New "Arduino" to beat them all.

fungus:

john1993: of course id love to be proven wrong. win-win. either im right or ill have an incredibly valuable source of small pc.s,

Some things about simply don't add up to me, either. How will that thing run "Windows"? Maybe Windows 98 in command line mode...I dunno. I don't think Windows will even boot without a graphics card.

That is a good point which also crossed my mind. As far as I know, Windows will not boot without a graphics card but the unit does have support for one so I assumed that to use Windows on it, one would have to have a compatible graphics card connected.

However it all seems to be a moot point now as it looks like this thing could well turn out to be just vapourware.

fungus: Maybe Windows 98 in command line mode...I dunno. I don't think Windows will even boot without a graphics card.

actually that may be true of w7 and above but if installed properly xp and below work fine w/o video. and cmd line is not needed. mouse, remote, or no input at all may work for some stand alone applications. fortunately as you hint x86 is rarely required for embedded platforms. thank god for avr and/or arduino.

it would be interesting to see how a board like that does handle the various versions. but i doubt even they know. why even worry about it when a few minutes with photoshop or color printer and some foamboard will do for now.

UnoDueTre: please edit your post as I take exception to my forum name being used in that manner.

if your name had actually been used id comply. for now, you and the arduino company will have to tolerate a little humorous play on words.

john1993:

UnoDueTre: please edit your post as I take exception to my forum name being used in that manner.

if your name had actually been used id comply. for now, you and the arduino company will have to tolerate a little humorous play on words.

OK then two can play that game Con 19 90 Flea.

john1993: yes, it looks like theoretically, at half grand, one could buy a dozen of these for the price of one of fungus beloved taskit boards. I say theoretically because I just tried to buy one and... guess what...? vaporware.

We'll see I suppose, but - if they do turn up for $40, I think I am going to have to have one, lined up alongside the Raspberry Pi and PCduino, Olinuxino, Freetronics Etherten and whatnot else I may have presently forgotten. To think my original plan was just to set up an isolated mini-webserver and I still haven't done that!

I hope my wife doesn't get to read this ....

Never dismiss the market potential for legacy applications. A genuine x86-compatible processor would be a godsend to a lot of industrial control devices. Could those tasks be done with ARM or microprocessors? Sure, if you had C code to recompile for the target architecture. It can also be done without RS-232 to RS-485 to Ethernet media converters and all manner of other kludgey devices. But it often isn't. ;)

For those of you who don't get it -- have you ever worked a job where you supported retail and industrial equipment? This isn't a dig or a set-up for a "then you don't know what you're talking about" punchline... You wouldn't believe what's still out there. Lots of ATM machines apparently still run OS/2! IBM just pulled the plug on sales not long ago.

In all seriousness, support for these systems follows the path of least resistance. An old application from 1994 that does the job will not get upgraded until that old 80486 with fur clogging all its fan inlets vaporizes in a final puff of smoke. Even then, the owners will beg you to locate a direct replacement. Maybe because there is no modern software, or it's an $80,000 license with much more restrictive usage terms, and will require a Windows 2008 R2 server with MS SQL Server to store its configuration files. Often just because no one has the slightest clue how to re-deploy a new version. They've memorized buttons to press, the company (or person) that originally installed it is no longer available, and the business would be lost if they were forced to shut down while they seek new options.

That said, I don't know that an Arduino-clone will be the device of choice for this segment -- especially lacking video and serial I/O out-of-the-box. There are other industrial boards that have this as standard equipment, and can still run DOS just fine. At 1GHz or better. (Not that speed is really much of a selling point here.)

OTOH, as the comments in the linked article said, this has the makings of a cool vintage gaming rig. I still have Mech Warrior and MW 2, King's Quest, Loom, Wing Commander, Castle of Dr. Brain, Willy Beamish, and a ton of other games that are getting harder to run on modern computers.

SirNickity:
For those of you who don’t get it – have you ever worked a job where you supported retail and industrial equipment? This isn’t a dig or a set-up for a “then you don’t know what you’re talking about” punchline… You wouldn’t believe what’s still out there. Lots of ATM machines apparently still run OS/2! IBM just pulled the plug on sales not long ago.

Yes, but does this device solve that problem? I don’t think it does.

Just because it has an x86 CPU doesn’t mean it’s going to be able to directly/easily replace any of that hardware. eg. A lot of that equipment has special ISA cards to interface to the machines.

