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Allwinner A80 Android TV Boxes Coming Soon, Starting with Zero Devices Z8C Alice

Allwinner A80 based tablets such as Onda V989, and development boards such as A80 OptimusBoard started to ship one to two months ago, but there was absolutly no news about Android mini PCs / media player based on the latest Allwinner processor. This is about to change as ZeroDevices twitted about their Z8C Alice TV Box, apparently designed by Sunchip, and in collaboration with a UK based digital signage company called Eclipse Digital Media.

Zero_Devices_Z8C_AlicePreliminary technical specifications that we can infer from the picture above:

  • SoC – AllWinner Ultra Core A80 4x Cortex 15, 4x Cortex A7 big.LITTLE processor with Imagination Technologies PowerVR GC6230 GPU with support for OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0/3.0, Directx 9.3
  • System Memory – N/A
  • Storage – ?? GB eMMC + SD card slot + SATA port (most probably via a USB 2.0/3.0 bridge)
  • Video  Output – HDMI + AV port
  • Audio – HDMI, AV, and optical S/PDIF
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi, probably Bluetooth too
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0 OTG port, 2x USB 2.0 host ports
  • Misc – IR receiver (not soldered on the picture above).
  • Power Supply – N/A
  • Dimensions – N/A

There’s a header at the back of the picture that might be used to connect a small board with for power button, and/or LEDs (TBC). The four through holes very close to the power barrel and S/PDIF connector is most likely the UART pins. Zero Devices also started a thread on Freaktab, where they posted a picture with showing the device get 54,253 points in Antutu. For some reasons, Antutu scores reported with devices and boards powered by Allwinner A80 have varied a lot from just a little over 30,000 to 65,000 depending on the firmware used, so any score should be taken with a grain of salt.

Pricing and availability are unknown at this stage.

  1. passante
    October 12th, 2014 at 13:56 | #1

    Could be huge if the price will be competitive. sata even to usb is a great choice

  2. TLS
    October 12th, 2014 at 14:46 | #2

    The small header near the S/PDIF connector is the IR, it’s a 2.5mm jack to which you’d need to connect an IR receiver such as this http://www.amazon.com/Monoprice-5-Feet-Extender-Receiver-108060/dp/B005E2XLNM/ for example (althoug the connector is the wrong size).

  3. October 12th, 2014 at 16:18 | #3

    CNX earlier reported some A80 issues (freezing, USB 3.0 speed), assume Zerodevices has solve these?

  4. October 12th, 2014 at 20:29 | #4

    @TLS
    There’s an IR header (3-pin not soldered) close to the white header on the top in the picture.
    I understand the 2.5 (or 3.5?)mm jack on the left of the S/PDIF connector should be for AV output, and the 4-pin header (not soldered) might be for UART.

    @Jacob Ritzema
    I’ve contacted Allwinner, and they can not reproduce the issues on their side. They told me it could be the power supply. But the 5V/3A provided with the board, as as well as an another one can’t sustain the load. In case it was temperature related, I’ve now added a largish heatsink + an external fan, and the problem still occurs when running multi-core benchmarks. So either my board has issue, or I need a 5V/4A power supply.

  5. javi
    October 12th, 2014 at 21:22 | #5

    You are right in the article, the white connector is used to connect a small board for IR and led light.

    AC/DC Adaptor is 12V

  6. anon
    October 13th, 2014 at 07:11 | #6

    @cnxsoft
    Simplest power fix that can extend beyond singular hack is to get a big lab supply, and use a hacked USB hub as a “extension cord”, personally used one of those el-cheapo 7-port hubs with individual switches (as sticks cannot be powered up without removing the power first), only mod being changing the individual port fuses with 4A ones (maybe a 6A would suit these RK3288/A80/M802 ones better).

  7. October 13th, 2014 at 10:47 | #7

    @anon
    I looked into these yesterday, something like: http://www.banggood.com/CPS-3205-0-32V-0-5A-Portable-Adjustable-DC-Power-Supply-110V220V-p-934530.html
    The other advantage would be that it also provides an easy way to measure power consumption. But I’m not sure if cheap models work as advertised.

    Most devices I receive now come with barrel connectors, so I’d just use a cable with a various plugs as shown in that picture: http://www.cnx-software.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Power_Measurement_Solution.jpg

  8. October 13th, 2014 at 11:03 | #8

    Charbax just uploaded video with Bluetimes that also uses the same A80 board (@ 2:20) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9FreHTbdQk&feature=youtu.be
    It will be available next month for $80 (Factory price) according to the interview.

  9. October 13th, 2014 at 12:26 | #9

    I’m making 4K resolution tests too with ZERO Devices Z8C Alice

  10. October 13th, 2014 at 14:12 | #10

    @cnxsoft That’s good to know! 20Watt power supply sounds logic, but not USB common.

  11. anon
    October 13th, 2014 at 17:34 | #11

    @cnxsoft
    Those cheap adjustable PSUs are terrible, they are not even close to stable, or EMI, free.

    A proper SMPS fixed voltage supplys are much better (and >90% efficient while at it), some have currency/power display too, but personally my default to go mfg is MeanWell, that does those SMPS supplys where you wire it up yourself… to a USB hub with hacked 5VDC cable, those cost next to nothing.

    As simple shunt + voltage meter can act for currency/power measurement.

  12. October 13th, 2014 at 17:51 | #12

    This board is 12V

  13. October 13th, 2014 at 17:52 | #13

    Question for Tom Cubie :

    Tom how allwinner will manage to solve the availability of open source drivers for PowerVR GC6230 ?

    As long as this issue is not solved im afraid that this amazing board is waste of time and good components.

  14. anon
    October 13th, 2014 at 18:40 | #14

    @Javi
    Yep, but the overall scheme of SMPS + “hacked extension cord” still stands, there are also those “one to n” 5.5mm * 2.1mm barrel cables for “CCTV” and other such 12VDC equipment, so that would work nicely, in case that is 5.5/2.1 instead of something more exotic. 🙂

  15. prima.king
  16. October 14th, 2014 at 01:24 | #16

    Z6C plans was changed, hope to have some update soon

  17. Gabe
    November 10th, 2014 at 15:22 | #17
  18. November 13th, 2014 at 19:08 | #18

    prima.king :
    what about Zero Devices Z6C ? http://liliputing.com/2013/12/zero-devices-z6c-is-a-quad-core-android-video-gaming-box.html

    Finally it is probably the Z6C will be launched soon but after some deep changes… news soon!

  19. February 26th, 2015 at 16:05 | #19

    The ZERO Devices Z8C ALICE now supports Linux UBUNTU:

    Here the UBUNTU image file:
    https://mega.co.nz/#!nAF2iBQQ!ILZ5mqFjqhA8Ufl1Rv95wXHdrpkzC0MAYZJkhVxwwyI
    AllWinner devices can be flashed by using the “Phoenix Suite”
    https://mega.co.nz/#!LFFHiRTZ!-T95D9NNnn4UBfH3hzSOhOBj5Ran4FS-WmK2YeXwgl4

    Also available on official website

  1. October 12th, 2014 at 21:02 | #1
  2. October 13th, 2014 at 14:42 | #2
  3. October 31st, 2014 at 18:00 | #3
  4. November 7th, 2014 at 17:40 | #4