I like the Raspberry Pi’s quite a bit - definitely for my home projects and also for some work projects.
I think the GRiSP 2 board provides the following:
- A prototyping board that has hardware interfaces and a CPU that’s familiar to people working in the embedded space
- A common platform for the Nerves and GRiSP communities
On the first point, there’s a large segment of the embedded community that isn’t comfortable with Raspberry Pi’s being used as a reference platform. Nerves supports TI Sitara processors (via the BeagleBone port) for them. However, NXP iMX.6 processors, like on GRiSP 2, are very popular too. Many people know how to build products around these devices. Here are some nice features of these parts:
- Availability guarantees - it’s possible to buy parts after, for example, 10 years.
- Wide temperature ranges
- Low power - It’s possible that the RPi has similar low power modes, but I often struggle with finding documentation since much of the Broadcom processor info is behind NDAs or hidden in their closed source bootloader.
- Built-in HW interfaces - For example, you can get 5 UARTs or CAN or dual Ethernet ports without add-on modules
- One PCB - the processor module on GRiSP can be bought separately and placed on a board that fits your product. With the Raspberry Pis, your special hardware has to be on a daughter board or you need to build a carrier board for a compute module.
On the second point, GRiSP doesn’t run on Raspberry Pis or any other board that also runs Nerves. The GRiSP project’s focus on hard real-time and industrial computing makes it unlikely that they’d port to a Raspberry Pi. That makes it really hard to collaborate and compare performance. We have two different approaches, but we have a ton of overlap. GRiSP 2 is part of a solution to share development needs to the benefit of both of our projects.
I also think that the GRiSP 2 board will be fun. I enjoy seeing how different communities approach problems. GRiSP 2’s iMX.6 and PMOD interfaces are not used much in the Nerves community, and I think that creates possibilities for us to see improvements that we can add platform-wide.