SirNickity:
In all seriousness, support for these systems follows the path of least resistance. An old application from 1994 that does the job will not get upgraded until that old 80486 with fur clogging all its fan inlets vaporizes in a final puff of smoke. Even then, the owners will beg you to locate a direct replacement. Maybe because there is no modern software, or it’s an $80,000 license with much more restrictive usage terms, and will require a Windows 2008 R2 server with MS SQL Server to store its configuration files. Often just because no one has the slightest clue how to re-deploy a new version. They’ve memorized buttons to press, the company (or person) that originally installed it is no longer available, and the business would be lost if they were forced to shut down while they seek new options.

Those people aren’t going to balk at any of the dozens of solutions out there that have VGA, serial, parallel connectors built into them. The $40 price tag is meaningless to them if a $300 device has the right connectors and will work after an hour of fiddling.

SirNickity:
OTOH, as the comments in the linked article said, this has the makings of a cool vintage gaming rig. I still have Mech Warrior and MW 2, King’s Quest, Loom, Wing Commander, Castle of Dr. Brain, Willy Beamish, and a ton of other games that are getting harder to run on modern computers.

DOSBOX?

You could run it on a $150 Intel Atom Mini-PC. One of those might even have a video output that can connect to a TV.

UnoDueTre: OK then two can play that game Con 19 90 Flea.

touche... lol!

if by some small chance this board does materialize and somebody does get their hands on one it would be nice to update this thread. looks like more than a couple guys would find it useful.

I worked with a lot of x86 single board computers (as they used to be called) running DOS, and one of the biggest nuisances I always encountered is that the bootloader took forever to execute. This is the one thing I really like about the Arduino and its relations. You power them up and they just GO. Even the AT90CAN128 system I just built (currently undergoing burn-in testing) which uses the old-fashioned 2K pre-optiboot bootloader, is up and running in less than 2 seconds. Compare that with the 20 - 60 seconds for an x86 board. (Can't think of a witty closing sentence, so I'll just end it here. :P ).

fungus: Just because it has an x86 CPU doesn't mean it's going to be able to directly/easily replace any of that hardware. eg. A lot of that equipment has special ISA cards to interface to the machines.

Sure, with USB and PCIe as the only bus options, it wouldn't be an acceptable drop-in for applications using ISA or PCI cards. Your point about the price difference between this and honest industrial computers is valid as well. FWIW, I agree that this particular board is probably a bit out of sorts. However, I do think the general model (of an x86 micro) has merit as an extended life-cycle product replacement, and for new development where there's legacy code or product engineers well-versed in x86-based solutions. It makes sense as a market segment even if this board is a poor execution of that idea.

fungus:

SirNickity: OTOH, as the comments in the linked article said, this has the makings of a cool vintage gaming rig. I still have Mech Warrior and MW 2, King's Quest, Loom, Wing Commander, Castle of Dr. Brain, Willy Beamish, and a ton of other games that are getting harder to run on modern computers.

DOSBOX?

You could run it on a $150 Intel Atom Mini-PC. One of those might even have a video output that can connect to a TV.

Sure, but if you could do it with something like a BeagleBone with an x86 CPU, that would be even better. ;) (Again, not having onboard video makes the OP board less desirable here.)

On that note, I'm kinda surprised at the Atom / mini-ITX market right now. At last check NewEgg seems to have dropped the Intel-branded mini ITX boards in favor of less... ehh.. consistent brands. And I really would've expected the Atoms to be getting close to the $99 point by now. I was just looking for a dual-LAN board for a router and couldn't find anything I liked. WTH happened?

lost_and_confused: Ok,. you may have already heard of it.

86Duino.

http://hackaday.com/2013/12/09/the-40-x86-arduino/

Wow!

It's cool. There's probably enough room in memory to run Linux and some code to blink an LED........ :)

Krupski: It's cool. There's probably enough room in memory to run Linux and some code to blink an LED........ :)

Sssshhhhhhh, not so loud or you will get tarred and feathered. Or worse, get 20 replies telling you how the Arduino can do anything :)

Yes, there are a lot of opinionated people. If only they could keep them to themselves ]:smiley:

Please tell me the I/O is faster then the Galileo

smeezekitty: Please tell me the I/O is faster then the Galileo

That will depend on several factors such as which port's you are referring to as some ports will be faster than others. For example, GPIOs will generally be slower than say PCI or PCI-e simply because of the architecture of the ports. The other big factor is exactly how the software for accessing those port is written and if the ports are being accessed under a real time or multi-tasking OS.

Since we are discussing the X86, I can give you a comparison using the LPT port as a GPIO port. On a Pentium I 200MHz running Caldera DrDOS, I can achieve sustained data transfers of around 1.1Mbps, on a Gigabyte GA-H61M-S2PV motherboard with 1.2GHz CPU running MicroCoreLinux I get around 700Kbps and on a HP laptop (with docking station) running an i7-2670QM CPU @2.2GHz with Win 7 pro, I get around 300Kbps.

