N1? or N2?

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N1? or N2?

Unread postby odroid » Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:44 am

Hello community members,

We are really sorry to keep you waiting too long.
It is time to tell you about what has been happening.

After announcing the N1 board in February, we started to prepare all the components for the mass production.
But Samsung and Hynix suddenly informed us 1GB DDR3 chip was End-of-Life phase and we couldn't place any order.
It meant we could not make 4GB model since there must be four DRAM chips mounted on the board.
We could make a 2GB model only with four 512MB DDR3 chips. But it couldn't make any big difference against the currently popular XU4 board.

So we must redesign the PCB with LPDDR4 chips and it might take a couple of months.
Unfortunately, LPDDR4 lead time was also a few months due to the DRAM market shortage issue.

At that time, we heard a news about newer SoC will be available in September with faster CPU/GPU cores and native DDR4 support from other SoC vendor.
Some early engineering samples will be ready in July and we can start our internal evaluation and development from the middle of July.
Normal DDR4 lead time is much better than LPDDR4 certainly. We already started a new PCB design for the new SoC.

It was the main reason why we had to suspend the N1 project and considered the N2 project.
Our average board life cycle must be 4 years at least. So 5~6 months of delay shouldn't be a big problem hopefully.

At this moment, we can NOT disclose the information about the newer SoC due to the NDA with the chip manufacturer.
I think we can unveil the N2 specification and test results by end of August and start the mass production in September.

Please kindly understand this situation and stay tuned.
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Re: N1? or N2?

Unread postby rooted » Fri Jun 22, 2018 12:00 pm

Sounds great odroid, thank you for the update. I wish we could ask questions but I respect Hardkernel being under an NDA.
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Re: N1? or N2?

Unread postby moon.linux » Fri Jun 22, 2018 2:43 pm

Odroid that sound gr8... very very pleasing.
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Re: N1? or N2?

Unread postby elatllat » Fri Jun 22, 2018 3:01 pm

Thanks for sharing,

The N1 is plenty fast enough for me (for now), so I would use whatever has the best software support.

Low power is nice but not really a N niche.

If the new SOC can use 8GB ram, that would set it further apart from the competition.

A home router replacement package might sell fast given the current terrible options of new routers, and all of them being hackable by the Russians because they're using a 2x kernel... though one might want ecc ram and a bug free cpu for that which might get pricy.
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Re: N1? or N2?

Unread postby cdu13a » Fri Jun 22, 2018 3:19 pm

Really appreciate the updates, even if you can't say much about the new SoC.
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Re: N1? or N2?

Unread postby SACHOMAN69 » Fri Jun 22, 2018 4:09 pm

Thank you very much for the information, now I can wait calmly
Saludos
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Re: N1? or N2?

Unread postby rncwnd » Fri Jun 22, 2018 4:22 pm

That's actually really great news!!!!

4 GB is a must have for my next sbc. But much more important is a sata controller with 2 ports (or more?) without any usb controllers / hubs in between.
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Re: N1? or N2?

Unread postby xabolcs » Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:40 pm

Thank you for the update!

Can't wait for it! That would by my first ODROID. :)
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Re: N1? or N2?

Unread postby AreaScout » Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:06 pm

I hope it has GBM enabled GPU user space libraries !

RG
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Re: N1? or N2?

Unread postby OverSun » Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:04 pm

yeah, rockchip was awesome cool in terms of software support. I guess the best available libraries and technologies so far. hope the other chipset is not less cool.
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Re: N1? or N2?

Unread postby Demetris » Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:45 pm

Anything ≥ Exynos 8 Octa 8890 and i will start drooling
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Re: N1? or N2?

Unread postby elatllat » Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:50 pm

OverSun wrote:...

Did you break your LEET post count to remind us software support is the #1 requirement? :)
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Re: N1? or N2?

Unread postby OverSun » Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:06 pm

=D Let's count it as I did. =D
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Re: N1? or N2?

Unread postby rooted » Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:47 pm

elatllat wrote:
OverSun wrote:...

Did you break your LEET post count to remind us software support is the #1 requirement? :)
OverSun wrote:=D Let's count it as I did. =D
Next up is 31337
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Re: N1? or N2?

Unread postby 2ndSeb » Sat Jun 23, 2018 2:39 am

Ah sorry to hear that, could imagine that this endeavor was quite expensive for hardkernel.

Anyways, the community probably cannot wait for what comes next. And I personally hope that you'll keep the two SATA ports. (I feel like immediately writing down my hardware wish list...)
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Re: N1? or N2?

Unread postby crashoverride » Sat Jun 23, 2018 2:53 am

2ndSeb wrote:(I feel like immediately writing down my hardware wish list...)

