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op1tjaap

Armbian for NTC C.H.I.P.

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Sure, it's possible. But who wants to use this board anyway? It's an aging A13 SoC now being sold as R8 limited to 512MB RAM max and rather limited display capabilities (so there's sophisticated hardware on the board to drive the different display types).

 

The good thing about the board is that they hired free-electrons to do the mainlining work, so we get display drivers, a working NAND driver and so on, all older Allwinner designs (A10/A13/A20) might be able to benefit from. So I'm really looking forward to it still having in mind that an A20 successor has been inofficially announced to be available in the second half of 2016 (pin compatible to A20 but with 4 CPU cores)

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You are right. Not the best specs, but in June many of the devices will hit the market. CHIP had many backers on Kickstart and would be nice to give this people (including me.....) the chance to run Armbian.

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CHIP is popular because it is really dead cheap and with some nice assets like WIFI, Bluetooth, 4GB "disk".

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CHIP is popular because it is really dead cheap and with some nice assets like WIFI, Bluetooth, 4GB "disk".

 

'Dead cheap'? LOL!

 

A dead slow $9 board that is able to output composite video at a resolution of 640x480 with 512MB RAM? If I add the HDMI adapter and shipping costs I'm already at $40, right? Then I have to add customs since it exceeds the redemption treshold? And I have to wait 2 more months to get this slow thing in my hands?

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@toast 
I think that the OS provided with CHIP is very basic. There are not modules on board. So you would like to change that in an easy way. From my experience Armbian has an excellent way in developing a custom build OS with an easy way of adding kernel modules. That why it would be nice to offers this to the people who will get there CHIP in June.

 

@tkaiser point 1

I don't think it is wise to buy a board for you personal. This is clearly definitely not what you want from a Soc. 

Fact is that many people have done so and that this is their first experience with a Soc. Or people who are tempted to find a use because of its low price. I agree with you that if you look close to CHIP there is a downside, like CPU, Power problems, shipping costs. I have also the feeling that the longs term bringing it to the market is now a disadvantage. When it hits the market it is already one year old and not evolved. A version 2.0 is not yet announced.

Still I think it is better for Armbian to embrace CHIP then to ignore it.

 

@kaiser point 2

What is at the moment your favorite Soc? Price compared to performance?

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people who are tempted to find a use because of its low price.

 

Which 'low price'? Can you please comment on the above? How much do I have to pay to hold a C.H.I.P. in my hands? Shipping and basics included?

 

According to their kickstarter page even the absolutely useless basic version will cost me $23 ($9 for the hardware + $14 for shipping to EU). An Orange Pi PC costs less than $19 shipping included. All orders from Xunlong so far arrived within 8 days to 2 weeks. If I switch on my PC, do a 'git pull' followed by a 'compile.sh' a few minutes later I have the newest version of the best SBC distro I can think of. Why should I consider buying this C.H.I.P. thing?

 

There's one interesting feature: the AXP209 PMU. You can simply add a battery and use this board for robotics or something like that. Applies to every A13, A10 or A20 device as well (or for the Pine64, which costs just $4 more: $15 for the board + $12 shipping). If this (battery/charging capabilities) would be one of the use cases for an SBC (not true for me) the C.H.I.P. might be worth a look. If it would be cheap. Using an Orange Pi One together with a USB powerbank is cheaper than the C.H.I.P. alone. What's the use case for this board? Please tell me just a single one.

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What is at the moment your favorite Soc? Price compared to performance?

 

Well, how to answer this question since it always depends on the use case... ours could be called 'micro servers'. There H3 is in a good position since boards being cheap and the SoC being supported by the community. If thermal/dvfs/cpufreq stuff is ready, H3 devices can already be used with mainline kernel for authenticated printing/scanning, VPN endpoints, monitoring physical conditions in rack cabinets and stuff like this.

 

A20 (especially when/if the quad core successor will be released) is interesting since it features a true SATA port (sequential write speeds limited but that's not that important). The i.MX6 quad core variant looks interesting since the SATA performance is more balanced (~100 MB/s in both directions) but unfortunately the internal GbE network throughput is limited to ~400 Mbits/sec and therefore for most of our use cases A20 devices with GbE outperform i.MX6.

