A truly hackable LattePanda Concept Discussion

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Diomedes1905
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Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2018 9:29 pm

Mon Dec 03, 2018 6:25 pm

(I don't know if this can be in this forum, but I need to share my thoughts in the matter)

This is what I think a truly hackable LattePanda should be:

RAM: 8GB
Processor: Intel x7-Z8750 (https://ark.intel.com/products/93362/)
ROM: 64 GB
MicroSd: Max of 256 GB
USB: 3x USB 3.0 positioned one side another, like in the Alpha.
Power: Use a Jack plug with a maximum of 12v 1A to truly energize everything connected to the board.
Connectivity: Ethernet (please a gigabit one), wireless and bluetooth as usual. Also headphone jack, Mini HDMI, MIPI-DSI, CSI camera port.
A better connection for the RTC, this is crucial to have disconnected environments.
Co-processor: Arduino Leonardo, with the 3.3v connectors.

This configuration can and will compete against any PC Stick, media center, single board computer and even with any mainstream office pc allowing to attack a lot of markets.

I know that having this will increase the price to around USD$180.00 - USD$220.00 (without license), but adding this we cover up Raspberry CSI Camera compatibility, with enough power input we reduce all the power's problems we currently have, it will be a cheap option for any maker and we can truly use it as a dev/production machine.

PS. A M.2 connector is good for those like me to use an external graphics card with CUDA support, but I want to read your comments about it.

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Diomedes1905
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Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2018 9:29 pm

Mon Dec 03, 2018 7:27 pm

I strongly believe that having at least 8GB of RAM is a most for a Windows computer that will run any program except web browser or any Office application.

Having ~20GB of ROM it's great for a starting point, but having another 100GB or more is even better for gather a lot of information in a disconnected environment, has enough space for the temporal files, compress the old ones and so on.

A mouse, keyboard and another peripheral is more than enough for most of applications that require USB connections. More than that we can use an USB Hub.

The power: right now having 5V@2.5A charger is difficult to have because the market is full of trashy ones that give you at most 4.3V@2A and even when we use a powered USB hub, we end using the CN2 connector so the power micro USB connector is useless. With a 12V@1A power supply and a UBEC connected to the CN2 connector we don't run into this problem.

Some of us need to use a camera for compute vision and I think that a Raspberry one can be a good implementation.

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LattePanda
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Wed Dec 12, 2018 11:01 am

Diomedes1905 wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 7:27 pm
I strongly believe that having at least 8GB of RAM is a most for a Windows computer that will run any program except web browser or any Office application.

Having ~20GB of ROM it's great for a starting point, but having another 100GB or more is even better for gather a lot of information in a disconnected environment, has enough space for the temporal files, compress the old ones and so on.

A mouse, keyboard and another peripheral is more than enough for most of applications that require USB connections. More than that we can use an USB Hub.

The power: right now having 5V@2.5A charger is difficult to have because the market is full of trashy ones that give you at most 4.3V@2A and even when we use a powered USB hub, we end using the CN2 connector so the power micro USB connector is useless. With a 12V@1A power supply and a UBEC connected to the CN2 connector we don't run into this problem.

Some of us need to use a camera for compute vision and I think that a Raspberry one can be a good implementation.
This is an interesting topics. Seems that you are balancing the cost, performance and power consumption all these. But would you mind to the key user scenarios or applications in your mind with this idea!?
Enjoy Tinkering with LattePanda ! :lol:

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Diomedes1905
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Fri Dec 14, 2018 6:33 pm

LattePanda wrote:
Wed Dec 12, 2018 11:01 am

This is an interesting topics. Seems that you are balancing the cost, performance and power consumption all these. But would you mind to the key user scenarios or applications in your mind with this idea!?
Thanks for your considerations. I was thinking to approach to a lot of scenarios and applications:
  • Machine Learning applications such as autonomous cars or wheelchairs and cloudless face/object recognitions. Personal favorite
  • Portable stations for weather monitor or radiofrequency.
  • Mechatronics implementations where we need a bunch of peripherals to manipulate, like 6-8 motors and 4-6 sensors.
  • In warehouse logistics or farms controls or whenever we need a drone to automatically gather information from a space and process that info faster than other existing Raspberry to server implementation.
  • Geolocation and monitoring car/truck system.
  • Kiosk touch enable stands. Right now a tiny touch screen with a crappy computer inside cost more than USD$5k
  • Even for common non-pro office employees, like customer service employees in banks or wherever the space is too limited to have a full desktop computer.
  • Every place where right now we're needing for a computer but we have to relay for a segmented implementation of a Raspberry PI or Arduino and a computer that must of the time is used for multiple users with multiple programs making this a very slow solution.

