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Re: Market research for new PowerPC system

On Sat, 26 Sep 2009, Konstantinos Margaritis wrote:

> (Sorry for the cross-posting, please ignore if you are not interested in this,
> CC me as I'm not subscribed)
> Hi,
> First some introductions. I'm Konstantinos Margaritis, a long time
> Amiga/BeOS/Linux user/developer and a PowerPC fan, former Debian Developer,
> also a SIMD/AltiVec fanatic and the author of libfreevec. I've posted this on
> the following sites:
> http://amigaworld.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?mode=viewtopic&topic_id=29594&forum=33&start=0&viewmode=flat&order=0
> http://www.amiga.org/forums/showthread.php?t=49424
> http://www.morphzone.org/modules/newbb_plus/viewtopic.php?topic_id=6465&forum=11
> http://aros-exec.org/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?viewmode=flat&topic_id=3768&forum=4
> http://www.haiku-os.org/community/forum/market_research_new_powerpc_system#comment-12604
> To anyone who is not a PowerPC user, it might seem like crazy, but here it
> goes:
> I'm considering funding the design & production of a new PowerPC system (well,
> the motherboard, the rest are typical pc stuff and a case). No this is not a
> joke, I've been wanting to do this for a long time, and perhaps the chance
> will be given to me now. But before I spend any money on this, I want to do a
> little market research first. I know the market is literally "dying" for a new
> powerpc motherboard, but exactly how many are there that want to buy one?

Ok, just a short comment. In principle I like diversity, competition, etc. 
And it was somewhat sad when Apple abandoned ppc. But honestly - why 
should I be buying a ppc desktop system? If we restrict our comparison to 
Linux, because that's what I'm using, what advantages would a ppc system 
give me over a comparable in price ix86 system? This is not meant 
negatively, I just have not followed recent ppc CPUs from the "desktop" 
range, so, this is a real honest question. Would such a system provide 
more MIPS per Watt at the same price? Or more periferals? Or some specific 
hardware blocks unavailable or unsupported om ix86?


> Ok, let's give some rough specs first. I'm considering 3 choices -not in order
> of probability/importance:
> 1. MPC8640D-based. It will be dual core at 1Ghz -most likely, higher
> frequencies are much more expensive and the cost of the final board would be
> prohibitive.
> 2. MPC8610-based. Single core at 1Ghz, slightly less expensive, and includes a
> 2D DIU display unit -quite fast, but no 3D unfortunately.
> 3. QorIQ P1022-based. Again dual core at 1Ghz (1055Mhz to be precise). Apart
> from the much lower chip price, this one includes dual gigabit ethernet, dual
> SATA, USB 2.0 and a 2D DIU display unit (same as the MPC8610). So this one
> would lower the cost of the board quite much. Disadvantages: No AltiVec unit
> (it sucks I know), though it includes an SPE unit which is not that bad, and
> availability will be in Q3/Q4 2010, so that's a long wait.
> Now, the end motherboard will probably be MicroATX (in the 8640D/8610 case) or
> PicoITX (in the P1022 case), and it will definitely include:
> * SATA connectors
> * USB (possibly 2 back and 2 front, but that's discussable)
> * Dual gigabit (at least one will be there, in the case of the MPC8640D we
> might even have 4!!!)
> * Sound (of course, SPDIF support will definitely be there)
> * 1 PCI-e slot 1x
> * 1 PCI-e slot (4x in the P1022 case, 8x in the MPC86xx cases)
> Ok, what I want to know is if people would really really buy one of these. End
> price is estimated to be ~around~ 350EUR for the P1022 board or ~500EUR
> (definitely more in the case of 8640D) in the case of the other boards.
> Besides being more expensive, the MPC86xx chips, don't include SATA, USB and
> only one of ethernet/sound (quad-gige in MPC8640D case, or sound in the case
> of MPC8610). I know this sounds a lot, but it's the reality, there is not
> enough funding to build enormous amounts of units and bring the prices down
> substantially, we have to start low and build up from there. In case you are
> wondering, yes, the boards will be designed/produced by bPlan and funded by my
> company (Codex).
> Support for OSes: Linux definitely, Haiku most probably and there is a
> possibility of supporting AmigaOS/MorphOS, which will depend on the actual
> feedback I get from those users.
> I would like to make a list of everyone that is really interested in such a
> system, so it would really help me make a decision sooner rather than later if
> you would send me a few personal details to markos@codex.gr with subject
> "PowerPC board":
> * Name
> * Country
> * email (definitely, I'd have to reach you back!)
> * Phone/Skype (optional, please include international prefix)
> * Forum you saw this post (ok, Morphzone in this case)
> * OS of preference
> * board you would be most interested in (MPC8610/MPC8640D/P1022)
> * preferred price (please have in mind the estimated price quotes I mentioned,
> it might be lower but that's not very probable)
> * Other notes/comments
> Also, I found out that I had to state my case on many forums to prove that
> this is not vapourware. Well, it will not be vapourware, if I get feedback. So
> far the feedback I got can be summarized here:
> http://www.codex.gr/index.php?pageID=&blogItem=60
> Thanks a lot for your time and I hope this system becomes a reality.
> Konstantinos Margaritis
> Codex
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Guennadi Liakhovetski, Ph.D.
Freelance Open-Source Software Developer

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