's the first WTF. Does this include the Android patches or 

Also 2.6.32 is positively ancient nowdays. What is the 
supportability/portability of this 17MB patch going to be going forward?

> * it's a Cortex A8, it takes up to DDR3 800mhz RAM, its external
> interface is 16gbits (2gbytes) but there appears to be a limitation
> internally of the Cortex A8 memory-mapping which truncates that to a
> max of 1gbyte of actual RAM... but bizarrely, the NAND Flash
> Controller i've just learned can address DDR RAM 32-bit (??) as well
> (what's _that_ about??)

Now that IS interesting. So what would it take to put more RAM instead 
of NAND there (probably not 32GB, but multiple GB at least)?

I guess given the form factor a SODIMM socket wired to it is out of the 

> * top priority: an EOMA-PCMCIA-compliant and stand-alone computer,
> powerable via USB-OTG and having an HDMI interface and Micro-SD, with
> at least 512mb RAM, 1gb NAND and this Cortex A8 which there are
> reports that it's capable of running at up to 1.5ghz.
> http://elinux.org/Embedded_Open_Modular_Architecture/PCMCIA

Is an extra 512MB of RAM going to make THAT much difference to cost?

> the other possible product is to jam as many of these as possible,
> with 1gb of RAM each, running as fast as possible (1.5ghz?), into a
> 19in rack-mount and call it "the world's first and smallest modern
> ARM-based Blade Server" - yes, you may recall someone did an 8-way ARM
> server oo gods know how long ago, it's somewhere on linuxdevices, but
> that was... N to 1N years ago. ok the marketing sounds good, at least.

That was ZT Systems, if you are thinking about the one I'm thinking 
about. The blade server is the product I'm personally most interested in.

For single-board products (e.g. for routers with dual ethernet) it would 
be quite handy to be able to power them via Power-over-Ethernet. What 
would that take?

> * plug computer.  mass-volume target price: somewhere between $15 and
> $20 is achievable.  early prototypes we have rough guide pricing
> somewhere at 50% to 70% of any other Sheeva or Guru or
> {Insertname}Board.  outstanding task: factory in china have the
> Engineering Board, are evaluating BOMs.


> * blade-like server, up to 32 1.5ghz 1gb RAM hot-swappable machines on
> a multi-gigabit "hub" backplane in a single 19in Rack-Mounted Server,
> possibly even with a built-in load balancer just for laughs.  well,
> why the heck not?  prototypes can be built out of putting 32
> EOMA/PCMCIA-compliant plug computers, together with 32 minimalist
> expansion headers to get at the 10/100 and the eSATA, and a 32-port
> off-the-shelf Gigabit Switch for goodness sake.

You won't get 32 of them into a 1U chassis if you also want 1 2.5" (or 
1.8") SSD port, but this sort of thing sounds awesome.


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