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Helios64 Annoucement


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On 10/16/2019 at 4:50 AM, gprovost said:

We will offer an ECC option. The Rockchip RK3399 SoC itself doesn't have a memory controller that has ECC feature, however we are currently working with a SDRAM vendor that now offer built-in ECC feature inside the SDRAM directly. It's not impossible it will be available on day one.

Hi gprovost,

 

Is the ECC option available for preorders?

 

Kinds regards

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HI, 

your project is promising and corresponds to my need, I am very happy to be part of this adventure. 

Going through the comments I still wonder if,

 

1_we will have from the Kobol.io Shop Upgrade kits containing

LPDDR4 2x4G non ECC modules | 2x1G / 2x2G / 2x4G ECC | EMMC5 32G / 128G to reballing myself?

If not, would you share a list of recommended modules?

 

2_A Tegra Maxwell K1 / X1 like SoC would have been better? (ツ) _ / ¯

a joke i am delighted to see the RK3399 spearheading the Helios64.

 

3_Do you plan a NAS / MASS 5 bay 2.5 "version for nomadic uses?

(Vehicle, Boat. Travel, Journalism, Photographer ...whatever)

This will be for me a formidable complement with Helios64 for an end-to-end storage solution.

 

Thank you to your team for the freshness in ARM open source solutions.

We look forward to reading from you and fully integrating Helios64 into its functions.

Edited by Userlab
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@Userlab

 

1/ RK3399 support max 4GB RAM, so we already at the max here.  For ECC feature, yes we would upgrade to 4GB if one day such 16Gb SDRAM with ECC exists.

Yes eMMC is soldered-on. So if need more, need to reball yourself yes. But not use other form of storage (m.2 ssd, sdcard or usb stick) ?

 

3/ Maybe at later stage will have a 2.5" design.

BTW there is someone already designing one for 3D printer.

 

 

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On 1/15/2020 at 2:23 AM, gprovost said:

@Userlab

 

 

Hi,

 

indeed I confused the RK3399 / k and RK3399pro, I didn't think too much.

 

I am not formalizing myself on the possible improvements, but it is always desirable to consider all the solutions when this one exists, for my part I really have nothing to say about the hardware choice of the Helios64.

 

Certainly shouldn't i trust the Vray but the card seems to me very well balanced, and the components brilliantly distributed on the PCB, it inspires confidence.

 

I went through the helios4 wiki, it's wonderful, you give so much, it's not only a solution, it's also an education. I'm starting to imagine my bundle helios64, cluster with 4 helios64 in a 10" rack cabinet.

Is it serious doctor ?

 

I will be very attentive to your next achievements.

 

off topic I first do my CNC wood / metal 1300x1550 / 1900 for the workshop Q3 2020, 3D polymer not before Q1 2021 so I'm in no rush.

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Hi, I've got few questions: 

- have you measured r/w speed and iops using 5 hdd drives with raid 5 and 6?

- are drives hot-swappable? 

- can you share more photos of enclosure, how does connections between hdd and enclosure looks like?

- how long does battery lasts when using 5 drives and is there any communication in OS informing about power failure?

 

Thanks for answers and best wishes,

Kuba

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On 10/15/2019 at 5:39 AM, gprovost said:
  • 64-bit
  • built for NAS

  • built-in HDD power

  • Gigabit (+) Ethernet

  • lots of connection points for HDDs

 

So far, this is the closest thing to what I have been looking for. If it only supported ECC (or that was perhaps made available as an option) it would be really interesting for ZFS. Pity.

 

If anyone has found a small SBC (not gigantic 1+U data center thing) that is ARM based with ECC memory, please let me know.

 

EDIT: Apologies, I just now saw this:

 

On 1/12/2020 at 9:32 AM, gprovost said:

At later stage we will introduce a variant using SDRAM with on-die ECC feature. We are still waiting the 8Gb version to hit the market.

 

When and if that actually comes to market, and is well supported in Armbian, you will have a customer!

 

Please do not include anything stupid like non-free, proprietary firmware that would preclude the use of such nice hardware in freedom.

 

If you can manage all of the above, you will not only have a customer, but a very vocal proponent! :)

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OK, now that I have read through this whole thread, as well as the Announcement over at Helios (and comments over there) I have some further thoughts...

 

On 1/9/2020 at 11:49 AM, abreyu said:

not bad but 280€ + 30€ shipping is a little too close to an x86 custom machine + case...

 

On 10/15/2019 at 8:05 AM, abreyu said:

helios is a great pruduct and this one seems very interesting but with 200€ you can buy some interesting solution based on x86 board...

