Broken LeMaker Cello Board

“LeMaker has decided to restart production of these boards, even though it still has a communication issue between the processor and PCIe x16 slot. Those who don’t mind, can pre-order it for $299 dollars and because PCIe x16 slot isn’t working, users will get a free heatsink and fan. The PCIe x16 problem, hopefully will be fixed with a firmware sometime in the future.”
 
See Still broken LeMaker Cello board restarts production
#*^^!#@!. The Cello board for which I’ve been waiting months now is apparently going into production, minus a working PCI-e slot. I need that slot to get more SATA ports working for my project. Apparently, they’ve assured themselves the problem is not electrical connectivity but some kind of software/firmware problem. Do I feel lucky???

Sigh. I guess I will hoard my annuity a bit longer before making a “pre-order”.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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32 Responses to Broken LeMaker Cello Board

  1. Deaf Spy says:

    “Software-developers”, Robert, are not “general populace”. On the contrary, developers are very specific sub, minor populace of computer users out there. Your needs are nowhere close to these of a software developer, as demonstrated by your posts.

    This summarizes your response pretty nicely:
    http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/surgery.png

  2. DrLoser wrote, “the Cello was never intended for your purposes”.

    It was intended for the purposes of a quite general populace, mostly software-developers for ARMed servers. As such it had minimal resources but I can read specs and it came close to what I need with a little extension like more SATA via PCI-e. I think it’s a shame what’s happened to Cello. Obviously, the prototypes worked. Eventually something very similar will come down the pipe and I will get what I need. Until then, Beast is reasonably happy to do its job. Somebody fumbled Cello. I don’t know who. There’s nothing at all wrong with the concept, just the implementation.

    Quoting 96Boards: “It is targeted at the ARM server market and provides the majority of main board features, such as DDR3 SO-DIMM sockets and 1GBe Ethernet, making it an excellent option for developers looking for a board at an affordable price.”

    I do have a small market for ARMed servers in my home.

  3. DrLoser says:

    Anyway, back to reality.

    Do I feel lucky???

    Apparently you felt either “lucky” or, more likely “giddy with anticipation” when you started banging on about the Cello, Robert, because — and practically everybody except perhaps Fifi has pointed this out to you — the Cello was never intended for your purposes.

    It appears to have been designed as a sort of cheap reference implementation for Linux server hackers who want a lego brick (if you will) from which they can build an HPC system. And as such, it’s probably a really good idea.

    As a home server, Robert, it was always doomed. Things like connectivity across the board and reliable drivers are completely irrelevant to the market for the Cello, Robert. They always were. By design.

    I’m surprised you didn’t notice this, or listen to a single one of us. But then again, your Inner Miser told you porkies again, didn’t it?

    At this point you might just as well wait for the January sales and go buy a $250 desktop barebones machine from your friendly local outlet. Blat the Windows, slam Debian on it, and you’re done.

    And the best part of it is, and I think I speak for all of us — no more whining.

  4. dougman says:

    “I have absolutely no reason to come after you or waste money serving anything on you.”

    Of course you won’t, you have neither the smarts or accolades to conduct such an operation. Namely, as what I stated was to be true and money, well, you have none to speak of.

  5. oiaohm says:

    Please I did not mention the biggest mistake you made you miss represented a particular police force dougman. So I have absolutely no reason to come after you or waste money serving anything on you.

  6. oiaohm says:

    dougman that you cannot read properly is provable true. Like it or not what you were calling trash was to legal standard. So you cannot read legal level documents.

    Also general rule of law never tell a person when you have placed a claim otherwise they can attempt to avoid being served. Only an idiot keeps on asking if a person has filled against them. Why it a part omission of guilt that you are doing it intentionally.

    Dougman all you are doing is proving you are more and more of a idiot.

  7. dougman says:

    “dougman of course I forgot you cannot read.”

    Now, that’s the dumbest remark you have ever made, and an awesome example of defamation. As it is provably untrue, as obviously I have to read your dribble, sometimes multiple times to comprehend your illogic.

    So now we have a check mate! When you filling for deformation??

  8. oiaohm says:

    dougman of course I forgot you cannot read.

  9. dougman says:

    And your point is?

    Were you aware that your run on sentences of utter trash, is dulling to the brain. This is a super big maybe, you are stuffed and not right in the head.

  10. oiaohm says:

    Precisely my point.
    But that has not been your point. LeMaker only used crowd funding once for their first board and they had functional prototype before asking for crowd funding.

    Everything else since has been joint development on prototype board followed by pre-orders before doing mass production. Please note LeMaker did have a fully functional Cello prototype with all features working catch was it was a A1100 series 2 chip now AMD is only providing series 3 chips.

