• Home
  • Help
  • Search
  • Login
  • Register
Pages: [1] 2
Author Topic: ARMADA-100 Plugcomputer  (Read 10700 times)
pluginventor
Newbie
*

Karma: 0
Posts: 6


Get your PXA168 Plugcomputer DevKit - gplugD now!


View Profile
« on: June 29, 2010, 01:05:46 AM »

After a brief introduction at CES-2010, ARMADA-100 Plugcomputer hardware is now validated. The new class of Plugcomputer will be introduced as "GuruPlug Display" (nickname "gplugD"). Powered by 88AP168 Applications Processor  http://www.marvell.com/products/processors/applications/armada_100/armada_168/pxa_168_pb.pdf, the gplugD will enable any TV with HDMI input port to become a Display Device.
Main features:
10/100 Fast Ethernet, 4 USB Host ports, 1 USB-OTG port, 2 microSD slots (one can be configured as JTAG interface, using debug interface board), Console through USB port miniB.
CPU/DDR2 clock speed optinos: 800/400MHz, 1066/355MHz, 1066/533MHz
512MB DDR2, 512KB Serial NOR Flash (boot initialization image, u-boot), 4GB internal microSD
HDMI output port

What would you do with it?
« Last Edit: June 29, 2010, 04:45:56 PM by pluginventor » Logged

obarthelemy
Newbie
*

Karma: 2
Posts: 34


View Profile
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2010, 01:18:23 AM »

change its powersupply and cool it better ?

more seriously (although....) stick it to the back of a monitor for a barebone web-access PC ?
does it have bluetooth and wifi ? sound in/out ?
is there a case option with VESA mount and internal HD
« Last Edit: June 29, 2010, 01:22:19 AM by obarthelemy » Logged

pluginventor
Newbie
*

Karma: 0
Posts: 6


Get your PXA168 Plugcomputer DevKit - gplugD now!


View Profile
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2010, 08:21:42 AM »

NO WiFi or BT or ULP-Radio inside the gplugD --> too much heat --> External USB dongle for WiFi-802.11b/g/n based on 88W8786U
    (for details http://www.marvell.com/products/wireless/8786u.pdf
Currently, wireless KBD/Mouse with USB-HDI dongle work --> Evaluating pointer with trackball
    (for details  http://www.btc.com.tw/english/2-8-13mouse.htm#M961ATIII )

The CPU board is on the top surface and airgap will be filled with thermal pads.

The GuruPlug Display - DevKit is mainly for developers. For deployment as product, we are hoping that this vibrant community will help us with various use case scenarios.
We are sure that if the design is stable and reliable, it will be accepted. Thanks for the kind reminder about PSU.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2010, 04:46:43 PM by pluginventor » Logged

NewIT
Jr. Member
**

Karma: 10
Posts: 88



View Profile WWW
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2010, 12:01:20 PM »

NO WiF or BT or ULP-Radio inside the gplugD --> too much heat --> External USB dongle for WiFi-802.11b/g/n based on 88W8786U
 
The GuruPlug Display - DevKit is mainly for developers.

So a bit of a change from the advertised product http://www.globalscaletechnologies.com/c-4-guruplugs.aspx
"GuruPlug Display serves up your video, pictures and audio in High Definition with integrated HDMI port, Your LCD TV will become PC instantly by adding GuruPlug Display. Itís perfect for Digital Signage, Media Center Display, Handheld Device screen Mirror, --- Limitless applications."

So do you recommend that this is not suitable for end user use at this time?
Logged

velo_love
Newbie
*

Karma: 0
Posts: 15


View Profile
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2010, 12:18:51 PM »

What would you do with it?
Something coldler than the current guruplug server. Mine on 230 V without BT, Wifi is still very hot!   Angry
Logged

pluginventor
Newbie
*

Karma: 0
Posts: 6


Get your PXA168 Plugcomputer DevKit - gplugD now!


