« Last post by totallymaxed on March 18, 2015, 02:26:14 pm »
Dianemo Revealed - Dianemo-Rpi2 for ARM v7
A New Era in Smart Home Technology
We've been looking at lower cost, small form factor & low energy hardware for Dianemo for a number of years now. In the very early days we looked at hardware based around VIA processors/chipsets which were early attempts at low-cost/low-energy hardware and then the Intel Atom processor arrived and of course a whole host of new small form factor hardware arrived built around it. But although these platforms represented big improvements over what we had before they were still not ideal and still often ran very hot.
Meanwhile the mobile world was evolving around ARM based processors and SOC's which were incredibly power efficient and ran without getting overly hot and delivered ever increasing amounts of computing power. Apart from desktop PC's and laptops everything else around us today has evolved around small low power processors and that means mostly ARM based hardware.
Out of this wave of tiny low power hardware has emerged the phenomenon that is Raspberry Pi (Rpi). The Rpi has sold millions of units and the hardware ecosystem and developer community that has evolved around it is now worldwide and incredibly vibrant. The release of the new Raspberry Pi2 (Rpi2) at the beginning of 2015 was a turning point, as for the first time we had enough performance and memory to envisage running a Dianemo NC software stack on a Rpi.
We see the Rpi2 as the perfect embodiment of what we have in the X86 PC driven world shrunk down to ARM footprint/cost; we have incredibly vibrant hardware add-on communities built around the Rpi architecture (and Rpi2 is backwardly compatible with almost all the Rpi hardware out there) and we also have an equally vibrant and dedicated software community too. So in Rpi2 we have not just an ARM based piece of hardware that for the first time has the performance we have been looking for, but we also have a ready built ecosystem too. Having that ecosystem is incredibly important when you analyse it because it means that we are not 'swimming' alone and can leverage the work going on in other parts of the Rpi community to amplify and extend our efforts and enjoyment. The 'our' in the last sentence applies to both Dianemo the company and to our software customers in equal amounts. There are other ARMv7 based boards out there that would also have the performance we are looking for but none of those hardware platforms have ecosystems like the Rpi. In the end you need a critical mass of other people, most of whom are not interested in Home Automation, but who all share a common enjoyment, commitment and love of a common hardware platform. Joining this community collectively benefits everyone in it too.
So here we are. I'm not going to talk about the specifics of what Dianemo-Rpi2 is or will be here today. That's for the future. But I am sure that ARM based hardware is where we need to be and that Dianemo-Rpi2 is going to be a very exciting platform for all of us to build around.
I'd encourage anyone with an interest in low cost/energy home automation that leverage’s the Rpi hardware/software ecosystem to get signed up for our Dianemo-Rpi2 Preview here;