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Hardkernel Unveils $59 ODROID-U3 Board Powered by Exynos 4412 Prime Quad Core SoC

December 23rd, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

Hardkernel ODROID board family already features of the most cost effective development / hobbyist boards in the market. But the company has done it again, with ODROID-U3 a quad core board, software compatible with ODROID-U2, that sells for just $59 + shipping.


ODROID-U3 specifications:

  • SoC – Samsung Exynos 4412 Prime @ 1.7 Ghz with ARM Mali-400MP4 GPU @ 440MHz
  • System Memory – 2GB @ 880MHz
  • Storage – microSD slot, eMMC module socket
  • USB – 3x USB 2.0 Host ports, 1x USB 2.0 device for ADB/mass storage
  • Ethernet – 10/100Mbps (LAN9730)
  • Video Output – micro HDMI
  • Audio Output – 3.5mm Jack, micro HDMI
  • System Console – UART (1.8Volt)
  • DC Power – 5V/2A
  • PCB Dimension – 83 x 48mm
  • Weight – 48g with heatsink
ODROID-U3 Board Description (Click to Enlarge)

ODROID-U3 Board Description (Click to Enlarge)

The company provides images and source code for Xubuntu 13.10, Android 4.x with u-boot 2010.12 and kernel 3.8, as well as the schematics (PDF). Support is available on ODROID-U3 Forums. Compared to the $89 ODROID-U2 board, you’ll get an extra USB port, access to I/Os, a power button, support for external RTC, and better input power protection, but lose the digital microphone. ODROID-U3 is however considerably larger than ODROID-U2 (83 x 48mm vs 48 x 52mm), but it’s still a credit card sized board.

U3-IO Shield

U3-IO Shield

The company is also selling the U3-IO shield ($20) for the board, in order to provide easy access to 36 I/O pins including GPIOs, PWM, and ADC ports. The board has the same size of ODROID-U3, features Atmel ATMega328 and 2 Arduino compatible headers, and schematics (PDF) are available. The board comes with 12 metallic / plastic PCB spacers.

There are actually two version of the board: ODROID-U3 and ODROID-U3 Community Edition. The only difference is the price: $65 for the former, and $59 for the latter, and that you can only order one piece of the community edition version. The company also sell accessories separately for the board including a DC power adapter, a plastic case, a microSD card with Linux or Android, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi modules, a USB-UART board, 8/16 and 64 GB eMMC modules, a micro HDMI cable, a USB IO board, an active cooler, and an RTC backup battery. Shipping is expected for January 14, 2014, and adds $25 to the cost.

You can watch ODROID-U3 presentation video below.

  1. December 23rd, 2013 at 15:35 | #1

    The latest ODROID magazine also has several articles about the ODROID-X3

  2. IW
    December 23rd, 2013 at 21:54 | #2

    Sigh. Pathetic. WTF are they doing? We all need memory, NOT more cores. Not one person I know with a hobbyist board has said “gee I seem CPU bound, wish I had more cores/threads/procs”. I hear over and over “wish I had more memory” EVERY time I talk to anyone about the board they have.

  3. m][sko
    December 23rd, 2013 at 22:00 | #3

    ODROID-X3 would be nice device for computer vision
    But ODROID-X3 use old Mali400 GPU
    And Mali400 don’t support OpenCL for example

  4. Paul
    December 23rd, 2013 at 22:57 | #4

    Hardkernel now even has ODROID magazine? They’re doing a great job supporting the boards!

  5. onebir
    December 23rd, 2013 at 23:27 | #5

    Looks like a great product for the price, especially if well-supported. They do seem to shoot themselves in the foot with high shipping costs though…

  6. armer
    December 23rd, 2013 at 23:37 | #6

    Looks great! I wanna have one for Christamas. Is it u3? Or x3?

    Fedex express shipping cost is okay for me. I don’t like 45 days of China post deliver.

  7. stickman
    December 24th, 2013 at 08:04 | #7


    Well, you’ll have to wait, since it will start shipping on January 14, 2014. So no toy for christmas.

