a7 and sata...
Apr 23, 2014
5:55 AM EDT
|If I can use a "standard" arm7/armhf distro directly, say debian/armhf or fedora arm as is, rather than having to have everything built in a special sub-distro specifically for armv6 support (pidora, raspian, etc), this is actually what I really would have wanted for the pi itself. The addition of sata also nice, as I already use my pi for headless/server-appliance like applications.|
Apr 23, 2014
6:42 PM EDT
|FWIW, I run Slackware ARM on my RPi, which uses armel/softvfp. The stock kernel from GitHub works fine, although I like to run latest releases. Also, I have rebuilt glibc to use the VFP. I haven't yet found a Slackware ARM package that doesn't work on the Pi.|
Apr 24, 2014
8:49 AM EDT
|The problem with these boards tends to be lack of proper GPU support because there isn't a mature open source driver available for any of the ARM SoC GPUs. Raspberry Pi gets around this by supplying the closed GPU driver for integration in various Linux distributions. One of the reasons this works well on the Pi is because there is no real Android support, and thus the only place for proper GPU support to exist is in the Linux builds, so there it is. A lot of "competing" boards have decent GPU support through Android builds, but not for conventional Linux.
I know that this SoC is the same one used in the Cubieboard, so it may have better conventional Linux support than some of the others.
To be honest, this lack of proper Linux support for all the various ARM SoCs makes me give the new Bay Trail Atom board(s) more serious consideration. I have a newer ARM based device which I expect support to improve for, both with Linux and Android, but all the waiting gets to be tiresome. Right now my Raspberry Pi is much more useful even though far less powerful because GPU support for the new device is still not up to par.
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