[erlang-questions] Light-weight operating systems supporting Erlang in production web servers

Peer Stritzinger <>
Thu Sep 21 17:30:05 CEST 2017


> On 21.09.2017, at 12:23, Jesper Louis Andersen <> wrote:
> 
> On Wed, Sep 20, 2017 at 12:50 AM Richard A. O'Keefe < <mailto:>> wrote:
> One question.  I can get a
> "Raspberry Pi 3 Model B with 1.2GHz 64-bit Quad Core and 1GB Ram"
> for NZD 69 including tax and run Erlang on it.
> (Hmm.  Next time I have some spare cash I must get one...)
> 
> Why would I pay NZD300 for a 300MHz board with 64MB of memory?
> 
> 
> My prediction is that eventually we'll see the "small embedded" market squeezed down by rather cheap powerful devices such as the rPI. My argument for this prediction hinges on power becoming free in the future (due to the current massive advances in solar and wind energy on top of better batteries).

Small embedded being current rPI *sized* CPUs for some definition of small will be happening.  Except rPI is not usable in production for several reasons (supply, quality, hardware changing beyond your control).  

> Currently, the power draw of the stronger chips is too high and production at scale means that shaving off a few cents here and there is worth it.

Exactly. We have a few industrial applications where we would love to get a larger CPU but we can’t because of price and power (meaning in this case thermal energy output).

> But it looks like the price tag of a 1.2 GHZ 64 bit chip is only going one way, and this makes the added development effort of targeting a smaller chip more expensive. In turn, you need an even bigger scale of production. And so on.

Except that with a 300MHz Cortex M7 size CPU you can do lots of interesting applications just in Erlang already and save the costs.  

> GRiSP is interesting because it can offer you a far faster time to market and lower development effort at the same or better robustness/resilience. You can thus get the lower production costs while amortizing development effort better. It is a good bet until the niche squeeze I predict above happens.

Thanks :-) 

Also we plan not to be squeezed but adapt.  One size which is just getting viable with Erlang are the automotive controllers with flash and ram on the CPU only (for the automotive industry any external memory is too unreliable and a problem for EMC).  Thats one direction what I want to target with the GRiSP software stack.  

We could have easily also targeted a 24 core communication controller with 16 times Gbit I/O which is a tempting target also and noone would complain about the compute power there ;-)

For the GRiSP-base we just tried to pick the right sized board for today.  Others might follow…

Best,
-- Peer 


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