[Arm-netbook] The A64-OLinuXino laptop idea

Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton lkcl at lkcl.net
Fri Nov 6 19:42:21 GMT 2015

On Fri, Nov 6, 2015 at 6:04 PM, Troy Benjegerdes <hozer at hozed.org> wrote:
> I think my response to stuff like this now is:
> "Show me the KiCAD design files and a board I can get in the mail
> next week"
> So far, my experience with Allwinner is it's great if you like
> reverse engineering, but if you actually want to ship a product
> use something that comes with decent documentation and industrial
> part grades, which is either freescale or TI at this point.

 the problem with freescale is that they're _way_ behind, and that's
ok because most of their customers are in the automotive and
engineering industry, so they can tolerate the higher pricing.

 the problem with TI is that they are also way behind, and for the
"higher spec" parts - those that are designed for mass-volume such as
the OMAP4 and OMAP5, they flatly refuse to open those up.  that leaves
everyone else with the crap such as single-core Cortex A8 processors
that are over 2x the price of a china equivalent.

 *but*... butbutbut... both freescale and TI (as you rightly note
below) do long-term supply (they have to), with industrial temperature
ranges, and that in and of itself is attractive to certain niche
markets that are happy to pay the premium for it.

 the delays in both TI and freescale's design chain however means that
it will be several years before we see an arm64 from freescale.  you
_might_ see an arm64 SoC from TI, soon, but it will almost certainly
be a cartelled one that you or i simply will not be able to gain
access to.

> I need an open-hardware design I can use for a tractor/combine
> auto-guidance system, and it needs to have industrial temp ranges
> and a 5 year minimum availibility lifetime.

  then yes, you want the [incredibly expensive, relatively] freescale
or TI parts.  especially for the industrial temperature ranges: you
simply won't find a china-based fabless semiconductor company doing an
SoC that is within industrial temperature ranges.  at all.


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