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Posts Tagged ‘debian’

FriendlyARM NanoPC-T2 Board Gets More Storage, WiFi & Bluetooth, Stays Cool, and Costs Less

February 4th, 2016 3 comments

FriendlyARM NanoPC-T1 board powered by Samsung Exynos 4412 processor with 1GB RAM and 4GB eMMC flash was unveiled at the start of 2014 for $69. The company has now announced NanoPC-T2 with Samsung S5P4418 processor with 1GB RAM, and 8GB Flash, as well as WiFi and Bluetooth, as Gigabit Ethernet all of which were missing in the first version. NanoPC-T2 also has a power management chip, and a larger heatsink, meaning that it does not suffer from overheating like NanoPi2 according to FriendlyARM.

NanoPC-T2NanoPC-T2 specifications:

  • SoC – Samsung S5P4418 quad core Cortex A9 processor @ up to 1.4GHz with Mali-400MP GPU
  • System Memory – 1GB 32bit DDR3 RAM
  • Storage – 8GB eMMC flash, and 1x SD card slot (on the bottom of the board)
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth LE 4.0 (Ampak AP6212) with on-board chip antenna and 1x IPX antenna connector
  • Video Output / Display I/F- 1x HDMI 1.4a, LVDS, MIPI DSI, 0.5 mm pitch SMT FPC seat for type-A full-color LCD (RGB: 8-8-8)
  • Audio I/O – HDMI, 3.5mm audio jack, 1x on-board microphone
  • Camera – 1x DVP interface, 1x MIPI CSI interface
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 type A host ports; 1x micro USB 2.0 OTG port; 2x USB 2.0 host port via 8-pin header
  • Expansions Headers – 30-pin header for GPIO, 8-pin header for power signals, reset and LED 1-2
  • Debugging – 4-pin header for serial console
  • Misc – Power switch, 1x power & 2x user LEDs, RTC battery header, boot selection button (SD card / eMMC)
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A via power barrel; AXP228 PMIC
  • Dimension – 100 x 60 mm (6-layer PCB)
Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

The board can run Debian and Android from either anSD card or eMMC flash using the boot selection button. The Wiki page is currently empty, but should eventually have all the technical details needed to get started and more.

NanoPC-T2 board will launch on February 28, 2016 for $59 + shipping on FriendlyARM shop. Individuals based in South and North America will instead be able to purchase it from Andahammer.

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NanoPi 2 Fire Board Adds Gigabit Ethernet and Power Management, Drops WiFi and Bluetooth

January 22nd, 2016 20 comments

NanoPi 2 board, based on Samsung S5P4418 quad core Cortex A9 processor with WiFi and Bluetooth, has now gotten a brother, called Nano Pi 2 Fire, with wireless connectivity replaced by Gigabit Ethernet, and a power management IC (PMIC) for software power-off, sleep and wakeup.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

NanoPi 2 Fire specifications:

  • SoC – Samsung S5P4418 quad core Cortex A9 processor @ up to 1.4GHz
  • System Memory – 1GB 32bit DDR3
  • Storage – 1x Micro SD Slot
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet port
  • Video Output / Display I/F- 1x HDMI 1.4a, 0.5 mm pitch SMT FPC seat for full-color LCD (RGB: 8-8-8)
  • Camera – 24-pin DVP interface; 0.5mm pitch
  • USB – 1x USB Host port; 1x micro USB 2.0 OTG port for power and data
  • Expansions Headers – 40-pin Raspberry Pi compatible header with UART, I2C, SPI, GPIOs…
  • Debugging – 4-pin header for serial console
  • Misc – User and reset buttons, power and user LEDs, RTC battery header
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A via micro USB port with AXP228 PMIC
  • Dimension: 75 x 40 mm (6-layer PCB)

NanoPi_Fire_2The board support Android and Debian, and you can find hardware documentation on FriendlyARM’s Wiki (in construction), and software on their Github account. The Wiki should eventually get some software documentation and links to firmware images, just like for NanoPi 2 Wiki.

NanoPi2 Fire will sell for $29 + shipping, and should be listed together with NanoPi2 on the company’s product page.