    Now this has happened to gigabyte and others before with Intel and AMD. LeMaker is not use the the x86 guys way of doing things. Other arm chip makers you need a older revisions for some reason they just press that out.

    So what has happened to LeMaker really does say don’t highly trust AMD in arm market. Remember disabled thunderbolt ports shipping on x86 motherboards recently dougman this is the same kind of crap x86 chipset developers pull all the time.

  11. dougman says:

    “Most of LeMaker boards are joint developments between LeMaker and some other party.”

    Precisely my point.

  12. oiaohm says:

    http://www.arm.com/products/tools/development-boards/versatile-express/juno-arm-development-platform.php

    You make it sounds that LeMaker is spun-off from AMD, which it is not. A bunch of computer enthusiast came together from some podunk village, crowd-sourced an idea, got funding and now are back-peddling on what was originally promoted. Plain and simple.
    LeMaker, Softiron… All the different companies using the A1100 chip series who got third generation of A1100 chip production are back peddling on PCI-e support because it broke because of AMD.

    http://www.arm.com/products/tools/development-boards/versatile-express/juno-arm-development-platform.php
    Now AMD is not longer the only provider of PCI-e for Arm chips. Yes PCI-e 2.0 x4 is stock Arm IP. Of course if AMD with LeMaker, Softiron and so on could have proven working PCI-e 3.0 x8 or greater first this would opens up AMD to a lot of licensing deals.

    Dougman when you back track you will find when AMD release they A1100 chip with the $3000 board they promised that a cost effective board would come for developers and enter into a joint development agreement with LeMaker to make the Cello.

    Most of LeMaker boards are joint developments between LeMaker and some other party.

    There are windows of opportunity to make money. If AMD was delivering a stable PCI-e solution AMD might have won their tech into the default ARM license core so getting so much for every arm chip made by anyone. So there is a lot more money on the table for AMD to prove their IP works than for LeMaker.

  13. dougman says:

    “dougman just because a company is big does not mean they cannot make idiot mistakes.”

    Never said they didn’t. Look at M$ for all the mistakes they made, better yet, look at all the mistakes you made in life loser.

    “LeMaker not provide board on time is AMD not providing functional chips on time. Is this going badly effect LeMakers bottom line no.”

    What bottom line? LOL!

    “AMD was attempting to diversify but has now shot self in foot. How big of damage will this do AMD long term who knows. Its not like the other ARM soc vendors were needing a leg up.”

    You make it sounds that LeMaker is spun-off from AMD, which it is not. A bunch of computer enthusiast came together from some podunk village, crowd-sourced an idea, got funding and now are back-peddling on what was originally promoted. Plain and simple.

  14. oiaohm says:

    dougman just because a company is big does not mean they cannot make idiot mistakes.

    LeMaker not provide board on time is AMD not providing functional chips on time. Is this going badly effect LeMakers bottom line no. Is this going to give the makers who have been burnt more likely to look to allwinner, TSMC and the like instead of AMD when it comes to ARM chips hell yes.

    AMD was attempting to diversify but has now shot self in foot. How big of damage will this do AMD long term who knows. Its not like the other ARM soc vendors were needing a leg up.

  15. DrLoser says:

    How can one (Robert) possibly expect such a thing can win the market?

    You’ve evidently never watched First CitiWide Change Bank, Deaf Spy.

    The principle appears to be the same. And rather eery — it meets every single one of the Four Freedoms.

    I’ll buy that for a dollar!

  16. dougman says:

    “Please stop commenting without a clue.”

    Don’t need a “clue”, we already know you are brain-dead.

    AMD Revenue: 1.307 billion USD (Q3 2016)
    RedHat Revenue: $600 million USD (Q2 2017)

    LeMaker ??????????????????????

  17. oiaohm says:

    dougman
    AMD & RedHat are big fish.

    LeMaker are amateurs.
    Please stop commenting without a clue. AMD own third generation A1100 boards have the same issue. Its AMD who has stuffed this and everyone using A1100 chips has been on the receiving end.

  18. oiaohm says:

    Deaf Spy there are currently 5 different chips in the A1100 across the generations. The one on the Cello board is the A1120 and that was not the benchmark you used that is a third generation chip not second.

    Robert
    RedHat used that PCI-e slot for graphics cards and it worked for them.
    That was generation 1 and 2 of A1100 chips. The cello is generation 3 of the A1100.

    http://softiron.com/products/overdrive-1000/technical-specifications/ That twice as much as the Cello with no possibility of PCI-e any more. Please note the prototype of the overdrive 1000 also had an x16 slot that has since been cut off the board.

    So LeMaker was not the only one sucker punched by AMD with the A1100 series of chips generation 3. Basically AMD has changed something and now their firmware don’t work correctly on the PCI-e slots. A1100 PCI-e controller has not been the best from the start but at least it worked.

