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Posts Tagged ‘orange pi’

Orange Pi Zero NAS Expansion Board with SATA, USB, and AV Port Sells for $10 Shipped

January 19th, 2017 34 comments

Orange Pi Zero is a $7 and up board based on Allwinner H2+ quad core Cortex A7 processor with 256 to 512MB RAM, Ethernet, WiFi, and USB, but no video output except on headers, making it more suitable to headless applications. The company has just launched Orange Pi Zero NAS Expansion port adding SATA, mSATA, two more USB ports, and an AV port allowing you to add a hard drive or SSD, and connect it to a TV with composite input.

Orange Pi Zero NAS Expansion Board preliminary specifications:

  • Storage – 1x SATA port, 1x mSATA port both through a JMS578 USB 3.1 to SATA bridge with UAS support each, which should be better than some other USB to SATA solution despite only being connected to a USB 2.0 interface.
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 ports
  • Video & Audio Output – 3.5mm AV jack with composite video (TBC) and stereo audio
  • Misc – Microphone and IR receiver
  • Header – 13-pin female header connecting to OPi Zero board

There won’t need any specific support for SATA, since the drive will be seen as USB mass storage devices. The best way to get started would probably be used Armbian Debian or Ubuntu image.

Orange Pi Zero and NAS Expansion Board

Orange Pi Zero NAS Expansion board is sold on Aliexpress for $6.98 plus shipping adding up to just over $10 in my case. Ideally, Shenzhen Xunlong should also offer a kit with both boards and potential a case to lower overall shipping costs, but that’s not available (yet).

Orange Pi 2G-IOT Board Based on RDA8810PL Cortex A5 Processor to Support Bluetooth and GSM

January 8th, 2017 54 comments

[Update: The board featured below was initially announced as Orange Pi Zero Plus, but considering it may have confused people as it is not at all compatible with Orange Pi Zero, it has been renamed to Orange Pi 2G-IoT]

Linaro mentioned Orange Pi i96 board last fall at Linaro Connect US. It was supposed to be a $9.99 board powered by an RDA Micro Cortex A5 processor with 2Gbit RAM and 4Gbit NAND flash on-chip. There has not been any news since then, but Shenzhen Xunlong has apparently gone ahead with an RDA Micro Cortex A5 board since they’ve posted some pictures of Orange Pi Zero Plus (Note: very slow server) with an RDA Micro ARM Cortex A5 processor.

orange-pi-zero-plusOrange Pi 2G-IoT preliminary specifications:

  • SoC – RDA Micro 8810PL ARM Cortex A5 processor @ up to 1.0 GHz with 2Gbit (256 MB) on-chip LPDDR2 RAM, 4Gbit (512 MB) on-chip SLC NAND flash , 256KB L2 cache, Vivante GC860 3D GPU, and GSM/GPRS/EDGE Modem (Download datasheet)
  • External Storage – micro SD slot
  • Display I/F – LCD connector up to qHD resolution
  • Video – Decoding up to 1080p30, encoding up to 1080p30 H.264
  • Audio I/F – 3.5mm audio jack, one built-in micorphone?
  • Connectivity – Bluetooth and GSM/GPRS/EDGE with SIM card slot
  • Camera – MIPI CSI-2 connector for camera sensor up to 2MP
  • USB – 1x USB host port, 1x micro USB port (for power?)
  • Expansion – 40-pin GPIO header with SPI, I2C, ADC, GPIOs, PWM, etc…
  • Misc – 8 selection jumpers, button
  • Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port; maybe one pin on header
  • Dimensions – ~70 x 44 mm(estimated)
  • Certifications – CE and FCC based on PCB silkscreen

rda-8810pl-development-boardWe don’t have much more info about the board, but since the processor is used in a few Android phones such as Aqua G2 or Challenger V40LD, so Android 4.4 Kitkat should be available for the board. Linaro, although they might not be involved, also mentioned an Ubuntu Linux for Orange Pi i96 board, so an Ubuntu Linux image is very likely to be provided. If Linaro has been involved in the kernel/software development, then you should expect somewhat OK support, but if they haven’t, I’m expecting a world of pain at the beginning, at least compared to the relatively well community supported Allwinner H3 based Orange Pi boards. If you intend to use the SIM card, you may want to check if your country has any plans to phase out of 2G, as several have already done so, and many others will shutdown 2G networks in the next few years.

