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ODROID-C0 Board is an Upcoming Alternative to Raspberry Pi Zero

December 11th, 2015 Leave a comment Go to comments

When Raspberry Pi Zero launched at the end of November, it looked somewhat familiar to Hardkernel ODROID-W board that eventually had to be phased out as Broadcom would not sell Broadcom BCM2835 to the Korean company. In an interesting turn of events, Hardkernel has now shown the first prototype of ODROID-C0 (ODROID-C Zero), a tiny board based on Amlogic S805 found in ODROID-C1+. The name of the board may seem to be derived from Raspberry Pi Zero, but it’s not quite the case as Hardkernel first revealed their plans for ODROID-C0 back in November, a week before R-Pi Zero board was unveiled.

ODROID_C0ODROID-C0 will have similar specifications to ODROID-C1+ minus Ethernet, and the USB ports in order to reduce the PCB size:

  • SoC – Amlogic S805 quad core Cortex-A5 processor with a Mali-450MP2 GPU
  • System Memory – 1GB DDR3
  • Storage – eMMC module socket, and micro SD slot
  • Video & Audio Output – HDMI port
  • Expansion Headers – Unpopulated 40-pin Raspberry Pi compatible header
  • Misc – On/off switch for battery power, RTC + RTC battery header, solder pads for IR receiver, CVBS, UART console, and USB host ports.
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A DC input (2.5/0.8mm barrel) or Li-Ion/LiPo battery charger circuit and DCDC booster IC.
  • Dimensions – 65 x 56mm

ODROID_C_Zero

 

The company plans to sell a connector pack for one or two USB host ports, 40-pin header, an IR receiver and  USB-UART console connector for people who request it. ODROID-C0 will be fully software compatible with ODROID-C1/C1+ boards. ODROID-C0 will be about twice as big as Raspberry Pi Zero, but also features a more powerful Amlogic S805 quad core processor instead of the ARMv6 BCM2835 found in RPi Zero. It’s more targeted to embedded applications, as there’s no USB port soldered at all by default.

Pricing and availability are not known so far, but I’m fairly confident that while ODROID-C0 won’t sell for $5, it should still be quite cheaper than ODROID-C1+ board going for about $37. [Update: I’ve just noticed they plan to sell it for $25 in February 2016]

  1. tkaiser
    December 11th, 2015 at 22:26 | #1

    Well done, the 7pin I2S header can be populated, the large heatsink for C1+ seems to fit, you can still solder an 2x USB type A receptacle and positions of other connectors remained the same.

  2. Carlos
    December 11th, 2015 at 22:36 | #2

    Missing USB ports and high shipping cost would be a problem form most users.

    Rasberry Pi Zero sales argument is the price and for me it is a piece of art.

  3. December 11th, 2015 at 22:45 | #3

    Looks great but I see two problems:

    1) uSD socket should face the other way, as otherwise it badly interferes with the GPIO header

    2) eMMC module is a bit too close to the gpio header, would interfere with mounting a female header on the bottom of the board

  4. Jon Smirl
    December 11th, 2015 at 23:28 | #4

    This board should sell for about $15, who knows what they will price it at.
    8GB EMMC is about $3.60, just solder one on and charge $20 for the board.
    That socketed 8GB EMMC costs $25 at odroid.com

    Adding an $0.80 ESP8089 would make this board more valuable.

  5. Marius Cirsta
    December 11th, 2015 at 23:33 | #5

    I just want to see a cheap programmable board with a RJ45 jack, is it that hard to do ? For wifi we have ESP8266 stuff but I’ve so far been unable to find a very cheap board with wired Ethernet.

  6. iamfrankenstein
    December 11th, 2015 at 23:54 | #6

    @Marius There are quite a few AR9331 modules on the market. With allot of them you can add ethernet by soldering a magjack to board with a few resistors and capacitors. The wr703n reverse engineered schematic is very handy for reference.

  7. Marius Cirsta
    December 12th, 2015 at 00:10 | #7

    @iamfrankenstein
    Thanks. I’ve found a router that supports OpenWRT at about $12 but it’s not quite what I’m looking for, it guess it’s quite cheap but I would like something with the price and simplicity of the ESP8266 solutions … Maybe there isn’t really a market for such a thing. Wifi is OK but sometimes I need/want a wired Ethernet port.

