Author Topic: Looking for a SBC good for custom design  (Read 4511 times)

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Offline robotix3

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Looking for a SBC good for custom design
« on: March 21, 2017, 05:09:45 am »
I'm looking for a good single board computer (running linux) that I can easily integrate into a custom design. I've been wanting to design my own for a while, and rather than start from scratch, I would like to use pre-existing software and hardware design. I really need something with a ton of documentation on getting everything up and running (mainly with the OS part).

I really like the UDOO Neo but I can not find any documentation on designing/initial bring-up with your own (but there are schematics).

And there is obviously the beaglebones, but it seems like TI doesn't want people to build there own (not much documentation on the hardware side, I could be wrong)

My only hardware requirement is that it has a >800MHz processor. My use-case is most likely a custom quadcopter design.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2017, 05:13:39 am by robotix3 »
 

Online james_s

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Re: Looking for a SBC good for custom design
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2017, 06:16:21 am »
How about the Raspberry Pi or various derivatives and clones? Huge amount of support out there, hard to get much cheaper.
 

Offline robotix3

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Re: Looking for a SBC good for custom design
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2017, 06:42:22 am »
The Raspberry Pi isn't open hardware

Online james_s

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Re: Looking for a SBC good for custom design
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2017, 06:52:19 am »
I didn't see a requirement that it be open hardware, that does limit the choices somewhat.
 

Offline robotix3

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Re: Looking for a SBC good for custom design
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2017, 07:11:17 am »
Well you can't even buy the Raspberry Pi processor, it's only available in large volumes, even the datasheet is unavailable.

Offline robotix3

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Re: Looking for a SBC good for custom design
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2017, 07:41:56 am »
So after looking for a bit, it seems the beaglebone black is actually a good candidate for what I want to do.

Offline kaevee

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Re: Looking for a SBC good for custom design
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2017, 01:51:59 am »
Checkout OpenRex.

http://www.imx6rex.com/open-rex/

This project is completely open source and one can download all documents, including Schematic and PCB.

One can buy BoM in retail quantities. But, cost would be no match to Raspberry pi or clones.

Venkat
 

Online Delta

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Re: Looking for a SBC good for custom design
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2017, 02:10:53 am »
Olimex. Open source SBCs using various Allwinner ARM-based processors.
 

Offline sanwal209

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Re: Looking for a SBC good for custom design
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2017, 05:38:10 am »
I
 

Offline sanwal209

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Re: Looking for a SBC good for custom design
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2017, 05:39:24 am »
I am going to make SBC as a gateway for my open source project (http://www.linuxiot.org). Feel free to add ur suggestion for SBC
 

Offline chrisalbertson

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Re: Looking for a SBC good for custom design
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2017, 04:47:33 pm »
....seems the beaglebone black is actually a good candidate for what I want to do.

Yes, they are cheap and small, not as powerful the Pi3 but one huge advantage of the BBB is that the ARM processor they use has two "PRUs" on-chip.  These are small micro controllers that have direct access to IO pins.  You can use them for any "hard realtime" tasks such as a control loop that have to run at a constant rate.   This kind of real time scheduling is hard or impossible under Linux even with a real-time kernel.   As an example the MachineKit project has a way use the PRUs for servo motor control for things like CNC milling machines.

I thought of using BBB on my robot project but opted for the Raspberry Pi 3 to run Linux and a generic  ARM Cortex M for the real-time stuff.   I just needed much more compute power than the BBB has.

 

Offline robotix3

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Re: Looking for a SBC good for custom design
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2017, 05:41:29 am »
Quote
Checkout OpenRex.
Way too overkill for my application, but will check it out in the future.

Quote
Olimex. Open source SBCs using various Allwinner ARM-based processors.
I forgot they existed, good source for designs actually...but the beaglebone has a giant community

Quote
I am going to make SBC as a gateway for my open source project (http://www.linuxiot.org). Feel free to add ur suggestion for SBC
That's an interesting project


Quote
Yes, they are cheap and small, not as powerful the Pi3 but one huge advantage of the BBB is that the ARM processor they use has two "PRUs" on-chip.  These are small micro controllers that have direct access to IO pins.  You can use them for any "hard realtime" tasks such as a control loop that have to run at a constant rate.   This kind of real time scheduling is hard or impossible under Linux even with a real-time kernel.   As an example the MachineKit project has a way use the PRUs for servo motor control for things like CNC milling machines.

I thought of using BBB on my robot project but opted for the Raspberry Pi 3 to run Linux and a generic  ARM Cortex M for the real-time stuff.   I just needed much more compute power than the BBB has.

In my quad I am using separate ARM microcontroller for the real-time stuff anyways, the Linux machine will be used for GPS way-point navigation, maybe wifi, openCV, etc.