View Profile
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2010, 05:17:55 PM »

ARMADA-100 Plugcomputer DevKitARMADA-100 Plugcomputer is capable of driving 720p60 (1280 x 720) resolution, and will also support 480p60 as required by the HDMI std.
Primary applictions are for UI on the TV screen. For a HDMI TV with 1080p capability, it is better to use Blu-ray player for watching video, for example.
For sure, UI content can include Video, Audio, Graphics, Annimation etc. and D1 resolution video play should be possible.
Quote
So a bit of a change from the advertised product http://www.globalscaletechnologies.com/c-4-guruplugs.aspx
We have to strat with stable H/W and let the community "Breath the life with S/W" into it.
Always-on, Always-connected, Green-computing = Plugcomputer

Quote
So do you recommend that this is not suitable for end user use at this time?
Depends on who is the "End user":
End users of consumer devices need solutions, and Plugcomputer is an enabler that encourages developers to get access to H/W, hence the name "DevKit"
It has Linux Console interface and JTAG debug interface, for sure not something a "consumer" end user would use.

Quote
Something coldler than the current guruplug server.
Yes, that is the plan. Thermal and power analysis and testing are currently underway.

Here is a picture:


* ARMADA_100_Plugcomputer_picture.jpg (66.31 KB, 960x720 - viewed 2421 times.)
« Last Edit: June 29, 2010, 05:21:21 PM by pluginventor » Logged

pluginventor
Newbie
*

Karma: 0
Posts: 6


Get your PXA168 Plugcomputer DevKit - gplugD now!


View Profile
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2010, 06:36:29 PM »

[
Quote
more seriously (although....) stick it to the back of a monitor for a barebone web-access PC ?
does it have bluetooth and wifi ? sound in/out ?
is there a case option with VESA mount and internal HD
Back of a Monitor with HDMI port should just work fine, as both video and audio are streamed through the single HDMI cable.
No separate sound out, no sound in. Possible option via USB: http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=HE-280B
   - There are 4 external USB 2.0 Host ports (through a HUB device inside) and USB-2.0 OTG port. Both High Speed

Plan is to ship WiFi 802.11b/g/n USB Dongle as part of the DevKit. No BT.
No internal WiFi as it is a significant heat source and chip-antenna placement near metal would diminish throughput.

DevKit leverages the GuruPlug Server enclosure, but not the thermal and PSU issues.

No internal HDD, but plan is to ship 4GB Class 6 microSD card inside. (Will contain default uImage and Debian distro, apps, and rest will be storage)
Considering shipping an additional microSD (8GB Class 4 or Class 6 if not too expenssive) as part of the DevKit
ARMADA-100 does not have an integrated SATA controller.

Looked at VESA mount info but most of it concerns with mounting the TV/Monitor, not the accessories. Can you kindly elaborate on the suggestion?
« Last Edit: June 29, 2010, 06:46:46 PM by pluginventor » Logged

fragfutter
Sr. Member
****

Karma: 12
Posts: 280


View Profile
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2010, 12:21:40 AM »

vesa mount defines the pattern and screw sizes on the back of a screen. If a plug should be mounted on the back of a screen, it basicly needs a least one gauge (or two in the right distance) where a screw (m4-m6, depending on vesa standard) can pass through.

But as most screens have a mount attached (the foot on which it stands) i think that two threadholes in the case of the plug would be the simplest solution. You could then attach a plate to the plug if needed and bolt it into anything you want.
Logged

MarkF
Full Member
***

Karma: 7
Posts: 144


View Profile
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2010, 07:16:21 AM »

Does the graphics part of the chipset support OpenGL ES acceleration?  ie. Can I run Android 2.x (mid, not phone) on it with a touch screen?
Logged

Mark

superpat
Full Member
***

Karma: 15
Posts: 141


View Profile
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2010, 12:13:49 PM »

Hi,

The time has come to move away from the concept of a plug (in) computer. Instead use a separate power brick design.

Looking at the pictures of the Armada there could be  7 or 8  devices connected to it.

In my house, every mains socket outlet is groaning with extra mains power cords already.

For instance there is a double 13A switched outlet behind the TV stand. This has to feed:-

TV, DVD player, VCR. Satelite box, Freeview box. cordless phone  power supply.   This means an extender board on the floor behind the television stand.

AND A JUNGLE OF LINE CORDS!

To which you want me to add another 7 or 8 devices line cords and signal cables    Rubbish!

Ever since I bought my Sheeva plug I have NEVER plugged it into a wall outlet. I always use it with the provided mains cord, so I can get to it easily to change cables, SD cards, reset it etc.

I have now  bought a die cast aluminium box to mount the sheeva pcb, a sata drive and a USB hub, powered with an external power brick  NO MORE OVERHEATING WOES!

I have also just purchased  an Open-Rd Ultimate. for its video graphics capability and separate power supply.