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Ocean is a Battery Powered Mobile Server Powered by Allwinner A20 Processor

January 15th, 2016 8 comments

iCracked, a company selling and repairing iPhones, has designed a thin and battery powered mobile Linux server called Ocean. The device is powered by Allwinner A20 processor with 1GB RAM, 4GB flash completed with 8 to 64 GB internal storage (SD card), and runs Debian 8.1 Jessie.

ocean_serverOcean mini server specifications:

  • SoC – Dual core ARM Cortex A7 processor @ 1.0 GHz
  • System Memory – 1GB DDR3 @ 480 MHz
  • Storage – 4GB flash for firmware, 8 to 64 GB internal SD card
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi up to 72 Mbps, and Bluetooth 4.0 LE + EDR with 10 dBm Antenna
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 host port, 1x mini USB for power
  • Misc – Programmable RGB button
  • Battery – 4,200 mAh; good for two days of continuous CPU usage; Charged via mini USB port (~4 to 5 hours) or Qi charger (~10 hours)
  • Dimensions – 15 x 7.8 x 1.2 cm (Aluminum/plastic frame)
  • Weight – 170 grams

Ocean is in some ways a high-end alternative to Zsun SD11x WiFi flash drive, with a more powerful processor more memory,, a larger battery and Bluetooth LE. The device can also be used as a power bank supporting 500 mA to 2A output. The company does not mention Allwinner A20 at all, but considering it’s a dual core Cortex A7, and Debian will run on top of an old Linux 3.4.105 kernel, that’s certainly Allwinner’s processor… Some parts of the specs also claim USB 3.0 support, but it should probably read as “compatible with USB 3.0 devices” instead, since USB 3.0 device will work in a USB 2.0 port, but just at lower speeds (480 Mbps).

Source: TheNextWeb

Image Source: TheNextWeb

There’s also a web interface to control the device, but you can also connect to it via SSH, or a REST API.

The product is still in development, but you can already order a Beta version with 16GB internal SD card for $149 which will be shipped in February 2016. Versions with 32 and 64 GB storage can be pre-order now, and will ship in April 2016 for respectively $179 and $199. You can find more info and order a sample on GetOcean.io.

Via G+ Mini PCs community

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BeagleBone Blue Board is Designed for Robots and UAVs

January 13th, 2016 2 comments

Beagleboard.org organization already tried to go Blue with BeagleBone BlueSteel-Basic that was supposed to a the single board computer to be used by OEM to integrate into their design instead of BeagleBone Black development board. For some unknown reasons this never happened, but they’ve now reused the color to introduce BeagleBone Blue board designed for robotics and UAVs.

BeagleBone_Blue

BeagleBone Black with Robotics Cape (BeagleBone Blue picture is not available)

BeagleBone Blue specifications:

  • SoC – Texas Instruments Sitara AM3358 Cortex A8 @ 1 GHz + PowerVR SGX530 GPU
  • System Memory – 512 MB DDR3
  • Storage – 4 GB 8-bit on-board flash storage
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 LE
  • USB – USB 2.0 client and host
  • Motor Control – 8x 6V servo out, 4x DC motor out, 4x quad enc in
  • Sensors – 9 axis IMU, barometer
  • “Easy connect Interfaces” – GPS, DSM2 radio, UARTs, SPI, I2C, analog, buttons, LEDs
  • Power / Battery – 2-cell LiPo support with balancing, 6-16V charger input
  • Dimensions – N/A

The board is still in development, and the only picture I have is the one of the PCB layout.

BeagleBone_Blue_PCB_LayoutThe project was born thanks to a collaboration between Beagleboard.org and University of California San Diego, as they currently use a BeagleBone Black with a Robotics cape as shown in the first picture of this post for their robotics educational kits, and started to create a single board computer for this project.

The BeagleBone Blue will be software compatible with BeagleBone Black and support Debian, Ubuntu Snappy, ROS, Ardupilot, Machinekit, etc.. as well as Cloud9 graphics IDE on Node.js, among others.  The kits shown in the video are EduMiP self-balancing robot, EduRover four wheel robot, and there will be a third kit called EduMAV, which I guess should be a “Miniature UAV”, e.g. a mini drone/quadcopter.