 

For real ARM servers Marvell Armada is a good choice (already supported by Armbian) and the next SoC I'm looking forward to is RealTek's RTD1296.

 

So obviously different use cases than what most people associate with SBCs?

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If you want to buy a C.H.I.P. it costs $9. Shipping to the Netherlands $6.22, so in total: $15.22 USD

See: http://getchip.com/pages/chip

If you want to connect a descend screen, so no TV or analog monitor, you have to buy an addon, like a VGA or HDMI board.

VGA is $10, HDMI is $15. So yes... if you need normal screen output or stay headless an Orange Pi One could be a better choice.

 

Best use...Good question.I guess that people like the WIFI and Bluetooth on board. Maybe also the 4GB storage which is on board.

If you want to know what are people doing with their C.H.I.P have a look at this page:

https://chip.hackster.io/

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If you want to buy a C.H.I.P. it costs $9. Shipping to the Netherlands $6.22, so in total: $15.22 USD ...

If you want to know what are people doing with their C.H.I.P have a look at this page:

https://chip.hackster.io/

 

Ok, then all information regarding shipping costs is wrong (last year they said it would cost $20 shipping to Europe and the kickstarter update mentioned $14). Anyway this board is still useless for me and the only interesting use case example was the one where Bluetooth could be used.

 

I just had a look in their forums and it seems using Micro USB for DC-IN is even on such a less powerful board like the C.H.I.P. a bad idea (and of course I won't buy any device that will be powered through the crappy Micro USB connector)

 

Since free-electrons sends all C.H.I.P. specific stuff upstream everything needed is already in vanilla kernel, so basically adding support for this board are a few more lines in our config files. But then it gets tricky how to flash such an image. I already thought about looking into building LiveSuit compatible Armbian images (to flash a series of Beelink X2) but gave up already. Maybe someone else looks into this since I would believe we will see more and more sunxi devices with onboard eMMC the next time (a good starting point would be CHIP-tools)

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C.H.I.P. is like RPi Zero

You buy it, just because it is soooo cheap.

Than you find out that it is worthless and it sits on a shelf and collects dust.

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If someone could make the correct files I can test uploading it to the C.H.I.P.

 

The firmware update script want these files:

 

cache_download "${FW_IMAGE_DIR}" ${ROOTFS_URL} rootfs.ubi
cache_download "${FW_IMAGE_DIR}" ${BR_URL} sun5i-r8-chip.dtb
cache_download "${FW_IMAGE_DIR}" ${BR_URL} sunxi-spl.bin
cache_download "${FW_IMAGE_DIR}" ${BR_URL} sunxi-spl-with-ecc.bin
cache_download "${FW_IMAGE_DIR}" ${BR_URL} uboot-env.bin
cache_download "${FW_IMAGE_DIR}" ${BR_URL} zImage
cache_download "${FW_IMAGE_DIR}" ${BR_URL} u-boot-dtb.bin

Maybe I can "recycle" some of the files listed here and use only zImage and rootfs for getting Armbian running? Not sure...because this is new to me.

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Forget about the whole approach. The C.H.I.P. uses outdated technology (NAND and not eMMC), therefore special drivers are necessary. Boris from free-electrons is still working on this stuff (especially randomisation since with regular data patterns the data in NAND gets corrupted almost instantly) and it will sometimes work in the future.

 

Armbian's most interesting aspect is not the specific kernel or u-boot or SPL but the build system as a whole. And since C.H.I.P. seems to need an initramfs we would have to change that first. And since the C.H.I.P. is one of the most uninteresting boards unless someone joins in and does these changes without harming/delaying other improvements we planned, nothing will happen.

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Ok! Clear point. No Armbian for C.H.I.P!

It has no use to do so much effort!

 

lets wait for the Orange PC Plus and hope that this will  be a low cost top board!

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Forget about the whole approach. The C.H.I.P. uses outdated technology (NAND and not eMMC), therefore special drivers are necessary. Boris from free-electrons is still working on this stuff (especially randomisation since with regular data patterns the data in NAND gets corrupted almost instantly) and it will sometimes work in the future.

