A80 OptimusBoard powered by AllWinner A80 octa-core processor with four Cortex A15 and four Cortex A7 in big.LITTLE configuration had been announced at the end of 2013, and after numerous delays, several boards have recently been sent to developers and companies such as miniNodes, Linuxium, and others. The company behind the board is actually Shenzhen Merrii Technology (aka WITS), which had done all earlier development kits for AllWinner, and they’ve now made the board available for purchase on Aliexpress. Unfortunately the company has decided to leave to low cost development boards market to the likes of Cubieboard8 and PCDuino8, as A80 OptimusBoard sells for $345 plus about $30 for shipping by courier.[Update: they now offer it for $169]
A80 OptimusBoard (Click to Enlarge)
- SoC – AllWinner Ultra Core A80 4x Cortex 15, 4x Cortex A7 big.LITTLE processor with Imagination Technologies PowerVR GC6230 GPU with 64-cores, and support for OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0/3.0, Directx 9.3
- System Memory – 2GB DDR3
- Storage – 8GB NAND Flash + micro SD card up to 32GB
- Video Output – HDMI 1.4a up to 4K30
- Audio – AC100 Codec, headphone jack
- Video Playback – UHD/4K H.264/VP8 4Kx2K @ 30 fps
- Connectivity – Dual band Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 (AP6330), and Gigabit Ethernet (GMAC)
- USB – 1x USB 3.0 OTG port, 2x USB 2.0 host ports
- Camera I/F – 16MP MIPI CSI
- Debugging – UART and JTAG
- Expansion – 32-pin GPIO header
- Misc – IR receiver, reset and power LEDs.
- Power management – AXP806, AXP809 “smart power management specialist”
- Power Supply – 5V/3A, or battery
- Dimensions – 135x70mm
The board comes with a power adapter, and a UART to USB cable. The board comes pre-loaded with Android 4.4.2 on top of Linux 3.4.39. So it’s not a device tree capable kernel, allegedly because AllWinner does not have enough good kernel developers… AllWinner promised support for 5 Operating Systems, but AFAIK, only Android has been provided at this stage, so we may need to wait a little longer for Ubuntu, Chrome/Chromium OS, Firefox OS, and Windows.
You can watch the video below for an overview of the board, and they also quickly show a “professional” AllWinner A80 development board.
Samsung already have a few octa-core big.LITTLE SoCs part of Exynos 5 Octa family with Exynos 5410, Exynos 5420, and Exynos 5422/5800, all based on 28nm process. The company has just announced a new Exynos 5 Octa processors with Exynos 5430, but this time manufactured using 20nm High-K Metal Gate (HKMG) process technology providing 25% less power consumption compared to 28nm Exynos SoCs.
Exynos 5430 SoC will feature four ARM Cortex A15 cores at 1.8 GHz, four Cortex A7 cores at 1.3 GHz, supports WQHD (2560×1440) and WQXGA (2560 x 1600) displays using hibernation display and Mobile Image compression (MIC) in order to lower power consumption. It also said to support HDMI, come with a Multi Format Codec (MFC) supporting HEVC/H.265 decoding, as well as an enhanced dual ISP, and up to 17GB/s of memory bandwidth. That’s about all the information I could get at this point. The CPU core frequencies are lower than Exynos 5422, but the maximum memory bandwidth appears to be higher (17GB/s vs 14.9GB/s), and of course the power consumption is significantly lower. It will also be found in the recently announced Galaxy Alpha smartphone.
More details should eventually surface on Samsung Exynos 5430 page.
ARM and Qualcomm have been pretty successful with ARMv7 SoCs in the mobile space in recent years, and while 32-bit ARM (Aarch32) processors certainly have a few more years, both companies are now moving to 64-bit ARM (Aarch64 / ARMv8), and they released a document showing what has been achieved with ARMv7, the differences between ARMv7 and ARMv8, and new capabilities that will be attainable with 64-bit processing.
Aarch32 vs Aarch64
The document covers the following:
ARM vs x86 vs Architecture Independent Code for 100 Top Apps in Google Play (US)
- ARM Business Model
- The Mobile Computing Revolution (Tablets replacing Laptops)
- Android on ARMv7-A and ARMv8-A
- ARMv8-A Architecture
- Backward Compatibility to ARMv7-A
- ARM Cortex A-53 and Cortex-A57
- ARM big.LITTLE Technology
- The Transition to the ARMv8-A Architecture (Fast Models, Tools, Linaro…)
- Qualcomm Technologies: Transitioning to 64-Bit with Integrated Mobile Design
- Custom and ARM Designed Processors: The Right Technology to Any Market
- Multiple Foundries, Flexible Production
- Flexible design practices in action (Performance, price point, development time. Snapdragon 410 vs 610 vs 810)
Both companies clearly promote their respective products via this document, but there are lots of interesting details such as Intel vs ARM optimized apps in Google Play, perfomance of A57 vs A15, A53 vs A7, side-by-side comparison between 32-bit and 64-bit ARM architectures, and so on. If you want to get the details, you can download the 20-page presentation entitled “ARM and Qualcomm- Enabling the Next Mobile Computing Revolution with Highly Integrated ARMv8-A based SoCs“.
