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The current rage in laptops is super-slim, bordering on supermodel anorexic. Heck, some even refuse to include standard Ethernet connectors because they make the case too "fat"... you have to use a special adapter cable. meanwhile, your dev board (cubieboard, Pi, beaglebone) have adapter boards plugged in on topdoing exotic things.
I have a basic calculator, using one of these dev boards. To make it practical I'd have convert it to clamshell, throw in a battery, design a case and translate most of the "guts" in a 4 (6?) layer board to a new home. That's a big ask for a student/hobbyist, I reckon my amateur layout will stay put.
These proto boards don't fit into a full production product but they are a great way to get a quick demo/proof of concept for a design team. Afterwards, however you are faced with migration of the design into something that you can sell at a profit.
Actually there are few more companies licensed ARM big.little other than Samsung and Mediatek. For example, The Chinese design house AllWinner released it's quad-core MPU A31 for tablet half a year ago, followed by an version for phablet two months ago, called A31s. I think they are the first one licensed ARM Cortex A7, which is the latest from ARM. Samsung and Metiatec haven't licensed Cortex A7 (they licensed A9, which is the old version). Now you can get a complete A31s based quad-core tablet with HD IPS screen with builtin 3G for about $150 (for example. the uPlay Q7s). It can also make phone calls. Thare are hugh applications for a device like this waiting for people to expore.
rbv - The Raspberry, Beaglebone and Beaglebone both support USB video input. I've brought in 1080p resolution cameras on both. The Raspberry can get a little laggy at that resolution, but it does work reasonably well.
@Garcia: I believe that the real significative point here is that all this Biggest-Little revolution is driven by ARM processors!!
How is that going -- I heard a lot about the Big-Little concept when it came out (and I thought to myself "that's an interesting idea") -- but more recently I sort of recall hearing that it wasn't being adopted as widely as had originally been hoped ... so is it soaring, limping along, or crashing and burning?
I completely agree with Duane. The Arduino is fantastic, but doesn't belong in this list. These are full computers you can plug a display, keyboard, and storage into and begin developing. They are a complete Single Board Computer.
The Arduino is a fantastic prototyping tool that allows many people to get amazing projects done, but is not a complete single board computer. You would have to add "shields" to get video out, keyboard in, physical storage, etc.
Yeah, that is a really good point. Rick Merritt keeps asking me how prototyping boards fit into the industry, and I really think the ultimate answer is "they don't". They are their own little industry.
However, if you're using one of these to build something for yourself, you probably dont' really have to worry about future supply.
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