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back to article Hardkernel nixes RPi clone project

Hardkernel, which last month announced its intention to build a Raspberry Pi clone, has abruptly quit the idea. The decision, announced here, has prompted rumour and speculation about why it changed its mind. It seems clear that Hardkernel was premature in its original announcement, since wherever it had sourced the Broadcom …

Anonymous Coward

This is what you get for using shitty vendors that NDA the hell out of stuff and then don't sell parts via the usual distributors.

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Speculation on forums...

nope, seems RPi mod has locked the forum, probably a good idea, judging by the 16 posts, which range from well argued to tin foil hat.

Anyone can make guesses at what has happened, but the truth is probably,

1. Hardkernel, we have worked hard on a clone of RPi, can we buy x of this SoC

2. Broadcom, yes, price will be = z

3. Hardkernel, we can't afford that price

4. Broadcom, ok if you buy 10x we can give you this price

5. Hardkernel, we can't afford that risk

6. Broadcom, sorry can't help

Perhaps RPi could offer to sell the quantities required by Hardkernel, but maybe RPi have T&C's that say they are not allowed.

The issue is probably better understood if we knew where the first batch of Broadcom SoC that Hardkernel used to develop their product, came from, was it Broadcom, a distributor getting rid of stock, bankrupt stock...

I could be wrong, but in the last few years RPi has pretty much followed the Arduino model - 'if you want to make it carry on, but don't call it Arduino'

I visit their website almost daily and they always IMHO are 'on message' with their mission about improving education in computer science and related subjects, the hardware whoever supplies it, is just another vehicle for this.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Speculation on forums...

>but the truth is probably

Based on your bunch of assumptions which are as good as anyone elses assumptions: worthless.

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Re: Speculation on forums...

Probably another hit by Putin.

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Planning to ask the wrong party?

Might be better to ask Hardkernel why they dropped the project. Salts reasoning is as good as any...and better than some ideas that have been put forth.

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There were/are factories making straight copies of raspberry pi. These were contacting the smaller distributors, offering the much cheaper rpi.

I imagine broadcom hit the killswitch when this started getting known.

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Anonymous Coward

You don't mean the officially made red ones do you? I don't doubt there are boards with the same SoC kicking around or even 100% clones down to the PCB level but you have to ask yourself why they would bother with that when they can get faster and cheaper AllWinner chips locally.

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On the face of it, rpi loojs like a hard sell. Severely aged SoC, where the cpu is more of a companion thing rather than the main phrpose of the chip, etc etc..

However, what rpi has got is volume and community. While allwinner chips might be 10 times faster, you'll spend a lifetime getting software support up to the same level as on the pi.

For this reason, rpi boards continue to outsell allwinner-based boards, and will probably do so until sunxi has the same level of maturity and ease of use as raspberry pi.

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Anonymous Coward

The Pi community is of limited value really. Lots of noisy people that know almost nothing.

I'm not sure what you mean about software support either. I can run normal distros on AllWinner chips and AFAIK everything is mainlined now. So I can actually use Debian testing or unstable to get access to newer libraries without spending years rebuilding everything. The only reason the Pi outsells any other board is all of the fanfare about it ending hunger, creating world peace etc. People that have enough ability to read instructions and write their own SD cards etc are spending a little extra and getting better hardware.

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Well Doh!

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/09/01/broadcom_reveals_20_pi_in_the_sky_iot_development_widget/

Broadcom won't supply the SOC's to Hardkernel

Broadcom starts selling its own device

Might there just possibly be a connection between the two?

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Re: Well Doh!

Could the person who downvoted my post plase take the trouble to explain why?

I wasn't offering an opinion only asking a (IMO) fairly obvious question.

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Re: Well Doh!

Don't take it to heart, there are lots of people on here who seem to down vote for very random reasons, not that they ever have the nerve, or ability to explain themselves.

I'll give you a +1 to bring you back into balance.

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Typical...

Talk about buying a redundant technology... Mine's due for delivery some time today! lol!

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They should stick to what they do well and that is the samsung multicore CPU.

Bought one 3 years ago and it is still a hot little device…….

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Well I've been playing with mine for a few days, and it's very good indeed.

It's a pity it's shipped with a standard Raspian install on the MicroSD card as that means the little TFT screen isn't enabled by default and you have to download and compile a new kernel.

Initially I failed to cross compile it on my desktop, so did it natively on the Odroid-W... I left it over night!

I've now got the cross compile working on my PC, so it's only a few minutes if I have to do it again. :-D

Anyway, I'm very impressed with it. The battery life seems good, it lasted the half hour drive to work (the only real test it's had).

It really is such a pity if this little machine is going to be stopped by politics. I find the posts on the RaspberryPi forum incredibly short sighted... This is what open source and open design is all about!

The RPi uses Linux, which is open source, without it they'd have to write their own OS.

It really isn't going to steal RPi customers anyway... The basic $30 Odroid-W board only has one USB and no ethernet. So it's not going to compete as a cheap desktop machine.

By the time you've added on the RTC battery, the "UPS" battery and the TFT base board, you're looking at over $70. Who's going to pay that instead of a Pi? Only those that want a really compact unit. Who are now scuppered...

I've got half a dozen Pi's kicking about here, but now a potential solution to a specific project has been killed off, I think I might start looking at some of the other (more powerful) Odroid boards and migrating my code across away from the Pi platform.

So maybe the Odroid-W really has impacted potential RPi sales, at least to me.

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Ah, the anonymous downvote with no comment... So helpful...

Do you disagree that it's a nice little board?

Do you disagree that it doesn't compete with the RPi?

Do you disagree that (even if they had nothing to do with it) the simple existence of undenied rumours reflects badly on the raspberry pi foundation?

I guess we'll never know.

Thank you for your contribution, whatever it was.

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