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Samsung Launches Exynos-Based Origen Dev Board 79

Posted by samzenpus
from the shiny-new-toys dept.
siliconbits writes "You may recall a little group of Linux-loving chums called Linaro, which was formed almost a year ago in the hopes of speeding up Linux development. Today at Computex, the company's taking it one step further with the announcement of the Origen development board. Based on Samsung's beefy Exynos 4210 dual core chipset, the kit packs all the essential ports — including HDMI, USB 2.0 host, SD slot, etc. — for keen developers to get their hands dirty on, and its base board is also removable to accommodate future chipsets. Potential buyers are told to keep an eye on Insignal, which will soon be offering the basic Origen package for $199, along with optional parts at an extra cost."
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Samsung Launches Exynos-Based Origen Dev Board

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  • ...what? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MrEricSir (398214) on Monday May 30, 2011 @06:11PM (#36291216) Homepage

    A little context would go a long way towards explaining what the hell the summary is babbling about.

    • A little context would go a long way towards explaining what the hell the summary is babbling about.

      It's a development board Samsung's Exynos 4210 dual core chipset.

      Hope that helps!

      • Re:...what? (Score:5, Informative)

        by LordVader717 (888547) on Monday May 30, 2011 @06:53PM (#36291512)

        It would also help explaining what the Samsung Exynos is in the first place. From Samsung's website:

        General Description
        Exynos 4210 is a system-on-a-chip (SoC) based on the 32-bit RISC processor for smartphones, tablet PCs, and Netbook markets. Exynos 4210 provides the best performance features such as dual core CPU, highest memory bandwidth, world's first native triple display, 1080p video decode and encode hardware, 3D graphics hardware, and high-speed interfaces such as SATA and USB.

        Exynos 4210 uses the CortexA9 dual core, which is 25% DMIPS faster than the CortexA8 core. It provides 6.4GB/s memory bandwidth for heavy traffic operations such as 1080p video en/decoding, 3D graphics display, and native triple display. The application processor supports dynamic virtual address mapping. This feature will help the software engineers to fully utilize the memory resources with ease.

        Exynos 4210 provides the best 3D graphics performance and native triple display. The native triple display, in particular, supports WSVGA resolution of two main LCD displays and 1080p HDTV display throughout HDMI, simultaneously. This is possible due to the capability of Exynos 4210 to support separate post processing pipelines.

        Exynos 4210 lowers the Bill of Materials (BOM) by integrating the following IPs: world's first DDR3 interfaces that will prepare bit cross with DDR2; 8 channels of I2C for a variety of sensors; SATA2; the GPS baseband; and a variety of USB derivatives (USB Host 2.0, Device 2.0, and HSIC interfaces with PHY transceivers to be connected with 802.11n, Ethernet, HSPA+, and 4G LTE modem). The application processor also supports industry's first DDR based eMMC 4.4 interfaces to increase the file system's performance.

        Exynos 4210 is available as FCMSP Package on Package (PoP), which has a 0.45mm ball pitch with LPDDR2 configuration. The MCP will depend upon the customer's requirement.

        Exynos 4210 Block Diagram
        Features

        ARM CortexA9 dual core subsystem with 64-/128-bit SIMD NEON
        - 32KB (Instruction)/32KB (Data) L1 Cache and 1MB L2 Cache
        - 1.2Hz and 1.0GHz Core Frequency: Voltage 1.2V
        64-bit Multi-layered bus architecture
        Internal ROM and RAM for secure booting, security, and general purposes
        Memory Subsystem:
        - SRAM/ROM/NOR/NAND Interface with x8 or x16 data bus
        - OneNAND Interface with x16 data bus
        - 2-ports 32-bit 800Mbps LPDDR2/DDR2/DDR3 Interfaces
        8-bit ITU 601/656 Camera Interface
        Multi-format Video Hardware Codec: 1080p 30fps (capable of decoding and encoding MPEG-4/H.263/H.264) and 1080p 30fps (capable of decoding MPEG-2/VC1)
        JPEG Hardware Codec
        3D and 2D graphics hardware, supporting OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0, and OpenVG 1.1
        LCD single or dual display, supporting 24bpp RGB, MIPI
        Native triple display, supporting WSVGA LCD dual display and 1080p HDMI, simultaneously
        Composite TV-out and HDMI 1.3a interfaces
        GPS baseband integration with GPS RF interface
        2-ports (4-lanes and 2-lanes) MIPI DSI and MIPI CSI interfaces
        1-channel AC-97, 2-channel PCM, and 3-channel 24-bit I2S audio interface, supporting 5.1 channel audio
        1-channel S/PDIF interface support for digital audio
        8-channel I2C interface support for PMIC, HDMI, and general-purpose multi-master
        3-channel high-speed SPI
        4-channel high-speed UART (up to 3Mbps data rate for Bluetooth 2.1

    • It's a dual-core ARM single board PC.

