Mele A1000G Quad Set-Top Box Features AllWinner A31 SoC

Mele A1000 Android set-top box based on AllWinner A10 is one the best platform to play with Linux on ARM, thanks to its low cost, numerous features, hackability, and the work of the developers’ community on arm-netbook mailing list, and now in sunxi-linux. I like it so much it’s the first item in my short list of hackable gadgets. However, the hardware specifications of the original Mele A1000 may be too weak for some of today’s applications. So I’m pleased the announce that Mele A1000G Quad is now available (for pre-order) with AllWinner A31 quad core Cortex A7 SoC, 2GB RAM and 8GB Flash.

Here are the specifications for Mele A1000 Quad STB:

  • SoC – AllWinner A31 quad core Cortex A7 @ 1.5GHz + PowerVR SGX544MP2 GPU
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3 RAM
  • Storage
    • 8GB Flash
    • SD card slot
    • SATA connector (most probably via a USB to SATA chipset)
  • Video Output – HDMI 1.4
  • Audio I/O – HDMI + S/PDIF optical + Audio jack output
  • Video Playback – Up to 2160p @ 60 Mbps
  • USB – 3x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x mini USB 2.0 OTG port
  • Connectivity
    • Ethernet – 10/100Mbps
    • Wi-Fi – 802.11 b/g/n
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A

It just looks like the old model, except VGA output is missing, which is unfortunate as I found it very convenient for my use. I’m not sure if composite and component outputs are available, because even though they are missing from the specs, the corresponding cable is shown in the picture.

Mele A1000G Quad is available for pre-oderfrom Mele Aliexpress store for $119.99 + shipping. The total is just over $140 to Thailand with Hong Kong Post, and the media player will start to ship in May. There may be a way to get it with a discount however, as Mele has reached out to arm-netbook mailing list as they plan to sell some to developers. There will also be an AllWinner A20 version with 1GB RAM, 4GB flash, but there’s not much information for now. If you are interested, just register to the mailing list, and reply that you are interested in purchasing the device in the thread.

We are still not 100% sure if it is hackable, but AllWinner A31 source code is already available, and it’s likely the serial port will still be easily accessible as Mele proposed the device to developers. The PowerVR GPU in AllWinner A31 is another issue, as there won’t be Linux support, but thanks to libhybris, and the projects taking advantage of the library such as Ubuntu Touch / Mir display server, it should eventually be possible to use the Android libraries and drivers for the GPU in Linux distributions.

Via Gabe.

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30 Replies to “Mele A1000G Quad Set-Top Box Features AllWinner A31 SoC”

  1. hey hello what’s up !

    do you know if we can take advantage of ssd hard drive with this computer ?

    THX !

  2. Nice computer with the hdd, how many watts is consuming? other thing, can it use bittorrent client? micro server? etc…

  3. @Pepe
    Cortex A7, so the power consumption should be pretty low. They provide a 10 Watt power supply that should be powerful enough to connect an hard drive as well.

    There are many BitTorrent app in Android, so it’s not an issue.
    You would probably have to wait a few more weeks or months for Linux support.

  4. @joker
    “SATA connector (most probably via a USB to SATA chipset)” – it is possible to place and boot Linux rootfs from SATA drive connected to USB-SATA bridge?

  5. @cnxsoft
    “I can find this inside:
    “Support system boot from 8-bit NAND Flash, SPI Nor Flash (SPI0) and SD /TF /8-bit eMMC (SDC0/2)”

    I mean “Linux rootfs on USB-SATA” but not a “boot from USB-SATA”!
    Currently I experimenting with Mele A1000G (Allwinner A10/1Gb RAM). U-boot bootloader and kernel (uImage) partition are placed on SD card. But Linux rootfs are on SATA hard disk, not on a bootable SD card! Thank to AllWinner, A10 CPU have native SATA interface, which is relatively faster in comparison to SD card interface.
    So, I must clarify my previous question: “It is possible to boot and load kernel image from SD card, then load Linux rootfs from SATA drive connected to USB-SATA bridge?”

  6. I must say that at this time a new version of Mele A1000G not make me delight.
    Con’s:
    – A31 doesn’t have native SATA interface. USB-to-SATA bridges are slowpokes!
    – No VGA output;
    – PoverVR GPU with the uncertain prospect of the use in Linux.
    Well, I’ll wait until someone will release a similar device, but using FreeScale i.MX6 or Samsung Exynos 5 Octa CPU.

  7. @cnxsoft
    Hello, tell me please, how can I create bootable sd for device with AllWinner A31. I need to boot in upgrade mode for phoenix suite, but I can’t, because my volume control is broken and I can’t press Vol+ and Power…

  8. @umount.dev.brain
    I don’t have any A31 hardware, and I’m not sure if there is a method to do that now. However, I would expect it to be similar to A10. If I remember correctly you may need u-boot source code, which I haven’t seen yet for A31.

  9. @Pepe
    Due to the PowerVR GPU you will only see proper Linux desktop support when the first Mir / Wayland display server based releases appear (these will be able to use the stock Android drivers).

  10. epic fail I bought one very unstable so I returned it it would crash to splash allwinner screen and also xbmc xaf was not usable system does not function as intended!

  11. @william
    I’ve also experienced the crash to AllWinner splash screen with another AllWinner A31 device (CS868) twice. I could only fix it by re-installing the firmware. I think there’s a problem with the way they currently handle the partitions.

  12. This thing is completely unstable and keeps crashing on me. I got one for the quad core to try it out. Also XBMC is a no-go. I also have the MX2 which is much better than this thing. I expected the opposite to be honest.

  13. Just got a a31 device also it keeps cashing not managed to o anything with it looks like its going back

  14. During the first hour of use revealed an inherent bugs. Device hangs and reboots spontaneously. Error messages arising that the application is not responding after each mouse click. LAN port does not work. The new firmware 1.2.5 & 1.2.7 does not solve the problem. The seller refused to bear the shipping fee of return which is expensive. The claim has been resolved, and AliExpress has made a full refund to me with no returning goods.

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