The board is scheduled to be launched right after Chinese New Year in the first half of February. We don’t have pricing info, but I’d expect it to costs less than $10 + shipping as it was the price announced for Orange Pi i96 board, and you can get a complete Android RDA8810PL phone for around $25.

RetrOrangePi 3.0 Retro Gaming & Media Center Firmware Released for Orange Pi H3 Boards and Beelink X2 TV Box

December 28th, 2016 9 comments

RetrOrangePi is a Linux distribution based on armbian transforming Allwinner H3 boards – mostly Orange Pi boards, but also Banana Pi M2+ and NanoPi boards – into entertainment centers to play retro games, and watch/listen media files (videos/music) using Kodi. If you don’t have a development board, or would prefer a complete solution with casing and power supply, Beelink X2 TV box is also supported. The developers had been recently working on rectifying some GPL issues, and they have released RetrOrangePi 3.0 images right before Christmas.

retrorangepi

RetrOrangePi 3.0 changelog and key features:

  • Full Armbian 5.23 Jessie Desktop version with kernel 3.4.113 (backdoors fixed)
  • Slim version 1st release (less than 2 GB) coming soon
  • OpenELEC (Kodi Jarvis 16.1) with CEC support by Jernej Škrabec
  • RetroPie-Setup version 4.1
  • New Kodi Krypton beta6 version
  • New emulationstation-ROPI branch forked from jacobfk20 with gridview, on screen keyboard with easy wifi config and storage check with additional features added by ROPi team: display settings, OpenELEC / Desktop launcher and background music switcher integrated into main menu.
  • New Plug n’ Play feature – USB roms autoload (reads from /media/usb0) (buggy)
  • New dummy roms feature (most common platform shown)
  • New splash video on 1st boot by Rafael Spirax
  • New default splashscreen (from Libretro)
  • New custom ES splashscreen by Francois Lebel @MagicFranky
  • OpenELEC ROPI addon already installed
  • Retroarch with XMB menu driver (Lakka)
  • Better looking video with bilinear filtering (smoothness) or scanlines by default
  • Most retroarch cores updated (FBA, PCSX etc)
  • New and improved content:
    • AdvanceMAME (newer romset, more compatibility, better performance in some games: Elevator Action Returns, Street Fighter the Movie, Star Wars Arcade, Judge Dredd, Sega Sonic The Hedgehog etc)
    • Amiga (FS-UAE emulator, fullscreen now, diskette sound, launcher)
    • Atari 5200
    • Atari 8bit (models 400 800 XL XE)
    • Coco / Tandy
    • Colecovision (ColEm emu Custom Coleco BlueMSX core)
    • Creativision
    • Daphne (Philips Cdi emulator)
    • Dosbox (GLES version)
    • Dreamcast (fixed reicast-joyconfig)
    • Duke Nukem port (fixed tint color)
    • Game and Watch (fixed shortcuts)
    • Intellivision
    • OpenMSX (with .dsk support) PPSSPP (new version 1.3 from odroid repo)
    • TI99/4A (Texas Instruments)
    • Wolfenstein3D port

There are two ways to download the images:

  • BitTorrent – 16.0 GB download with images for all boards
  • Main server (http) – 1.6 GB compressed firmware image for your board.