There’s currently no information on availability and pricing. Further details will be posted on BeagleBone Blue page as the project progresses.

Via @TXInstruments.

 

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Raspberry Pi Zero, C.H.I.P, and Orange Pi One Boards’ Features and Price Comparisons

January 3rd, 2016 31 comments

With Raspberry Pi Zero, Next Thing C.H.I.P, and Orange Pi One, we now have have three ARM Linux development boards selling (now or soon) for less than $10 excluding shipping and taxes. So I’d think it would be interesting to compare the features of the boards, and prices for different use cases.

Raspberry_Pi_Zero_vs_CHIP_vs_Orange_Pi_OneThe comparison table below shows the three boards features side-by-side with items highlighted in green for the best or extra features, and in red for the weakest. Some cells will have to be filled later as data is currently not available (marked TBD).

Raspberry Pi Zero C.H.I.P Orange Pi One
Processor Broadcom BCM2835 single core ARM11 processor @ 1GHz

(~1250 DMIPS)

Allwinner R8 Cortex A8 processor @ 1 GHz

(2000 DMIPS)

Allwinner H3 quad core Cortex A7 processor @ 1.2 GHz
(4x 2280 DMIPS)
GPU VideoCore IV ARM Mali-400 ARM Mali-400MP2
Video Decoding 1080p30 for H.264, MPEG2* and VC1*
1080p video encoding (H.264)* Extra licenses required

H.264, H.263, VC1, Mpeg1/2/4, VP6/8,  up to 1080p60

H.265/HEVC 4K@30fps video decoding. 1080p@60fps video decoding for H.264 BP/MP/HP, VP8, MPEGl/2, MPEG4 SP/ASP GMC, H.263, Sorenson Spark, WMV9/VC- l, JPEG/MJPEG, etc

Video Encoding “Full HD H.264 video encoding”

H.264 1280×720@30fps video encoding

H.264 1080p@30fps video encoding

RAM 512MB 512 MB 512 MB
Storage micro SD card slot 4GB NAND flash micro SD card slot
Ethernet

No

except via external USB to Ethernet adapter

No

except via external USB to Ethernet adapter

10/100M Ethernet
Wireless Connectivity

No.

Except via external USB / SPI / UART Wifi and/or Bluetooth module

WiFi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0
No.

Except via external USB / SPI / UART Wifi and/or Bluetooth module, or Orange Pi Lite board upgrade

USB 2x micro USB 2.0 ports (including one OTG). One port needed for power 1x USB 2.0 host port, 1x micro USB OTG port. One port needed for power  1x USB 2.0 host port, 1x micro USB OTG port. Power via power barrel.
Video mini HDMI with CEC, and unpopulated 2-pin header for composite

3.5mm jack for composite video

HDMI and VGA only available via add-on board

Full size HDMI
Audio Via mini HDMI Via 3.5mm jack Via HDMI
I/Os and other peripherals Unpopulated 40-pin header with 26 –GPIOs, 1x UART (debugging), 1x SPI, 1x I2C, PCM/I2S Two 40-pin expansion headers with GPIOs, 2x I2C, 1x UART, 1x SPI, LCD signals, CSI signals, PWM, etc… 40-pin header mostly compatible with RPI with GPIOs, 2x I2C, 3x UART, 1x SPI

1x CSI camera connector

Power 5V via micro USB
Typical power consumption: 0.1A to 0.14 @ 5V
5V via micro USB or LiPo battery
Typical power consumption: TBD
5V via power barrel
Typical power consumption: TBD
Dimensions  65 x 30mm  60 x 40 mm  70 x 50 mm (Estimated TBC)
Linux Support

Official: Raspbian,  OpenELEC, OSMC. Many other community supported distros.

Custom Linux distribution (No firmware download link yet) Lubuntu, Raspbian, Debian with XFCE, Fedora 22, Arch Linux ARM, etc…
Android Support

No

No Android 4.4
Community Largest community so far for a development board. Mostly on Raspberry Pi Forums. Relatively active forums on Next Things website thanks to ~40,000 Kickstarter backers, and other people who pre-ordered since then. Active (but at times slow) forums for Orange Pi boards.
Documentation, source code and hardware files. Documentation is available via eLinux RPI Wiki, but there does not seem to be much specific info for  Raspberry Pi Zero, so you’d need to use mix info from RPi2 and RPi Model B.