:D

The lesson I have learned from N1:
The more powerful the processor, the more important the storage I/O speed. My PostgreSQL DB is I/O bound on a SATA HDD. This means the best of all worlds would be a NVMe slot with PCIeX4 lanes. Since not everyone wants/needs a SSD, two add-on boards should be designed to fit the NVMe slot. The first is a dual/quad SATA chip similar to what is currently found on N1. The second is a USB3.x interface. The placement of the NVMe would be critical for this to work, but this design offers the most flexibility and does not add cost for features that someone may not use.

[edit]
For those curious, the reason for the USB3.x interface has to do with the difference between a SoC embedded controller such as DWC2/3 and a real USB controller. Embedded controllers often offload certain USB host functions to the SoC CPU to reduce cost. This creates limitations such as endpoint limits and IRQ servicing. A real controller eliminates these restrictions.
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Re: N1? or N2?

Unread postby mad_ady » Sat Jun 23, 2018 3:00 am

I'm sorry to hear the N1 will not survive in its current form, but glad to hear you're not giving up on a xu4 replacement. I don't want to turn this into a wish list but maybe having a little spi flash addon board for network boot/clusters would be nice.
It's also great to have closure.
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Re: N1? or N2?

Unread postby XNeo » Sat Jun 23, 2018 4:19 am

Thanks odroid, I really appreciate the candidness.

Please disregard all the feature-creep wishlists and instead keep the price down. :D
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Re: N1? or N2?

Unread postby back2future » Sat Jun 23, 2018 4:39 am

On further open hardware pro development it will have to 차세대 기대를위한 새로운 "Samsung 970pro SSD"쇼와 같이 3.0 4 레인 pcie 제한을 극복하십시오.
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Re: N1? or N2?

Unread postby phaseshifter » Sat Jun 23, 2018 9:14 am

well this is not all bad news rather quite good news...

this means that even though h-k cannot disclose the cpu..it does men a better cpu than the N-1 so it would be seen from odroid`s news...

having said this i am rather pleased that they have disclosed as much so far as they have..
the ram issue was a rather major selling point for the N-1 .
along with it`s other features..i am glad i have a piece of hardware history..as i am big on hardware..thanks h-k and the team not to forget odroid the man himself..


phase...
Odroids and an amd 64 bit x86 machine..
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Re: N1? or N2?

Unread postby crashoverride » Sat Jun 23, 2018 1:54 pm

phaseshifter wrote:i am glad i have a piece of hardware history

My initial thought was that N1 is now a collector's item. I need to build an elaborate glass enclosure with laser motion detection system and an air pressure sensitive alarm to guard it from ninjas that may try to steal it. ;)
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Re: N1? or N2?

Unread postby rooted » Sat Jun 23, 2018 3:06 pm

I am going to run mine until it dies, like intended :)

It does have a certain coolness factor that only 20+- of us have them, but also limits software support unfortunately. Likely none from Hardkernel going forward (understandably) and a limited amount from the few who have them I imagine.
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Re: N1? or N2?

Unread postby back2future » Sat Jun 23, 2018 3:20 pm

It's no arm128 but definitely an arm64, so all N1's are on a proper route.
More interesting for a community could be a capable qemu version for coming N3 arm64/arm2^(7-25/33) hardware.
[ 5$ therefore. ]

[ Some amount of dev and engineering efforts can be found in (e)MRAM also. But who knows. ]

Partly reusing RAM from older Hardkernel boards could keep cost for newer boards down. But that's more likely a talk about compatibility and ressources. Not much about that.
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Re: N1? or N2?

Unread postby wintersdark » Sat Jun 23, 2018 3:51 pm

Well, that's disappointing but understandable.

I've a project waiting on these, but it can wait a little longer. There's not a lot of options in this space offering a pair of SATA ports.
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Re: N1? or N2?

Unread postby gseaman » Sat Jun 23, 2018 4:22 pm

@crashoverride
Where do I send the ninjas?

Seriously, I am excited for the new board, but can wait. Thanks for the update.
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Re: N1? or N2?

Unread postby back2future » Sat Jun 23, 2018 7:17 pm

Meanwhile we could do a domino competition, but what to use for that?
Maybe Odroid could provide us with the new pcb's for that approach [ :ugeek: ].
For topping the 2017 American record we would need at least 250000 pieces for being at the big show for the multi-team level.
All proceeds benefited there a pre-college engineering program at an area where car industry lost essential demand _ telling 'bout Detroit.
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Re: N1? or N2?

