tinker Board

Discussion and questions about programming with Ultibo.
develone
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tinker Board

Postby develone » Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:28 pm

Hello All,
I just purchased a tinker board on sale for $49.99 reg price 59.99 at Micro Center in St. Louis. There also a Tinker board S for $86.00.
This is suppose to be like the RPi with 2GB Ram, 1.8GHz 4 core CPU and Mali-T764 GP. My question is does Ultibo run on the Tinker board?
Thanks in advance.
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Re: tinker Board

Postby Ultibo » Sat Jul 14, 2018 12:44 am

develone wrote:My question is does Ultibo run on the Tinker board?

Hi develone,

I had to read about the Tinker board to see what it is, have heard the name before but never paid much attention.

While it does a good job of looking a lot like a Raspberry Pi in physical appearance that's where the similarities end so at this stage Ultibo won't work with it because it uses a completely different SoC with different peripherals, USB, GPU etc.

Of course it could be made to work and anyone is welcome to take on porting Ultibo to other boards, for the moment we don't have the resources to support it and right now we are focused on making Ultibo accessible to a wider audience by creating an API that gives access to languages other than Free Pascal.
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Gavinmc42
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Re: tinker Board

Postby Gavinmc42 » Sat Jul 14, 2018 11:17 am

If someone wanted to port a different SBC or SoC, what files would need to be customized?

new files
ultibo/core/boottinker.pas
ultibo/core/RK3288.pas (bcm2807.pas, bcm2835.pas)
ultibo/core/platformtinker.pas
ultibo/core/mali762.pas
ultibo/core/rtllan.pas

Good luck with the USB, wifi and audio?
Anything else?

Then Lazarus would need to be modified with a tinker.cfg?

Code: Select all

#
# Raspberry Pi (A/B/A+/B+/Zero) specific config file
#
-CfVFPV2
-CIARM
-CaEABIHF
-OoFASTMATH
-FuC:\Ultibo\Core\fpc\3.1.1/units/armv6-ultibo/rtl
-FuC:\Ultibo\Core\fpc\3.1.1/units/armv6-ultibo/packages
-FlC:\Ultibo\Core\fpc\3.1.1/units/armv6-ultibo/lib
-FlC:\Ultibo\Core\fpc\3.1.1/units/armv6-ultibo/lib/vc4

Looks like a bunch of other stuff too?
A lot of coding, a very, very big project.


I would start with something simple but useful, maybe Cortex M0/3 processors that could be used as Pi GPIO expanders.
Maybe something already supported by the compiler?

What would be the smallest/simplest CPU to port just so we get an idea of what's involved.
Something that just flashes a LED and that can then be expanded on as a project.
My preference is the ATSAM series as it is common on Adafruit and other designs.

https://www.microchip.com/wwwproducts/en/ATSAMD09C13
These start at 14pins with limited features, expanding them to bigger ones can be done over time.
Ultibo then becomes an Arduino type IDE as well.
I see this as a more immediate goal as it should be much, much, much simpler and ultimately more flexible and useful.
Quite a few people would have the skills to expand the features and they do have complete datasheets.

The D21's has a USB which can be used as a bootloader.
https://www.adafruit.com/product/3500
With 256KB flash, 32KB SRAM it is not a toy :D

But how to start?
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Re: tinker Board

Postby Ultibo » Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:11 pm

Gavinmc42 wrote:If someone wanted to port a different SBC or SoC, what files would need to be customized?

That's pretty much the basic list of units that would need to be created, however the bigger part of the task is getting enough information for the particular SoC and then having the commitment to work through the complexities of actually deciphering the data sheets and other documentation in order to produce a working setup.

Gavinmc42 wrote:Good luck with the USB, wifi and audio?
Anything else?

In fact USB will likely be either EHCI (USB 2.0) or XHCI (USB 3.0) which are standards based devices, unlike the Pi which is a total oddball USB controller.

WiFi will be some form of standard chip but any access to the Mali GPU will depend entirely on non open source binary drivers etc from ARM, in spite of the total claptrap from some Linux nuts the Pi really is quite open with this information at least.

Gavinmc42 wrote:I would start with something simple but useful, maybe Cortex M0/3 processors that could be used as Pi GPIO expanders.
Maybe something already supported by the compiler?

I'm not quite sure how that fits in with the goals of Ultibo, someone else has already done a lot of work on an FPC RTL that is suitable for that size device whereas the Ultibo RTL will be way too big for a Cortex M0/3 etc.

The question is which features would you leave out to create something that could run on a device that small, we always intended the Ultibo RTL to be full featured and run on big powerful microprocessors, not on micro-controllers.

Gavinmc42 wrote:But how to start?

I'd say start with what already exists, the Embedded target in FPC and the various projects that are designed for it.

Ultibo itself began as an extension of the Embedded target, when we realized that adding the features we wanted would severely break the goals of the embedded implementation we decided it needed to be a target of its own instead.
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wotanica
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Re: tinker Board

Postby wotanica » Thu Jul 26, 2018 3:19 pm

I really hope the ultibo team would reconsider.
What makes Ultibo so cool is that its 100% pascal. Other languages are over-represented as is.

If Ultibo would cover Odroid XU4 and Tinkerboard, it would represent one of the best systems for embedded / single app development out there.

Setup a kickstarter. I run Delphi Developer on Facebook with nearly 8000 active developers. I would promote you 24/7 for free. I would gladly pay $300 if i could target the tinkerboard. And im pretty sure many others feel the same once they realize what you have made - and what it can do.

The linux distro (linaro) for tinkerboard sucks. And the kernel throttle down 1Ghz if you hit 70 degrees. Ultibo with proper cooling would run at incredible speed.