If you download from the main server, you’ll get a warning saying you can’t sell hardware pre-installed with the image:

RetrOrange Pi is a non profit project.
It consists of a basic Retropie setup with most Libretro cores on top of an Armbian Jessie Desktop version pre-installed.
It includes an OpenELEC fork as well.
Much of the software included in the image have non-commercial licences. Because of this,
selling a pre-installed RetrOrange image is not legal, neither is including it with your commercial product.
As it relies on other people’s work with our own features, we won’t be offering any help in customizations to avoid rebranding or reselling.

It will be interesting to see what happens with RetroEngine Sigma project on Indiegogo that is very likely based on RetrOrangePi image for Orange Pi Lite board.

Anyway, since BitTorrent download was very slow, I downloaded RetrOrangePi-3.0.Orangepione.img.tar.gz from the main server for my $3.69 Orange Pi One board (there was a promo in September), extracted it, and flashed it to a 32GB card (8GB is enough) in Linux:

Replace sdX by your own SD card device in the 3rd command above. You can also do this in Windows with Win32DiskImager. Once it is done, insert the micro SD card in your board or TV box, prepare a gamepad, and connect all relevant cables.

orange-pi-orange-gaming

If you have connected the serial console (completely optional), or want to access the system through ssh, you can login with pi/pi or root/orangepi credentials:

Most people will just follow the instructions on the TV. We’ll get through a bunch of animation and logos during the boot.Note: Please ignore the vertical lines on the photos, as there’s just an issue with my TV.

retrorangepi-3-0-logo
The first time the system will resize the SD card to make use of the full SD card capacity, and generate SSH keys.
retrorangepi-installationOne more “Loading…” logo…

retrorangepi-loading

If you have connected a gamepad (highly recommended), you’ll be ask to configure the keys. Tronsmart Mars G01 gamepad was automatically detected, and I could easily set all keys up.

retrorangepi-gamepad-configurationOnce all is well and done, you’ll get to the main menu to select emulator or Kodi.

retrorangepi-user-interfaceMost emulators do not come with ROMs due to license issues, so you’d have to find the ROMs yourself, and install them via a USB drive, or copy them directly into the board over the network, for example with scp. If you want to try to play some games straightaway, you can do so by going to the PORTS sections with 13 games available including Doom, Quake, Wolfenstein 3D, CannonBall, Duke Nukem 3D, Super Mario War, etc…
retrorangepi-ports-pre-installed-games
I tested shortly tested Wolfenstein 3D and Quake, as well as launched Kodi 17 (Beta 6) in the demo video below.

Linux 4.9 Release – Main Changes, ARM and MIPS Architectures

December 12th, 2016 2 comments

inus Torvalds released Linux 4.9 on Sunday:

So Linux 4.9 is out, and the merge window for 4.10 is thus open.

With the extra week for 4.9, the timing for the merge window is obviously a bit awkward, and it technically closes in two weeks on Christmas Day. But that is a pure technicality, because I will certainly stop pulling on the 23rd at the latest, and if I get roped into Xmas food prep, even that date might be questionable.

I could extend the merge window rather than cut it short, but I’m not going to. I suspect we all want a nice calm winter break, so if your stuff isn’t ready to be merged early, the solution is to just not merge it yet at all, and wait for 4.11. Just so you all know (I already bcc’d the main merge window suspects in a separate mailing last week, I’m just repeating myself here to avoid anybody being confused about timing).

Anyway, back to 4.9 itself.

I’m pretty sure this is the biggest release we’ve ever had, at least in number of commits. If you look at the number of lines changed, we’ve had bigger releases in the past, but they have tended to be due to specific issues (v4.2 got a lot of lines from the AMD GPU register definition files, for example, and we’ve had big re-organizations that caused a lot of lines in the past: v3.2 was big due to staging, v3.7 had the automated uapi header file disintegration, etc). In contrast, 4.9 is just big.

Admittedly a chunk of that is the new greybus staging support, but that really isn’t the bulk of it – it’s just another small detail in the overall “yes, v4.9 is big” picture.