    Deaf Spy a 50 dollar motherboard normally does not contain a CPU so please do compare apples with apples.

    This is truly hilarious. The very idea of compensating a broken PCIe slot, the sole meaningful expansion slot next to USB 3.0, with a free heatsink and fan worth a few bucks, is an insult.
    Deaf Spy no you don’t know what insulting looks like. What softiron did with the same problem that is insulting of just take the section where the PCIe slot is off the circuit board and charge exactly the same price no extras for removing the PCIe slot completely. Suxs for you if you pre-ordered that always watch out for rights to modify features in pre-order documents. This in industrial is nothing uncommon either for some makers to slip in right to modify features in pre-orders sometime it purely in face when you can see the number of features require sockets will not fit on the board no matter what.

  19. dougman says:

    AMD & RedHat are big fish.

    LeMaker are amateurs.

  20. oiaohm wrote, “I would say LeMaker trusted AMD promises and AMD promises have been found lacking”.

    I think that is the case. AMD has other imminent products that do work. Huskyboard prototypes worked for RedHat. I don’t understand why Cello production models don’t work. RedHat used that PCI-e slot for graphics cards and it worked for them.

  21. Deaf Spy wrote, “How can one (Robert) possibly expect such a thing can win the market?”

    I’ve never said any such thing. The Cello is a basic server board good enough to replace my old hair-drier. That’s all. It doesn’t have to compete against anything modern, just 45nm. My old hair-drier is obviously good enough or I would have changed it by now. I just want something that’s good enough and not Intel. The Cello would do that if the PCI-e connector worked properly.

  22. Deaf Spy says:

    Some performance figures:
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/8776/arm-challinging-intel-in-the-server-market-an-overview/9

    ARM 1100 can’t beat even Atom C2. In the meanwhile, Xeon-D is already on the market, and well supported by hardware and software companies.

    So far with Robert’s funny ideas of how important “caches” are 🙂

  23. Deaf Spy says:

    Reality check. We have a $300 motherboard, which is inferior in all possible aspects to a $50 motherboard. That motherboard would eventually run a CPU, that will get its ass kicked by basically any CPU you put on the cheap one.

    How can one (Robert) possibly expect such a thing can win the market?

  24. Deaf Spy says:

    … and because PCIe x16 slot isn’t working, users will get a free heatsink and fan.

    Bwa-ha-ha-ha!

    This is truly hilarious. The very idea of compensating a broken PCIe slot, the sole meaningful expansion slot next to USB 3.0, with a free heatsink and fan worth a few bucks, is an insult.

    That reminds me of a short story by Czech writer Jaroslav HaÅ¡ek, where a shop for coffins put out the following ad: “For every two coffins you buy, you receive a free child coffin”.

  25. dougman says:

    “It will be interesting to see what LeMaker boards look like in 5 years time.”

    It will be interesting to see if LeMaker is still in some sort of operating capacity, if at all. In five years time. More likely we wont have to wait that long.

  26. dougman says:

    – Apple was established on April 1, 1976
    – Apple I sold July 1976 priced at $666.66 ($2,777 in 2016 dollars)
    – Apple was incorporated January 3, 1977
    – Apple was funded for $250,000.00 after being incorporated
    – Apple revenues grew exponentially, doubling about every four months.
    – Apple sales grew from September 1977 and September 1980, $775,000 to $118m, an average annual growth rate of 533%

    Don’t set here and lecture to me that LeMaker is going to achieve that, if you do you are an ignorant fool.

  27. oiaohm says:

    dougman
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_I
    History LeMaker is not a old company its only 2 years old. March 2014 is when it started. Compare LeMaker to when Apple was 2 year old. LeMaker is about in the same place providing boards without cases and having a rare issues with lemons. The Apple I did not all turn out perfect either.

    So its really too soon to say if LeMaker will develop down Apples path or go a different path.

    LeMaker started with and industrial experience person as one of the 3 founders. So LeMaker has started with a little bit of a running start compare to Jobs with Apple. But LeMaker are lacking experiencing dealing with silicon providers over claims as their boards up until the AMD one had being deal with silicon providers who under claim what the chips can do.

    For the number of boards LeMaker has made and the A1100 board being their first major issue shows some decent management and planning. It will be interesting to see what LeMaker boards look like in 5 years time.

  28. dougman says:

    Lemaker is definitely NOT an Apple.