Linux mainline work in progress (See Wiki on github)

Schematics are not available, even in PDF format, and the board hardware is closed source.

Broadcom BCM2835 datasheet is however available.

Somewhat incomplete and outdated documentation can be found on the docs page on Next Things website.

U-boot, buildroot, and Linux source code, as well as hardware design files can be found on github. CHIP is open source hardware.

Linux mainline work in also progress (See free-electrons)

Documentation can be found on Orange Pi Wiki, but details are sometimes lacking, or information is wrong.

I had a pretty smooth experience with Orange Pi 2 mini board, but some others had more issues, so I’d expect more of the same with Orange Pi One.

The company usually releases the schematics of their boards in PDF format, but the board is not open source hardware per se.

Linux mainline work in progress (See sunxi-linux)

 Listed Price  $5  $9  $9.99
 Shipping (to my location)  $12.55 (via Adafruit)

At the time of launch, but cheaper options should be available later…

 $6.22  $3.43 (Estimated, based on Orange Pi PC shipping)
Distribution network and Availability Wide sales network, with most online retailers and some brick and mortar shops selling Raspberry Pi boards.

But Raspberry Pi Zero is now unavailable due to the high demand.

Only available via getchip.com for now.

Current pre-orders are expected to ship in June 2016.

Likely only available on Aliexpress once it is launched.

Availability date TBD.

First, let’s go through the main bad news for all three boards: you can’t buy any of them right now, at least at the stated price (As of early Janaury 2016). Raspberry Pi Zero is out of stock, and eBay or relatively expensive kits are the only options, while C.H.I.P is slowly being sent to Kickstarter backers, and beside the price we don’t know exactly when the boards will start to ship.

The comparison makes Orange Pi One stands out in terms of performance thanks to a quad core processor, and 4K video support. It’s also the only platform that supports both HDMI video output and network connectivity out of the box, and if you need Android, it’s the only game in town for less than $10. The main advantages of the Raspberry Pi Zero are mainly its smaller size and community support, while C.H.I.P is the only one with built-in WiFi and Bluetooth, and on-board storage. It’s also the only platform of the three that is open source hardware. In terms of support, Raspberry Pi Zero should be the easiest to use, followed by C.H.I.P, and Orange Pi One, with the latter having a longer learning curve, but this will of course depend on your skills, and target applications.

I’m obviously open to suggestions and corrections for this table.

Price Comparison

I’ll have to make some assumptions to estimate the cost of ownership for the three boards. Since they are mainly country specific, I’ll consider shipping charges and charge are the same for all boards, and will not include them in the calculation. I’ll also assume a 5V power adapter with a micro USB connector is a spare part, so the price is considered to be free.

Offline computer system

In this use case we just need to connect a USB keyboard and mouse, and a display via HDMI. I’ve only included the extra accessories required in the table below.

Raspberry Pi Zero C.H.I.P Board Orange Pi One
Board $5 $9 $9.99
Power Supply $0 $0 $1.09 (USB to 4mm jack)
USB OTG Adapter $0.75 $0.75 $0.75
USB Hub $1 $0 $0
HDMI Adapter $0.75 $15 (HDMI add-on board) $0
Micro SD card (4GB) $3 $0 $3
Total $10.5 $24.75 $14.83

In this configuration the Raspberry Pi is clearly less expensive than it’s counterpart. There are variation of this configuration that would bring the cost down for the two other boards, such as composite output with C.H.I.P, or you already have a 4mm jack power adapter for Orange Pi One. Using wireless keyboard and mouse would also remove the need for the OTG adapter for the two Allwinner boards.

Networked computer system

Basically, the same configuration as above but with the need for connectivity either via Ethernet or WiFi.