 

I guess you were so concerned about the price, you saw the need to point it out twice? :D

 

Sure, x86/amd64 are fine, if you like firmware level backdoors into your system. Personally, I don't and therefore have stopped purchasing recent Intel/AMD hardware for a number of years now.

 

And besides he said...

 

On 10/15/2019 at 10:50 PM, gprovost said:

Helios4 was USD200 with the full kit (PSU, case, cable, fan, etc...), our goal it to try to be in the same ballpark. This time we will sell a-la-carte style, you can just buy the board alone, our with the case, if you already have a PSU then no need to order one...

 

Which I thought was quite reasonable (and rare nowadays with how greedy most business people have seen to become) and also allowing for several different options and use-cases. Quite nice in fact IMO.

 

Hopefully we will end up with Nice Things (tm) instead of some proprietary firmware somewhere. From what I can tell there shouldn't be any (required?) video, bluetooth, Wi-Fi stuff here. Those are usually the problem areas, so I remain "cautiously optimistic."

 

ECC

 

For those others like me looking for ECC (for ZFS, or similar), some slight bad news:

  • the ECC version will be only 2GB (not 4GB)
  • and will not be available immediately at release

Apparently up until now there were none at all ECC SDRAM modules available on the market. After reading their Announcement (including comments) I learned they seem to be in the pipeline and getting close (but will miss release). So, hopefully Soon (tm). :) Also, the only modules that are even available at all are 8Gb (small "b" = bits) x 2 of them on board (see pics) = 2GB (big "B" = Bytes) RAM total). So that is what we will be able to get, for now.

 

They say they will think about upgrading later to larger capacity, as soon as bigger modules become available on the market.

 

I am already thinking I am not sure how patient I can remain, after waiting for something like this for literally years. I may buy first available ECC model of this board, and then later on, well... Maybe I will finally get around to modding our toaster oven into a uController managed reflow oven... :D

 

Still better than anything that has come thus far, and if you are not doing de-duplication, etc. or certain other features (talking ZFS here) you don't need a ton of RAM (and old guideline of 1GB/TB or whatever does not apply). I plan on doing straight mirrors anyway, with large disks, for lots of different reasons.

Edited by TRS-80
spacing, typo
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Any benefit to using an M.2 card vs. a SATA SSD drive?

 

Also curious about ZFS support\performance, has Kobol done any testing with this? My primary interest is on data integrity, RAIDZ and SSD read caching capability (no dedupe).

 

Thanks!

Edit: looking at 1x1TB SSD and 4x8TB SATA overall disk choices

Edited by Atticka
added disk info
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13 minutes ago, Atticka said:

Any benefit to using an M.2 card vs. a SATA SSD drive?

 

Speed I guess? For OS. Or more likely, cache in the case of something like ZFS (i.e., ARC, L2ARC, etc.). My terms could be off a bit, been a while since I read up on ZFS. But I guess I need to get back into it, with this hardware coming down the pike. :)

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I wanted to copy the following quote here, for others similarly concerned about such things:

 

Quote

Aditya Prayoga Admin -> David Pottage • 16 days ago

We will use kernel based on mainline kernel. RK3399 is supported on Armbian CURRENT branch that use LK 5.4. We will also submit the device tree to mainline kernel.

Regarding binary blobs, there are only 2 in use, the pre-bootloader (before u-boot stage) which is pretty common in most SoC, and the DisplayPort driver.

 

When I expressed my disappointment and asked them why not just go all the way to fully libre bootloader (since they were so close anyway), my comment was censored. Because they censor discussion, I have no way of knowing whether they object to my question, or maybe it was my link to try and educate others about What is Free Software and why is it so important for society. Perhaps @gprovost can shed some light?

Edited by TRS-80
add -> to clarify copied quote
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4 hours ago, TRS-80 said:

When I expressed my disappointment and asked them why not just go all the way to fully libre bootloader (since they were so close anyway), my comment was censored. Because they censor discussion, I have no way of knowing whether they object to my question, or maybe it was my link to try and educate others about What is Free Software and why is it so important for society. Perhaps @gprovost can shed some light?

 

We will follow up on your other questions later, but first can you please clarify your statement above. Which comment was censored ?  Who is 'they censor discussion' ?

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10 minutes ago, gprovost said:

can you please clarify your statement above. Which comment was censored ?  Who is 'they censor discussion' ?

 

I had posted a reply to Aditya Prayoga comment where he was replying to David Pottage question about binary blobs, in other words the passage I copied and quoted above.

 

My comment was put into moderation queue (possibly because link) and eventually marked as spam and deleted. A follow up comment was immediately deleted. That's when I started to suspect my comments were being censored.