The figures above are pretty standard as the way the LPT port is mapped on the X86 architecture, one will achieve a maximum access time in the order of 700nS (around 1.4MHz), the extra delays are because of the software overhead. I used the LPT as an example as it's the closest thing on a "PC" to a GPIO port but the same concept applies to pretty much all ports even PCI, PCI-e and SATA although these will be much much quicker as they use DMA and dedicated controllers.

SirNickity: However, I do think the general model (of an x86 micro) has merit as an extended life-cycle product replacement, and for new development where there's legacy code or product engineers well-versed in x86-based solutions. It makes sense as a market segment even if this board is a poor execution of that idea.

SO...maybe in a couple of design iterations when they figure out what it's supposed to be for.

SirNickity: I really would've expected the Atoms to be getting close to the $99 point by now.

Yes, I looked up a few prices when I wrote the earlier reply. I really expected to find a sub $100 Atom-box but there weren't any, even on aliexpress. They seem to have stabilized around the $140 mark (which is what I paid for my media-server box a couple of years ago).

I guess that once you reach a certain level there's not much you can do to cut costs. All the components are now as 'integrated' as they can get. The new ones are a little bit faster but the price is the same as the old ones.

Riva: Yes, there are a lot of opinionated people. If only they could keep them to themselves ]:D

I guess "opinionated" means "doesn't agree with @Riva" :)

...R

UnoDueTre:

smeezekitty: Please tell me the I/O is faster then the Galileo

That will depend on several factors such as which port's you are referring to as some ports will be faster than others. For example, GPIOs will generally be slower than say PCI or PCI-e simply because of the architecture of the ports. The other big factor is exactly how the software for accessing those port is written and if the ports are being accessed under a real time or multi-tasking OS.

I know, but what I mean is the Galileo is only rated to change its I/O ports at 230 hz apparently. That makes it more or less useless compared to an Arduino for GPIO I hope that the I/O are ATLEAST 10KHz (more is better)

And whats the reasoning for the pointless flamewar? I find it quite interesting. Everyone is promoting ARM but X86 is more familiar for PC devs. And it has more "usability" then the RsPi in some ways

smeezekitty: I know, but what I mean is the Galileo is only rated to change its I/O ports at 230 hz apparently. That makes it more or less useless compared to an Arduino for GPIO I hope that the I/O are ATLEAST 10KHz (more is better)

I have never used the Galileo so didn't know about that restriction so checked it out: ( from https://communities.intel.com/thread/45226 )

Q: What is the maximum rate at which GPIO output pins can be updated?

The GPIO output pins on Intel® Galileo are provided by an I2C Port Expander that is running at standard mode (100 kHz). Each I2C request to update a GPIO requires approximately 2ms. In addition to software overhead, this restricts the frequency achievable on the GPIO outputs to approximately 230 Hz.

Wow, that is pretty useless, what were Intel thinking? Now I definitely won't be using a Galileo.

And whats the reasoning for the pointless flamewar? I find it quite interesting. Everyone is promoting ARM but X86 is more familiar for PC devs. And it has more "usability" then the RsPi in some ways

Quite right. The big advantage of ARM is the low power consumption, the big disadvantage is all the incompatible versions. (both hardware and software with things like Thumb 26 bit mode and so on). Everyone seems to be doing their own thing and no real standards exist, unlike the X86 where to this day most peripherals and of course mnemonics were inherited (and kept compatible with) the original Intel and IBM specs. As far as I'm concerned, Intel was caught napping and are now scrambling to catch up. I really hope they can gain some ground.

What I don't like about the Rpi is the whole closed source attitude of Broadcom which severely limits real hi res graphics due to them not releasing a proper API for the GPU. It's not like devs are asking for the source code, just a bit more info to go on. Although the Rpi is pretty cheap, it does not really have the same capabilities as a small X86 embedded board. That is why I was hoping the 86Duino would be the answer, the power of the X86 at the price of the Rpi, but I guess it's not to be.

UnoDueTre: Although the Rpi is pretty cheap, it does not really have the same capabilities as a small X86 embedded board. That is why I was hoping the 86Duino would be the answer, the power of the X86 at the price of the Rpi, but I guess it's not to be.

Something like an RPi but with x86-compatible CPU would be far more interesting. The x86Duino isn't it.

Maybe something like this: http://www.amd.com/us/products/embedded/processors/Pages/g-series.aspx

(Although the power consumption of those is still far higher than the equivalent ARM)