How much power does my SBC need?

Thread Starter

starsnpixel

Joined Dec 23, 2018
10
Hi everybody,

I am searching for the right SBC for my application but I don't know how much power it needs (GHz, no. of cores, ...). I hope you can help me.
The main goal will be the control of three cameras which will write 370MB/s of data each for about 1 sec via USB3. This data shall be saved onto internal or external memory. There will also be communication with other periphery, e.g. the control of a MOSFET, which obviously needs a lot less computation power. What do you think? Will a dual core do the job? Or better four cores, one for each camera and one more for the rest?

Thank you in advance and merry Christmas!
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
9,154
Welcome to AAC!

We need to know what SBC you're using, the operating voltage, and the clock frequency. Whether more cores will help depends on how you're writing the data.

Is it from one program, multiple programs? If from one program, is it threaded? If not, you won't benefit from more cores unless you have other programs running that take CPU resources.
 

Thread Starter

starsnpixel

Joined Dec 23, 2018
10
Hi Dennis, thanks for the warm welcome!

I think the title I chose is misleading because I meant the CPU power necessary. Unfortunately it seems like I cannot edit the title anymore.

The SBC is totally open for discussion, the project is still in the design phase. The only requirements are that it should be as small as possible and needs -40 ~ 80°C operating temperature. Same goes for the operating voltage, it can be adjusted. And the clock frequency necessary is again one of the points I hope to find out here. ;-)
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
9,154
The operating temperature range you need will require military spec parts, i.e. very expensive. The price difference between consumer and military can be 10X. Off the shelf solutions are more likely to be for 0-70C.

Whether multiple cores will help depends on your application and other things running on the SBC.
 

Thread Starter

starsnpixel

Joined Dec 23, 2018
10
Thanks for your help!

The project is planned to be a part of a rocket payload, that's why this temperature range is necessary, unfortunately. Up to ~$300-400 for the SBC wouldn't be much of a problem, though.
The software application can be built accordingly to the SBC.

I'm just looking for a rough estimation that I can to search for. Is 1x 100 MHz already enough? 2x 500 MHz? Or is it more likely that 4x 1 or even 2 GHz are necessary?
 

mckenney

Joined Nov 10, 2018
60
I'm just looking for a rough estimation that I can to search for. Is 1x 100 MHz already enough? 2x 500 MHz? Or is it more likely that 4x 1 or even 2 GHz are necessary?
Starting with the back of my envelope, 3 cameras at 370MB/s each is over 1GB/s. There are systems that can do this, but you should be thinking GHz-class processors from the beginning.

Actually, Industrial temperature range is [-40,+85]C, which should be obtainable off-the-shelf. As a for-instance, Technologic Systems (embeddedarm.com) has boards rated for this range. The first board I checked draws 2.5W (max) at 5V, so keep this in mind when sizing your battery. [I have no ties to Technologic, but the company I work at uses their stuff a fair amount.]
 

Thread Starter

starsnpixel

Joined Dec 23, 2018
10
embeddedarm does have a SBC that works in industrial temperatures indeed but unfortunately it doesn't support USB3 which is necessary for those data rates.

Maybe I can figure out something for the temperature range so if we let this aside, what would you suggest? The NanoPi M4 looks very promising to me with four USB3 ports (which I haven't seen at any other board yet), it's very small and runs at up to 2x 2GHz + 4x 1.5 GHz. Could this work?
 
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