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Request Microchip make a Linux compatible 1GHz+ CPU

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jmitchel
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2012/12/17 07:01:50 (permalink)
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Request Microchip make a Linux compatible 1GHz+ CPU

I hope I ask much not.
Request Microchip make a Linux compatible 1GHz+ CPU.
Extend Netbean IDE to cover the new CPU.
CPU must have full open graphics controller + 3D acceleration if possible and fully open like with all Microchip PICs.
32 bit OK.
Must have LCD controller, preferably good enough to be extended to cover e-ink and OLED displays.
A gcc port is essential for porting Linux to chip.
BGA is OK. BGA is simply a PCB with higher resolution tracks with dice bonded on top.
About $1m more than enough to set up BGA production.
Chip must have inside RS232, timers, SPI, ADC, AC97, ideally HDMI, ethernet, USB, CAN,
SDCard, SDRAM controller, NAND controller, MMU, WiFi interface, camera interface, built in boot flash that is pre-programmed
initialise chip and transfer  boot to SDCard or USB or internal NAND or internal SDRAM depending on how some
external boot set up pins are configured.
If they do well with announcement, stock price go up :-)
 
This chip is for the Internet of Things.
Chip must be cheap, must support connecting to wider internet and run full Linux on LCD
to allow it to be added to Fridges, toasters, heating controls and so on. The
software should be developed in desktop Linux and then transferred to this chip
which also runs Linux and will run the program with no modifications.
 
Far East cannot make such a chip because they make only ARM and ARM is
all selotaped with NDA making it impossible for engineers to make Internet of Things products
except for the 5 or 10 people that may have the full knowledge of CPU.
 
So Microchip can sell for years this chip and may even outsell ARM
in years to come. :)
 
#1

47 Replies Related Threads

    threedog
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    Re:Request Microchip make a Linux compatible 1GHz+ CPU 2012/12/17 09:46:02 (permalink)
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    The 1Ghz embedded space was totally dominated by ARM Cortex A8, and A9 multicore.
    The A7 and A15 have solidified that market.
     
    This level of technology and target OS requires external FLASH, and external RAM - DDR2 or DDR3.
    These are not so easy considering regulatory concerns.
     
    That said,
    I would not be surprised  to see a 200 to 400 Mhz external memory PIC32 capable of running Linux, albeit, dog slow.
    #2
    Antipodean
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    Re:Request Microchip make a Linux compatible 1GHz+ CPU 2012/12/17 09:52:56 (permalink)
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    Sounds to me like overkill for the Internet of Things. Most of those will not require anything like that computing power.

    Do not use my alias in your message body when replying, your message will disappear ...

    Alan
    #3
    jumpin_jack
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    Re:Request Microchip make a Linux compatible 1GHz+ CPU 2012/12/17 10:11:57 (permalink)
    5 (2)
    You really think there is a market for a 1-GHz MCU with a 3D graphics accelerator for a toaster? You just blew my mind ;-)
     
    #4
    drh
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    Re:Request Microchip make a Linux compatible 1GHz+ CPU 2012/12/17 12:23:02 (permalink)
    5 (2)
    I don't think Santa Claus lives or works in Phoenix.

    David
    #5
    Brick
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    Re:Request Microchip make a Linux compatible 1GHz+ CPU 2012/12/17 19:41:36 (permalink)
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    Just my 2 cents on all this... Most applications are tailed to price. If you are selling millions of units with a chip in it then your company will make more profit using a processor that can do the job, but not overkill (its cheaper). In many applications it is rare that all the peripherals mentioned are needed and hence building an all-in-one chip will be more expensive and hence not as competitive.
     
    However that being said here is a constant push to more complex solutions, evermore powerful MIPS based processor are bound to find a market. 
    #6
    Ian.M
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    Re:Request Microchip make a Linux compatible 1GHz+ CPU 2012/12/17 21:32:54 (permalink)
    5 (1)
    Internet of things is very much a niche market - No-one serious wants to expose their distributed control systems to every J. Random Hacker out there.
     
    If/When the Raspberry Pi gets a Broadcom driver for its DSI LCD interface and the foundation releases schematics, Broadcom will probably corner this market segment.  It will probably still be cheaper to put the real-time stuff in another processor (Maybe a PIC Smile) with a serial or 8 bit parallel bus to the Broadcom SOC.  
    #7
    rmteo
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    Re:Request Microchip make a Linux compatible 1GHz+ CPU 2012/12/17 23:41:31 (permalink)
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    MCHP does not have the foundry capability to handle the 40-28nm process for something like this.

    Why pay for overpriced toys when you can have
    professional grade tools for FREE!!! mr greenmr green
    #8
    jmitchel
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    Re:Request Microchip make a Linux compatible 1GHz+ CPU 2012/12/18 01:42:24 (permalink)
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    threedog

    The 1Ghz embedded space was totally dominated by ARM Cortex A8, and A9 multicore.
    The A7 and A15 have solidified that market.

