Pine A64 LTS 64bit Architecture


SBC-Fan
 Share

1 1

Recommended Posts

Hello

 

Unfortunately my OrangePi PC which I used for couple of years failed and I'm looking to buy the 64-bit SBC from Pine64.

 

Funny thing about my OrangePi PC was that there was one and only one old Armbian image version (Armbian-20.05.4-Orangepipc-focal-5.4.45.img) which ran GUI successfully out of the many other Armbian and OrangePi images I tried which helped me run it as a desktop for using Libre office and others. Unfortunately 1GB RAM was too low for Gaming lol. Thanks to the Armbian community for that.

 

Before buying, I presume the PineA64 LTS version has a 64bit Rambus if not - I don't understand how processing speed will be better on an SBC with 64bit CPU and a 32bit RAMbus. Can anyone please confirm

Link to post
Share on other sites

Donate and support the project!

If only it were that simple. After a lot of searching and clicking I found that the Pine A64 LTS version is a 'Total' 64-bit hardware. It has the CortexA53 64-bit CPU on an ARMv8-A 64-bit chipset or ISA(instruction set architecture). 

 

https://wiki.pine64.org/wiki/PINE_A64-LTS/SOPine#CPU_Architecture

 

https://developer.arm.com/ip-products/processors/cortex-a/cortex-a53

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/AArch64

 

For some reason SBC(Single Board Computer) manufacturers rarely specify or distinguish between the CPU and the ISA or chipset unlike Desktop manufacturers. To take advantage of 'Total' 64bit processing both Hardware and Software should be in sync. [ CPU, ISA, OS and APP] The evolution from 32bit to 64bit Archtecture has been an incremental one with lot of mix and match stuff as mentioned in the below article:

 

https://nerdschalk.com/32-bit-and-64-bit-android-phones-list/amp/

Link to post
Share on other sites

15 minutes ago, SBC-Fan said:

manufacturers rarely specify or distinguish between the CPU and the ISA or chipset


Many manufacturers actually knows little about hardware they sell. SoC is a complicated pcs of machinery. They copy / paste data from a chip vendor and provide SDK that comes with a chip to the end customers ...

 

19 minutes ago, SBC-Fan said:

The evolution from 32bit to 64bit Archtecture has been an incremental one with lot of mix and match stuff as mentioned in the below article:

 

This article tells you that Google as authority chose to drop 32bit support - to reduce costs, to get future ready, ... yes, it makes sense on a long run. In reality lack of 64bit matters in (today) high-end sector (where gigabytes of memory is needed), while most of devices in single board computer world can and will function without troubles. Open source world doesn't share troubles Android has. For real world speed comparison, check https://github.com/ThomasKaiser/sbc-bench 


7z benchmark for example:
64bit A64 = 2785

32bvit RK3288 = 5350

32bit EXYNOS 5422 = 7440

 

Hint / plead. Check H6 boards and pick from vendors that supports Armbian.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Marketers make it very complex to understand mixing-up terminologies. I don't blame them since it is the manufacturer who needs to clearly explain each and every technical term. 

 

There are multiple technologies used in a layered structure which makes it very complex. I was not satisfied with my previous answer so I dug in deep to find more about the actual physical layer.

 

ISA(Information Set Architecture) is once again a logical layout which instructs the data flow on the actual physical board.

 

Similar to 'chipset' - the actual motherboard with buses and electrical paths - on desktops and laptops in SBCs they are termed as AMBA(Advanced Microcontroller Bus Architecture). 

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Microcontroller_Bus_Architecture

 

"Advanced High-performance Bus (AHB). AHB is a bus protocol introduced in Advanced Microcontroller Bus Architecture version 2 published by ARM Ltd company. In addition to previous release, it has the following features: Large bus-widths (64/128/256/512/1024 bit).'

 

I suspect the physical inter-connectivity on the PCB has supported 64-bit data transfer since 2003 at the least. AMBA version 5 is the latest with better data speeds. 

 

https://developer.arm.com/architectures/system-architectures/amba/amba-5

 

Now that we know that AMBA is the standard for interconnectivity and data transfer on the system-board other than the processor. 

 

Armv7, Armv8 etc are the standard for interconnectivity and data processing on the CPU. If you check the comparison table in the below link

 

https://developer.arm.com/ip-products/processors/cortex-a/cortex-a53

 

The actual physical addressing limit is 40-48 bits for the Armv8 standard. 

 

'Note: In Armv8.0-A, the maximum size for a physical address is 48 bits. This was extended to 52 bits in Armv8.2-A.'

 

https://developer.arm.com/documentation/101811/0101/Address-spaces-in-AArch64

 

I don't like the term SoC(System on Chip) instead prefer the logical SBC(Single Board Computer).

SoC is used to differentiate these tiny computers from desktops and laptops since SBC don't have RAM slots or expansion slots and all the components are integrated on a single circuit board but to understand the underlying technology I still prefer a modular approach of differentiating the CPU from the rest of the system. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

On 11/12/2021 at 11:13 AM, SBC-Fan said:

I don't like the term SoC(System on Chip) instead prefer the logical SBC(Single Board Computer).


We can look this way:

SoC = chip only (which can have almost everything inside) and SBC = chip placed on PCB along with other discrete elements, connectors, ... we are also closer to purpose driven embedded then general purpose desktop world. We are providing desktop like universal OS from the usual (Debian stype OS) Linux world for those devices, that are not like usual desktop / servers. Some of them (RPi class) would like to be used in desktop, for playing games, some not.

 

On 11/12/2021 at 11:13 AM, SBC-Fan said:

Marketers make it very complex to understand


Perhaps marketers don't understand enough about the technical background? Or just enough to support sales and this is the reason they keep mixing things ? Or they are purposefully selling what people want to hear. In marketing, everything is allowed.   :P 

 

On 11/12/2021 at 11:13 AM, SBC-Fan said:

I was not satisfied with my previous answer so I dug in deep to find more about the actual physical layer.


:thumbup:

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

1 1