Other than just the size, 4.9 looks fairly normal. A bit over two thirds drivers (staging, GPU and networking are the bulk of it, but it’s all over), with the rest looking fairly normal too: arch updates, documentation, generic networking, filesystems..

The shortlog (16k+ commits, with another 1100 merge commits to round things out) is obviously much too big to put here, and wouldn’t be legible anyway. So as is my wont, I’m appending just the log of my merges.

Linux 4.8 brought us an HDMI-CEC framework, a new kernel documentation system is now based on Sphinx, a user-space GPIO subsystem and tools, file systems improvements and more.

 

linux-4-9-changelogSome of the notable changes for Linux 4.9 include:

  • Greybus staging support. While Project Ara has been canceled, the code is still used in one Motorola phone, a Toshiba chip requires it, as well as other undisclosed users.
  • File systems improvements for CIFS (bug fixes, idsfromsid mount option, better reconnection handling), BTRFS (bug fixes), NFS (bug fixes and new features such as server-side copy), F2FS (bug fixed and performance improvements), EXT-4 (“Lots of bug fixes and cleanups”) , and XFS (iomap-based DAX infrastructure and XFS delalloc rework + bug fixes)
  • Improved security with virtually mapped kernel stacks, and memory protection keys
  • AMDGPU now supports older Radeon graphics cards, virtual display support, and improved reset.

Some interesting ARM architecture fixes and new features:

  • Allwinner:
    • Allwinner GR8 – Preliminary SoC support
    • Allwinner AXP209 PMIC – GPIO support
    • Allwinner A31 – SPDIF support
    • Allwinner A23/A33 and A31/A31s – sunxi-ng CCU driver
    • Allwinner A33 – Display Driver
    • Allwinner A64 – USB PHY support
    • Allwinner H3 – PWM support, I2C support
    • AXP806 PMIC – regulator support
    • AC100 RTC / codec IC – mfd driver, RTC driver
    • New boards and devices – Orange Pi PC Plus, Olimex A33-OLinuXino, Orange Pi Lite, Inet q972, Empire Electronix M712, Orange Pi Plus 2, Orange Pi Plus 2E, NanoPi NEO.
  • Rockchip:
    • PCI – Update Rockchip rk3399 host bridge driver DTS and resets
    • Rockchip RK808 PMIC driver
    • Rockchip DDR clks and rk3399 driver tweaks
    • phy driver for Rockchip usb2phy, internal PCIe PHY, and USB Type-C PHY on rk3399
    • update compatible strings for Rockchip efuse (RK3399)
    • Support for Tronsmart Orion R86 set-top-box (RK3368), Rockchip RK3288 Fennec reference board, Firefly RK3288 Reload platform
  • Amlogic
    • Network, clocks, and usb driver changes for meson-gxbb (S905)
    • Secure monitor firmware for Amlogic SoCs, and an NVMEM driver for the EFUSE based on that firmware interface
    • Amlogic 64-bit DT changes: added  USB host, I2C, SPI flash controller, PWM, mailbox, MHU, pinctrl: add pins for SPI, I2C, SDIO
    • Updates IR support for newer SoCs
    • net: new stmmac glue driver
  • Samsung
    • Added Samsung Exynos Low Power Audio driver (LPASS = Low Power Audio SubSystem)
    • samsung clk driver update: sound subsystem related clocks, addition of DRAM controller related clocks for exynos5420
    • Device Tree Update:
      • Enable HDMI on Arndale Octa board.
      • Update list of clocks for FIMC-IS block on Exynos4x12.
      • Remove skeleton.dtsi to fix DT compiler warning.
      • Cleanup of DT files
      • Allow compile testing of exynos-mct clocksource driver on ARM64.
      • Document Exynos5433 PMU compatible
      • Set chosen serial bitrate which allows proper serial output when bootloader does pass all the data in command line
  • Qualcomm
    • ASoC bug fix for simultaneous playback and capture
    • Added Qualcomm external bus interface 2 (EBI2), used in some mobile phone chips for connecting flash memory, LCD displays or other peripherals
    • Add a skeletal TSENS drivers for  MSM8916/MSM8996. TSENS is Qualcomms’ thermal temperature sensor device
    • Add MSM8916/APQ8016 display support
    • Updates for MSM8916 including TSCR, SMSM/SMP2P, and MBA reserve
    • Enable defconfig options for QDF2432
    • Added Qualcomm DragonBoard 820c single-board computer in 96boards form factor, LG Nexus 5 Phone
    • Device Tree Changes:
      • Rework dr_mode on APQ8064 and Nexus7
      • Add MSM8974 BLSP1 UART1 port
      • Add AP148 SATA mapping
      • Fixup MSM8660/MSM8064 SPMI/MPP IRQs
      • Add Nexus7 IMEM/reboot reason
      • Add Honami touchscreen support
      • Add TSENS support on MSM8974, APQ8064, and APQ8084
      • Add APQ8060 Dragonboard PM8058 LEDs
      • Rework VPH PWR REG for MSM8974
  • Mediatek
    • Add Mediatek thermal driver for mt2701
    • Driver for mt6577 auxdac found in mt2701, mt6577 and mt8173
    • Some DRM driver fixes
  • Other new ARM hardware or SoCs:
    • Marvell Armada 8040 development board, Netgear WNR854T router, Armada 395 SoC platform, GP board Armada 390 DB development board
    • ZTE ZX296718 STB SoC
    • SocioNext UniPhier LD11 TV SoC
    • Broadcom BCM958525er, BCM958522er, BCM988312hr, BCM958623hr and BCM958622hr reference boards for Northstar platform, Raspberry Pi Zero board
    • NXP i.MX 7 Warp7 reference board, Gateworks Ventana GW553x SBC, Technologic Systems TS-4900, and Engicam IMX6UL GEA M6UL computer-on-module, Inverse Path USB armory board
    • Renesas r8a7792/wheat and r7s72100/rskrza1 development boards
    • ST Microelectronics STi B2260 (96boards) single-board computer
    • TI Davinci OMAP-L138 LCDK Development kit, beagleboard-x15 rev B1 single-board computer