The form factor of the Sheeva and the Armada is very "smart"  but hugely impractical.  I measured the temperature using a thermocouple meter at the 6.8mfd capacitor in my Sheeva plug power supply running a usb drive as 70 deg C.  The LIFE OF A CHEAP COMMERCIAL GRADE CAPACITOR IS ONLY AROUND 300 DAYS AT 70 deg C    The Sheeva Plug is not a very durable product.

Is the Armada going to be any better?  There is a lot more loads, Can you get the heat out?  Are the power supply components going to be better rated?

Go on use a separate power brick  You know it makes sense!

regards

Patrick



Logged

mossroy
Newbie
*

Karma: 0
Posts: 30


View Profile
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2010, 09:00:44 AM »

Wow : this looks very promising !

I've been very enthusiast with the sheevaplug devkit. I use it every day as a headless personal server and it's really a great tool : very low power consumption and so many possibilities.

In my dreams, this "gplugD" might become my new media center :
- watch videos (including HD : 720p is enough for me), play music, display photos etc. There is a great software frontend for that kind of needs, called XBMC http://xbmc.org/. It supports hardware acceleration of some display chips, so maybe it could support this one too. It also supports many different ways to control it, including remote controls, wiimote, keyboard, mouse etc
- record the TV through an USB TNT adapter. A standard sheevaplug should manage to do that bot I did not have the time to make the kernel recognize my USB stick. A software like HTS TvHeadend http://www.lonelycoder.com/hts/tvheadend_overview.html should work for that
- use it ponctually as a standard computer, particularly to browse the internet. In this case I would need to connect a wireless keyboard/mouse (probably through an USB bluetooth adapter)

Am I dreaming too much?

Of course, there's probably a lot of work on the software side. But that was also the case with the sheevaplug. It took me several months before having something stable. But, thanks to all the community who worked on that, it's now very easy to install a distro and any application. Hopefully things would go the same with the gplugD.

My main concern is about its capability to decode videos. 1.2 GHz is not enough to decode HD videos, so we will have to rely on hardware acceleration. It's a pitty it can not decode 1080i videos, but it's not crucial to me.
But will it be able to decode any other "standard" videos? (I know it's very vague, but at least any XVID + MP3, H.264, MKV etc)
For example, in the PDF is mentionned an "On2" video codec : does that mean that it will support the new VP8 codec?
I did not find the Vorbis audio codec in this list : does that mean that it would not support the WebM format recently promoted by Google (VP8 + Vorbis)?

Another question : any clue on how much this devkit will cost? When will we be able to order it (looks like it will be in august)? When will it be shipped?

Thanks a lot
Logged

mikestaszel
Newbie
*

Karma: 3
Posts: 10


View Profile
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2010, 10:19:30 AM »

Yes, how much $ and when? Also, please don't take 4 weeks to ship. Smiley
Logged

mossroy
Newbie
*

Karma: 0
Posts: 30


View Profile
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2010, 03:13:04 AM »

The fact that the CPU "only" supports armv5 will unfortunately prevent us from using Ubuntu as the operating system (more precisely, it will only work until version 9.04, which will shortly be unsupported, juste like for the sheevaplug). Debian will surely work, and is perfect for a headless server, but Ubuntu is (in my opinion) more suited if the plug becomes a standard desktop computer (web browsing, videos, music etc)
I saw that the Armada 500 supports armv7 (which is supported by the current Ubuntu 10.04 LTS), and 1080p decoding : http://www.marvell.com/products/processors/applications/armada_500/
Will it be included in a plug sooner or later?
Maybe I should wait for such a version to build my Media Center?
Logged

tylernt
Jr. Member
**

Karma: 2
Posts: 56


View Profile
« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2010, 08:10:52 AM »

The fact that the CPU "only" supports armv5 will unfortunately prevent us from using Ubuntu as the operating system
Maybe a bunch of users need to band together and lobby Ubuntu to support armv5 again.
Logged

bushwacker
Newbie
*

Karma: -1
Posts: 6


View Profile
« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2010, 02:48:18 PM »

Maybe future plugs should use ARM 7. My Droid does after all... Tongue

I'm probably going to get the Motorola Droid X w/ HDMI this month when it comes out and then root it for my multimedia needs. my guruplug is for tor (got it working again, at least for now), and for print/file sharing. May also make a webserver out of it. Needless to say, we all need to remember that these devices are designed for headless automation and server purposes, and not really for use directly by end users.
Logged

Pages: [1] 2
Print
Jump to: