Unboxing of ODROID-XU3 Lite Exynos 5422 Development Board

Hardkernel recently unveiled a low cost version of ODROID-XU3 board powered by Exynos 5422 SoC, and selling for $99 instead of $179 with the original version that adds a DisplayPort connector, current and voltage sensors, as well as a faster CPU frequency (2+ GHz vs 1.8 GHz).  The company sent me a sample for evaluation, so today I’ll take some pictures of the ODROID-XU3 Lite kit, and I also planned to show a Linux demo, but unfortunately my board appears to have an hardware glitch with HDMI output not working, so I’ll still show some info from the first boot, but that’s just an headless system. Anyway, I’ll soon receive a replacement unit, and I’ll be able to test Lubuntu and Android in more details later.

ODROID-XU3 Lite Unboxing

Hardkernel sent the parcel on Thursday by UPS, and I received the board on Monday in an ODROID branded cardboard box.
ODROID_PackageThe $99 kit includes the board with a heatsink and fan, a 5V/4A power supply, and a plastic case. Hardkernel also added a micro HDMI to HDMI cable, and a 16GB eMMC flash pre-loaded with Lubuntu Linux together with a USB card reader for the eMMC.

ODROID-XU3 Lite and Accessories
ODROID-XU3 Lite and Accessories

So complete kit above would be $147.70, with $99 for the kit, $39 for the eMMC and card reader, and $5.70 for the HDMI cable. You’ll also need to add DHL shipping to the total cost by DHL. Since you can boot from micro SD card, the eMMC is optional, but still recommend for better performance.

ODROID-XU3 Lite Board
ODROID-XU3 Lite Board

That’s the board with the 16 GB eMMC installed. The silkscreen indicates ODROID-XU3 and not ODROID-XU3 Lite because the PCB is the same for both models.

Bottom of ODROID-XU3 Lite Board
Bottom of ODROID-XU3 Lite Board

There’s a MIPI connector on the back of the board, but it’s apparently not possible to use it,  so the company provide a 9″ HDMI touscheen display instead.

ODROID-XU3 Lite Connectors (Click to Enlarge)
ODROID-XU3 Lite Connectors (Click to Enlarge)

Let’s check all ports from ODROID-XU3 Lite (top to bottom of the picture above):

  • Front – 4x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x 10/100M Ethernet
  • Side 1 – UART pins, eMMC socket
  • Back – 5V DC jack, USB 3.0 port, micro USB 3.0 OTG port, micro SD card slot, micro HDMI, and 3.5mm headphone jack.
  • Side 2 – Power button, and expansion header.

There’s also a battery backup connector if you want to connect a LiPo battery.

You can also watch the unboxing video below, if you want to have a better look at the kit content, see how to open the plastic box, and connect the eMMC module.

First boot of ODROID-XU3 Lite

As mentioned in the introduction, I was planning to do more here, but the board I received did not output anything via HDMI to my Panasonic TV, nor a Philips monitor. We also tried to boot Lubuntu from a micro SD using ubuntu-14.04.1lts-lubuntu-odroid-xu3-20141023.img.xz, and some instructions on ODROID forums to switch the boot mode from eMMC to SD card using the switch nearby the Ethernet port. But no luck, but I’ve still done a headless boot.

ODROID_XU3_Lite_UART_ConsoleSince I did not have anything on the display I also connected a USB to TTL debug board to access the console. You can’t connect 2.54mm dupont wires to the UART connector, so instead I used the debug board that came with my ODROID-X board, and that you could consider purchasing together with the board for an extra $15.

I’ve connected a USB 3.0 hard drive, two RF dongles, the micro HDMI cable, and an Ethernet, and the power cable to start the board. Boot from the eMMC is very fast: 17 seconds from power to command line. The kernel itself boots in less than 10 seconds. You can check the boot log from a class 10 micro SD card for reference.