Offline jmelson

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Re: Looking for a SBC good for custom design
« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2017, 07:24:49 am »
I've done several projects using the Beagle Bone Black, with good success.  The PRU units in the Bone are amazing, a pair of 200 MHz 32-bit microcontrollers with direct access to GPIO pins, and shared memory interface to the ARM CPU.  Ethernet, USB host and target and a few other things.  There are also variants aimed at vehicle projects.  I have used it in  ground-powered applications, but it is pretty low power, something like 300 mA at 5 V.

I started using the earlier Beagle Board to control devices remotely, and have now switched over to using the Bone as the original Board is no longer made.  I could have used lesser-performing processors in these devices, but the ease of programming network servers in Linux made this a great choice.

Jon
 

Offline veryevil

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Re: Looking for a SBC good for custom design
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2017, 05:25:47 pm »
If you could get away with less than 800MHz then I highly recommend these guys.

https://www.acmesystems.it/

 

Offline dave_k

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Re: Looking for a SBC good for custom design
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2017, 09:08:56 pm »
If you could get away with less than 800MHz then I highly recommend these guys.

https://www.acmesystems.it/

.. or the yum-cha clone of the Aria
http://armdevs.com/core9g25.html
 

Offline RoadRunner

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Re: Looking for a SBC good for custom design
« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2017, 03:06:36 am »
Olimex. Open source SBCs using various Allwinner ARM-based processors.

i have made allwinner A13 based board for my self.

whole story how i made my own linux SBC is here ,
http://www.circuitvalley.com/2015/11/homemade-arm-board-running-linux-with.html

i can tell you few things.
if you need upto 10 boards , go for any readymade board.
if you need upto hundred boards it is better to go with DIMM style board with CPU from known manufacturer "not china" .
because there are few challenges in the PCB itself. you need minimum 6 layers impedance control ,very fine pitch for any descent CPU. PCB and Component assembly cost will be too dam high for small quantity .
 

Offline cstratton

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Re: Looking for a SBC good for custom design
« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2017, 02:25:14 pm »
My use-case is most likely a custom quadcopter design.

Flying a quadcopter is a task for a Cortex M0, maybe an M4 if you want to be inefficient about it.

So hopefully you're talking more about a mission computer - where to go, what to look at, what it means, and what to do as a result.

You don't really want to use an overly "powerful" computer for basic flight control, as it becomes more challenging to achieve hard realtime, and the complexity makes it harder to get deterministic results - even if you decide you're going to dedicate a less powerful on-chip core to these tasks, the sheer number of interlocking parts to understand and debug puts you at a disadvantage compared to using a simple stand-alone flash-based MCU to "fly" and enforce sanity, and your phone/tablet class SoC to "think" and tell it where to go.
 

Offline cezar

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Re: Looking for a SBC good for custom design
« Reply #17 on: December 29, 2017, 08:12:51 pm »
Beaglebone seems to be the right choice for your purpose. Many people are using  PRUs (32bit microcontrollers inside AM33XX) to perform realtime tasks such as controlling motors or interacting with radio, sensors, etc.
I find Bealglebone much more reliable than RPis, allwinners and all Chinese Orange, Banana and other Pis.
I've been using BBB in my little project (Underfloor heating controller) for last couple years with no issues. I know - it's not that advanced as flight controller but it does the job.
https://easyeda.com/csiwek/Beaglebone_black_based_heating_controller-kvpjBTb5n

c.
 

Online blueskull

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Re: Looking for a SBC good for custom design
« Reply #18 on: December 29, 2017, 08:23:05 pm »
Beaglebone seems to be the right choice for your purpose. Many people are using  PRUs (32bit microcontrollers inside AM33XX) to perform realtime tasks such as controlling motors or interacting with radio, sensors, etc.
I find Bealglebone much more reliable than RPis, allwinners and all Chinese Orange, Banana and other Pis.
I've been using BBB in my little project (Underfloor heating controller) for last couple years with no issues. I know - it's not that advanced as flight controller but it does the job.
https://easyeda.com/csiwek/Beaglebone_black_based_heating_controller-kvpjBTb5n

c.

And now there is the $25 Pocket Beagle, which is basically BBBK without NAND and can only be booted from a TF card.
It's actually half the price of the chip it carries, so consider it a half price sample from TI. Even better, there's not purchasing cap, you can buy however amount you want to buy.

If you really want board level integration from chip level, the OSD3358 module is available at $41 for 27mm*27mm version, and $44 for the smaller 21mm*21mm version. OSD3358 is basically BBBK without NAND in a single chip package, it contains AM3358, RAM, PMIC and is encapsulated in a single BGA package.
SIGSEGV is inevitable if you try to talk more than you know. If I say gibberish, keep in mind that my license plate is SIGSEGV.
 

Offline me.rishabh12

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Re: Looking for a SBC good for custom design
« Reply #19 on: January 27, 2018, 06:37:37 am »
u can go for a toradex SBC it is very good boar runs linux and has a great support.
easy toput it into a custom design as its very modular and connect via a ddr2 socket
pls check https://www.toradex.com/
 


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