 

At that time (few hours ago, I came here and posted the above right after) I was able (or so I thought) to make a couple other comments there (through Disqus) and they appeared to be showing up. But by now they are all gone. So I am not sure what is going on.

 

At one point I went into my Disqus account, where the comment was marked as spam, and clicked on "no this is not spam" to which they replied "Thanks, we'll work on getting this corrected" or some such nonsense. Clearly that made no difference (or the weight of an Admin on your site marking something as spam overrode my objection).

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@TRS-80 Effectively all your messages ended up in SPAM, most probably because your first message contained a link :-/ FYI this is the result of Disqus SPAM engine not our actions... and it's not like I'm checking the SPAM box every 5 mins. I just approved all of them except the one where you start claiming we are censoring messages. Maybe next time before jumping to conclusion better to get in touch by other channel (like here) and ask what's happening. I mean honestly what would have been our interest in censoring your message on free software ? Our track record on Helios4 shows that we have always been super transparent. Plus your question is more towards Rockchip than us, since they are the one who so far are keeping their SoC pre-loader close source... there is clearly nothing hide. Anyone the pre-loader issue is something that will improve soon.

 

 

TRS-80 EDIT: I believe you if you say so. But I removed picture showing partial personal info (email address) in your spam management console as I am very privacy conscious person.

 

Edited by TRS-80
remove picture containing partial personal info (email domain)
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15 hours ago, ParanoiK said:

- have you measured r/w speed and iops using 5 hdd drives with raid 5 and 6?

 

We will publish those measures soon on our wiki since there are many use case  (HDD, SSD, M.2 SSD), (RAID vs non-RAID), (single channel vs aggregate) etc... to show.

 

15 hours ago, ParanoiK said:

- are drives hot-swappable? 

 

Yes

 

15 hours ago, ParanoiK said:

- can you share more photos of enclosure, how does connections between hdd and enclosure looks like?

 

We are using a custom cable harness that connect the drive slot to the PCB board.

However this cable harness use standard SATA cables.

 

15 hours ago, ParanoiK said:

- how long does battery lasts when using 5 drives and is there any communication in OS informing about power failure?

 

Yes the system get notified when main power is loss and also when battery voltage is dropping.

We have designed it in order to have the system able to run on battery (1300mAh) for up to 15min under full load.

Of course you are free to put higher capacity battery if you need the system to run longer on battery.

 

5 hours ago, jimandroidpc said:

Will the helios64 be the future for kobol? Do you expect any more helios4 board runs?

 

We are completely focusing on Helios64, and other upcoming project.

We won't run new batch of Helios4, unless it is for a bulk order.

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7 hours ago, gprovost said:

Effectively all your messages ended up in SPAM [...] I just approved all of them

 

Thanks for taking care.

 

7 hours ago, gprovost said:

Maybe next time before jumping to conclusion

 

Let me block some of your messages here, and see how much you like it (just making a point, we don't really do such things here - at least not intentionally). Although I even did myself here the other day (honest mistake), and the guy went somewhat bananas (and justifiably so, IMO, to a point). To clarify, I don't think your moderation was intentional, either. Point being, no one likes to be moderated / feel like they are being censored. I am willing to chalk it up to "Disqus is a shit platform" and leave it at that.

 

7 hours ago, gprovost said:

I mean honestly what would have been our interest in censoring your message on free software ? Our track record on Helios4 shows that we have always been super transparent.

 

I actually agree with you. From everything I have seen so far, I really like the way you guys seem to be going about things. I mean, look how much I was taking up for you the several posts above, before my posts were moderated. At one point (in one of my moderated comments) I even thanked your software engineer for being so forthright with binary blob information, which can be very hard to find.

 

7 hours ago, gprovost said:

Plus your question is more towards Rockchip than us, since they are the one who so far are keeping their SoC pre-loader close source... there is clearly nothing hide. Anyone the pre-loader issue is something that will improve soon.

 

OK, if it's alright with you, let's put all this ugliness behind us and get back OT.

 

I am only low to mid level (at best) wizard, which is why I volunteer to moderate forums, contribute financially, because I cannot hack on kernel, bootloaders, etc... However I am also very keen on actually owning and being in full control of things I spend my hard earned money on. The fact that anything other than this condition is considered the norm nowadays boggles my mind, but anyway...