  8. December 24th, 2013 at 09:43 | #8

    Even with shipping, the total is $84, and you won’t find many quad core boards for this price.

    It’s ODROID-U3. No ODROID-X3 yet.

  9. mary
    December 24th, 2013 at 09:51 | #9

    try this one on it too FatdogArm Alpha4 – 1 November 2013 http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=89998

  10. armer
    December 24th, 2013 at 11:40 | #10

    Is this a Puppy linux for Odroid? Very interesting…

  11. adem
    December 24th, 2013 at 15:14 | #11


  12. adem
    December 24th, 2013 at 15:36 | #12

    so does this have full hw acceleration on xbuntu

  13. December 24th, 2013 at 15:50 | #13

    GPU acceleration should be there, but VPU might not be.
    There an XBMC Linux for ODROID-U2 @ http://forum.odroid.com/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=2104.
    But some people seem to be getting 14-18 fps @ 1080p so it could be software decode.

  14. adem
    December 24th, 2013 at 17:04 | #14

    is this the same as my galaxy note 2 n7105. well the specs are the same

  15. Ian Tester
    December 24th, 2013 at 20:50 | #15

    For me, the problem with the Hardkernel boards is that all of the I/O is over USB – mainly because the SoCs are intended for phones and tablets. Even the Ethernet is done over USB. The only consolation is the fast eMMC, and the newer boards have USB 3.0. Still not as good as having native GigE and a few SATA ports though.

  16. onebir
    December 24th, 2013 at 22:37 | #16

    @Ian Tester Wouldn’t be surprised to see a similar cut-price version of the 8 core board with USB 3.0 from them pretty soon given the pace they seem to be able to design boards…

  17. SimonL
    December 25th, 2013 at 01:43 | #17

    The other downside is the taxes… But this board is less expensive than the previous one iirc.
    $65 + $25 add ~20% of the previous sum as VAT in Europe + a fee for the shipping company who paid the custom taxes in advance for you but I agree that might be a minor downside for most people buying this, the hardware is solid.

  18. bkinAZ
    December 25th, 2013 at 12:21 | #18

    Hardkernel’s stuff is very cool on paper. But if live in the US and you buy one that they didn’t plug in before shipping, expect to pay at least half the cost of the board (if not the entire cost) to replace it. Their “warranty” doesn’t include shipping. I found out the hard way. And they are inflexible and don’t take responsibility for their laxness when it comes to QA.

  19. David
    December 25th, 2013 at 15:01 | #19

    Shipping, duty, taxes, clearance and document fees will more than double the cost of this board before I can actually unbox it. It’s so sad. When Governments get in the middle, commerce suffers – actually, everyone suffers!

  20. quicker
    December 25th, 2013 at 15:23 | #20

    I agree that they must have a few official distributors or resellers in the US.

  21. elmerfudd
    December 25th, 2013 at 16:31 | #21

    My 2 GB arndale board runs web server, mail server, file server, mldonkey, mysql, mythtv backend and a few vnc servers for various other stuff, and it uses around 1.5 GB RAM for cache.
    I can hardly imagine why 2 GB shouldn’t be fine 🙂 – I for one would like more processing power for transcoding, as mythtv doesn’t support openCL for that yet.

    Now you know (of) one hoppyist that thinks 2 GB is enough.

  22. anonymous
    December 27th, 2013 at 22:22 | #22

    2 GB is a big step up from the Raspberry Pi’s 256 MB, of which 16 MB at minimum is reserved for the GPU. Some of us are having to make do with that. I’m running MiniDLNA, webfsd, sshd, cifs, and an ntp client and server on my 256 MB Pi. The newer ones have 512 MB which is such a big improvement for most things. I can’t wait for my 2 GB quad-core CuBox-i to arrive, which after some delays is now supposed to be shipped by January 15.

  23. November 8th, 2014 at 07:48 | #23

    There is now a US distributor with the full line of ODROIDs and accessories at http://ameridroid.com . Priority shipping to the US is $6 for most orders.

  1. December 24th, 2013 at 03:32 | #1
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