The image is based on Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS with Linux kernel 3.10.58+. Here’s some extra interesting data from the command line:

The 16 eMMC flash only have a 5GB root file systems on the pre-loaded image, so you’d have to extend the partition manually with resize2fs to make use of the full capacity. All four partitions from my USB hard drive could be automatically mounted with FAT32, NTFS, EXT-4 and BTRFS file systems, which slowdown the boot time a little…. The board get 2GB RAM, and all eight cores are available in Linux as expected with four Cortex A7 (0cx07)  cores, and four Cortex A15 (0xc0f) cores.

In case you worry about the fan noise, you don’t have to. First, the fan is only active when needed, and second it’s silent when it turns, at least when it’s still new.

That’s all for today, I’ll do more testing once I receive a new sample with working HDMI output. In the meantime, you can check out some Android benchmarks published by Ian MORRISON, and find more answers or ask questions on ODROID-XU3 (Lite) forums. If you are interested in this board, you can purchase it directly from Hardkernel, or through distributors like Ameridroid (USA) or Pollin Electronics (Germany).

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23 Replies to “Unboxing of ODROID-XU3 Lite Exynos 5422 Development Board”

  1. Harley i have tested that already on my XU3 , its working , odroid have even openelec and prebuilt images with xbmc/kodi for all their U and XU platforms

  2. Still no available @ Pollin Electronics. I might get one depending on Jean-Luc test. but it’s really promising for the price.
    The O-DROID-XU3 is already a beast, this is our Debian package server at work ! 🙂

  3. Does this company do any QC check before they send out a board considering hdmi doesn’t output anything? That makes a board almost unusable.

  4. Hi,

    i have to connect the usb host on odroid with my tv usb. There was no ground connection on minihdmi to hdmi cable.
    Only way was to grab the ground from usb, after that all working.

  5. @cnxsoft
    Actually USB and HDMI should use separate shield AND signal ground, as they use different voltage rails (5V vs 3.3V), but of course system designers simplify things by using singular “digital ground” and singular shiend ground, as the possible ground loop currencies are so low… My main telly does have separate signal grounds, but shared shield ground, and my computer monitor having both grounds shared, so there is some flexibility on standards.

    If those mini-HDMI to HDMI cables have their shield ground broken that should not effect much (just not certifiable for FCC/CE and friends for EMI), so only reason would to have the signal ground be broken, then there is not much to do, besides getting a new cable, or by chance have a display with poor design (shared digital ground).

  6. Hi,

    If you can ssh or use UART to access the board, go to /media/boot and edit boot.ini and force a resolution..
    Fell free to contact on IRC so we can address your issue 🙂

    mdrjr @ #odroid on Freenode

  7. Finally, I flashed Android (http://dn.odroid.com/5422/ODROID-XU3/Android/4.4.4_Alpha_1.3_Nov-05-2014/) to my eMMC via the micro SD adapter. At first, I used the micro HDMI cable provided with the board, and all I got was a black screen. But after I switched to another micro HDMI cable (the one I got with ODROID-X), and it works, so I’ll post some benchmarks with Android first.

    I’ve also been pointed to an interesting post about problematic HDMI cables on ODROID forums, where some cables lack a ground connection, and/or lines are mixed.

  8. I had a similar problem – initially the board was running just fine on an LG monitor, then, after reboot it only showed a black screen. It may just be a software problem, as soon as I switched to a different monitor LG 27EA33, the board has been happily sending data over HDMI

  9. Michael :
    I had a similar problem – initially the board was running just fine on an LG monitor, then, after reboot it only showed a black screen. It may just be a software problem, as soon as I switched to a different monitor LG 27EA33, the board has been happily sending data over HDMI

    Another update:
    – got two more boards on Friday and got them up and running using HDMI connection to a Sony TV and another HDMI monitor. absolutely stunning, no pain bringup. This also includes setting up WiFi, wireless Logitech keyboard etc.

  10. I also had no HDMI signal out of the board, but it worked fine after taking the board out of the plastic case. Trimming some plastic off the connector solved the problem.

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