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Re: Bigsur?

To: Jon Fraser <jfraser@broadcom.com>
Subject: Re: Bigsur?
From: Ralf Baechle <ralf@linux-mips.org>
Date: Mon, 18 May 2009 23:23:34 +0100
Cc: Andrew Wiley <debio264@gmail.com>, "linux-mips@linux-mips.org" <linux-mips@linux-mips.org>
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On Mon, May 18, 2009 at 12:13:35PM -0400, Jon Fraser wrote:

> I think people that have them, have had them for a while.
> 
> You can still get, I believe, the bcm91125 and bcm91250.
> http://www.broadcom.com/products/Data-Telecom-Networks/Communications-Processors/BCM91125E
> How you actually order one, I don't know.  I assume you have to go to a
> distributor.  

The usual story seems to be that people either turn pale when they hear
price on the order of $5,000 for a new board.  Or they don't hear back
at all because a sole Linux hacker doesn't sound like he's going to buy
a few thousand chips every quarter.

Adjust the numbers a little (some go as high as $35,000 a board!) and they
apply to virtually every company.

> When I got a 1480 a year ago, it had to be built and took about 3
> months. The internal transfer cost was very high.  So I really don't
> think they are available anymore.  BUT, I don't work for that group.
> 
> Are people just looking for eval type boards with MIPS cpus?

A clear yes.  In particular the Swarm and Big Sur boards which aside of
graphics are as close to an workstation or server board, are highly
sought after as indicated by usually high 2nd hand prices on ebay.
Even though far from new these boards are the backbone of the native
compile farms of several Linux distributions including Debian and the
native testing by various commercial and non-commercial software
developers including myself.  Aside of mostly SGI surplus workstations
the Sibyte boards are clearly the most popular among those who somehow
managed to get hold of them.

What this all boils down is that these aging platforms want a replacement
and a more accessible source.  But for the time being they are still
the best for many developers.

  Ralf

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