$179 Arndale Octa Developement Board Gets an Upgrade to Exynos 5420 big.LITTLE SoC

Hardkernel ODROID-XU may have been the first low cost big.LITTLE development board, but since it’s using Exynos 5410 SoC, big.LITTLE processing is limited to cluster migration that means using A15 cores or A7 cores. Insignal’s Arndale Octa was also initially announced with Exynos 5410, but the good news is that we’ll soon get a fully functional big.LITTLE development board as Arndale Octa has been upgraded to Exynos 5420 Octa-core SoC. This board will support both In-Kernel Switching (IKS) and Global Task Scheduling (GTS) implementations, and be officially supported by Linaro like the first Arndale board based on Exynos 5250 dual core Cortex A15.

Arndale Octa Development Board with Exynos 5420
Arndale Octa Development Board with Exynos 5420

Here are the specifications of the board (derived by me from several pages, and pictures):

  • SoC – Samsung Exynos 5420 octa core SoC with 4x Cortex A15 cores up to 1.8 GHz, 4x Cortex A7 cores up to 1.3 GHz in big.LITTLE configuration, and ARM Mali T-628 MP6 GPU
  • System Memory – 3GB LPDDR3e (14.9GB/s memory bandwidth)
  • Storage – eMMC 4.5 socket + microSD card slot. (Update: There may be a 4GB eMMC soldered to the board instead of an eMMC 4.5 socket, but that’s unclear for now).
  • Video Output – HDMI 1.4a
  • Audio I/O – Line IN & OUT (24-bit, 96KHz audio codec)
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0 device
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet
  • On-board Connectors:
    • Display Port MIPI DSI/eDP connector.
    • MIPI CIS 4 lanes connector for Camera
    • EBI Port
    • External Port: JTAG, HSIC, SPI, ADC, SDIO, UART
    • USB connector – 2x USB 2.0 host ports
    • Serial Debug connector
  • Misc – Power switch and reset switch
  • Power Supply – 5V/3A
Arndale Octa Block Diagram
Arndale Octa Block Diagram

The board will support both Ubuntu and Android (Linaro). The Arndale Octa Wiki is currently updated, but there’s already a lot of instructions, that may or may not be up-to-date. You’ll notice there’s no storage of the board, so you’ll have to boot from SD card, or purchase an eMMC module somewhere.

The company used to sell their boards via Howchip.com, but the latest Arndale Octa board is currently available for $179 via Pyrustek, which is completely new. This price is only valid for the first 1,000 boards, and including a free serial debug board, after the regular price will be $199. You’ll also need to add delivery via Fedex or EXW (Ex Works). To my country Fedex was about $42, and if, like me, you’ve never heard about Ex Works before, that means you’d have to pick up the package in South Korea in Pyrustek’s warehouse. Delivery is expected within 4 weeks, and at this time, you can only pay by bank transfer, with credit card payments available later. You can also purchase a 7″ LCD display (1024×600) with a capacitive touchscreen for $199, as well as a $59 accessories package with a 4GB micro SD card, an HDMI Cable, a serial cable (9pin female to 9pin female), a USB cable, a power supply (DC 5V 3A – jack diameters [+]2mm Internal, [-]5.5mm External), and for the 1,000 first order, a power conversion adapter (110V – 220V).

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