Merrii unveiled H7 Hummingbird board based on Allwinner H8 octa core Cortex A7 processor a few days ago, but it turns out they’ve not been the only ones working on a board with that processor, as Cubietech also showcased prototypes of Cubieboard 5, which they also call CubieTruck Plus, around mid July.
Top of Cubieboard 5 (Click to Enlarge)
They’ve only shown pictures of the board, without much more information, but we can derived most specifications from the pictures:
SoC – AllWinner H8 octa-core ARM Cortex-A7 processor @ up to 2.0GHz with PowerVR SGX544 GPU @ up to 700MHz
System Memory – 2GB RAM (4x H5TQ4G63AFR-PCB DDR3 chips)
Storage – FORESEE eMMC or NAND flash + micro SD card slot + SATA port (via GL830 USB 2.0 to SATA bridge)
Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet (RTL8211E), dual band WiFi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0 (AP6330 module)
USB – 1x USB 2.0 host port, 1x micro USB OTG port
Expansion – 30-pin, 24-pin and 16-pin expansion headers
Debugging – 4-pin header for serial console
Misc – IR receiver, 4x LED, power/reset/u-boot button
5V (2A without HDD, 3A with 2.5″ HDD).
External battery support
Dimensions – Probably 11 x 8 x 1.4 cm
Bottom of Cubieboard 5 Board (Click to Enlarge)
The board appears to have the same form factor as the original CubieTruck, and beside the new processor (Allwinner A20 dual core vs Allwinner H8 octa core), they’ve also replaced the VGA port by a DisplayPort connector. This also means most accessories such as CubieTruck Metal Case will also be compatible.
There no official information about the supported operating systems, but again it’s very likely that the ones provided for CubieTruck (Cubieboard3) will be updated to the new board, i.e. Android, CubieEZ, Ubuntu Linaro server, and Debian server.
Pricing and availability information have not been announced yet.
96Boards is an open hardware platform specification for 32-bit and 64-bit processors boards (64+32 = 96), but so far only 64-bit board have been launched or announced, and 32-bit boards were missing from the equation. Freescale will soon change that as they’ve partnered with Arrow Electronics on a 96Boards compliant board powered by Freescale i.MX7 Dual due to be released at the same time as i.MX7 enters mass production, which is scheduled for November 2015.
Power Supply – 8-18V / 2A as per 96Boards CE specification (Linear Technologies solution)
Dimensions – 85x54x12 mm
Freescale i.MX7 supports both Linux and Android, but the latter is probably limited since there’s no proper GPU, with only some 2D acceleration. I found out about the board in a video recently uploaded to YouTube by Freescale.
The board is expected by the end of the year, and no pricing information has been announced so far.
Linaro 15.07 has been released with Linux 4.2-rc3 (Baseline), Linux 3.10.83, 3.14.45 and 3.18.17 (LSK), and Android 5.1.1_r8.
The Linux kernel got various bug fixes, and a power reduction technique has been implemented for Qualcomm processor. Progress has been made to boot Android with UEFI on Hikey board, and work is still on-going on 96boards including Hisilicon Hikey, Qualcomm DragonBoard 410c, and an upcoming and yet-to-be-formally-announced Marvell PXA1928 board called Helium.
Highlights of this release:
Linux Linaro 4.2-rc3-2015.07
linaro-android topic updated to 4.2-rc3 and recent AOSP/android-3.18
included GATOR version 5.21.1
llct-misc-fixes topic: “HACK: of: Limit FDT size for CRC check on arm64” has been dropped. FVP model was the last target to require this hack, but the new FVP firmware doesn’t need it anymore
updated integration-linaro-vexpress64 topic by ARM LT: Versatile Express TC2 support is back, HDLCD display now works on TC2, the topic will be renamed to integration-linaro-vexpress next cycle
updated integration-linux-qcomlt topic by Qualcomm LT: QCOM Core Power Reduction (CPR) support has been added
linaro-builddeb-tweaks topic is dropped (most of our changes have been upstreamed)
Linaro builds of AOSP 15.07
Android baseline updated to 5.1.1_r8
ART CI setup for TIP and stable builds
Boot to gui tests added for tip and stable builds
ART code coverage for tip and stable builds
m-preview based builds setup for emulators
ART-host-gtests added for tip and stable builds
Hikey builds updated to 5.1.1_r8. Android boots with UEFI and GRUB on HiKey. Wifi drivers are integrated in the build system. Drivers are built as part of Android build process.
