AllWinner A80 OptimusBoard Octa-core big.LITTLE Development Board is Now Available … for $169

A80 OptimusBoard powered by AllWinner A80 octa-core processor with four Cortex A15 and four Cortex A7 in big.LITTLE configuration had been announced at the end of 2013, and after numerous delays, several boards have recently been sent to developers and companies such as miniNodes, Linuxium, and others. The company behind the board is actually Shenzhen Merrii Technology (aka WITS), which had done all earlier development kits for AllWinner, and they’ve now made the board available for purchase on Aliexpress. Unfortunately the company has decided to leave to low cost development boards market to the likes of Cubieboard8 and PCDuino8, as A80 OptimusBoard sells for $345 plus about $30 for shipping by courier.[Update: they now offer it for $169]

A80 OptimusBoard (Click to Enlarge)
A80 OptimusBoard (Click to Enlarge)
  • SoC – AllWinner Ultra Core A80 4x Cortex 15, 4x Cortex A7 big.LITTLE processor with Imagination Technologies PowerVR GC6230 GPU with 64-cores, and support for OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0/3.0, Directx 9.3
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3
  • Storage – 8GB NAND Flash + micro SD card up to 32GB
  • Video Output – HDMI 1.4a up to 4K30
  • Audio – AC100 Codec, headphone jack
  • Video Playback – UHD/4K H.264/VP8 4Kx2K @ 30 fps
  • Connectivity – Dual band Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 (AP6330), and Gigabit Ethernet (GMAC)
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0 OTG port, 2x USB 2.0 host ports
  • Camera I/F – 16MP MIPI CSI
  • Debugging – UART and JTAG
  • Expansion – 32-pin GPIO header
  • Misc – IR receiver, reset and power LEDs.
  • Power management – AXP806, AXP809 “smart power management specialist”
  • Power Supply – 5V/3A, or battery
  • Dimensions – 135x70mm

The board comes with a power adapter, and a UART to USB cable. The board comes pre-loaded with Android 4.4.2 on top of Linux 3.4.39. So it’s not a device tree capable kernel, allegedly because AllWinner does not have enough good kernel developers… AllWinner promised support for 5 Operating Systems, but AFAIK, only Android has been provided at this stage, so we may need to wait a little longer for Ubuntu, Chrome/Chromium OS, Firefox OS, and Windows.

You can watch the video below for an overview of the board, and they also quickly show a “professional” AllWinner A80 development board.


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42 Replies to “AllWinner A80 OptimusBoard Octa-core big.LITTLE Development Board is Now Available … for $169”

  1. Well, this is the very first board then it can be expensive, I hope that next ones will be in more attractive prices.

  2. @cnxsoft… Can you explain what this part means “it’s not a device tree capable kernel”. I am looking to buy a tablet soon and i want one with the best custom rom/custom kernel support.

    Does the quoted section have any bearing on the quality of roms the A80 devices will ship with?

    Right now i am torn between RK3288, A80T, Z3735D and K1

  3. I don’t know corresponding words in English, so say my opinion in native Russian:
    Они что там, в WITS, совсем ебанулись?

  4. @ Jean-Luc:
    why, for you, this so high price ($345) ?
    ’cause they the only with an A80 board really available on market (Cubieboard8 is delayed without precise data) ?

  5. IMHO…if A80 Optimus board is at $345 … maybe the best buy is a $179 ODROID-XU3 with Exynos5422 (also including a 16 GB eMMC module it won’t reach $345)

  6. Still 3.4.39 kernel version (April 2013) on Allwinner kernel, where the linux-sunxi community is at 3.4.90+ for full featured kernel and added lot of SoC’s stuff in the mainline kernel (3.16+)… Why they don’t work more with community ? Their system will probably have lot of non patched security holes with a so old kernel. Who will use Linux desktop with so much security risk ? Allwinner will loose lot of time reengeneering poor quality driver where there is good and mutli-reviewed implementation in kernel :(.

    That’s a very expansive board, no more SATA on A80, and at the same time, rk3288 boards are available for less than $100 with 2GB and less than 200 with 4GB, and rockchip support kernel >3.10 a far better and open way. Still need to make a benchmark 4 cortex-A17 of RK vs 4* A15 + 4*A7 of AW, but that’s not sure this is better in both performences and capabilites. The only advantage could be the PowerVR GC6230 that support full OpenGL (not only OpenGL ES), that could be interesting for some application, if the driver works well on Linux. I don’t think there will be non-OpenGL ES only application on Android today, as OpenGL is still rare and OpenGL ES is everywhere.

