Forums

Minimal and low-cost embedded Linux

Started by pozz December 9, 2015
I don't strictly need a full Linux OS, but I have to use a third-party 
SDK released only for this OS (it is a commercial TTS engine solution).

What is the minimal hw platform that runs a full Linux (not uClinux)? Is 
there a single-chip (integrated Flash and RAM) solution? I don't think.
What is the simplest and lowes cost solution for a medium volume 
production (1000pcs)?

I don't need TCP/IP, USB, Ethernet, WiFi, Filesystems and so on.

I'm not sure, but I think the TTS library doesn't use Linux services,, 
but only C library call.
How do I understand which function calls are present in the pre-compiled 
library included in SDK?

If the library doesn't use specific Linux services, is it possible to 
convert a pre-compiled library for ARM Linux to a pre-compiled library 
for a bare-metal (no OS) ARM hw platform? Of course, the same ARM core.
On 12/9/2015 6:51 PM, pozz wrote:
> I don't strictly need a full Linux OS, but I have to use a third-party > SDK released only for this OS (it is a commercial TTS engine solution). > > What is the minimal hw platform that runs a full Linux (not uClinux)? Is > there a single-chip (integrated Flash and RAM) solution? I don't think. > What is the simplest and lowes cost solution for a medium volume > production (1000pcs)? > > I don't need TCP/IP, USB, Ethernet, WiFi, Filesystems and so on. > > I'm not sure, but I think the TTS library doesn't use Linux services,, > but only C library call. > How do I understand which function calls are present in the pre-compiled > library included in SDK? > > If the library doesn't use specific Linux services, is it possible to > convert a pre-compiled library for ARM Linux to a pre-compiled library > for a bare-metal (no OS) ARM hw platform? Of course, the same ARM core.
The only thing that comes to mind is the Raspberry Pi Zero. It is a small board with the CPU and RAM using a microSD card for storage. It has HDMI and USB but no Ethernet. A 0.1" centers pin connector provides I/O. Do you need I/O? At a price of $5, I don't think you will find anything cheaper even if you build it yourself! -- Rick
pozz <pozzugno@gmail.com> writes:
> What is the minimal hw platform that runs a full Linux (not uClinux)?
Raspberry Pi Model Zero ?
> Is there a single-chip (integrated Flash and RAM) solution? I don't > think.
I don't think so either. You want a few megabytes of flash and a few meg of ram for this.
> What is the simplest and lowes cost solution for a medium volume > production (1000pcs)?
A thing I worked on had a Freescale 400 mhz ARM cpu and 64MB of ram, hw cost around $2. No flash since the board had an SD slot--add another couple bucks for the card. In this case we were logging a lot of data so needed the multi-GB capacity.
> I'm not sure, but I think the TTS library doesn't use Linux services,, > but only C library call. > How do I understand which function calls are present in the > pre-compiled library included in SDK?
The Linux "nm" utility can figure it out (identify the undefined symbols, labelled U).
> If the library doesn't use specific Linux services, is it possible to > convert a pre-compiled library for ARM Linux to a pre-compiled library > for a bare-metal (no OS) ARM hw platform? Of course, the same ARM > core.
Hmm, maybe kinda. It would involve some reverse engineering. You'd need a good systems hacker to do it. Why not just call the vendor and ask them to make a build for your hardware?
Il 10/12/2015 02:02, rickman ha scritto:
> On 12/9/2015 6:51 PM, pozz wrote: >> I don't strictly need a full Linux OS, but I have to use a third-party >> SDK released only for this OS (it is a commercial TTS engine solution). >> >> What is the minimal hw platform that runs a full Linux (not uClinux)? Is >> there a single-chip (integrated Flash and RAM) solution? I don't think. >> What is the simplest and lowes cost solution for a medium volume >> production (1000pcs)? >> >> I don't need TCP/IP, USB, Ethernet, WiFi, Filesystems and so on. >> >> I'm not sure, but I think the TTS library doesn't use Linux services,, >> but only C library call. >> How do I understand which function calls are present in the pre-compiled >> library included in SDK? >> >> If the library doesn't use specific Linux services, is it possible to >> convert a pre-compiled library for ARM Linux to a pre-compiled library >> for a bare-metal (no OS) ARM hw platform? Of course, the same ARM core. > > The only thing that comes to mind is the Raspberry Pi Zero. It is a > small board with the CPU and RAM using a microSD card for storage. It > has HDMI and USB but no Ethernet. A 0.1" centers pin connector provides > I/O. Do you need I/O? > > At a price of $5, I don't think you will find anything cheaper even if > you build it yourself!