Linaro OpenEmbedded 2015.07
integrated Linaro GCC 4.9-2015.06
updated linux-linaro to 4.2-rc3
disabled aarch64 bootwrapper
integrated various improvements for LNG CI
fixed bootimg.bbclass to work with all kernel image types
DragonBoard 410c is now using NetworkManager only to manage the network (previously a combination with systemd-networkd/resolved has been used).
HiKey made some progress toward the switch to UEFI. GRUB is now integrated into the snapshots builds for both AOSP and Debian.
Initial Debian based build for Marvell PXA1928 Helium is setup and available.
Visit https://wiki.linaro.org/Cycles/1507/Release for a list of known issues, and further release details about the LEB, LMB (Linaro Member Builds), and community builds, as well as Android, Kernel, Graphics, Multimedia, Landing Team, Platform, Power management and Toolchain components.
Standardized positions for PCIe connector(s), If implemented
These are just the minimum requirements, but most board are likely to feature extra SATA, networking or USB interfaces.
Board Drawings for Standard Version (Click to Enlarge)
There are also some software support requirements, where support means binary and source code:
Boot architecture (at least one open source implementation shall be available)
Support for bootloader such as U-Boot/FDT, UEFI/ACPI, UEFI/FDT
Support for a secure execution environment (optional)
Support for ARM Trusted Firmware (ARMv8), including PSCI APIs (recommended)
An unmodified kernel.org mainline, stable or long term (latest two releases) kernel. Note: Upstream mainline support is a 96Boards program goal
A Linaro or vendor-supported kernel with additional patches against a kernel.org mainline, stable or long term (latest two releases) kernel
Operating system – The latest released (stable) version of one or more of the following open source distributions shall be made available for a 96Boards EE compliant design:
A Linaro or vendor supported Linux using the OpenEmbedded/Yocto build system
Other Operating Systems/Distributions – Other operating systems or distributions may be provided for a 96Boards product and can be made available to end users on the 96Boards community portal
There’s no royalty or license requirements for the specs, so anybody who wishes to do so could make 96boards compliant hardware. An optional “96Boards Certification Program” is also available in order to provide hardware
and software certification, and getting the board listed and supported via 96Boards website.
When Linaro announced the 96Boards initiative, they started by launching “Consumer Edition” boards with a target price of around $100, but they also had plans to launch more powerful and feature-packed “Enterprise Edition” board in the $300 to $400 range. The first Enterprise Edition is based on AMD Opteron A1100 quad core Cortex A57 processor.
The company has not released the full specs yet, but the press release mentions the board features a 4-core AMD Opteron A1100 Series processor with two SO-DIMM memory slots, PCIe, USB, SATA (3x), and Gigabit Ethernet capabilities. It measures 160×120 mm.
CentOS, Fedora, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server for ARM Development Preview are the main operating systems planned for the board but additional software and operating systems will be available later on.
The board is should become available in H2 2015, and will be supported through the Linaro Enterprise Group’s 96Boards.org site. Exact price has not been announced, bu it should be much cheaper than the $3,000 Opteron A1100 development kit launched about a year ago.
Visit https://wiki.linaro.org/Cycles/1506/Release for a list of known issues, and further release details about the LEB, LMB (Linaro Member Builds), and community builds, as well as Android, Kernel, Graphics, Multimedia, Landing Team, Platform, Power management and Toolchain components.
There has been a few 96Boards announced so far, and a Banana Pi96 could soon be launched, as LeMarker has just joined the Linaro Community Board Group, but so far the board that generated the most buzz was Qualcomm Dragonboard 410c, but at the time pricing was not officially disclosed, although a $75 target price was posted in several blogs. And now it seems Qualcomm 64-bit ARM board indeed costs $75, as it is listed for that price on Arrow Electronics website with a few pieces in stock.