      It's basically a tablet minus the screen, battery, and storage.

      If you're looking for a small box for a NAS, router, etc, look elsewhere—it lacks ethernet, SATA, expandable memory, etc.

      • It does, however, have wireless.

        I'm not entirely sure what I'd do with it, though, and it does seem like other boards would be better. For example, I could turn it into a wireless media frontend (though I wish it did 1080p@60fps) or a web/X11 terminal, 1 gig of RAM is plenty for that -- but in both of those cases, it's going to pretty much be sitting in one place for a long time, so Ethernet is going to be a better option. (Yes, running Ethernet is annoying, even more so if you want it to look pretty, but y

      • by pmontra (738736)
        It's what's inside a Samsung Galaxy S2 [samsung.com].
      • by AmiMoJo (196126)

        I couldn't figure out what market they are targeting. There are already plenty of single board ARM based computers, with varying features and prices. Not many dual core ones perhaps. Generally speaking though there are many cheaper and better equipped boards out there, and since they all run Linux in some form or another there isn't much difference other than the spec.

        For hackers looking for a cheap ARM platform many home routers can be hacked to run your own software and are extremely cheap, plus you get b

        • by bhtooefr (649901)

          The market they're targeting is "companies who want to develop for the Samsung Exynos SoC".

          If you're developing some hardware around it, you buy one of these dev boards, and develop your software on the dev board before your hardware is ready.

    • by belthize (990217)

      It's a board based on Samsung's beefy Exynos 4210 dual core, designed to speed up Linux development by a bunch of fun loving chums. All right there in the summary conveniently cut and pasted from the Engadget article lest something be lost in translation.

      I took the liberty of assuming linux was synonymous with fun in this context. Apologies if the chums in question love linux but not fun.

      I'm sure this board differs from other boards of similar use: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BeagleBoard#Similar_product [wikipedia.org]

    • by LWATCDR (28044)

      It is an embedded development board that used a dual core Cortex A9. If that doesn't help then you are lacking the basic knowledge to use this information. It maybe of no interest to you unless you are a developer that is into Linux, and the Cortex line of embedded devices.
      Now the specs are are missing some info. They say it supports SPI,I2C, and several other ports but most of them are not shown being available on headers.

      • by xMrFishx (1956084)

        They say it supports SPI,I2C, and several other ports but most of them are not shown being available on headers.

        It seems to be made up of a motherboard with the CPU and memory nailed to it, this is implanted into an IO daughterboard where everything else is attached. Possibly those signals are either not routed off the motherboard because no peripherals on the daughterboard are using them (unlikely?) or those signals are routed onto the daughterboard and used by IO ICs for the peripheral access but not headered out for GPIO use.

        Someone who knows more about board design might be able to correct me there mind you.

    • by lennier (44736)

      A little context would go a long way towards explaining what the hell the summary is babbling about.

      Sheesh, do some research. Slashdot is obviously now a blog about third century African Christian theologians. [wikipedia.org]

    • by rjames13 (1178191)
      It's a thing that I can use to create another thing.
    • by creat3d (1489345)

      A little context would go a long way towards explaining what the hell the summary is babbling about.

      Have you tried reading it?

      • by MrEricSir (398214)

        If I have to RTFA to understand the summary, then what's the point of the summary?

        • by creat3d (1489345)
          How is the summary not clear enough?
          • by MrEricSir (398214)

            Well for starters, it doesn't provide any context as to what it's about. "Board" can mean a lot of things in hardware lingo. Are they talking about a motherboard? That would be a good place to start.

            Companies crap out press releases all the time. Skip the techno-babble and tell me WHY this is news-worthy.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The problem with development boards is that there are gazillions of them out there, and almost all of them exist to try and sell you various bits of silicon. A development board is normally only interesting when you want to try and make something with it.