Two AllWinner A80 powered development boards are currently expected. We’ve already seen some pictures of the Cubieboard8, and today we can gt more details about PcDuino8 development board thanks to Charbax who visited Linksprite, and interviewed the company.
Here are PcDuino8 (Beta) specifications based on the interview and pictures:
- SoC – AllWinner A80 octa core big.LITTLE processor with 4 ARM Cortex A15 cores, 4 Cortex A7 cores, and Imagination PowerVR G6200 GPU
- System Memory – 1GB
- Storage – 4GB flash + micro SD Card slot
- Video Output – HDMI
- Audio Output – HDMI, stereo audio jack
- Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n + Bluetooth 4.0 (AP6330 module)
- USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x Micro-B USB 3.0 port
- Debugging – 14-pin header for JTAG
- Expansion Header – 32-pin header
- Misc – IR receiver
- Power – Round DC power jack (5V?)
The hardware specs are a bit lower compared to the Cubieboard8, notably when it comes to RAM, and USB ports. LinkSprite is currently working on Android and Debian for the board, but they also said some developers are also working on Chromium OS. The board is expected to be available next month, and they hope to keep the price below $100.
The video below is 19 minutes long, but only the first 1 minute and 30 seconds are about their new Octa-core board. The rest of the video includes:
- History of PcDuino boards including a new PcDuino3 Nano soon to be available
- A version of Scratch for PcDuino board with an hardware tab to program GPIOs using the program’s graphical user interface.
- Quick demo of a Robot powered by a PcDuino board
- PcDuino for education used in schools in Colorado, USA, Germany, and China. Resources are available at learn.linksprite.com
- Visit of linksprite’s R&D office
- Quick talk with the developer of Papilio DUO FPGA board, as it happens to be manufactured by Linksprite.
Categories: AllWinner A8X, Android, Chromium OS, Debian, Hardware, Video
Android, big little, chromium os, debian, development board, linksprite, pcduino
AllWinner A80 octa-core big.LITTLE has been delayed several times, but it appears products based on the latest AllWinner application processor can finally be pre-ordered. One of them is Onda V989, an Android 4.4 tablet with a 9.7″ 2048 x 1536 pixel display, 2GB RAM and 32GB flash, that’s supposed to reach over 48,000 in Antutu, but actually gets a little over 32,000 points in Antutu X.
Onda V989 tablet specifications:
- SoC – AllWinner A80T octa core bit.LITTLE processor with 4x ARM Cortex A7 cores @ ?? GHz and 4x ARM Cortex A15 cores @ 2GHz, and PowerVR G6230 GPU
- System Memory – 2GB DDR3
- Storage – 32GB NAND flash + micro SD/SDHC slot (up to 128GB)
- Display – 9.7″ IPS display with 10-point capacitive touchscreen, 2048 x 1536 resolution
- Video Output – micro HDMI (up to 1080p)
- Audio I/O – Stereo speakers, built-in microphone, 3.5mm earphone jack, and HDMI
- Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 . 3G is supported via external dongle.
- Camera – 2MP front facing camera, 8MP rear camera with auto focus capable of recording 4K @ 30 fps videos.
- USB – micro USB 3.0 port (USB 2.0 OTG compatible)
- Sensors – gravity sensor, three-axis gyroscope
- Misc – Power and volume buttons
- Battery – 8000 mAh Li-Ion
- Power Supply – 5V/2.5A via micro USB port
- Dimensions – 241 x 169 x 7.9 mm
- Weight – 490 g
The tablet is said to sell with a USB cable, the power adapter, and a user’s manual. Beside being one of the most powerful processor on the market, AllWinner A80 is supposed to support 5 operating systems: Android, Ubuntu, Chrome/Chromium OS, Firefox OS, and Windows RT which should make it a nice candidate to try out various OS and play around, albeit a tablet does not provide the most hacker friendly form factor there is.
Pandawill pre-sells Onda V989 tablet for $239.99, Geekbuying for $229.99, and “onda-tablet”, which may or may not be the official store, pre-ells it for $219.99, but without shipping. It’s also available on several Aliexpress sellers. The tablet is expected to ship on July 31. The company already sold 500 beta tablets in China for 999 CNY (~$161) yesterday, and the regular price will be 1099 CNY (~$177) according to my sources in AllWinner. You may be able to find some more information on Onda V989 product page (in Chinese), including two firmware versions for V1 and V2 tablets…?
Thanks to Marius for the tip.
Mediatek had already announced two 64-bit ARM SoCs with MT6732 and MT6752 boasting respectively four and eight Cortex A53 cores for mainstream and premium smartphones. There are now reports that the company will launch an eight core 64-bit LTE SoC with
HMP architecture. Since HMP (Heterogeneous Multi-Processing) is only used for big.LITTLE processing, and Mediatek does not have an history of making their own custom ARM cores, we can safely assume the processor will feature four Cortex A53 little core, and four Cortex A57 big cores. [Update: finally it's eight ARM Cortex A53 cores, no HMP here].
