MarsBoard, a development board based by AllWinner A10 was released last year, soon followed by MarsBoard A20 with a dual core Cortex A7 AllWinner A20 processor. That board is now called the “Old MarsBoard A20” and is replaced by the “New MarsBoard A20” that features a baseboard + computer-on-module design, increases the NAND flash capacity to 8 GB flash, and supports 1GB RAM by default, with an option for 2 GB RAM.
Let’s check the specifications of this new development board:
- SoC – AllWinner A20 ARM Cortex A7 dual core processor @ 1GHz + Mali-400 GPU
- System Memory – 1GB DDR3 @ 480 MHz by default, up to 2GB DDR3
- Storage – 8GB NAND Flash, SATA II interface, and micro SD slot
- Video I/O
- HDMI up to 1080p60
- Composite output
- TV-IN (composite IN)
- LCD connectors for RGB and LVDS interfaces, capacitive touch support
- Audio I/O – HDMI, Line In/Out, Microphone header (not soldered),
- Camera – 1x camera interface (MIPI DSI?)
- Connectivity – 10/100 Mbps Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n WiFi (RTL8188EU module)
- USB – 4x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB OTG
- Debugging – 1x micro USB port with CP2102 USB to UART chip, i.e. integrated USB to TTL debugging function.
- Other Headers
- 2x 100-pin connectors for CM-A10 or CM-A20 CoM
- 40-pin header on CoM (Not soldered)
- 20-pin header for I/Os on baseboard (Called UEXT by Haoyu)
- Misc – IR remote sensor (not soldered), 4 buttons for Android apps, RTC + battery slot,
- Power supply – 5V/2A input, 5.2mm / 2.1mm barrel plug
- Dimensions – CPU module: 70 x 50mm; Baseboard: 115 x 90mm
Haoyu Electronics, the company behind the project, can also provide two LCD displays that are known to work with the board:
- HY070CTP-HD ($40) – A 7″ display with 1024×600 resolution using RGB or LVDS interface
- HY070CTP-A ($35) – A 7″ display with 800×480 resolution that can be connected via the RGB interface, and apparently requires some hardware modifications on the MarsBoard to work correctly.
You’ll notice an “Open Source Hardware” logo on the baseboard, but they’ve only provided the schematics (DSN / PDF), PCB layout, gerber files via their FTP server, but I could not find the BoM. The baseboard is strangely referred to as SOM-A10/S20, and the CPU modules as CM-A10/A20. The latter are not open source hardware, but you can still get the schematics in PDF.
The company provides NAND and SD card images for Debian 7.0 LXDE, as well as Lubuntu 12.10 and Android 4.2.2 SD card images for the board. All images come in three version either using HDMI, VGA or LCD output compatible with their HY070CTP-HD panel. You’ll also notice a Raspberry Pi / Raspbian image that’s for their upcoming “Mars Pi” board which could be similar to Banana Pi. They’ve also provided a link to Android 4.2.2 SDK together with the binary images to let you build your own image.
The New MarsBoard A20 is available now for $58 on hotmcu. Shipping is not included, but it becomes free for orders over $100.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.