    • by xMrFishx (1956084)
      I don't know, are there really that many fully kitted out Cortex-A(n) boards kicking around that are straight forward and affordable to develop for? Beagleboard is one, and there's a quad variant that came out last year I think. Of course everyone who makes more than one product with a chip probably has a dev board, but they're made in low quantities that will push costs a bit. This one is quite nice as it does have options for purchase with readily compatible peripherals such as screens etc that only pu
    • by c0lo (1497653)

      The problem with development boards is that there are gazillions of them out there, [...] A development board is normally only interesting when you want to try and make something with it

      And why is this a problem?
      To put in another way: do you see a problem in having gazillions of manufacturers of power tools for wood/metal works for example?

      • And why is this a problem? To put in another way: do you see a problem in having gazillions of manufacturers of power tools for wood/metal works for example?

        Yes, I'M AN ENT you insensitive clod!

        • by c0lo (1497653)

          And why is this a problem? To put in another way: do you see a problem in having gazillions of manufacturers of power tools for wood/metal works for example?

          Yes, I'M AN ENT you insensitive clod!

          Your post must be nothing (i.e. be extremely irrelevant) even for you: it took you less than a few hours for you to post it and it is well know that "ents only say something if it takes a long time to say it"

  • Once they get the ARM port finalized this would be one awesome little XBMC device. Full 1080p support. 1.2 gHz should be plenty fast for the non HD encoded stuff (old .avi DIVX movies).

  • by ArcRiley (737114) <arcriley@ubuntu.com> on Monday May 30, 2011 @07:59PM (#36291812)

    This would be worth so much more if the board's chipsets supported freely licensed drivers. As it stands only proprietary drivers are available for most of the hardware which may or may not work with the kernel version/variant you want to use.

    • by c0lo (1497653)

      This would be worth so much more if the board's chipsets supported freely licensed drivers.

      It seems that Linaro full support for Origen [linaro.org] (see close to the end of the PDF) will be available in Q3/2011 [linaro.org].

      • by ArcRiley (737114)

        They never claim that the board will be supported entirely through freely licensed software and drivers. Much of the hardware on the board is only supported through proprietary firmware/drivers. It would be great if Linaro could change that, but I doubt they have that kind of leverage (or interest). What we'll likely get is a board that requires an "evaluation SDK" filled with proprietary drivers compiled for the specific development environments they support while they parade their board around saying "

        • by c0lo (1497653)

          Until they make a public announcement to the contrary we have no reason to believe otherwise.

          Depends on what you understand by hardware support [linaro.org]... to me, it sounds very much like drivers

          The 11.05 cycle will add hardware support for Samsung and Freescale in addition to the existing OMAP, ARM Versatile Express Platform and U8500 based boards.

          and

          Linaro is also working with its member chip companies to maximize upstream SoC support, i.e. to move most of the SoC specific drivers into the official sources on http://kernel.org/ [kernel.org] .

          Sounds like a public enough declaration of support for open-source drivers?

          • by Microlith (54737)

            Sounds like a public enough declaration of support for open-source drivers?

            With respect only to development boards for the SoCs in question. Actual production devices rarely see their board support files upstreamed, instead rotting forever in some Android-specific kernel with Android-isms littered throughout the source, along with more feature-filled and capable drivers for many board peripherals.

            This is to say absolutely nothing about video drivers, which are hellish to a degree unknown in the desktop spac

            • by c0lo (1497653)

              Sounds like a public enough declaration of support for open-source drivers?

              With respect only to development boards for the SoCs in question. Actual production devices ...

              Quote from the OP:

              This would be worth so much more if the board's chipsets supported freely licensed drivers.

              In the context, I understand the "boards" as "development boards for the SoC in question" and not "actual production devices". Thus a Linux port with OSS drivers working strictly for the delivered dev board is good enough for me - as I don't plan to use a dev board as a actual mass production device (like a smart-phone or what-not for an end-consumer).

              Am I missing something?

        • by symbolset (646467) *

          You might read the Linaro FAQ [linaro.org]:

          Q11. What license will you use?

          A11. The licensing used will be in line with the existing licensing plan for the open source projects. If we were to create a new project, we would choose an appropriate OSI approved license.

          Q12. Are Linaro software and tools free and available to anyone?

