Forum: GNU Radio Intel ATOM WHOOAAAAA Nellie

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E16be4811324adf8f26be26d77e9d29d?d=identicon&s=25 Bob McGwier (Guest)
on 2009-02-20 05:17
(Received via mailing list)
Many of us have and love the Intel ATOM 330 boards we have.  I have 3 of
them!  I want to ask those who do not see an immediate need for them but
are thinking about getting one for SDR purposes,  I want to tell you
that "better things are arriving" as always.

The Nvidia ION will address almost 100% of the few gripes with the
D945GCLF2 and D945GCLF (Intel Mobo) computers.  The intel graphics chip,
3D/2D acceleration, is okay, but it is not great.  The D945GCLF2
addressed the desire for 64 bit OS, but we still had pretty slow memory
supporting slow DDR2.  Unhappy with the PC VGA connector on the Intel?
The Nvidia ION has HDMI  output and 7.1 audio!

The Nvidia ION address both of these shortcomings.  The Nvidia ION has a
memory of Nvidia's very impressive GPU's with the GEO Force (9300/9400)
family.  It is also supports DDR3 memory.  Both of these factors will
represent MAJOR improvements in the performance.

Please, if you have not already purchased the Intel ATOM motherboards,
hold up a bit.  There is nothing wrong with the $80-$90 motherboards you
currently have but these new ones will represent bit steps in the right
direction.

HOWEVER, for those folks who want to build an small board computer for
supporting the Flex family of firewire devices,  the Intel motherboards
are your only choice.  You need the PCI slot to get the firewire
support.

For those of us who want to support USB 2.0 or better yet,  GigE,  the
Nvidia ION will provide more IO ports than the Intel motherboard and has
the other advantages already mentioned here.  You will need an external
drive case to hold the drives as the eSata ports are on the back of the
motherboard for Nvidia ION.

So,  no firewire needed?  better memory and graphics needed?  HDMI
needed or desired?  Wait for the Nvidia ION motherboards to become
available to you in the second quarter of this year in desktops and
motherboards.  The ASUS N10Jc notebook are, or soon will be available.

Bob

--
(Co)Author: DttSP, Quiktrak, PowerSDR, GnuRadio
Member: ARRL, AMSAT, AMSAT-DL, TAPR, Packrats,
NJQRP, QRP ARCI, QCWA, FRC.
"It is human nature to think wisely and act in
an absurd fashion.", Anatole France.
Twitter:rwmcgwier
Active: Facebook,Myspace,LinkedIn
432f63ac90470dc61f8b2610987ce0b5?d=identicon&s=25 Frank Brickle (Guest)
on 2009-02-20 06:38
(Received via mailing list)
On Thu, Feb 19, 2009 at 11:17 PM, Bob McGwier <rwmcgwier@gmail.com>
wrote:

...HOWEVER, for those folks who want to build an small board computer
for
> supporting the Flex family of firewire devices,  the Intel motherboards
> are your only choice.  You need the PCI slot to get the firewire support...


For DttSP apps it's not a real choice. You will need a PCI slot, either
for
FireWire audio like the Edirol FA-66 or the PreSonus FireBox, or merely
for
some other halfway decent soundcard like the M-Audio Delta 44. This is a
required configuration for effectively using sdr-shell, sdr-core, and
the
sdrTEC board, for example. A reference Linux implementation for this
combination, with a cost of around $800US total for the RF front end +
computer, is about ready to go up on CGRAN.

The FireWire+Flex option is moot for dttsp-linux and vrk, but the other
FireWire/PCI addons are critical. DttSP apps using the USRP1+GNU Radio
are
fine. USRP2 is an open question, for now.

Short form: for dttsp-linux and general RF hardware, the Atom 330 is
unquestionably the more utilitarian alternative. This is especially so
when,
given Nvidia's history regarding Open drivers, Linux support for ION is
very
uncertain in the near term (6-9 months).

73
Frank
AB2KT
74a5f0d4e1615193d25815690cacc5bc?d=identicon&s=25 Gregory Maxwell (Guest)
on 2009-02-20 06:45
(Received via mailing list)
On Fri, Feb 20, 2009 at 12:36 AM, Frank Brickle <ab2kt@arrl.net> wrote:
[snip]
> Short form: for dttsp-linux and general RF hardware, the Atom 330 is
> unquestionably the more utilitarian alternative. This is especially so when,
> given Nvidia's history regarding Open drivers, Linux support for ION is very
> uncertain in the near term (6-9 months).

Nvidia video is a pretty poor choice for Linux too— you're tied to
their proprietary drivers which often cause weird bugs (usually the #1
cause of kernel panics on the kernelopps data collection project,
right ahead of a proprietary wifi driver), and that driver ties you to
whatever kernel and xorg versions they are willing to support.

I'm not sure why the Intel video would be a problem for SDR apps. The
Intel video in my laptop is great, though perhaps the atom has
something more limited.
6451eef6088680c538900a363a3b3812?d=identicon&s=25 rhubbell (Guest)
on 2009-02-20 19:34
(Received via mailing list)
Just say "no" to nvidia. See reasons provided by others.

> them!  I want to ask those who do not see an immediate need for them but

I never saw a question anywhere.

Basically this email (cross-posted all over the place) is an
advertisement.

On Thu, 19 Feb 2009 23:20:21 -0500
3dfb724cefc1eddbade1e8bd1ee6131f?d=identicon&s=25 Dan Halperin (Guest)
on 2009-02-20 20:52
(Received via mailing list)
On Feb 19, 2009, at 9:44 PM, Gregory Maxwell wrote:
> Nvidia video is a pretty poor choice for Linux too— you're tied to
> their proprietary drivers which often cause weird bugs (usually the #1
> cause of kernel panics on the kernelopps data collection project,
> right ahead of a proprietary wifi driver), and that driver ties you to
> whatever kernel and xorg versions they are willing to support.

I just have to jump in here and say that you're being pretty dogmatic.
I'm not disagreeing with you on the fact that Nvidia doesn't support
Linux in an ideal way, but you should rethink what you mean by
proprietary or perhaps by the connotation in which you use it.

What is a 'proprietary wifi driver'? Better yet, what isn't a
proprietary wifi driver? In particular, (assuming you were digging at
iwlwifi, which has been near the top of kerneloops recently), the only
thing `proprietary' about the newer Intel WiFi drivers is a binary
firmware component that, primarily, enforces the FCC regulations. **
See Disclaimer [1] **

The FCC's attitude towards enforcement is exactly the same thing that
is worrying the SDR community [2], but which we currently get around
it simply by ignoring it [3]; we can do that since Ettus Research
isn't (yet :) exactly a huge multinational corporation. Intel, on the
other hand, does have to worry about such things.

Here's what I do know about Intel & the iwlwifi drivers:
- Intel's corporate position (fairly newly revised) regarding WiFi
drivers is that the day Windows drivers are released, functional Linux
drivers need to be released as well
- They're developed by a small (ridiculously small, IMO) team that's
relatively new to the Linux kernel game, but they're learning more
about the process and 'doing more things right' every day
- They've proved willing to modify drivers to adopt suggestions from
OS community, (e.g., adding support for injection mode)
- They've got a very happy set of users due to their being very
responsive on the Linux driver mailing list
- iwlwifi is (IMO) the most mature and feature complete 802.11n driver
implementation of any of the major vendors
- And because iwlwifi has implemented most of the new 802.11n features
first, they work closely in tandem with the main kernel wireless guys
(e.g., mac80211 developers) in defining the major interfaces in the
networking stack and adapting them for universal compatibility [4]

What more could you want? Your flippant remark above is exactly that
kind of muleheaded, black-and-white attitude that will keep other
large corporations like Intel from warming up to the open source
community faster. And that's a real shame, because when these policy
shifts like Intel's do happen the results are often pretty great.

Dan

[1] ** Disclaimer ** I interned at Intel Research Seattle this past
year, and have conducted research using the iwlwifi driver and also
contributed bugfixes back to the same. Everything I say here is
completely my own opinion and none of it represents Intel Corporation.
[But some of this puts me in a good place to inform you about their
process and attitude towards OSS and the Linux community.]
[2] See e.g. this old GNU Radio thread:
http://www.mail-archive.com/discuss-gnuradio@gnu.o...
[3] You can trivially bypass USRP FCC enforcement, and Matt will even
tell you how :) e.g.
http://www.mail-archive.com/discuss-gnuradio@gnu.o...
[4] See aggregation support, which was in the iwlwifi drivers before
Atheros announced open source ath9k drivers. However, the kernel
network stack wasn't easily able to support this and they're still
working on fitting it in.
6451eef6088680c538900a363a3b3812?d=identicon&s=25 rhubbell (Guest)
on 2009-02-20 21:21
(Received via mailing list)
On Fri, 20 Feb 2009 14:55:26 -0500
Dan Halperin <dhalperi@cs.washington.edu> wrote:

> thing `proprietary' about the newer Intel WiFi drivers is a binary
> firmware component that, primarily, enforces the FCC regulations. **
> See Disclaimer [1] **

"primarily", so what else does it do? Secondarily? Oh that's
proprietary information? Need an NDA?
E16be4811324adf8f26be26d77e9d29d?d=identicon&s=25 Robert McGwier (Guest)
on 2009-02-20 22:59
(Received via mailing list)
http://www.nvidia.com/object/sff_ion.html

I think it is pretty clear that almost anyone with any real experience
would take Nvidia's restricted distribution graphics drivers about 100
to 1 over the open source CRAP that comes from ATI, and forget
completely any of their competitors.  I have removed from service
every single ATI device which I am able to remove in the last few
months because of the utter horror of their driver support.

I have yet to have a single Nvidia restricted driver download fail once.

BEWARE:  YMMV.

I attempted to make the point and Frank made it much more clearly.  If
you need Firewire,  the ATOM D945GCLFx  family (intel motherboard) is
required to get the PCI slot.  I am very happy with mine.  I use it
all the time.  There is nothing wrong with it.  Like all things,
better things come along rapidly these days.  What I am personally
happy about is how cheap these offerings have been.  I have NO IDEA
what the price point will be on the Nvidia ION.

I think the marketing hype video on the nvidia web page, showing the
joint impact of the 2 GB of DDR3 and the Nvidia GeoForce 9300, is
about right on target.

In addition, the specs show that GigE is supported.  I am expecting
excellent performance because of the clear concentration of IO support
in this box.  The small footprint desktops have nearly 100% of the
usable back covered with IO connectors.  That bare space is not really
bare.  You need it to get your fingers in on the connectors!


Bob
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