27 responses

  1. The Cageybee
    February 13, 2013

    Looks like a damn nice board. If only they could get linux with accelerated X and hardware video decoders running, connect up a hard drive and it could be a replacement for everyday PC use with uber small power usage.
    But there in lies the rub :(

  2. MFserver
    February 13, 2013

    This would be so nice if it had gigabit ethernet! I am currently waiting for a board with gigabit ethernet, eSATA or USB3, and a CPU capable of decrypting AES with 100 MB/s, so I can encrypt my NAS server. Currently I am using the CuBox, which does not have the power to host an encrypted drive at the speeds i require, so it is unencrypted. Using a low-power x86 CPU is still not comparable to an ARM board, so I am following the development with great interest.

  3. silopolis
    February 13, 2013

    Seconding MFserver comment, I’d love to see a similar board with GbEth port(s) and some kind of expansion slot to add more SATA/SAS ports… nevertheless this one is really cute.

  4. haze
    February 13, 2013

    possible to can a schematic diagrams?

  5. m][sko
    February 13, 2013

    @MFserver

    it is funny as most of ARM processor have some build in encryption/decryption hw.
    Yes I understand it depend on drivers, but it is same problem as we have with GPU and VPU(video processor unit)

  6. cnxsoft
    February 13, 2013

    They have already changed the name… The ARMBRIX Zero is now iAMBRIX OPENBRIX, due to some copyrights issue with ARM.

  7. herpderp
    February 13, 2013

    This board looks really promising.
    I wish they’d left the eMMC on board tho…microSD cards are just not there in terms of read/write speed…If only it could take advantage of the new UHS-I speed class it would be perfect as a replacemente for light computing activities

  8. mac me
    February 14, 2013

    5V3A .. thats a lot of power gushing around …

    SATA3/USB3 .. nice

    A15dual should be faster than the quads in real world applcations ?

    theres no nand on this right ? so youre a bit stuck with booting from microSD? or USB3 ? … love the ODROID’s emmc – much faster than microsd

    still a bit pricey for me but nice attempt … come on Hard Kernel finish testing your dual A15 and join the fight :-)

  9. cnxsoft
    February 14, 2013

    @mac me
    I’ll post some Android benchmarks comparing ODROID-X to OPENBRIX / ARMBRIX. I don’t think a Linux image is ready yet, if it does I may run some phoronix suite tests.

    Correct, no NAND, and you’d boot from the microSD. I don’t know yet if you can boot from USB or SATA.

  10. cnxsoft
    February 14, 2013

    @The Cageybee
    This is what they told me:
    “Later I will update Multimedia engine(FFMPEG on Android) works with InSignal.
    HW acceleration for Linux will be updated.”

    @haze
    Not yet for schematics.

  11. linuxium
    February 14, 2013

    If you’re going down the shops then get one of these http://www.jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=XC4834 or eqiv. I find it interesting that the board is now called iAMBRIX as I would’ve thought it cheaper to fight the ARM lawyers than taken on the whole of Apple! I also bought a board similar to this/Arndale board which also came with a heatsink – they called it a Samsung Chromebook Series 3. Seriously, the Arndale development board nearly introduces a great concept. If someone could just market a base development board, with all the basic connectors (power, HDMI, serial, ethernet, USB, SATA, eMMC, Micro SD, JTAG, GPIO, UART, yada, yada), to which manufacturers could then add their CPU board conforming to the base board standard, with truly optional add-on boards for display, sound, wifi/BT etc and software support from Linaro, Google etc in GIT repositories, I wouldn’t have a cupboard full of duplication and a bank balance under threat from technology advancement. I call for the consumarization of ARM development, with mobos and ARM sockets viz-a-vee AMD. I’d better get in from the sun.

  12. kcg
    February 14, 2013

    @cnxsoft
    Could you be so kind and also use good old nbench2? Thanks!

  13. onebir
    February 14, 2013

    @linuxium
    I think the Rhombus Tech people are working toward (some of) those goals :)

  14. Pudding
    February 14, 2013

    Please try to measure actual power consumption under full load / idle conditions if you can!
    Also it would be interesting to know how hot that hughe massive (for a mobile SoC) heatsink gets…
    Thanks!

  15. cnxsoft
    February 14, 2013

    @Pudding
    The only thing I have for power measurement is the PowerUSB power strip, and it’s not really ideal. I guess I need to add a “kill-a-watt” to my shopping list…

  16. Pudding
    February 15, 2013

    For such low power stuff a Multimeter is way better – cut the +5V cable or use a power measurement adapter for such cables.
    This avoids measuring the power supply inefficiency / losses (and measuring at high voltages).