Unread postby stikonas » Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:53 pm

Not sure if this information is available due to NDA but worth asking:

    Will the new bord be still vulnerable to Spectre and/or Meltdown?
    What about blobs? Will they be necessary to boot? RK3399 could use U-boot as SPL bootloader...
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Re: N1? or N2?

Unread postby back2future » Sat Jun 23, 2018 10:30 pm

[ There could be a side-channel attack possible through gator module, remotely?
Don't think that. Why would an arm community research overruled approaches (that way)?
Any fixed, agreed roadmap guarantees already a steady income growth at a 20-25% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) from µarch improvements.
Any exceptional innovation that would accelerate development towards nowadays physical borders¹ of Moore's Law could be recognized like disturbance, considering a whole market share, like arm cpu/gpu cores?
Argument against: Why testing into desktop memory market now?

1) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5_nanometer ]
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Re: N1? or N2?

Unread postby rooted » Sat Jun 23, 2018 11:54 pm

back2future wrote:[ There could be a side-channel attack possible through gator module, remotely?
]


That only applies to Mali Midguard
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Re: N1? or N2?

Unread postby vindicator » Sun Jun 24, 2018 3:01 am

Good to know.
With the newer DDR4 and CPU, can you give a ballpark-range you might expect to see for price near the time of release (or current going rate)? (eg. USD $50-75, $75-100, $125-175)

Also, one of the things I liked about the U2 and XU4 was their small dimensions. They mounted perfectly on my home framing stud (3.5 inches), just like my microcontroller.
N1 slightly exceeded the size, but not by too much. The magnetic push/spring latch for the access door also makes the door slightly protrude so the N1 would've still fit I think.
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Re: N1? or N2?

Unread postby hokoon » Sun Jun 24, 2018 5:20 am

August, promise me.
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Re: N1? or N2?

Unread postby elatllat » Sun Jun 24, 2018 11:33 am

stikonas wrote:vulnerable?

Likely most hardware for the next couple years will be vulnerable. only arm running kernel 4.18 or higher are likely to be properly patched.
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Re: N1? or N2?

Unread postby mastertheknife » Sun Jun 24, 2018 6:31 pm

Hopefully the new SoC will feature the new A55 + A75 cores.
4GB of DDR4 is even better. Give us USB 3.0 and SATA like on the N1 and we're good.
Please add more UART and PWM to the 40pin header (in place of the "standard" GPIOs, because they can still function as standard GPIO)
If possible, stick to V3.3 GPIO instead of V3.0 like on the N1.
Thats pretty much my wishlist :-)
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Re: N1? or N2?

Unread postby mad_ady » Sun Jun 24, 2018 6:44 pm

I'd say, ideally HK should try to preserve as much compatibility as possible with existing addons (boom bonnet, 3.5" lcd, etc). N1's voltage level made it incompatible.
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Re: N1? or N2?

Unread postby memeka » Sun Jun 24, 2018 6:59 pm

Reasons why N1 was great:

* great IO (2xSATA, 2xUSB3.0)
* kernel support - having the chromebook means there's lots of people working on mainlining the SoC
* x11 support (glamour)
* wayland support (RK posts updated wayland drivers, ARM stopped doing that for mali 6xx)
* vpu support (ffmpeg mainline)
* lots of people working on kodi support (drm prime) - many 3399 boards will benefit from this

software-wise, hard to beat 3399.

Hope the new SoC in N2 will tick some of these boxes...
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Re: N1? or N2?

Unread postby back2future » Sun Jun 24, 2018 7:13 pm

[ Reading the N1 announcement again, there were expectations on "Odroid by Hardkernel" community members beside hardware compatibility.
Will this be the path for a proceeding N2 again?

Recognizing the interest for Hardkernel boards and progress on that:
Will there be a cultural translation for the route with South Korean yin and yang? ]

Big surprise would be, if Hardkernel developers would challenge themselves into x64.
What would be the common system connector?
Leaving mobile market competition towards nettop/tablet/server&cluster/office emphasis?

[ DRAM market 2017: https://www.electronicsweekly.com/news/ ... s-2017-04/ ]

1st google translation:
Code: Select all
N1 발표를 다시 읽으면 하드웨어 호환성 옆에있는 "Odroid by Hardkernel"커뮤니티 회원에게 기대가있었습니다.
이것이 다시 N2의 길일 것인가?

Hardkernel 보드에 대한 관심과 그 진전을 인식 :
한국의 음과 양과 관련된 문화 번역본이 있을까요? ]

Hardkernel 개발자가 스스로를 x64에 도전한다면 큰 놀라움이있을 것입니다.
공통 시스템 커넥터는 무엇입니까?
nettop / tablet / server & cluster / office 강조를 향해 모바일 시장 경쟁을 떠나고 있습니까?