What we know about MT6795 so far:
- Processor – 64-bit Octa core ARM Cortex A53 cores @ 2.2 GHz
- GPU- Imagination Technology G6200 @ 700 MHz
- Memory I/F – 2x LPDDR3 @ 933 MHz (PoP)
- Camera I/F – 20MP@30fps using a dual ISP
- Display – Up to WQXGA (2560×1600)
- Decoding – 4K2K @ 30 fps (H.265 and H.264)
- Encoding – 4K2K @ 30 fps (H.265)
- Modem – LTE FDD/TDD R9 Cat4, DC-HSPA+ 42/11Mpbs, TD-SCDMA/EDGE
- Connectivity – Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth, FM, GPS, Glonass and Beidou via MT6630 chip (external)
- Process – 28 nm
That’s only the second mobile SoC I’ve heard with ARMv8 big.LITTLE, the other being Qualcomm Snapdragon 810, and it looks like MT6795 will be a direct competitor with LTE support. The Adreno 430 GPU is however likely to outperform Imagination Technology G6200 GPU chosen in the new Mediatek SoC. The company also claims MT6795 will provide an easy upgrade for OEM from their MT6595 LTE SoC, a big.LITTLE ARMv7 processor (Cortex A17 + Cortex A7).
MT6795 mass production is scheduled for December 2014, so actual products will probably be available in Q1 2015. Devices based on Snapdragon 810 are also planned for Q1/H1 2015.
Remember ODROID-XU2 development board based on Exynos 5420? The bad news is that it apparently got scrapped, but the good news is that it gave birth to ODROID-XU3 development board powered by the latest Samsung Exynos 5422 octa core big.LITTLE SoC with support for Ubuntu 14.04 and Android 4.4, including GPU 3D acceleration with the company promising a full desktop experience in Ubuntu.
- SoC – Samsung Exynos 5422 quad core ARM Cortex-A15 @ 2.0GHz+ quad core ARM Cortex-A7 @ 1.4GHz with Mali-T628 MP6 GPU supporting OpenGL ES 3.0 / 2.0 / 1.1 and OpenCL 1.1 Full profile
- System Memory – 2GB LPDDR3 RAM PoP (933Mhz, 14.9GB/s memory bandwidth, 2x32bit bus)
- Storage – Micro SD slot (up to 64GB) + eMMC 5.0 module socket (16, 32, or 64GB module available)
- Video Output – micro HDMI (Up to 1080p) and DisplayPort (up to 2160p)
- Audio Output – micro HDMI and 3.5mm headphone jack
- Network Connectivity – 10/100Mbps Ethernet (Via LAN95144 USB + Ethernet controller)
- USB – 1x USB 3.0 host port, 1x USB 3.0 micro USB OTG port, 4x USB 2.0 ports
- Expansion – 30-pin header for access to GPIO, IRQ, SPI and ADC signals
- Debugging – Serial console header
- Misc – Accurate current sensors and voltage sensors for energy measurement, Power and RGB LEDs, cooling fan header
- Power Supply – 5V/4A power adapter using 5.5/2.1mm barrel.
- Dimensions – PCBA: 94x70x18mm; Enclosure: 98x74x29mm
ODROID-XU3 Block Diagram (Click to Enlarge)
The company can also provide USB modules / dongles for optical S/PDIF output, Gigabit Ethernet (USB 3.0 to Ethernet adapter), Wi-Fi 802.11n/g/n 1T1R with antenna, and 2.5″/3.5″ SATA drives (USB 3.0 to SATA III adapter). Hardkernel will provide Ubuntu 14.04 support with OpenGL ES + OpenCL support, and Android 4.4.2 both based on Linux kernel 3.10 LTS, and the source code will soon be available on their github account. This is also the first ODROID board that supports Heterogeneous Multi-Processing / Global Task Scheduling implementation of big.LITTLE processing. You can get an overview of the board and see Ubuntu 14.04 running OpenGL ES 3.0 demo, and playing a windowed YouTube video – which makes me think hardware video decoding may not be implemented yet – in the video below.
ODROID-XU3 comes with a plastic case, an active cooler and a 5V/4A power adapter, and you get pre-order it for $179 + shipping on Hardkernel website with delivery schedule for the 18th of August 2014. There’s no internal storage with the board so you’ll need a micro SD card (Class 10 strongly recommended), or even better purchased one of the eMMC module with the board. The 16GB eMMC sells for $39 and includes an adapter to connect it to your PC. You can get more information, and/or purchase the board and a few of its 23 accessories on Hardkernel’s ODROID-XU3 product page.
Categories: Android, Hardware, Linux 3.0, Samsung Exynos, Ubuntu, Video
Android, Linux, big little, development board, gpu, hardkernel, odroid-xu, odroid-xu3, opengl, ubuntu