     
    But still not one chip that has full developer documentation like a PIC, and free of NDAs that hold up IoT developers.
     
    #9
    jmitchel
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    Re:Request Microchip make a Linux compatible 1GHz+ CPU 2012/12/18 01:56:12 (permalink)
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    Ian.M

    Internet of things is very much a niche market - No-one serious wants to expose their distributed control systems to every J. Random Hacker out there.

    If/When the Raspberry Pi gets a Broadcom driver for its DSI LCD interface and the foundation releases schematics, Broadcom will probably corner this market segment.  It will probably still be cheaper to put the real-time stuff in another processor (Maybe a PIC Smile) with a serial or 8 bit parallel bus to the Broadcom SOC.  

     
    My bet is that they can't corner anything.
     
    The problem they face is that all ARMs have NDA and that means failure is an option for all projects right from the beginning.
    ARM does not have header files to define its registers, bit fields and flags unlike PICs. Only about 10 people in an ARM producing company might have the full details of the chip, its registers and how to port Linux to it. No good to anyone. ARM will ultimately fail no matter how much market share it has today when IoT takes off elsewhere.
     
    #10
    jmitchel
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    Re:Request Microchip make a Linux compatible 1GHz+ CPU 2012/12/18 01:57:59 (permalink)
    5 (1)
    rmteo

    MCHP does not have the foundry capability to handle the 40-28nm process for something like this.

     
    They can produce the VHDL, and farm out the production to elsewhere that has facilities. Many a company does this.
    #11
    rmteo
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    Re:Request Microchip make a Linux compatible 1GHz+ CPU 2012/12/18 02:02:50 (permalink)
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    jmitchel
    ARM does not have header files to define its registers, bit fields and flags unlike PICs. Only about 10 people in an ARM producing company might have the full details of the chip, its registers and how to port Linux to it. No good to anyone. ARM will ultimately fail no matter how much market share it has today when IoT takes off elsewhere.

    What utter nonsense.
     

    Why pay for overpriced toys when you can have
    professional grade tools for FREE!!! mr greenmr green
    #12
    Ian.M
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    Re:Request Microchip make a Linux compatible 1GHz+ CPU 2012/12/18 03:20:20 (permalink)
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    Exactly.  Broadcom appear to be in process of publicly releasing more documentation and as there is already a choice of three Linux distros there is NOTHING WHATSOEVER except the LCD interface standing in the way of adopting the same chipset as the Raspberry Pi for other projects.
    It *ALMOST* looks like a NDA would be helpful to discourage militant Open Source wonks (slogan "All Data wants to be FREE!")  and their endless bickering to make such projects commercially viable. mr green
    #13
    jmitchel
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    Re:Request Microchip make a Linux compatible 1GHz+ CPU 2012/12/18 03:59:04 (permalink)
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    Ian.M

    Exactly.  Broadcom appear to be in process of publicly releasing more documentation and as there is already a choice of three Linux distros there is NOTHING WHATSOEVER except the LCD interface standing in the way of adopting the same chipset as the Raspberry Pi for other projects.
    It *ALMOST* looks like a NDA would be helpful to discourage militant Open Source wonks (slogan "All Data wants to be FREE!")  and their endless bickering to make such projects commercially viable. mr green

     
    All PIC chips as are most chips released with full documentation. Without it it be useless to engineers. For some reason ARM SoCs are a passing fad with NDA protected data sheets. They are not released with documentation and so its useless for developers. The 10 odd engineers that have the full documentation can produce may be one or two Linux per ARM chip. Having 3 *partially* working Linux distros for an ARM chip is a huge achievement.
     
    If Microchip were to release a full 1GHz PIC capable of running Linux with full docs, I would port it. And so too would thousands of other engineers. So by then end of two months, some 100 *fully* working Linux distros would be running on it. Endless order books for Microchip. Billions in profits for Microchip. Open Source "wonks" would shamelessly rule the world and make Microchip VERY rich. ARM will wither. IoT would be here. End of story already! :-)
     
    #14
    Antipodean
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    Re:Request Microchip make a Linux compatible 1GHz+ CPU 2012/12/18 04:03:29 (permalink)
    5 (1)
    jmitchel
    If Microchip were to release a full 1GHz PIC capable of running Linux with full docs, I would port it. And so too would thousands of other engineers. So by then end of two months, some 100 *fully* working Linux distros would be running on it. Endless order books for Microchip. Billions in profits for Microchip. Open Source "wonks" would shamelessly rule the world and make Microchip VERY rich. ARM will wither. IoT would be here. End of story already! :-)


    Why does IoT require Linux to be running on a chip ????????????
     
    You can already do anything that an IoT device needs with the chips that Microchip already has.
     

    Do not use my alias in your message body when replying, your message will disappear ...