Raspberry Pi Zero C.H.I.P Board Orange Pi One
Board $5 $9 $9.99
Power Supply $0 $0 $1.09
USB OTG Adapter $0.75 $0.75 $0.75
HDMI Adapter $0.75 $15 $0
USB Hub + Ethernet $5.5 $0 $0
Micro SD card (4GB) $3 $0 $3
Total $15 $24.75 $14.83

Both C.H.I.P and Orange Pi One have the exact same configuration as above, because the former has WiFi, and the latter Ethernet. For Raspberry Pi Zero I had to replace the USB Hub with a USB hub with Ethernet instead, bringing the price higher, and here the total price is slightly in favor of Orange Pi One over Raspberry Pi Zero.

Bluetooth LE IoT gateway

Now let’s say you need to have a Bluetooth to IP (Ethernet or WiFi) gateway, and once it is setup you don’t need any keyboard or mouse, nor video output.

Raspberry Pi Zero C.H.I.P Board Orange Pi One
Board $5 $9 $9.99
Power Supply $0 $0 $1.09
USB OTG Adapter $0.75 $0 $0
USB WiFi dongle $2.29 $0 $0
USB Bluetooth 4.0 dongle $3 $0 $3
USB Hub $1 $0 $0
Micro SD Card (4GB) $3 $0 $3
Total $15.04 $9 $17.08

This use case is very much favorable to the C.H.I.P “computer” since everything is already on-board including wireless connectivity and storage.

All three boards seems to have their place in the market place. If you want something easier to get started with, or the smallest ARM Linux board you can find, the Raspberry Pi Zero should be a better choice, but if you want a lot of processing power, nothing can beat Orange Pi One’s Allwinner H3 quad core processor for the price, while people mostly looking for Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity, and/or looking for an open hardware platform, should probably go with C.H.I.P instead.

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DietPi is Lightweight, Easy to Use Debian Based Distribution for Raspberry Pi, ODROID, and Orange Pi Boards

December 18th, 2015 9 comments

DietPi_LogoRaspberry Pi, Hardkernel ODROID, and Orange Pi are some of the most popular and cost effective development boards on the market today, and one British developer, going under Fourdee nickname, has released a lightweight distribution called DietPi working for all Rasbperry Pi boards, ODROID-C1(+), ODROID-XU3/XU4, and Orange Pi PC, with Orange Pi 2 and Orange Pi Plus support coming soon, as well as a VMWare virtual machine also available for evaluation.

The compressed downloads are about 80 to 100MB depending on the target, the image that can be dump with dd or Win32DiskImager requires a 1GB or greater micro SD card as the image itself is about 500MB large, Internet access (Ethernet or Wifi), and optionally a USB Drive to allow installation on a USB drive for better performance, which of course does not apply if you have an eMMC module with your ODROID board.

The image also contains some scripts to easily configure the system (DietPi-Config), or  install programs (DietPi-Software) such as LXDE desktop environment, Kodi, Transmission bitTorrent server and so on. Some options will be specific to some boards, as for example Kodi won’t run properly on Orange Pi boards for now.
DietPi-Software

Other notable scripts include DietPi-Backup, DietPi-Sync to duplicate directories, DietPi-Nice to assign priority levels to programs, and DietPi-Update System that automatically checks for updates, and install them from the network. You can also customize the level of logging with DietPi-Rramlog in order to optimize performance, and WiFi support is built-in in the image, and configurable with DietPi-Config.

DietPi-ConfigThe operating system has its own website, but to get started quickly you’d better go to Download DietPi image | Getting started forum thread. You can also visit DietPi Github repository to check out the Bash scripts used in DietPi images. You may also be interested in seeing how it compares to Raspbian Lite.