  29. oiaohm says:

    Gawd, I hate hobbyist linux electronics which are not integrated with software, where nothing really works and nobody is responsible for the end-user experience.
    kurkosdr no you need to look into what LeMaker makes.
    http://www.lemaker.org/product-piano-index.html
    At this point you should be careful on preorder. There is one thing to be a hobbyist electronics maker that may never deliver. It is another thing to be hobbyist/industrial board maker. Industrial do have the habit of shipping boards with particular feature disabled if they cannot get that feature to work but they do normally ship and normally once they open preorders they are normally have confirmed production with prototype boards. So everything was in order to make the boards for middle of this year other than the fact the PCI-e does not work right. This board is the first time AMD and LeMaker have worked with each other.

    To be truthful the first generation A1100 boards.
    http://electronicdesign.com/microprocessors/amd-arms-64-bit-servers
    These were 3000 dollars in 2014 also has Pci-e issues work around was something super horible. You got 1 x8 Pci-e slot and 2 x4 pci-e slot instead of one x16 Pci-e. Do notice the really horible layout of Pci-e slots in the first generation board. So AMD has not solved the A1100 chip talking to x16 Pci-e yet.

    So I would say LeMaker trusted AMD promises and AMD promises have been found lacking.

    dougman industrial is quite common to pre-order it does not show that they don’t have there stuff in order. What shows they don’t have everything in order is not having a 100 prototypes fully functional. At min you want to see 10 fully functional prototypes so that all that is missing is the move to mass production.

    The reason why you have to pay full price up front is in the past they have taken 10-20 percent deposit produced the boards then found out those who wanted boards have changed mind and will not make final payment so leaving them out of pocket. Of course the banks lending them money learnt this. This up front payment even apply on getting custom motherboards out of gigabyte.

    A lot of industrial boards are only produced on demand and that is when they have enough pre-orders to make at least 1000 unit pre-sold they will not tool up the factory to make the boards until they have numbers like that. What kinda makes it important to keep a decent number of spares because you cannot ring up and have one made today it might take you 6 to 12 months+ if ever to get another board.

    dougman basically there are a lot of boards you cannot get if you don’t pre-order. Solid quality pre-orders will have production ready prototypes questionable will not. Those with production ready prototypes will have only minor delays once pre-order numbers are met.

    For very large sums, you can also obtain a bank letter of credit and a letter of sincerity signed.
    LeMaker is china going bankrupt to not pay back letter of credit is not a option.

    Oh wait, thats BIG business, not podunk back-yard amateurs.
    Big business in china does not that. You need provable return on investment in china to get loan. Producing a board without confirmed sales(being preorders) means BIG business in china cannot get letter of credit the costs. China banks don’t count deposit as confirmed sales.

    Basically dougman 10-20% deposit works in the USA and some other countries but it does not in fact work in China. Bank lending rules in different places at times dictate how businesses will do business. So this is you being a normal USA idiot thinking that the way business is done in your home country is how it done everywhere.

    So the most import is not that is a pre-order/deposit but if working prototype exists and its been replicated quite a few times over at least 10 preferable over 100.

    Lot of the worse amateur projects are asking for pre-orders yet they don’t have 1 functional board in front them so absolutely have nothing in order yet asking for money.

    LeMaker at least has a prototype with a glitch. Now if there are enough end users who don’t care that the PCI-e x16 does not work it is better to go into production than hold the product back. I am in fact after the PCI-e x16 for some benching.

  30. dougman says:

    I have a single RaspberryPi running OpenBazaar, already sold things with it. 😛

    In the near future, I will find uses for more Raspberries.

    Never purchase ANYTHING pre-order. Anyone that sells anything PRE-ORDER, does not have their sh1t together. More than likely, you will be overcharged, and WILL not receive what you originally you paid for, excuses will be made and the line in the sand will be drawn behind you.

    Instead of pre-ordering, they should be asking for a earnest 10-20% deposit. For very large sums, you can also obtain a bank letter of credit and a letter of sincerity signed. Oh wait, thats BIG business, not podunk back-yard amateurs.

  31. kurkosdr says:

    Another quality purchase.

    Gawd, I hate hobbyist linux electronics which are not integrated with software, where nothing really works and nobody is responsible for the end-user experience.

    I made the mistake once with my ODROID, never again.

    If Pog was serious about computers, he would already have a NUC or a ComputeStick, and maybe a Nexus Player and Nexus 5X. And a nice laptop (though laptops with linux are rarely nice, but whatever). And a Beast that would actually be a beast. But you see, Pog is a real-life Scrooge, stockpiling money and not enjoying them, so there is no hope in convincing him what a monumental waste of money unintegratred computers are. For him, they look like “deals”. He also thinks tinkering and praying to the upstream gods is a substitute for working software and drivers ( http://xkcd.com/644/ )

  32. dougman says:

    “pre-order it for $299 dollars and because PCIe x16 slot isn’t working, users will get a free heatsink and fan.”

    Another quality purchase.

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