[Arm-netbook] 9nov11: progress on allwinner A10

Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton luke.leighton at gmail.com
Wed Nov 9 21:35:52 GMT 2011

On Wed, Nov 9, 2011 at 9:30 PM, Bari Ari <bari at onelabs.com> wrote:
> On 11/09/2011 02:44 PM, Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton wrote:
>> ok, just a quick thoughts / status update.
>> we've had it confirmed that the CPU is external 2gb addressing but
>> *internal* limited to 1gb (!)
>> little factory is still going over the BOM, but want to put in 512mb
>> DDR RAM ICs because they're cheaper.
> Having 1GB as at least an option would be nice. Too many other ARM
> devices are crippled with only 128MB or 256 MB of RAM.

 achh, tell me about it.  can't stand it!  can't really understand
512mb either, but for some people the price-tradeoff is enough.  that,
and the prices are dependent on what's "most common", *not* on the
size of the IC.

>> then we put two and two together and went, "hang on, these are
>> effectively blades, why not have a chassis like the ZT-Systems one,
>> with a gigabit backbone,
> What interface on the A10 would this gigabit backbone be attached?

 10/100 ethernet - it's what's available.  so it'd need to be a
gigabit switch IC not a hub IC.  or, hell, just... bung 8 boxes into a
19in rack-mount unit and put your own gigabit switch in!

>> so _then_ i thought, hang on, NAND flash ICs in SSDs are like,
>> dropping like a stone as they pick up the slack from the fact that
>> low-end SATA and IDE drives don't exist, hmm, and the spec on the
>> allwinner CPU says that it has 8 NAND chip-select lines... why not ask
>> the little factory in shenzen if they can make room (on the other side
>> of the PCMCIA card) for another 7 4gb NAND flash ICs?
> Why not just use SD flash? Something embedded would only need SD and
> RAM. Tablets use an onboard flash drive since they experience being
> dropped and are handled roughly. A blade rarely experiences this
> physical activity. Servers or a desktop would use a SATA drive.
> BTW, will these boards use u-boot or some proprietary firmware for init
> and bootloader?

 i believe it's u-boot.  there

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