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LattePanda
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Fri Dec 28, 2018 2:21 pm

Interesting. We will check if it's possible to make based on your positioning.
Enjoy Tinkering with LattePanda ! :lol:

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LattePanda
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Fri Dec 28, 2018 2:23 pm

BTW, why do you think $180 is still competitive compared with LattePanda Delta (if it's available)? Look forward to your suggestion!
This is pretty open topic in my view. More thoughts are really good. Though we are really really busy with the production for Alpha and accessories...
Enjoy Tinkering with LattePanda ! :lol:

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Diomedes1905
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Wed Jan 02, 2019 6:04 pm

LattePanda wrote:
Fri Dec 28, 2018 2:23 pm
BTW, why do you think $180 is still competitive compared with LattePanda Delta (if it's available)? Look forward to your suggestion!
This is pretty open topic in my view. More thoughts are really good. Though we are really really busy with the production for Alpha and accessories...
(I will start to call this idea the LattePanda Beta if you don't mind 8-) )

Please take a look a this comparison sheet: https://ark.intel.com/compare/93362,128983

The processor currently used in the Delta have a few goods: More PCI Express lanes, more L3 cache and support for more USB Ports. But the LP Delta only have 3 USB Ports and it's too expensive for just a 4GB option RAM option.

The Atom x7-Z8750 that I shows you has a better base and burst frequency, better thermal design, less power consumption, it's smaller and (the most important part) it's cheaper by almost 300%.

Look, I'm not telling you to throw a way the Delta, its has a specific public with a very specific set of problems to resolve. I'm just telling you that having a fully and complex solution running on a "Windows hackable computer" with only 4GB of RAM it's too complicated (when on idle there is more than 1.5 GB consumed by the OS) and expensive. There is no excuse to still paying more than $160 for a option that only give us 4GB of RAM, a lot of occupied space and worries about power consumption and thermal dissipation.

And this is just me talking about the CPU and RAM. Windows, with all the updates and development frameworks needs a lot of internal space. Having 100% of the pin layout of the Arduino its a must, because some shields works great on 3.3V. We also would like to reuse our previous PCB designed for the Leonardo and use them in the LP without any problem.

My two cents is to give you a cheaper but reliable solution that we, makers, hobbyists, entrepreneurs and business owners, will buy for a lot of environments and ideas.

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LattePanda
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Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:39 am

Diomedes1905 wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 6:04 pm
LattePanda wrote:
Fri Dec 28, 2018 2:23 pm
BTW, why do you think $180 is still competitive compared with LattePanda Delta (if it's available)? Look forward to your suggestion!
This is pretty open topic in my view. More thoughts are really good. Though we are really really busy with the production for Alpha and accessories...
(I will start to call this idea the LattePanda Beta if you don't mind 8-) )

Please take a look a this comparison sheet: https://ark.intel.com/compare/93362,128983

The processor currently used in the Delta have a few goods: More PCI Express lanes, more L3 cache and support for more USB Ports. But the LP Delta only have 3 USB Ports and it's too expensive for just a 4GB option RAM option.

The Atom x7-Z8750 that I shows you has a better base and burst frequency, better thermal design, less power consumption, it's smaller and (the most important part) it's cheaper by almost 300%.

Look, I'm not telling you to throw a way the Delta, its has a specific public with a very specific set of problems to resolve. I'm just telling you that having a fully and complex solution running on a "Windows hackable computer" with only 4GB of RAM it's too complicated (when on idle there is more than 1.5 GB consumed by the OS) and expensive. There is no excuse to still paying more than $160 for a option that only give us 4GB of RAM, a lot of occupied space and worries about power consumption and thermal dissipation.

