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Topic: What architect. would you like to see in genuine Arduino board w/SBC attachment? (Read 457 times) previous topic - next topic

curious48

I'm exploring the idea of a genuine (licensed) Arduino board that includes an SBC (like raspberry pi zero) attachment.  I call it an attachment because it would be powered (when it is decided to be powered) by the Arduino and be there essentially to help with processing.  For some tasks, such as statistical analysis, infrequent video processing (when a camera is activated by a motion sensor), or infrequently sending reports back, this kind of "SBC" (single board computer) attachment might be appropriate.

What architecture would you like to see?

1 - is a serial connection from the arduino to the attachment sufficient?

2 - should the arduino  be able to be reprogrammed from the attachment? why or why not?

3 - what kind of bandwidth needs to be made available?  is a hard-wired GPIO/SPI or other bus connection to it helpful or a hindrance?

I am asking in case the two subsystems really are separate, and from the point of view that the SBC is an attachment strictly controlled from the arduino, which is responsible for the bulk of the project and its interfaces.
Are you curious about the intersection of Arduino/Electronics/Raspberry Pi/Orange Pi/Beaglebone/niche manufacturing/starting from 0 and scaling?  Try: curious.boards.net

westfw

So your idea is to have a board with a low-power sensor-intensive arduino-like processor that is able to "activate" a more powerful (and power hungry) Raspberry Pi-like processor "as needed" to perform compute or storage-intensive tasks ("video processing" being one thing that is obviously beyond what the Arduino can do.)

Sounds like it would come in handy, occasionally.  I don't think it's likely to drive the "very large volumes" you've talked about in other threads, though.

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1 - is a serial connection from the arduino to the attachment sufficient?
Sure; why not.

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2 - should the arduino  be able to be reprogrammed from the attachment? why or why not?
Yes.  I would think that most of the network connectivity would be attached to the Pi-class machine, since networking tends to be pretty power-hungry.  And it has the easy ability to implement easy-to-use GUIs and such.


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3 - what kind of bandwidth needs to be made available?  is a hard-wired GPIO/SPI or other bus connection to it helpful or a hindrance?
Between the Arduino and the Pi?  Probably very little (serial port is sufficient?)  If the Pi needed to do some high-bandwidth data acquistion, it could fire up high-speed devices capable of doing that.

Your biggest problem is probably that the Pi doesn't have any "sleep" or "suspend" states that are usable for this sort of thing,  "turn on the Pi" probably means booting it from power-on, which is a relatively lengthy process.  Probably WAY too long for most applications of this sort.   I don't know if that's hardware limitation or a linux problem
 - probably it's both.  If I'm going to have the Arduino wake up the Pi to start it doing video analysis of some event that I've detected with low-power sensors, I probably want it to go from "off" to "recording video" in as much less than 10s as possible...

The trend (in  IIOT, for example) seems to be to have low-power sensor nodes that are wireless (BTLE, for example), and have the data sucked out of them by the higher-power systems.  That makes it much easier for one "compute server" to access multiple "sensor nodes", and the compute servers can be mains powered...

The other problem is probably that the complexity of this class of application is probably such that no one cares whether you can build $10 hardware that does the job instead of their $100 combination.  Vendor support, reliability, and indemnification are more important than price.  (The same reason that companies use $500 PLCs to do jobs that could be done by a $30 Arduino...)  The difference between a $10 widget and a $200 widget is significant for a hobbyist, or for students where you want to deploy one device per student, 3 classes per semester, for the next 10 years.  But not  nearly so significant to a corporate entity who will probably spend $100+ burdened wages for someone to install each stupid device where it's supposed to go...


curious48

I sent this as a PM, but thought the rest of the forum might also benefit from seeing it:

--


I wanted to thank you for your input above about the combination of Arduino / Raspberry Pi!  I actually only just saw it just now, apologize for the delay.

I should point out that people have gotten their Pi's booting in under 6 seconds :) (Actually I just checked - it says 3 seconds).  I saw some other thread where people got boots in 12-15 seconds, no problem.  I also have a number of secret strategies that could speed up boot time very, very significantly.

Besides this limited class of applications, another main point is that including an Arduino subsystem would give an analog input which is completely lacking from the raspberry pi (no ADC).  Other things like the Beaglebone Black have it - but cost $55.

Finally, the main reason people would want thousands isn't the fact that it's an Arduino + Raspberry Pi Zero -- it's because it woudl cost $6.50 or as close to it as humanly possible.  If it's actually available, this puts it in a very competitive space.

On my raspberry pi/arduino/etc forum I just posted a comparison of the actual availability of these boards.  So if I were able to meet the price in quantities of 1000, I would very much expect people to be highly interested, especially if I can match the raspberry pi form factor.

While in a way you're right that "nobody cares" about whether a board costs $10 or $100 - in fact, when it comes to ordering in quantity, you will find that some people don't have $100,000 to sink into a first run.  So at that point, whether their SOC solution costs $6.50 or $150 isn't a moot point - it's the difference between being able to complete their entire project and run with their allocated budget of, say, $7,000 or needing an order of magnitude more to order in quantity (and also erasing their margins.)

Based on the feedback I've heard elsewhere, I have a lot of reason to believe people are very much going to be interested in a cheap Arduino / Embedded PC board! :)

Thanks again for all of your thoughts.  I hope you'll also check out my forum on this topic.  (http://curious.boards.net)
Are you curious about the intersection of Arduino/Electronics/Raspberry Pi/Orange Pi/Beaglebone/niche manufacturing/starting from 0 and scaling?  Try: curious.boards.net

liudr

Availability of these small SBC's are unknown. You can't even buy the BCM2835 to build your own raspberry pi zero because broadcom will not sell to anyone except raspberry pi trading.

Most small SBC's also have very little software support. You almost have to stick with raspberry pi zero. Then all you need to do is just connecting the zero with arduino. There is no need to design any board to do the job of a USB cable.
Serial LCD keypad panel,phi_prompt user interface library,SDI-12 USB Adapter

curious48

Availability of these small SBC's are unknown. You can't even buy the BCM2835 to build your own raspberry pi zero because broadcom will not sell to anyone except raspberry pi trading.

Most small SBC's also have very little software support. You almost have to stick with raspberry pi zero. Then all you need to do is just connecting the zero with arduino. There is no need to design any board to do the job of a USB cable.
You or I or anyone will not be able to order 1,000 Raspberry Pi Zeros anytime in the next year or two, certainly not for $5 or $6.  The reason for designing a somewhat worse, and more poorly supported board, is because it can actually be produced and sold at scale, and shipped in products.  While it would be nice if this were possible with the BCM2835, that is not happening.  It is not available in quantity.

You can see my comparison of the availability of a few alternative boards here.
Are you curious about the intersection of Arduino/Electronics/Raspberry Pi/Orange Pi/Beaglebone/niche manufacturing/starting from 0 and scaling?  Try: curious.boards.net

liudr

I have made some suggestions on rpi's forum. I doubt that any rpt people will see them let alone think about them. They are operating in vacuum, not different from arduino LLC. RPI boards are not open source hardware. They also don't provide a pathway to create custom devices by DIYers, for DIYers. I did my research and felt disappointed. They produce low-cost single-board computers, nothing more.
Serial LCD keypad panel,phi_prompt user interface library,SDI-12 USB Adapter

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