There has been a fair amount of MIPS changes in Linux 4.9 too, some of them are:

  • Various updated to MIPS core arch code –  generic DT-based board & Flattened Image Trees (.itb) support, per-device DMA coherence support, bug fixes for KVM, uprobes, c-r4k, ptrace and more
  • Octeon – Delete dead code and files, change to use all memory into use by default, add DTS for D-Link DSR-500N, etc…
  • Pistachio – Remove ANDROID_TIMED_OUTPUT from defconfig
  • TX39xx & TX49xx – Move GPIO setup from .mem_setup() to .arch_init(), convert to Common Clock Framework
  • txx9wdt – Add missing clock (un)prepare calls for CCF
  • BMIPS – Add PW, GPIO SDHCI and NAND device node names, add DT examples for BCM63268, BCM3368 and BCM6362, add support for BCM3368 and BCM6362, etc…
  • Code changes for PCI, CPC, GIC, SMP, USB host, cpuidle, fbdev, auxdisplay…
  • mt7620 -Delete unnecessary assignment for the field “owner” from PCI
  • BCM63xx -Let clk_disable() return immediately if clk is NULL
  • pm-cps – Change FSB workaround to CPU blacklist, Use MIPS standard lightweight ordering barrier and completion barrier, etc…
  • SEAD3 – Rewrite to use DT and generic kernel feature
  • Malta – Rewrite to use DT
  • Loongson1C – Add CPU support for Loongson1C, add board support, add defconfig, and add RTC support for Loongson1C board

The full list of changes can be found in Linux 4.9 changelog with comments only, generated using git log v4.8..v4.9 --stat. You’ll also find a more readable list of changes for Linux 4.9 once kernelnewbies.org is updated.