And this is just me talking about the CPU and RAM. Windows, with all the updates and development frameworks needs a lot of internal space. Having 100% of the pin layout of the Arduino its a must, because some shields works great on 3.3V. We also would like to reuse our previous PCB designed for the Leonardo and use them in the LP without any problem.

My two cents is to give you a cheaper but reliable solution that we, makers, hobbyists, entrepreneurs and business owners, will buy for a lot of environments and ideas.
Interesting. Let us brainstorm for further ideas.

So, let us list the products released now:
1. LattePanda - Entry level - Up to $89
2. LattePanda Delta - Middle level - Up to ~$188 (not confirmed yet)
3. LattePanda Alpha - Top level - Up to $298

And based on your idea, we can use LattePanda Beta to hit the price range between the entry level and middle level, like $158 ~ 188 with the following key spec:
1. Z8750
2. 2G RAM
3. 32GB eMMC

Means slightly stronger CPU performance compared with Z8350 and more reasonable price positioning for performance and price balance, designed for business or hobbyists.

If I understand your opinion correctly as I listed above, the key will be if the target customers prefer to spend more $20 - 30 to choose Delta instead of Beta. And how many users prefer to do so! Based on these two questions, I am thinking maybe the 2B customers will the main users, considering the price sensitive point.

And the next question is the Linux support on Atom series is not that good as Gemini lake series. That's another small problem in my view.

What do u think?

BTW, I highly recommend to define a new product name for this idea! Coz Beta is kind of unreliable version... Haha! :lol: :lol: :lol:

Look forward to your reply!
Enjoy Tinkering with LattePanda ! :lol:

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Lutz
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Location: Germany, NRW

Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:34 am

Not really offtopic:
Of course, the CPU is the most important thing about a PC, but it needs more, really important and reliable things:

1st The power supply
No electronics work properly if the power supply is not really reliable. You can't save any money here. Not at the power supply, not at the connectors.
A connector for rechargeable accumulators alone is not enough. There should also be (configurable) charging electronics and (configurable) power management.
Some customers need a large rechargeable battery for independent operation.
Other customers (like me) only need a small battery to automatically shut down Windows after switching off the main power supply.
In my eyes this is an important selling point, which should be promoted and documented from the beginning.

2nd The display
I don't know how many customers want to connect a "real" monitor.
As a development engineer for small series devices, I need touch LCDs for direct installation in my machines.
These LCDs must be mechanically easy to mount and I need them from 3.5 to 15 inches, all as a capacitive touch.
Maybe you can't make as much money selling these LCDs, but for me as a customer it's very pleasant to buy CPU and touch screen together because I can be sure that both will work together.
For my applications the computing power of the "old" LattePanda is completely sufficient... but I need different and inexpensive LCDs
To offer LCDs suitable for the LattePanda (old and new types) would be sales-promoting at least for me.

3rd The software
As a hardware developer, I don't want to be bothered with software licenses.
I would like to buy a PC with a license and not have to think about operating system licenses.
... and also not about any configurations.
That this is more expensive than just the hardware is clear to me.
But I would also like to have a certain selection of operating systems.
For example "Windows10 Pro" for big tasks and "Windows IoT" (or whatever) for small machine controls.
Personally, I'm not interested in Linux or other operating systems, but for them there are certainly enough customers who would prefer an "out of the box" system.

Oh yes, the drivers...
Simply supply drivers for every function of the external pins right from the start.
So that everyone can use for example the I2C interface or the UART of the CPU (NOT the Arduino!) from C#/C++/VB.

I apologize for the long text, but in my eyes it was unfortunately necessary this time.
Yours sincerely
Lutz

(Translated from German by https://www.deepl.com/ )

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ccs_hello
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Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2018 9:16 pm

Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:01 pm

My 0.02.
Z83xx series is BayTrail and in the first round Intel really getting into ATOM family.
It is a big success and at the same time came with the "first year new car" type of issues.
This has long been replaced with newer ATOM generations and reflect the current super-cheap price.
I would also check its EOL and orderable date.

P.S. a low spec tablet (includes a 10" LCD, 2GB RAM, 32 GB eMMC, Z83xx CPU/APU, ans Win 10 Home license) can be as low as $80, factory new. In my new, it's in fire sale phase.

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