2nd google translation:
Code: Select all
After reading the N1 announcement again, I was looking forward to the "Odroid by Hardkernel" community member next to hardware compatibility.
Will this be the N2 path again?

Recognizing the interest and progress of the Hardkernel board:
Do you have cultural translations related to Korean yin and yang? ]

Hardkernel developers will be amazed if they challenge themselves to x64.
What is a common system connector?
nettop / tablet / server & cluster / office Are you leaving the mobile market competition towards emphasis?
Last edited by back2future on Mon Jun 25, 2018 6:43 am, edited 11 times in total.
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Re: N1? or N2?

Unread postby stikonas » Sun Jun 24, 2018 7:14 pm

elatllat wrote:
stikonas wrote:vulnerable?

Likely most hardware for the next couple years will be vulnerable. only arm running kernel 4.18 or higher are likely to be properly patched.


Well, that's definitely true for amd64 architecture cpus. But some arm64 cpus were not vulnerable. Even hardkernel's odroid C2 was not.
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Re: N1? or N2?

Unread postby back2future » Sun Jun 24, 2018 8:07 pm

:idea:
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Re: N1? or N2?

Unread postby memeka » Sun Jun 24, 2018 8:13 pm

stikonas wrote:
elatllat wrote:
stikonas wrote:vulnerable?

Likely most hardware for the next couple years will be vulnerable. only arm running kernel 4.18 or higher are likely to be properly patched.


Well, that's definitely true for amd64 architecture cpus. But some arm64 cpus were not vulnerable. Even hardkernel's odroid C2 was not.


Only LITTLE core were not vulnerable, since they are in-order. The vulnerability affects out-of-order CPUs. But all ARM big cores are out-of-order. So any board replacing the XU4, since it would need to have big cores to be better, it would be affected.
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Re: N1? or N2?

Unread postby hominoid » Mon Jun 25, 2018 3:02 am

LPDDR4 memory and a faster SOC; sounds like it's worth waiting. I'm looking forward to hearing the details...August isn't too far away.
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Re: N1? or N2?

Unread postby catalinii » Mon Jun 25, 2018 4:19 am

If you plan to support it for couple of year I believe the NVMe option (at least) is a must.
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Re: N1? or N2?

Unread postby rooted » Mon Jun 25, 2018 4:25 am

hominoid wrote:LPDDR4 memory and a faster SOC; sounds like it's worth waiting. I'm looking forward to hearing the details...August isn't too far away.
Not if it's from Amlogic, maybe not even Samsung. Software support is of utmost importance and both of these companies lack in this area.
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Re: N1? or N2?

Unread postby mad_ady » Mon Jun 25, 2018 5:31 am

I don't think its from either Amlogic or Samsung, otherwise it would have been called likely C3/XU5.
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Re: N1? or N2?

Unread postby memeka » Mon Jun 25, 2018 6:12 am

Cx/XUx does not necessarily come from vendor, i think it's from capability...
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Re: N1? or N2?

Unread postby hominoid » Mon Jun 25, 2018 9:02 am

rooted wrote:
hominoid wrote:LPDDR4 memory and a faster SOC; sounds like it's worth waiting. I'm looking forward to hearing the details...August isn't too far away.
Not if it's from Amlogic, maybe not even Samsung. Software support is of utmost importance and both of these companies lack in this area.

I totally agree hardware without open software and support are problematic. Without knowing who the SOC vendor is or other details I didn't want to speculate any further. Maybe it is something totally new and unexpected and is going to leap frog all other current and near term competitors offerings.
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Re: N1? or N2?

Unread postby rooted » Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:17 am

[quote="hominoid] Maybe it is something totally new and unexpected and is going to leap frog all other current and near term competitors offerings.[/quote]

Indeed :)
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Re: N1? or N2?

Unread postby vindicator » Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:44 am

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Re: N1? or N2?

Unread postby rooted » Mon Jun 25, 2018 12:00 pm

For the first time I agree with tkaiser, I think they should build an N1 Lite with 2GB of RAM.

If the new SoC has a better SATA interface then I understand why not, but if no dual SATA the N1 would fill this need.
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Re: N1? or N2?

Unread postby moon.linux » Mon Jun 25, 2018 12:17 pm

Yes Rockchip SOC is best way to go forward for N1 Lite with 2GB of RAM. It should be just like Odroid XU4 small and compact.
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Re: N1? or N2?

Unread postby mad_ady » Mon Jun 25, 2018 2:56 pm

The problem with developing and supporting an n1 lite in addition to a different n2 is that HK would need to split their resources to offer software support for both platforms. If they could make it to replace hc1/hc2 then they wouldn't compete with themselves and might make sense.
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