| From: Stewart C. Russell via talk <talk@gtalug.org>

| On 2018-02-11 01:06 PM, D. Hugh Redelmeier via talk wrote:
| > 
| > - irrelevant aside: many 64-bit ARM SOCs don't support more than 2G or
| >   3G of RAM.  This seems crazy to me since the first use-case of
| >   64-bit is to support wider pointers.
| Most ARMs are just application processors. If you're building a set-top
| box, you don't want to pay for all of those extra address lines you'll
| never use. While it's not about the RAM, Chris Tyler at Seneca gives an
| interesting talk about how 64-bit ARM does some rather clever
| vectorization by working with 128-bit vectors internally.


I follow with interest all the liitle ARM boxes, mostly meant for
running Kodi.  They come with a hacked version of Android (not Android
TV).  In fact, I just bought my first, an Egal T95K Pro, which
contains an AMLogic S912 SoC.

Many of these little boxes brag about 64-bit processor but I don't
know if that counts for much.  Except that they are a newer generation
and likely have other improvements.

As far as I can tell, all voilate the Kernel's GPL.

You can read about these things on cnx-software.com (a blog-like
sequence of news about little things "Embedded Systems News") or
FreakTab.com (a forum).  So little documentation is released that a
lot of reverse-engineering is going on.

The Raspberry Pi is much weaker and not cheaper than these little
boxes.  But it is open (mostly), has a great community, is stable, and
software is maintained.  The Android boxes are mostly fire-and-forget:
the manufacturers put all their effort into their next boxes rather
that fixing the bugs in their old boxes.

Are any distros for the Raspberry Pi 64-bit?

These little boxes are starting to push the limit of the address pins:
some now have 3GB of RAM.  Which means that they actually have 4GB but
cannot address the last 1GB.  Sad when you consider how expensive RAM
is these days.

There are a *lot* of little boxes.  Just look on GearBest, for
example: <https://www.gearbest.com/tv-box-c_11262/>

They are probably great for running Kodi, with plugins to stream
unauthorized copies of TV and movies.  That's not something I do.
They aren't great for authorized streaming due to not supporting
required DRM.

I do have an Xaiomi Mi Box running Android TV.  Although the processor
is weaker than the T95K Pro, it is a much better appliance.  For
example, Netflix allows Mi Box to play HD.

| I'm guessing the demand for ARM as anything other than application
| processor isn't there yet. Witness AMD's Opteron A1100: production has
| been scaled back, possibly even stopped. In theory you can still get a
| $600 A1100 dev box from SoftIron, but it's not readily available.

Sad.  There was a lot of talk but little availability, as far as I can
tell.  Cavium and Qualcomm have also announced things a while back, I

| > Almost NO 32-bit x86 chips are in current production.  I think that
| > Intel has some goofy SoCs for IoT applications that are limited to
| > 32-bit but they really don't matter.
| No, they canned that line last year. They really were not very good.

This doesn't say that it is EoLed.  But I do think I heard that they
stopped work in this direction.


The "segfault bug" (lock instruction (prefix?) bug) sounds bad:
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