Yes, I know Raspberry PI Zero, but I thought it was for hobbyst market. Do you think it's possible to use on a serious application with a medium production volume (1000pcs/year)?
Il 10/12/2015 02:08, Paul Rubin ha scritto:
> pozz <pozzugno@gmail.com> writes: >> What is the minimal hw platform that runs a full Linux (not uClinux)? > > Raspberry Pi Model Zero ?
See my answer to rickman above.
>> Is there a single-chip (integrated Flash and RAM) solution? I don't >> think. > > I don't think so either. You want a few megabytes of flash and a few > meg of ram for this. > >> What is the simplest and lowes cost solution for a medium volume >> production (1000pcs)? > > A thing I worked on had a Freescale 400 mhz ARM cpu and 64MB of ram, hw > cost around $2. No flash since the board had an SD slot--add another > couple bucks for the card. In this case we were logging a lot of data > so needed the multi-GB capacity.
Do you have additional info? Which Freescale ARM MPU?
>> I'm not sure, but I think the TTS library doesn't use Linux services,, >> but only C library call. >> How do I understand which function calls are present in the >> pre-compiled library included in SDK? > > The Linux "nm" utility can figure it out (identify the undefined > symbols, labelled U). > >> If the library doesn't use specific Linux services, is it possible to >> convert a pre-compiled library for ARM Linux to a pre-compiled library >> for a bare-metal (no OS) ARM hw platform? Of course, the same ARM >> core. > > Hmm, maybe kinda. It would involve some reverse engineering. You'd > need a good systems hacker to do it. Why not just call the vendor and > ask them to make a build for your hardware?
Already asked to them, but they aren't collaborative in this sense.
Il giorno gioved&#2013265932; 10 dicembre 2015 08:49:40 UTC+1, pozz ha scritto:
> Il 10/12/2015 02:02, rickman ha scritto: > > On 12/9/2015 6:51 PM, pozz wrote: > >> I don't strictly need a full Linux OS, but I have to use a third-party > >> SDK released only for this OS (it is a commercial TTS engine solution). > >> > >> What is the minimal hw platform that runs a full Linux (not uClinux)? Is > >> there a single-chip (integrated Flash and RAM) solution? I don't think. > >> What is the simplest and lowes cost solution for a medium volume > >> production (1000pcs)? > >> > >> I don't need TCP/IP, USB, Ethernet, WiFi, Filesystems and so on. > >> > >> I'm not sure, but I think the TTS library doesn't use Linux services,, > >> but only C library call. > >> How do I understand which function calls are present in the pre-compiled > >> library included in SDK? > >> > >> If the library doesn't use specific Linux services, is it possible to > >> convert a pre-compiled library for ARM Linux to a pre-compiled library > >> for a bare-metal (no OS) ARM hw platform? Of course, the same ARM core. > > > > The only thing that comes to mind is the Raspberry Pi Zero. It is a > > small board with the CPU and RAM using a microSD card for storage. It > > has HDMI and USB but no Ethernet. A 0.1" centers pin connector provides > > I/O. Do you need I/O? > > > > At a price of $5, I don't think you will find anything cheaper even if > > you build it yourself! > > Yes, I know Raspberry PI Zero, but I thought it was for hobbyst market. > Do you think it's possible to use on a serious application with a medium > production volume (1000pcs/year)?
the real question is if they will sell you 1000pcs/year. The first batch they had sold out in less than 24 hours. Have you already checked the Beagle Bone (Black)? it has 4GB of flash onboard, so you don't need to use an external sd card. Bye Jack
On 12/10/2015 2:49 AM, pozz wrote:
> Il 10/12/2015 02:02, rickman ha scritto: >> On 12/9/2015 6:51 PM, pozz wrote: >>> I don't strictly need a full Linux OS, but I have to use a third-party >>> SDK released only for this OS (it is a commercial TTS engine solution). >>> >>> What is the minimal hw platform that runs a full Linux (not uClinux)? Is >>> there a single-chip (integrated Flash and RAM) solution? I don't think. >>> What is the simplest and lowes cost solution for a medium volume >>> production (1000pcs)? >>> >>> I don't need TCP/IP, USB, Ethernet, WiFi, Filesystems and so on. >>> >>> I'm not sure, but I think the TTS library doesn't use Linux services,, >>> but only C library call. >>> How do I understand which function calls are present in the pre-compiled >>> library included in SDK? >>> >>> If the library doesn't use specific Linux services, is it possible to >>> convert a pre-compiled library for ARM Linux to a pre-compiled library >>> for a bare-metal (no OS) ARM hw platform? Of course, the same ARM core. >> >> The only thing that comes to mind is the Raspberry Pi Zero. It is a >> small board with the CPU and RAM using a microSD card for storage. It >> has HDMI and USB but no Ethernet. A 0.1" centers pin connector provides >> I/O. Do you need I/O? >> >> At a price of $5, I don't think you will find anything cheaper even if >> you build it yourself! > > Yes, I know Raspberry PI Zero, but I thought it was for hobbyst market. > Do you think it's possible to use on a serious application with a medium > production volume (1000pcs/year)?
What aspects are you concerned about? What about the board makes it "hobbyist", or maybe I should ask what that even means? Electronics is electronics. Unless you feel there is something wrong with the board or that it won't be made in a few years, I can't see a problem using it. I guess you might want to check channels to make sure you can buy 100 at a time or whatever quantity you will be needing. I wanted to use a Beagle Bone in a project once and in the support forum the developer said they don't sell it for commercial work. What he meant was he wanted to be free to make mods to the board as he saw fit without worrying about compatibility. He recommended you get your own boards made. Now he is selling the BBB for commercial use at a slightly higher price for low quantities. Not sure where the price is for larger quantities, but far above $5. The rPi has been in production for a couple of years now. They come out with new models, but I don't see where they have dropped any. I'd bet they make the zero for some time to come as I think it will be very popular. Even if they drop it, I bet someone else picks it up and offers it for a slightly higher price. Hard to do much of a board for $5. -- Rick
pozz <pozzugno@gmail.com> writes:
> Yes, I know Raspberry PI Zero, but I thought it was for hobbyst > market. Do you think it's possible to use on a serious application > with a medium production volume (1000pcs/year)?
Right now its availability is too limited, but I do believe people are using the bigger Raspberry Pis in this way. It also occurs to me that the TTS library might require a significant amount of file storage, since a lot of what it has to do amounts to natural language analysis to decide inflections etc., so it may need a database of English (or whatever language) vocabulary. The actual sound synthesis is simple by comparison. This means porting to a minimal bare metal system might be messy and not gain you much.
pozz <pozzugno@gmail.com> writes:
>> A thing I worked on had a Freescale 400 mhz ARM cpu and 64MB of ram > Do you have additional info? Which Freescale ARM MPU?
Don't remember, probably never knew the part number. Another guy did the hardware-- I only wrote code. You might look at openwrt.org or some other site where they take apart home router applicances. Those things run Linux internally and are very cheap, so the hw should be minimal.
On 2015-12-10 Paul Rubin wrote in comp.arch.embedded:
> pozz <pozzugno@gmail.com> writes: > >> Is there a single-chip (integrated Flash and RAM) solution? I don't >> think. > > I don't think so either. You want a few megabytes of flash and a few > meg of ram for this.
The Renesas RZ comes close, up to 10MB on-chip RAM. But no flash, just add a tiny QSPI FLASH. Never used them, but they look interesting. -- Stef (remove caps, dashes and .invalid from e-mail address to reply by mail) He who spends a storm beneath a tree, takes life with a grain of TNT.