Please do a kickstarter - the world needs Ultibo on more devices. Very few are capable of doing this, so i hope your incredible talent can be used to further Ultibo on Odroid and Tinkerboard as well.

Respectfully

Jon Lennart Aasenden
SC at Embarcadero NYC
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Re: tinker Board

Postby Gavinmc42 » Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:12 pm

I really hope the ultibo team would reconsider.

Er the team is mostly Garry with his wife hand feeding him as he slaves away chained at the keyboard ;)

The rest of us are mostly learners, spectators and sometimes users.

Please do a kickstarter - the world needs Ultibo on more devices. Very few are capable of doing this, so i hope your incredible talent can be used to further Ultibo on Odroid and Tinkerboard as well.

Very few indeed.
Tried once to figure out how long it would take to acquire the same skill set as Garry, I estimated 1-2 decades :o
I also told Garry to hold out for 6 figures $$$$$$ minimum :lol:

A couple of those red boxes on the Status page are probably going to need as much effort, if not more as everything done to date.
https://ultibo.org/wiki/Current_Status
Perhaps we can start by collecting information on other SBC chips while Garry tackles those last nasty red boxes.

What is know and unknown?
If Laz/FPC runs on them, will that help?
Has anyone baremetaled Odroid or Tinker or IMX8?
Is there Linux/Android source code?

Perhaps in the Hardware forum section we can add new boards. Sort by brand or CPU?
Start by putting links to everything known about them.

Tinker- Rockchip RK3288/Mali-T760
Odroid XU4 - Samsung Exynos5422/Mali-T628
Olimex A64 - Allwinner A64 /GPU?
BananaPi- Allwinner V40/GPU?
Wandaboard - iMX8/Vivante GC7000Lite
NanoPi - Allwinner H3/Mali-400

But there are so many CPU/GPU combos.
If no one has figured out baremetal on them can it still be done?
Realistically anything less than 64bit will be old in the next few years.
And most 64bit stuff still runs 32bit code now, ie Raspbian.

Only Garry knows how hard it would be.
What would be the minimum needed to see is it was possible at all?
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Re: tinker Board

Postby Ultibo » Mon Jul 30, 2018 11:07 am

wotanica wrote:I really hope the ultibo team would reconsider.
What makes Ultibo so cool is that its 100% pascal. Other languages are over-represented as is
....

Please do a kickstarter - the world needs Ultibo on more devices. Very few are capable of doing this, so i hope your incredible talent can be used to further Ultibo on Odroid and Tinkerboard as well.

The funny thing is we pretty much agree with all of that, it should be possible to create a system like Ultibo, promote it to the community, have people get involved and contribute and then expand to include other boards and more features. We fully expected (and still do) that Ultibo will expand to other boards and the work done to date should be ample evidence of our ability to make it happen.

But it is all about the numbers, look at it this way:

Something like 17 million Raspberry Pi's have been sold so far.

Of those about half seem to be going to commercial purposes.

Of the remainder probably at least half are now shoved in the drawer or the cupboard, bought based on a recommendation, blog or article but the user lost interest or couldn't make what they wanted. Perhaps they simply became frustrated with Raspbian and gave up.

With the ones that are left, many of those people own more than one. Some own a dozen or more even.

Of the people who even realize they could do something "without Linux" many may believe (or be told) that they would need to use C or assembler to make it work.

And of the very few who pursue something "bare metal" the number looking to do it using Pascal or who are willing to learn Free Pascal is a fairly small number indeed.


Now the obvious question is would the potential audience for C/C++, Python, JavaScript, Lua, Rust or any other language be larger? Possibly not but if we add a bunch of them together then it might reach a number that makes it possible to deliver the sort of system people are really looking for and be sustainable as a project on its own.

Equally would targeting x86 instead of ARM give a bigger audience, maybe since (if you ignore phones) there are a lot more x86 devices than ARM. But again it is all about the numbers and we have to explore all of the possible ways to present Ultibo to the largest possible audience.

Would the tinker board change the above numbers, I don't know for sure but I don't think they have sold anything like 17 million so any change may be small overall.
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Re: tinker Board

Postby Ultibo » Mon Jul 30, 2018 11:11 am

Gavinmc42 wrote:Er the team is mostly Garry...

Careful with assumptions about stereotypes, Ultibo is very much a team effort.
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Re: tinker Board

Postby Gavinmc42 » Mon Jul 30, 2018 11:42 pm

Careful with assumptions about stereotypes, Ultibo is very much a team effort.

Exaggeration for effect ;)
Time to write the history of the early years of Ultibo?

Pi's will keep me busy for the next decade, any other SBC is a bonus.
I personally like the Olimex stuff, but I see iMX8's as interesting chips.
However new tech is coming out, AI/ML/CV etc hardware acceleration.
These may be a few years away but that is still in my mastering the Pi timeframe.

Basic rule - People over estimate what can be done in a year and under estimate what can be done in 5 years.
Ultibo is half way at about 2 1/2 years and is at version 2.0.
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Re: tinker Board

Postby develone » Tue Jul 31, 2018 11:47 pm

Hello All,
When I found out that the Tinker Board was not supported by Ultibo. I returned the board and got another RPi3B+. The other reason for returning, the other Linux software was very limited. In addition I read that it did not support modules like other Linux distributions.
I think that Ultibo & FPGA makes a better learning tool. The additional memory and faster CPU, were something that grabbed my attention.
I just have so many irons in the fire, it is difficult to take on a new one of porting Ultibo to the Tinker Board. Wishing anyone trying the port the best of luck. What I would like to see is WiFi, which should have a higher priority than other boards.

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