 

Armbian's most interesting aspect is not the specific kernel or u-boot or SPL but the build system as a whole. And since C.H.I.P. seems to need an initramfs we would have to change that first. And since the C.H.I.P. is one of the most uninteresting boards unless someone joins in and does these changes without harming/delaying other improvements we planned, nothing will happen.

 

I've got 2 of those CHIP devices for 10 days.

- one is now my BT sound server in replacement of nanopi air

- the second is a (DS18b20) thermometer. (I need components to drive my central heating system - the use of female sockets on the board is handy to place a PCB with PSU and relays). I will be able to integrate all that in a wall plug enclosure : 4x6x3 cm

 

In fact use case is simply the same as my RPIs. The difference is :

- the RPIs costed me 4OE + 5E SD card + 5E BT dongle + PSU

- the RPI is much more cumbersome and ill adapted for IoT

 

- The Nand driver is somewhat beta version : it logs debug message continuously - a bit scary. But if you look at logs on all boards with all OS, you will see that a number of drivers do the same ...

- No cpufrequtils now - I hope they will at least correct this.

- I had to compile a kernel for both usage : w1_therm and uinput modules missing. So it is not really out of the box !

- but it runs a 4.4.13 kernel with usb gadget driver compile in the kernel and (apparently) working in device mode. (I need exactly 0 usb port for my projects but should be able to use 3 - nor do I need ethernet or Terabits connectivity)

 

Capacity of the boards and software is not a problem for me : I always purchase one for a specific project. I do not intend to release the software or change hardware/connections/sensors or anything afterwards.

 

To be honest, Nanopi air is much better : better storage, more compact, more "sexy" ... But twice the price and provided without aerial. And the goal is to acquire a pool of the same devices in order to benefit of experience to reduce time spent in tweaking OS, Kernel, GPIO, mechanical integration ... and have spares ! So the price question refer to the price of a bunch and not of a single board.

 

I also want powerful boards for other non-IoT usage : 64 bits processor and system, mainline kernel + SATA. But today it still sounds like SF ? Chip is available and has its own use cases ... if you know why you purchase a board. I don't need a 1080p monitor on every board ... which are not even able to display Youtube video. I hope to be able to use nanopi air with small TFT display (because I find ridiculous to do the same think than an android tablet for twice the price and 4 times the volume because of useless connectors, heatsinks, and complex assembly)

 

Armbian folks do a great job by making usable these arm boards, but what I miss on this site is the description of (successful) projects that justify that there are not just toys ...

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There are lots of them - mostly in native languages 

 

I picked and clicked a link. I couldn't even identify the language ! ;):P  :o  :rolleyes: 

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I am a bit puzzled about the best way to package application for personal (home) usage. For example, I use LyX to produce document with a lot of dependencies to convert in different format, provide macros, store ... I would like to package this so it doesn't be linked to my desktop of file server.

 

But why should I bother with virtual machines or containers. With minimalist boards with usb ether and 4 GB storage for less than 10 dollars, I can install my documentation toolchain on dedicated host and be independent of libraries, OS, processor, storage as the life-cycle of all part is turning more and more shorter ...

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Hi,

i've received 5 ntc chip boards from 4 days.

Build a customized OS without buildroot is partially not documented (and chip is very different from the other boards), but is asked often in many threads on ntc chip community. I hope to find another weekend to spend to obtain a custom image of a debian, then i want to try to see if i can use the armbian stack with ntc kernel. Someone other is trying to do the same?

 

emmc+the ability to easily power the board by a battery, in 9$, is interesting and useful for some scenario, as opilite/opi zero/opi pc or small mcu in others, etc... 

 

 

In addition what do you think about an cortex r8 focused on realtime?

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Hi,
i've received 5 ntc chip boards from 4 days.
Build a customized OS without buildroot is partially not documented (and chip is very different from the other boards), but is asked often in many threads on ntc chip community. I hope to find another weekend to spend to obtain a custom image of a debian, then i want to try to see if i can use the armbian stack with ntc kernel. Someone other is trying to do the same?

 

 

Well, I suppose I should be able to use FEL boot with usbip : my legacy noisy AMD64/ubuntu server is in the basement. Until that, I am not even able to restore anything in case of problem.

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