          A12: Yes. Tools and software are available now as monthly releases to make it easy to get the latest code and tools.

          Q13. Does Linaro make money?

          A13. No. Linaro is a not for profit organization doing useful open source engineering work for the good of the industry.

          Essentially it's a club of about 100 engineers from various sources with the mission to accelerate development and use of Linux on ARM. Naturally they would partner with various hardare and distro partners to get various flavors of Linux on various flavors of ARM, and encourage wide distribution of all of this. These groups typically use a "Cambrian Explosion" approach to innovation and selection, so you shouldn't marry any platform they produce, but rather be flexible about

  • by Anonymous Coward

    $199? are they kidding? I can get the Intel Atom board for $79 and it comes with USB, ethernet, VGA, SATA already at dual core
    Software are dirt cheap to free

    • by xMrFishx (1956084)
      So? That's like comparing apples to hammers. It's a development kit, not a consumer product.
      • That's like comparing apples to hammers.

        You know what they say: "When all you've got is an iPhone, everything starts to look like you're getting screwed."

        • by Svartalf (2997)

          When you realize that this will be FASTER than the Atom board and consume roughly 1/10th the power and allow you to target tablets and handhelds...something that the Atom won't do...it becomes a bit more interesting. At least to some people. Never mistake your values for everyone else's.

        • by StikyPad (445176)

          "When all you've got is an iPhone, everything starts to look like you're getting screwed."

          Sure does. [cbsnews.com]

  • My first question would be about the power that board is consuming ddr3 support (800+ MT/s). Keep in mind that transistors sink the most amount of current (i.e. consume power) when they are in the process of switching from '0' to '1' and vice versa. So if The bus speed has just increased by at least a factor of 4, then power consumption might have increased proportionally. A think a performance-per-watt graph comparing the Exynos chip and a dual core atom is in order (ahem.... tom's ... cough... hardware...

  • Trustzone lockdown? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kent.dickey (685796) on Monday May 30, 2011 @11:41PM (#36292930)

    I've bought about 5 different ARM-based development boards over the past 2 years.

    One big issue is ARM CPUs have a security feature called TrustZone which can run an OS with privileged code, but still restrict some hardware to only "secure" software (basically, a hypervisor above the OS). Unfortunately, for example, TI in its OMAP platforms has decided to force Linux to run non-secure always in the cheap development platforms. This is a problem for me since I want to be able to change those registers, and in some cases ARM CPUs have a variety of bugs which require setting workaround bits in CPU registers which cannot be changed by non-secure code. And of course those bits aren't set.

    This problem affects the PandaBoard, Beagleboard, and a Zoom board I got from LogicPD with an OMAP chip. All use TI OMAP chips, all boot Linux in non-secure mode. I've been happy with a board I got from Freescale, the MX.51, which lets me run secure code just fine. Unfortunately, Freescale development boards are around $1000, and these TI-based boards are around $200.

    So, does anyone know how Samsung is going to handle TrustZone--will Linux be able to run in secure mode?

    • by romiz (757548)
      You may be interested by the latest demo board from Freescale, which is less powerful than the Samsung, but very comparable to the BeagleBoard: i.MX53 Quick Start Board [freescale.com].

      At $150, it is a good bargain, and it's a Linaro target as well.
    • by Svartalf (2997)

      I think that has less to do with TI and more to do with ARM not divulging all the info to drive the TrustZone feature- it requires kernel support (obviously) and therefore unless ARM lets the info loose, you're not getting it- otherwise you could just recompile the kernel to use it- in spite of TI's "not releasing it".

      • The Trustzone CPU hardware is documented in the ARM Architecture Reference Manual v7-a (yes, the ARM ARM). This manual is free, but requires registration at the ARM website, and you may have to explain why you need it (I did when I downloaded it 2 years ago, and it's not easy to tell if that's still the case or not). It is not under NDA, but you have to agree to some terms, such as I can't make a CPU and say it is an ARM CPU. As far as I know, all ARM instruction set references are under this type of reg

  • by Paul1969 (1976328)

    would you want a board to develop an early Christian writer [wikipedia.org]?

  • if samsung sponsored this project and agreed to base its future offerings on similar chipsets, we might see fully FOSS phones capable of running not just android but meego, ubuntu et alia.
    Kinda like the symbian foundation was aiming for with wild ducks on beagleboard before nokia pulled the plug.

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