$59 RetroEngine Sigma Retro Game Console is Based on Orange Pi Lite Board (Crowdfunding)

December 9th, 2016 14 comments

2016 has been the year of retrogaming comeback with products like PocketCHIP, Nintendo NES Classic, GPD Win and quite a few other projects. There will soon be a new option with RetroEngine Sigma, an inexpensive Linux based retro-gaming console based on Allwinner H3 processor.

retroengine-sigmaRetroEngine Sigma fanless game console hardware specifications:

  • SoC – Allwinner H3 quad core Cortex A7 @ 1.2 GHz with an ARM Mali-400MP2 GPU up to 600 MHz
  • System Memory – 512 MB DDR3
  • Storage – 16 or 32GB micro SD card
  • Video & Audio Output – HDMI port
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB OTG port
  • Misc – Programmable status LED, 2 user configurable buttons P1 & P2
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A via power barrel
  • Dimensions – 110 x 85 x 33.5 mm

The specifications look similar, so I went to my little list of Allwinner H3 boards, found the specs matches closely Orange Pi Lite board, and after checking the video and more picture, the ports also happen to be exactly in the same place… So it’s pretty sure the console is based on Shenzhen Xunlong’s Orange Pi Lite board, which is cool since there’s a good community support.

retrogame-sigma-armbianRetroGame developers leveraged that, and the console supports Atari 2600/7800, Sega Genesis, Nintendo NES / 64, Amstrad, Sega, and many more, and can be used as a mini computer and a media player with Kodi. It seems to have the same features as RetrOrangePi firmware based on Armbian plus Kodi and various game emulator.

The mini console’s Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign has been very successfully so far as they’ve raised closed to $250,000 from over 3,000 backers. All early bird rewards are gone, but you can still pledge $59 for the “Speedy Backer” reward including a mini console with a 16GB micro SD card pre-loaded with the firmware, a power adapter, a dual stick analog controller, a micro USB card reader, and a Xmas voucher. The 32GB micro SD Deluxe version goes for $89, and adds a Bluetooth adapter, a Bluetooth game controller, and a HDMI cable. Shipping adds $7 to the US, and $15 to the rest of the world. Delivery is scheduled for April to June 2017, but you’ll first receive a Christmas Gift voucher.

orange-pi-lite-retro-gaming-console-kit

Allwinner H2 Linux & Android SDK, and Allwinner XR819 WiFi Driver Released

November 10th, 2016 23 comments

Orange Pi Zero is an interesting little ARM Linux board thanks to its low price, but also because it features a new Allwinner H2 / H2+ quad core Cortex A7 processor very similar to Allwinner H3 minus the 4K video decoding part, as well as Allwinner XR819 WiFi module, which I have not seen on any other boards so far.

allwinner-h2-linux-android

But hardware without software is pretty much useless, so developers will be happy to find out that Allwinner H2 SDK with Linux (lichee) and Android has been released or leaked, and it also includes the Allwinner XR819 WiFi driver.

You’ll find the SDK on Zoobab server with three main directory / files:

  • Android folder – Android 4.4.2 SDK
  • lichee folder – Linux 3.4.39 source code. However you’d probably better use Linux 3.4.113 currently released by sunxi-linux, or Linux mainline. The latter does have some limitations, and may or may not be suitable for your project.
  • H2-V1.2.tar.bz2 – The tar file with both Android and lichee folder in case you want to download the full SDK on your computer

If another hardware comes with Allwinner XR819 WiFi module and you just need the Linux driver, you’ll find it in linux-3.4/drivers/net/wireless/xradio directory.

tkaiser managed to enable XR819 on armbian after disabling dhd driver:

Orange Pi PC 2 Development Board based on Allwinner H5 SoC Launched for $20

November 5th, 2016 53 comments

Shenzhen Xunlong had already launched Orange Pi Zero, the cheapest ARM Linux board with networking you can find today, earlier this week, and I’ve just been informed the company has now listed the more powerful Orange Pi PC 2 board powered by Allwinner H5 quad core Cortex A53 processor on Aliexpress for $19.98 plus shipping.allwinner-h5-development-boardOrange Pi PC 2 specifications:

  • SoC – Allwinner H5 quad core Cortex A53 processor with an ARM Mali-450MP4 GPU
  • System Memory – 1GB DDR3
  • Storage – micro SD card slot up to 64GB, 8Mbit SPI NOR flash
  • Video Output – HDMI 1.4 with CEC support, AV port
  • Audio I/O – HDMI, AV port, on-board microphone
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet
  • USB – 3x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB OTG port
  • Camera – MIPI CSI Interface
  • Expansions – 40-pin Raspberry Pi compatible header
  • Debugging – 3-pin UART header for serial console
  • Misc – IR receiver; Power button; Power and status LEDs
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A via barrel jack. N.B.: the micro USB OTG port cannot be used.
  • Dimensions – 85 x 55 mm
  • Weight – 38 grams

orange-pi-pc-2-boardThe board is basically an update of the popular Orange Pi PC board with a faster 64-bit ARM processor, an 8 Mbit SPI flash, and Gigabit Ethernet support. The company will be providing Android, Ubuntu, Debian, and “Raspberry Pi” images. As usual, the latter does not mean you can simply run Raspbian downloaded from Raspberry Pi website on the board, but that instead a Raspbian image with Alwinner H5 Linux kernel and bootloader will be provided. You should probably look out for an armbian images, since it’s the most popular image for Orange Pi boards. It may just take a little while to come out, since Allwinner H5 is a new processor.

You may also be interested in Orange Pi PC 2 Schematics (PDF), and visit Orange Pi PC 2 product page for more details, that is if it loads, and it does not here…

Orange Pi Zero Allwinner H2+ Board with WiFi and Ethernet is Up for Sale for $7 and Up

November 2nd, 2016 78 comments

Orange Pi Zero development board powered by Allwinner H2+ quad core Cortex A7 processor with 256 to 512MB RAM, Ethernet, and USB ports is now available for sale on Aliexpress for just $6.99, which shipping adding $3.39 in my case bringing the total to $10.38.

orange-pi-zero-board

Orange Pi Zero specifications:

  • SoC – Allwinner H2(+) quad core Cortex A7 processor @ 1.2 GHz with Mali-400MP2 GPU @ 600 MHz
  • System Memory – 256 to 512 MB DDR3-1866 SDRAM
  • Storage – micro SD card slot
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet + 802.11 b/g/n WiFi (Allwinner XR819 WiFi module) with u.FL antenna connector and external antenna
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB OTG port
  • Expansion headers – Unpopulated 26-pin “Raspberry Pi B+” header + 13-pin header with headphone, 2x USB 2.0, TV out, microphone and IR receiver signals
  • Debugging – Unpopulated 3-pin header for serial console
  • Misc – 2x LEDs
  • Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port or optional PoE
  • Dimensions – 52 x 46 mm
  • Weight – 26 grams

Based on the hardware features and likely good availability it’s a serious contender to Raspberry Pi Zero (and Nano Pi NEO) for headless applications, and provided Allwinner H2+ is close enough to Allwinner H3 software support should be fairly good, as I expect armbian support very soon. Allwinner XR819 is a completely new WiFi module, at least to me, so there may be driver issues, but if it is working in the firmware image provided by Orange Pi (none so far), it should be possible to add this to other Linux images too. [Update: Orange Pi Zero schematics are now available]

orange-pi-zero-descriptionThe Aliexpress page explains the default version has 256MB RAM, but it’s not really clear whether / how we can buy the 512MB version. [Update: The 512MB version now available on Aliexpress for $8.99 + shipping]

Thanks to OvCa77 for the tip.