    Microsoft systems are the only shrinking systems on ARM, so that’s probably not the better choice to concentrate on their system, but allwinner stilll say they support several linux based os, even if the kernel is far behind today linu distributions.

  7. @r1ck
    Device tree / multi platform support is nice as it would allow to have just one unified kernel with multiple kernel, with custom device tree files (to configure hardware) specific to each board and products.
    Rockchip and Amlogic are already using 3.10 for S802 and RK3288, so they have support.
    It should not affect the quality of ROM, but it just means AllWinner will come with older kernels, so it may not have the latest features, and security fixes. Anyway, at some point AllWinner will have to implement this, they can’t stay with 3.4 forever (Device tree support is compulsory), and I don’t think they can just rely on the community to do all the work for them…

    The $345 is part of a development package: hardware + Android SDK with Linux source code, so they may not only charge for hardware, but also software and support.

    @Jon Smirl
    A80 tablets are $220 (I think), and Cubieboard8 / PCduino should cost close to $100. So I believe A80 has a price similar to RK3288.

    I’ve read AllWinner A80 may actually have SATA (on linux-sunxi mailing list). I’m not sure why none of the boards feature it. Are you sure GC6230 support OpenGL 4.x? I can’t find anything about this. It should support OpenCL 1.x however (for GPGPU).

  8. Aiming for a fail:
    – We are FAR from the initial announced sub 100$ price tag!
    – Software hardly ready/released in a rush to counter competition…
    I’m not even interested anymore as there are better options available already in terms of specs/price/software
    Bye bye allwinner!

  9. @cnxsoft
    OpenGL 3.x, not 4.x, that’s on the description page of the PowerVR on A80.

    Thanks to the powerful Rogue architecture on which PowerVR G6230 is based on, the Allwinner A80 processor is able to support all major mobile and desktop APIs, including OpenGL ES Next/3.0/2.0, OpenGL 3.x, DirectX 9_3/10, OpenCL and Renderscript.

    Strangely that was wrote on allwinner A80 page too, but that’s note wrote anymore.

  10. I looked at description of Powever6 GPU (each series page), there is no more OpenGL (non ES) described…
    I suppose that was an error on the announce, so .. A80 is also not more interesting than rockchip RK3288 on this point too.

    That’s really sad, A10/A20 was a really good thing, they could continue to grow quickly on opensource market. With this highprice and not so interesting SoC, and the preference too reinvent the wheel and get stuck on an old kernel, instead of collaborate with kernel devs on the essential open part and make progress elsewhere on concentrate more on what they don’t want to open (binary drivers), etc…, I’m not sure it will conitnue to interest community. Lot of people will probably switch to Rockchip chips. I believe that will be my case. :(.

  11. I was looking forward to this board at its initially announced price point @ $100, so it looks like I’ll stick with my cubietruck for the time being. I wish more of these development boards would include battery support such as this and the CT.

  12. PcDuino does appear to offer their board at $129.00 if you email them…I am not sure if there are quantity limits, as we have not placed an order. We are working with the Merrii / Allwinner Optimus Board version of the A80.


    “pcDuino8 (beta) is currently with limited quantiy. Please email with a project description and your cutedigi account ID. If you qualify, pcDuino team will mail you back a coupon code to order at $129.00″

  13. It’s way toooooo expensive, the onda v989 tablet begin to ship in our site, and it’s only 212usd, how come this developing board sooooo expensive?

  14. Price has come down, but shipping has doubled and tripled on the original $30 charge -US$60-90, still hard to justify this board, especially coming from Merrii, their developer community is virtually non existent, and their customer service is very poor. I’d hate to think how long you’ll be waiting for source codes of the other 4 promised OS’s if they even arrive.

    1. I’ve checked PcDuino8 today.. The components and connectors are laid out the same way as on the OptimusBoard. So maybe it’s worth following them. They published the Android image, but no SDK yet. Their board is actually cheaper ($129) if you have an open source project.

  15. Did not read this phrase? pcDuino8 (beta) is currently with limited quantiy. Please email with a project description and your cutedigi account ID. If you qualify, pcDuino team will mail you back a coupon code to order at $129.00.

    And this is also interesting:

    Cubietruck current sold @ $94 (Allwinner Dual Core). Cubieboard 8 should compared to PcDuino 8 be in the $100 plus range. Agree RK3288 got good cards

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