Broadcom SoCs

Discussion in 'Mobile Devices and SoCs' started by ToTTenTranz, Feb 13, 2014.

  1. tuna

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    Ah, I mixed up Qualcomm and Broadcom!
     
  2. tangey

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    I'm guessing "cellular baseband" doesn't automatically conjure up "smartphone socs" for some.
     
  3. Exophase

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    It's impolite to call MediaTek a Chinese company :p
     
  4. Alexko

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    Let's just say I'm anticipating the not-so-distant future. :p
     
  5. Ailuros

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    Unless Korea would merge with China in the non foreseeable future I don't get your errr joke :razz:
     
  6. Alexko

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    What? MediaTek is Taiwanese!
     
  7. Ailuros

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    True. Replace Taiwan with Korea in the question then :razz:
     
  8. Alexko

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    Yes, I think they'll be reunified within a few decades. But we're getting ever so slightly off topic.
     
  9. ToTTenTranz

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    It seems the SoC division from Broadcom came back from the dead to make what appears to be a SoC exclusive to the new Raspberry Pi 2.
    The new chip is the BCM2836 and it uses the same VideoCore IV GPU but it made a huge CPU upgrade from the single ARM11@700MHz to quad Cortex A7@900MHz.

    I never thought the Raspberry Pi was a brand/product powerful enough to warrant their own custom SoC. Even less when there are so many options out there in the market from Qualcomm, Rockchips, AmLogic, Samsung, Mediatek, nVidia, etc.

    Unless this chip is actually a BCM23550 from 2013, with the 3G, NFC and WiFi modules disabled.
     
  10. kalelovil

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    I assume it has been done in order to maintain maximum compatibility.
    It is the community and platform that has developed over the past 3 years which sets them apart from the competitors which have sprung up since.

    http://www.raspberrypi.org/raspberry-pi-2-on-sale/
     
    #30 kalelovil, Feb 2, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2015
  11. Laurent06

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    3M Raspberry had been sold by last June. The closest competitor most likely is the BeagleBone and this had only sold 100k as of December 2013. I wouldn't be surprised to learn no other board exceeded 50K and most sold <10K.
     
  12. ToTTenTranz

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    I wonder what this means on the long run.
    They claimed that the new SoC carries the same GPU because it's the only one that is fully documented for open-source development.
    So, for the next-generation RPi, are they still going to Broadcom for another SoC carrying Cortex A53 and yet the same VideoCore IV?
    Is Broadcom going to update their GPU line because of Raspberry Pi alone?
     
  13. Silent_Buddha

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    Raspberry Pi 2 also seems set to greatly expand on its popularity with official Windows 10 support. That will likely further distance themselves from the competition and further justify Broadcom's investment in the custom SoC.

    Regards,
    SB
     
  14. ToTTenTranz

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    Microsoft making Windows 10 for the RPi 2 is a really hard blow on those who bought the Surface RT tablets.
    An expensive Tegra 4 tablet won't get Windows 10 but a $35 dev board with hardware that's runs ~30% as fast, with half the RAM will?
    Ouch...
     
  15. liquidboy

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    its Windows 10 IoT sku ... not FULL Windows 10 or Windows RT more specifically ... There will be certain things that arnt part of the IoT sku ...
     
  16. BRiT

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    Well the Tegra line is really quite shite from the mobile perspective.
     
  17. Erinyes

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    I was present at the launch event and Eben Upton specifically stated that Broadcom created a new SoC just for the Pi 2. Its a very minor change to the BCM2835..basically the only thing which changes is the CPU so it likely was a very low effort, low cost design. Not much power optimization required either as it isnt exactly a mobile device (The other reason I suspect this is that I asked a question on power consumption and the reply was idle power for the Pi 2 is the same as the Pi B+. Idle power should have come down with the move to Cortex A7 and presumably its on a 28nm process). They've sold 4.5M+ Pi's to date and the target volume for the Pi 2 is 3M+ per year so the design cost is probably justified anyway.

    And as kalelovil has already mentioned, it is intentionally a minimal change design to maintain backwards compatibility.
    I dont think its a certainty that they will move to ARMv8 for the next Pi, they could well stick to ARM v7 for cost and compatibility reasons. This isn't exactly a segment which really needs 64 bit support. However, it is likely 2+ years away before we see a successor..and by then the ARM ecosystem would probably be concentrated around ARMv8 so I suppose it is a possibility. And the current gen will continue to be sold for a long time..so they could go for major changes to the next gen. Good question about the GPU though..it will have to be beefed up if they seriously want to compete in the Windows 10 market.
    But how good will the performance be on Windows 10. We saw Windows RT on a Tegra 3..which is significantly more powerful..and the performance was not exactly spectacular. Windows 10 may be lighter and more efficient..but I dont think it can make up for the sheer lack of CPU and GPU power. The only major benefit of Windows 10 support that I can see is app and program compatibility.

    Here are some pics of the device if anyone is interested. Apologies for the poor quality..I only had my mobile phone with me.

    P1.jpg P3.jpg P4.jpg P5.jpg
     
  18. ToTTenTranz

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    One year later, Broadcom continues to make custom SoCs for the Raspberry Pi: BCM2837 for Raspberry Pi 3.

    This time they have quad Cortex A53 at 1.2GHz, making it a lot faster than last year's Cortex A7 at 800MHz.
    The GPU seems to have remained the same Videocore IV, and it seems all they did was raise the clocks a little.

    So, answering my 2015's self:

    Yes, they will/did.


    They didn't, and it seems Raspberry Pi and Broadcom are heading to a corner here.
    What are they going to do if/when the rest of the world is supporting Vulkan and H265?







    As for the new board itself, they went with integrated bluetooth and WiFi, which to me is a huge plus for IoT.
     
  19. mczak

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    It's not just Vulkan missing. The SoC is only GLES 2.0 capable (and just barely at that). The ALUs are fairly capable but the rest of the GPU more looks like a PC gpu from the d3d8 era...
     
  20. tuna

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    Eben Upton claimed (in a podcast on the raspberry pi site) that they have h265 decoding now (he specially mentioned pirates).
     
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