Via Peter Scargill

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$15 pcDuino3 Nano Lite Board Includes Gigabit Ethernet and a Real SATA Port

December 16th, 2015 8 comments

I often read people complain about the lack of SATA and Gigabit Ethernet on devices, and following up a discussion on a recent post about QNAP TAS-168 and TAS-268 NAS, I was made aware that pcDuino3 Nano board had a little brother without NAND Flash, nor an IR receiver that’s currently selling for $15 on Amazon US.

pcDuino3_Nano_LitepcDuino3 Nano Lite board specifications are exactly the same as the other version minus the stricken-through items:

  • SoC – AllWinner A20 dual core ARM Cortex A7 @ 1.0 GHz with Mali 400MP2 GPU
  • System Memory – 1GB DRAM
  • Storage – 4GB NAND Flash, SATA connector and microSD card slot (up to 32GB)
  • Video Output – HDMI 1.4 with HDCP support
  • Audio Out – 3.5mm analog audio interface
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet
  • USB – 2x USB host, 1x USB OTG
  • Expansion Headers – Arduino UNO extension interface with 14xGPIO, 2xPWM, 6xADC, 1xUART, 1xSPI, 1xI2C.
  • Camera – MIPI camera support
  • Misc – IR receiver
  • Power – 5V, 2000mA
  • Dimensions – 91.4mm x 53.3mm

pcDuino3_Nano_Lite_BoardIn case you wonder if it is yet another of those boards with a USB to SATA chip, then no it is not has SATA is natively supported by Allwinner A20 processor, and transfer rates of over 40MB/s should be achievable in both directions for a NAS based on this board. The company provides Ubuntu 12.04 and Android 4.2 for the board, but you could also run Armbian based on Debian Jessy, Debian Wheezy, or Ubuntu Trusty, which support both the legacy Linux 3.4 kernel, and a more recent Linux 4.2 kernel if you don’t need audio support, nor video hardware decoding.

If you don’t live in the US, or don’t fell like using a US shipping forwarder, you’ll have to pay more, and what should be the normal price, as pcDuino3 Nano Lite sells for $34.99 + shipping on Linksprite.

Thanks to tkaiser for the tip!

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GoWarrior Tiger Development Board with ALi M3733 SoC To Support Android, Debian and FreeRTOS

December 10th, 2015 8 comments

There was a time when development boards were really hard to get for individuals with companies not wanting to waste their time with hobbyists, but the maker revolution changed all that, and now many companies want to get involved in “open source” board for the developer’s community. The latest board trying to emulate the Raspberry Pi is GoWarrior Tiger powered by ALi M3733 dual core cortex A9 processor with 1GB RAM, 4GB Flash, Ethernet and WiFi, HDMI and AV output, and two 40-pin expansion headers.

Gowarrior_TigerBoard

Tiger Board (Click to Enlarge)

Tiger board specifications:

  • SoC – ALi M3733-AFAAA dual Cortex A9 processor @ 1.0 GHz with  ARM Mali-400 MP2 GPU
  • System Memory – 1GB DDR3; dual channel 1600 MT/s, 800MHz
  • Storage – 4GB on-board NAND Flash + micro SD slot
  • Video & Audio Output – HDMI 1.4 port up to 1080p, with support for HDCP and CEC, 3.5 mm AV jack
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0
  • USB – 2x host 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB device port for power, connect to computer, and flash the NAND chip.
  • Expansion – 40-pin Raspberry Pi compatible header (J3) and 40-pin header (J4) with up to 63 GPIOs multiplexed with I2C, SPI, 2x UART, digital VOUT, digital VIN, SD, PCM, SSI, etc…
  • Debugging – UART0 in J4 header gives access to the serial console, and unpopulated JTAG header
  • Misc – 11x LEDs for power, Ethernet, and users (8x), 3x buttons, selection switch for NAND flash or micro SD boot, IR receiver
  • Power Supply
    • 5V via DC jack or micro USB port
    • PMU with support for RTC, IR/Key standby and resume, system deeo standby mode compliant with EU green power standard.
  • Dimensions – 93.2 x 59.7 mm

Tiger_BoardThe company plans to provide at least three operating systems for the board with GoDroid (Android), GoBian (Debian), and GoTDS (FreeRTOS), but so far only GoDroid is available for download, and there are some repositories on GoWarrior’s github account related to GoBian. All documentation is currently only available for GoDroid, and you can also find some hardware design files such as the schematics (PDF only), PCB layout (.pcb), system reference manual, datasheet and so on. So documentation appears to be decent for the hardware and Android, and they also have Chinese and English forums for support.

The board used to be available on eBay for $79 shipped, but it can only be found on Taobao right now for 399 CNY (~$62). More details can be found on GoWarrior community website.

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