Home > AllWinner A2X, Android, Debian, Hardware, Linux, Ubuntu > ITEAD Studio IBOX Powered by AllWinner A20 Features a 32-Pin Hacker-Friendly Connector (Crowdfunding)

ITEAD Studio IBOX Powered by AllWinner A20 Features a 32-Pin Hacker-Friendly Connector (Crowdfunding)

ITEAD Studio IBOX is a mini computer powered by AllWinner A20 dual core Cortex A7 processor with 1GB RAM and 4GB Flash, a few USB connectors, Ethernet and video/audio connector. This mini pc can run both Android & Linux, and features a 32-pin connector that allows to connect expansion boards.

Itead_studio_iboxLet’s have a look at the specifications:

  • SoC- AllWinner A20 dual core ARM Cortex-A7 @ 1 GHz + ARM Mali 400 MP2
  • System Memory – 1GB DDR3 RAM
  • Storage – 4GB NAND Flash + microsd slot
  • Video Output – HDMI
  • Audio Output – HDMI, optical S/PDIF
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet
  • USB – 3x USB 2.0 host port, 1x USB OTG port (full size)
  • Expansion – 32-pin proprietary connector with TV OUT, USB, LCD, UART, IR, CSI, SPI, SATA, GPIOS and power signals.
  • Misc – LED , IR sensor, and U-boot button (FEL mode?)
  • Power – 5V/2A 9V/2A
  • Dimensions – 145 x 95 x 27 mm

The company provides image with Android and Linux images for NAND and SD Card made by themselves (Android TV A20, Debian 7.0), as well as those made by Cubietech (Android 4.2, Lubuntu, Cubian), ArchLinux ARM, and LinkSprite (Android).

ITEAD Studio IBOX with Scope Probe and Arduino (Photoshop)

ITEA Stuidio IBOX with Scope Probe and Arduino (Photoshop?)

ITEAD Studio shows several pictures of IBOX with expansion boards (as above) but all these seem to be photoshopped, and they explain customers have to create the expansion board yourself, as they don’t have the resources. The hardware inside is composed of a baseboard and a computer-on-module, and schematics (PDF) are available for both, and full hardware design files available for the baseboard.

The company has made an habit of launching their products on Indiegogo, and this time again, IBOX is featured in an Indiegogo campaign where you can get the board for $70 including free shipping.

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  1. adem
    March 11th, 2014 at 17:07 | #1

    too much for a a20 and i dont really trust allwinner all that much not after i got burnt with the a31

  2. Harley
    March 11th, 2014 at 20:22 | #2

    I boycott anything A10 or A20 SoC based since Allwinner as a company is so very much anti-FOSS, even if they still don’t realize that themselves.

    Only if and when Allwinner learn and release their code with proper open source license then I will change my mind.

  3. Diego.
    March 11th, 2014 at 20:31 | #3

    Harley :
    I boycott anything A10 or A20 SoC based since Allwinner as a company is so very much anti-FOSS, even if they still don’t realize that themselves.
    Only if and when Allwinner learn and release their code with proper open source license then I will change my mind.

    The worst thing is that other vendors, except Freescale which is embedded oriented, are worse.

  4. onebir
    March 11th, 2014 at 21:41 | #4

    Does this have any advantages over A20 Cubieboards? Which at least have a bit of a community already…

  5. wycx
    March 12th, 2014 at 00:01 | #5

    SATA has to come out the expansion header, which makes it a clumsy solution for anything involving a HDD.

    No sign of the elusive CANBUS…is there a single A10 or A20 product anywhere that has implemented it?

  6. March 12th, 2014 at 11:44 | #6

    @onebir
    They can use Cubieboard A20 image, so it’s probably software compatible, unless they made some changes to the images.

    @wycx
    I’ve read Tom Cubie that said that even though there was a CAN bus in the SoC, AllWinner never enabled it. That was maybe one year ago.

  7. wycx
    March 12th, 2014 at 11:54 | #7

    There is some mention of the CAN interface on Linux Sunxi Mainline effort page which links to a page that links to this thread [1] which has some documentation.

    [1] https://groups.google.com/forum/#!searchin/linux-sunxi/CAN/linux-sunxi/Wrj1uYO1xVo/rq_HYUW7PaIJ

    It is strange they woudl not enable it since it is on the silicon and that silicon costs money.

  8. March 12th, 2014 at 12:41 | #8

    @wycx
    I’d just like to point out I don’t really if “not enabled” means it’s just there in the Silicon but unusable, or they just did not write the drivers for it. Based on the thread you just linked to, it should be they just did not write drivers for it.

  9. David
    March 13th, 2014 at 16:46 | #9

    @wycx
    There is an expansion board that accommodates SATA. There’s a picture of the board with a SATA drive on this page:

    http://blog.iteadstudio.com/ibox-achieved-funding-goal-on-indiegogo/

    I’m not sure if this is the expansion boar that comes with the IBOX on the Indiegogo campaign though, I need to read it over.

  10. March 13th, 2014 at 17:43 | #10

    @David
    Nice, it’s really not clear from their Indiegogo page… But the update is:

    “All the backers will receive an IBOX together with an add-on board that can be plugged in 32pin expansion interface of IBOX. The add-on board only makes a simple extension of the interfaces including:

    * A SATA interface
    * A Debug interface
    * Other SPI, IIC, GPIO interfaces extended to Arduino pin interface

    They also sell the 32-pin connector for those who want to make there own expansion board: http://imall.iteadstudio.com/electronic-components/connectors/connector-socket/9001-9001-38xx-din-41612-half-q-type-female-connector-socket.html

    They should really have mentioned that, it makes the whole thing more interesting, including price-wise.

  11. Hedda
    March 25th, 2014 at 00:11 | #11

    Upstream mainline XBMC still doesn’t support Allwinner A10 or A20 SoC series CedarX VPU.

    I would not recommend one of these as a media player until after upstream mainline XBMC get official support hardware video acceleration of Allwinner A10 or A20 SoC series CedarX VPU.

    So if and when, as of right now there are no guarantees that they will ever be supported.

  1. March 24th, 2014 at 19:49 | #1