[Arm-netbook] Upcoming CPU Card Status?

Aaron J. Seigo aseigo at kde.org
Thu Dec 5 11:44:50 GMT 2013

On Thursday, December 5, 2013 01:17:50 Alexander Stephen Thomas Ross wrote:
> Hi. Deciding weather to put a order in for a a20+devboard or too wait.

Ah, waiting. There will always be something better 6 months away. That’s just 
how it is.

One small problem with waiting is that if current products don’t sell, there 
will be no future products. Don’t wait yourself out of a future.

> I prefer the specs of the upcoming cpu cards. I need all the ram I can
> get 

Can you offer firmer guidelines? (I’d love an 8GB system, but .. yeah, probably 
not happening ;)

We’ve already been running  Plasma Desktop with full compositing on the 1GB 
A20 boards and it works fine, so while more RAM would be nice, it’s not a 
requirement for running even a full feature desktop env.

> preferably but I also would like 3D/GPU for gnome-shell providing

Out of curiosity: how well does GNOME Shell run on openGL ES (1.1 or 2.0)? I 
know it has support for OpenGL ES via Clutter, but I have yet to see any 
successful bring-ups of it on ARM hardware (which may mean I just missed 
them). I do know that LLVM was broken this year on ARM and nobody seemed keen 
to fix it, which may be problematic.

> there's free drivers and firmware other wise I'd compromise for the most
> free cpu card.

It is unlikely for the foreseeable future that there will be a Free openGL 
stack for any competent mobile GPUs. This is one of those situations where a 
little pragmatism will get us further than puritanism: if we shun systems 
because they don’t have a Free openGL stack, even though the rest of the 
software is Free, we will continue to be ignored by the companies that make 
these systems. The server world was able to resolve these exact same kinds of 
issues through pragmatic work-with-you-towards-freedom approaches.

> So rough err ETA of the up coming cpu cards and I assume that very nice
> devboard from make-play-live will be possible to get without the a20
> card in 2014?

Yes, we will eventually be offering the feature board separately; right now it 
doesn’t make any sense to do so, since ~nobody has an EOMA68 CPU card, without 
which the Improv’s feature card isn’t useful ;)

That said, it’s a $75 decision, not a $500 one. You can get additional CPU 
cards when they come out and get stuck in right away with the A20 until then.

Aaron J. Seigo

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