 

You seem to be doing a really great job so far taking your time explaining a lot of technical things to people around your product announcement (I read all the comments over there). Perhaps you could humor me and expound on this issue a little further. As honestly it's been something I have been wondering about for quite a long time (in this post I mention my adventure with spending $many_hundreds over period of couple years (prior to date of that post) trying to get KGPE-D16 working with fully libre bootloader, only to realize that it idles in hundreds of watts, making it totally unfit for purpose of 24/7 server - so now I use it for my main workstation instead).

 

Any other Devs more familiar with these issues, please also feel free to chime in.

 

But I think maybe you skipped typing few words there at the end, maybe you meant "anyone that knows anything about pre-loader issue" or some such? Your words "will improve soon" give me some hope. Are there some efforts (here or elsewhere - uboot perhaps) to reverse engineer this code, and/or replace it with fully libre/open code instead?

Edited by TRS-80
added "To clarify..." to calm this topic down
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21 hours ago, TRS-80 said:

 

Speed I guess? For OS. Or more likely, cache in the case of something like ZFS (i.e., ARC, L2ARC, etc.). My terms could be off a bit, been a while since I read up on ZFS. But I guess I need to get back into it, with this hardware coming down the pike. :)

 

Both M.2 and 2.5" SSD models push the same 560/530MB/s regardless of the connection (R/W on a WD Blue 1TB 3D NAND for example),  pretty much all of the SATAIII M.2 cards max out at 560/530MB (as do the SATAIII drives).

 

ARC cache is in memory and can be extended to L2ARC cache on a SSD as a read cache, very curious to see how this performs on the Helios64 and if the 4GB of RAM is suitable. I pre-ordered BTW, so I guess I'm going to find out!

 

Maybe a little ambitious, but my goal is an Armbian\OMV\ZFS\Docker system.

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Quote

TRS-80 EDIT: I believe you if you say so. But I removed picture showing partial personal info (email address) in your spam management console as I am very privacy conscious person.

 

Effectively I should have blurred the domain info, I made the assumption it was one of those domains from anonymizer email portal :P

 

On 1/25/2020 at 12:50 AM, TRS-80 said:

OK, if it's alright with you, let's put all this ugliness behind us and get back OT.

 

Yup happy to that and move on ;) And be sure we appreciate to you seem to very interested by our board.

 

On 1/25/2020 at 12:50 AM, TRS-80 said:

But I think maybe you skipped typing few words there at the end, maybe you meant "anyone that knows anything about pre-loader issue" or some such? Your words "will improve soon" give me some hope. Are there some efforts (here or elsewhere - uboot perhaps) to reverse engineer this code, and/or replace it with fully libre/open code instead?

 

Maybe @aprayoga can bring a bit of clarification here about the the chance that the work that has been done U-boot mainline could translate into not having to use RKBIN preloader one day.

 

On 1/25/2020 at 3:45 AM, Atticka said:

Both M.2 and 2.5" SSD models push the same 560/530MB/s regardless of the connection (R/W on a WD Blue 1TB 3D NAND for example),  pretty much all of the SATAIII M.2 cards max out at 560/530MB (as do the SATAIII drives).

 

Yeah the main reason we added the M.2 SSD slot was to give more option in term of enclosure design for people having specific use case to address. The other reason is that the M.2 Slot has also USB 2.0 interface and can be used to installed NPU extension board.

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11 hours ago, gprovost said:

Yeah the main reason we added the M.2 SSD slot was to give more option in term of enclosure design for people having specific use case to address. The other reason is that the M.2 Slot has also USB 2.0 interface and can be used to installed NPU extension board.

 

Soo...

 

Something like this?

https://www.aaeon.com/en/p/ai-modules-m2ai-2280-520

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On 1/24/2020 at 11:47 AM, gprovost said:

 

We will publish those measures soon on our wiki since there are many use case  (HDD, SSD, M.2 SSD), (RAID vs non-RAID), (single channel vs aggregate) etc... to show.

 

Hi gprovost, any tests done yet?

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Hi gprovost

new ETA and the cables reinforce the ready-to-use experience right out of the box, great news !!

 

The M.2 will have a usb2 line in addition to that of the sata1 / JMB585 multiplexer line,

but can we use M.2 and SATA1 independently? 

 

I was thinking of a module Wwan or NPU or Lora configuration on the Usb line of the M.2 ngff and a hard drive on sata1 of the JMB585.

if that were the case, it would be huge !!

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12 hours ago, Userlab said:

The M.2 will have a usb2 line in addition to that of the sata1 / JMB585 multiplexer line,

but can we use M.2 and SATA1 independently? 

 

If the device you slot in the M.2 is not a M.2 SATA device then yes you can use it independently.

 

So yes the M.2 can be then used for NPU or WWAN modules in conjunction with a HDD/SSD connected to SATA port 1.

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