Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Roseapple Pi

Bit of a rare one this, not too many in the West, but gaining in the East as far as i can tell. It also seems to share a maker/designer/factory with a kickstarter Pi clone called the Lemon Pi which never made it to market

Like many other clones this attempts to be better by being faster, and it most certainly is fast.

An Actions Semi S500 A9 quadcore is quite a quick system normally, apparently it runs at 1.1Ghz though that's not stated anywhere in the tech docs. It's supposed to have dynamic CPU loading where the speed drops depending on the work, but I can't honestly see any evidence of that.

Bottom line is, on the gui its fast and responsive, has 2GB of Ram and apart from a seriously hot heatsink which is supplied its a pretty standard Debian machine.

It has almost no real user support, the makers seem to have farmed out support to a user group, which is not that extreme,  The GPU is a single core (boo) PowerVR SGX544, which is a nice modern GPU able to run ES2.0 and openCL 1.1 if I can locate the right drivers.

As with all first looks, it seems perfectly fine, OpenGLES2 drivers are tucked away in the usr/lib/arm-linux-gnuabih folders...I will have a scan for the .h files later.
edit....can't locate the h files, so for now development will have to wait but I'm fairly sure I can get the drivers for the S500 from other sites.

The only thing that worries me, is the reported heat...and yes even on an idling machine at 0% cpu, that decent sized heat sink gets mighty hot... I wouldn't want to stress it out too much..

Once I have enough SD cards to go around, which allows me to keep 1 in each, I'll download some temp and stress testing software to see exactly where they start to fail.

I'll report later on how easy it is to get it running with test projects

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