  17. sky770
    February 15, 2013

    cnxsoft :
    ..and you’d boot from the microSD. I don’t know yet if you can boot from USB or SATA.

    Mess around with a bootloader on mSD and try booting from SATA? :D

  18. cnxsoft
    February 15, 2013

    @Pudding
    Good idea. I don’t plan to cut the cable, so I’ll make a DIY adapter once I buy the power socket and plug (This may take a while).

    @sky770
    I’d have to mess around with a lot of thing to have that working, as I’m not even sure SATA work. I don’t have any network access for the board yet as Ethernet and WiFi do not work with the image I received.

  19. cnxsoft
    February 15, 2013

    @kcg
    I can only test Android for now, and there’s no network. Do you have an APK for nbench2?

    Edit: Could not find it in English website, but a Chinese search did help: http://apk.angeeks.com/soft/137908.html

  20. cnxsoft
    February 15, 2013

    I think I’ll wait a bit for the benchmarks to get a better image. I get 13,500 with Antutu 3.0.3 (About the same as Nexus 10_, but the screen rotates to portrait during the benchmark taking only a third of the screen. Most other benchmarks refuse to install or run. nbench can run though.

    This thing gets really hot, I can keep my fingers on the heatsink, but it tests my tolerance to heat (which is not very high I reckon).

  21. abufrejoval
    February 17, 2013

    @MFserver
    You have USB 3, which you can hook to a switch and expand to whatever.
    For that matter Gig-Ethernet on USB 2 works, but at USB 2 speeds.
    Still missing drivers for the USB 3 Gigabit Ethernet, there is an ASIX based device out there.
    The SATA port does support port multipliers, I’ve tried a SiS known for suboptimal performance on Arndale and it works. Might try JMB next.

  22. abufrejoval
    February 17, 2013

    @herpderp
    There is supposed to be an eMMC socket on the reverse side, which isn’t populated (yet?). Don’t know whether it’s such a cool snap-in solution as on the Odroid (love the ability to get variable sized eMMC with an USB adapter for filling).

    But you don’t need to stay with the SD: I use a SATA based SSD on Arndale and switch to that after the kernel has booted. Nothing used on SD (or eMMC in the case of Arndale) after that. I’m trying to make that work with Ubuntu and there is basically no reason why it shouldn’t.

  23. cnxsoft
    February 17, 2013

    @abufrejoval
    Correct. I did not notice it the first time. There is indeed an eMMC socket on the reverse side.

  24. abufrejoval
    February 20, 2013

    @mac me
    I only have the Arndale so far, but OpenBrix seems to be Arndale minus a few parts + a lot more cute.

    Done Android and Ubuntu fully on 16GB Class 10 SD, because 4GB soldered and fixed eMMC is “Class 20″ but tiny, then wanted SATA and USB 3 for speed and capacity.

    It’s fairly easy because in each phase of the boot process it’s a new game.
    The primary bootloader must come off eMMC or SD: That’s a design limitation of Exynos, I’d presume.
    Once u-boot is there, it’s whatever u-boot supports (even PXE if you can get the hardware initialized).
    Once the Linux kernel is there, it’s whatever the Linux kernel supports and that is quite a lot: You don’t need to leave your root on the boot medium!

    Booting isn’t really important (well don’t try anything below Class 10!), it’s *running* the system of a SATA SSD which determines the overall speed and feel of the system.

    I’ve switched root to SATA SSD on Android after booting the kernel and initial ram disk from eMMC or SD and it’s very snappy and roomy with a 256GB Crucial C300. I also activated a Nexus style file system layout which means I have more than 200GB of usable Android storage formatted as ext3 but visible to PCs via MPT. No issues transferring 10GB 1080p movies for XMBC tests.

    Haven’t really tried making that work with Ubuntu yet, but there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to switch to an SATA SSD based root after booting the kernel. Been running X11 over the 100MBit port, because Ubuntu graphics support wasn’t quite there yet. Note that Ubuntu for Tablets shows Nexus 10 pictures so it can’t be far away.

    SATA support is good on Android Arndale images and on Ubuntu, including port multiplier support. I did 5 2TB drives on Android and even had MD built into the kernel. Albeit without user land tools there wasn’t anything I could do with it.

    SATA via USB3 on Android wasn’t stable but I could basically swap the SATA SSD between USB3 and SATA without even reconfiguring things and have it run fully off the SSD. Only on USB3 it crashed after a while. This will get fixed and with USB3 hubs the expansion facilities are practically unlimited.

    Haven’t been able to get more than aroud 130MB/sec out of the SATA (and USB3) ports nor did I get a 6GBit connect yet, but it certainly beats SD.

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