    Alan
    #15
    Ian.M
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    Re:Request Microchip make a Linux compatible 1GHz+ CPU 2012/12/18 04:21:04 (permalink)
    5 (1)
    Because we are talking to a FOSS LINUX wonk!
    Not that there's anything wrong with FOSS or LINUX, but one doesn't need to make a religion out of them. They are tools with an attached philosophy of sharing - nothing more - nothing less.  The fact that the OP thinks that 100 hackers would build working distros in two months shows how out of touch with reality he is.  Lets see now,  Wikipedia has some stats for world population.
     
    That's 7.059 billion people, of which 50.5%-26.3% are aged 15 to 30.  Assume half of those are male and you have the likely demographic to potentially be interested in this project.  I estimate 1 in 1000 young males has the ability to learn how to bring up a LINUX distro from scratch on a new processor, which is about 1708000 individuals world wide.   To get 100 working distros, you would need  to get  more than 1 in 1708 to commit to the project. As the Raspberry Pi foundation have BTDTGTTS, its no longer got a mega-cool factor, many wont have the tools or the desire to get such tools, you have to distribute the hardware to all participants, and some even hate Microchip for their licence restrictions and use of a GNU toolchain while (legally) witholding some of the source.   Participation of 1 in 2000? <lol>  1 in 200000 would be more likely.
     
    I rate that project's chance of success as community FOSS as:
     
    However I believe a commercial project to design a range of internet enabled smart touchscreen display panels running LINUX , with a team of 5 programmers including a Kernel guru, a couple of good hardware guys and at least one manager with end to end experience in developing a BGA technology consumer device could sign the required NDAs and get  prototypes working and the product ready for production in about six months.   There might even be a market segment for this - seat-back entertainment devices.   All it would be is a LINUX (Full GUI) + Android mini-tablet with the option for chassis mounting or possibly a soft silicone case + battery pack add-on for stand-alone use, with a small number of I/Os brought out on a non-proprietary connector. 
     
    Heck, one could simply take a standard tablet and connect a slave I/O processor via the logic level serial debug port that many of them have internally.
     
    If Microchip wanted to steer the slave processor market their way, they'd lighten up MPLAB X till it runs comfortably in 512MB system memory, and write a software only programmer/debugger module for the Raspberry Pi I/O port.  Every tech college and hardware hacker would *LOVE* them for it,  and in 5 years time you'd see a lot more design ins.
     
    post edited by Ian.M - 2012/12/18 05:22:31
    #16
    Antipodean
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    Re:Request Microchip make a Linux compatible 1GHz+ CPU 2012/12/18 04:32:14 (permalink)
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    Ian.M

    Because we are talking to a FOSS LINUX wonk!


    pink[8D]sadmadgrinLoLmr green

    Do not use my alias in your message body when replying, your message will disappear ...

    Alan
    #17
    jmitchel
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    Re:Request Microchip make a Linux compatible 1GHz+ CPU 2012/12/18 05:32:06 (permalink)
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    Ian.M

    Heck, one could simply take a standard tablet and connect a slave I/O processor via the logic level serial debug port that many of them have internally.


     
    Not a possibility for commercial product.
    Tablet does not belong to you and its supply situation could change.
    No good for your product if you have to manufacture and supply for 10 to 20 years.
    #18
    jmitchel
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    Re:Request Microchip make a Linux compatible 1GHz+ CPU 2012/12/18 06:13:00 (permalink)
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    drh

    I don't think Santa Claus lives or works in Phoenix.

     
    Management are simple folk.
    They selotape a smartphone on the product and say they want that on all their products.pink
    They buy millions of dollars worth of PICs over the lifetime of company.
    They want me to use PICs.
    I tell them not.
    But ARM is a mess.
    Every time a set back occurs they pressure me to go find a PIC that runs Linux.
    Now, where is that Santa hiding did you say? Smile
     
    #19
    Ian.M
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    Re:Request Microchip make a Linux compatible 1GHz+ CPU 2012/12/18 06:43:56 (permalink)
    5 (1)
    There are plenty of Chinese clone tablets you could negotiate access to the hardware design for and easily second source.
     
    Heck, if you speak Cantonese or have a good tecchy friend who does, put up a kickstarter for an embedded Android tablet with open source schematics and you don't throw the project out of the window because there are proprietary binary blobs in the drivers you could have the prototype sitting on your desk in about four months.
     
    Another month or two to sort out working X11 and a proper GUI and reverse engineer any parts of the distro you cant get properly licensed and you will be ready to deliver hardware and documentation to your project supporters. 
     
    If it takes off, a few months later there will be at least 10 Chinese suppliers offering it on Ebay and you can sit back and relax! (After all, you believe the design should be open so no need to fight the clones)
     
    Re: product life: You don't really care if the design needs a re-spin three years later.  If you are using them you can support that investment and all you need to do is maintain application compatibility and the same form factor and interfaces.  If you've done it once, the next time will be much easier/cheaper.   As/when you discontinue a particular product, do a lifetime buy for spares to support any customers with extended warrenties.
    post edited by Ian.M - 2012/12/18 06:45:47
    #20
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