Dragonboard 410c specifications have also been further detailed:
SoC- Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (APQ8016) quad-core ARM CortexA53 @ 1.2 GHz with Adreno 306 GPU @ 400MHz
System Memory – 1GB LPDDR3 @ 533MHz, Single-channel 32-bit (4.2GBps)
Storage – 8GB eMMC 4.51 + micro SD 3.0 (UHS-I)
Video Output – HDMI up to 1080p
Video Playback -1080p@30fps HD video playback and capture with H.264 (AVC), and 720p
playback with H.265 (HEVC)
Connectivity – Integrated 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS with on-board antenna
USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB port (device only).
Camera – Support for 13 MP camera with Wavelet Noise Reduction, JPEG decoder, and other post-processing techniques done in hardware
1x 40 pin low speed expansion connector – UART, SPI, I2S, I2C x2, GPIO x12, DC power
The board will run Android 5.1 and Ubuntu developed in collaboration with Linaro, and Windows 10 support is also being worked on.
I have not been able to check shipping (requires registration), but it will ship from the US, so it should mostly be interesting for people based in North America, until other distributors sell the board, or Arrow gets stock in Europe or other parts of the world.
[Update on June 16 with comments from Inforce Computing:
The Inforce 6410Plus is a product/application ready SBC that can be mass-manufactured to be designed-in directly by OEMs into end-products. Of course developers, DIY enthusiasts, and research houses may use it as a development board, but essentially it’s a product ready SBC.
CSI and DSI interfaces – A single 40-pin LSHM MIPI connector on the previous generation product has been replaced with a single 51-pin FI-R MIPI CSI connector. A single connector enables support for 2 cameras/up to 20MP. Similarly, we’ve replaced the LVDS interface with a single 51-pin MIPI-DSI connector that supports two simultaneous displays.
Inforce IFC6410 board is one of the few low cost Qualcomm Snapdragon development boards / SBCs available on the market. Released in 2013, it features a Snapdragon 600 processor (APQ8064) coupled with 2GB RAM, 4GB eMMC, and various connectors. Inforce Computing has now introduced an upgraded version of the board, simply called Inforce 6410Plus, which adds GPS, one extra MIPI CSI interface, two MIPI DSI interfaces, and a few other changes, while keeping the same $143 price tag.
Inforce 6410Plus specifications (Upgrades / changes highlighted in bold):
MIPI-CSI2 (4-lane, up to 20MP camera @ 15 fps) + an extra MIPI-CSI2 interface
Dual MIPI-DSI (4 lane) – Primary : up to QWXGA (2048 × 1536), 60 Hz refresh rate; Secondary: up to QHD (960 × 540), 60 Hz refresh rate
HD Audio and Mic-in compact combo jack for headphone and mic-in
USB – 2x USB 2.0, 1x micro USB OTG
1x I2C, 1x SPI, 1x UART, UIM, 12x GPIO
On-board 34-pin expansion header to connect to Peripheral Abstraction Core (PAC) mezzanine adapter card
Debugging – via serial console on 3-pin header
Power – 12V/1.5A power supply (Instead of 5V/5A)
Dimensions – 10cm x 7cm (Pico-ITX); Thickness: 16mm
Temperature Range – Operating: 0 to 70 C | Storage: -20 to 80 C
Relative Humidity – 5 to 95% non-condensing
Inforce 6410Plus Board Block Diagram
The company also claims to have improved heat dissipation, and implemented a fastboot switch for Android to enter into fastboot as recommended by Google. Android 4.4.2 and Ubuntu 14.04 board support packages (BSP) can be provided with the board. There’s no mention about Linaro support, although the older IFC6410 board gets images released monthly and published on the Download page. [Update from Inforce Computing: “The Ubuntu 14.04 BSP is in fact based on a Linaro Linux release, so we do support Linaro.”
You can find more details including software and hardware documentation on Inforce 6410Plus product page, with some links required credentials only available to customers. Inforce Computing will start taking orders on June 15.