  8. Jon Smirl
    December 12th, 2015 at 02:01 | #8

    @Marius Cirsta

    Wait for the ESP32, it has Ethernet. It should be out in January.

  9. xxiao
    December 12th, 2015 at 03:26 | #9

    @Marius Cirsta
    have you checked lantronix tiny ethernet devices

  10. E. Murder
    December 12th, 2015 at 05:08 | #10

    @Marius Cirsta
    Marcus, it is possible to add an Ethernet jack interfaced over SPI. The ENC28j60 from Microchip has kernel support so in theory by recompiling the kernel for this device and enabling the ENC28j60 support, then preparing a suitable device tree overlay, you get Ethernet (admittedly not very fast) on the cheap. Here is a page that describes how it was done on a Raspberry Pi, which may be a useful starting point: http://raspi.tv/2015/ethernet-on-pi-zero-how-to-put-an-ethernet-port-on-your-pi
    Hope that helps.

  11. Andrew
    December 12th, 2015 at 05:11 | #11

    They added an independent battery connector, finally!

  12. vickycq
    December 12th, 2015 at 09:12 | #12

    The shipping alone will cost ~4x as much as rpi zero.

  13. December 12th, 2015 at 11:30 | #13

    @Jon Smirl
    I missed the expected price yesterday: $25. It might be a tough sale.
    Availability: February 2016.

  14. Rob Roy
    December 12th, 2015 at 12:57 | #14

    @cnxsoft
    Considering that the processor is orders of magnitude better than the RPi0 with twice the RAM and a great GPU, the $25 price seems justified. All ODROIDs can run stock versions of both Linux and Android as well instead of the scaled-down Raspbian. They are known as the Cadillac of SBCs for a reason. If you are in the US, you can also save a lot on shipping by ordering from a US distributor such as Ameridroid ($7 vs $40).

    @Carlos
    The USB ports are an option that can be soldered on.

    @Jon Smirl
    Not soldering an eMMC onto the board and using a clippable one instead is what makes ODROIDs unique and versatile.

  15. Deets
    December 12th, 2015 at 13:23 | #15

    Jon Smirl :
    @Marius Cirsta
    Wait for the ESP32, it has Ethernet. It should be out in January.

    Well… if you add a phy and give up 10 gpio pins?

  16. Steve
    December 12th, 2015 at 15:47 | #16

    Interesting option. Pity they didn’t go down the Micro USB OTG route, as having no USB as standard is a bit of an issue.

    Also – although the CPU / RAM outperform the Pi 2, the Pi 2 still has an edge in some terms. One big difference is the Pi supports up to 7.1 PCM output over HDMI. The S805 in the C1+/C0 is limited to PCM 2.0/DD/DTS.

    The C0 will be Pi2 power in a Pi Zero-ish form factor though (at least in thickness terms). The eMMC stuff isn’t cheap though, so suspect most will use uSD.

    Mikronauts – the C1+ has the uSD slot over the GPIO pins, as long as you clip them short you should be OK, but it will limit GPIO connectivity to above the board, not below.

  17. Capt. HerpDerp
    December 12th, 2015 at 19:15 | #17

    vickycq :
    The shipping alone will cost ~4x as much as rpi zero.

    They have a couple distributors in various countries, there is a list on odroid’s website of all of them. If you live in the US ameridroid.com is pretty good they have pretty much all the Odroid stock and low shipping cost ~$5 or so.

  18. Marius Cirsta
    December 12th, 2015 at 19:54 | #18

    xxiao :
    @Marius Cirsta
    have you checked lantronix tiny ethernet devices

    Thanks, Lantronix looks more like what I was referring to. Still a pity these cheap boards don’t have Ethernet though ( at least as an option). I’m not sure how much cost that would add but I guess no more than $2.

  19. January 15th, 2016 at 17:45 | #19

    ODROID-C0 in a small quadcopter -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7IOqXjtZ_E

  20. Mike Moy
    February 5th, 2016 at 09:52 | #20

    I like the board, and I am glad they took all the connectors off so it more for an embedded application, but why bother to put the HDMI jack on there. Just use the debug serial port and do what you want there.

  1. December 12th, 2015 at 04:57 | #1
  2. December 12th, 2015 at 15:47 | #2