Hardkernel ODROID-C1 is a $35 Development Board Powered by Amlogic S805 Quad Core Processor

Orange Pi Development Boards

Amlogic S805 is a quad core Cortex A5 processor which has found it way into low cost devices such as MK808B Plus TV Stick which can be purchased for as low as $30, or full-sized TV box such as MXQ S85 or MINIX NEO X6. All this low cost devices are nice, but the full source code is not available in your want to adapt them to your need. Luckily, Amlogic releases both an Android SDK, and a buildroot for Linux with GPU and Video Processing Unit (VPU) support, so Hardkernel decided to go ahead, designed a board, and has just launched ODROID-C1 quad core development board for just $35, or the exact price of a Raspberry Pi Model B+, but with much greater specs.

ODROID-C1 Board Description (Click to Enlarge)
ODROID-C1 Board Description (Click to Enlarge)

ODROID-C1 specifications:

  • SoC- Amlogic S805 quad core Cortex-A5 processor with a Mali-450MP2 GPU (2x fragment cores + 2x vertex shader cores)
  • System Memory – 1GB DDR3 (2x Samsung K4B4G1646D)
  • Storage – eMMC module socket for  8GB/64GB Toshiba eMMC, or 16GB/32GB Sandisk iNAND Extreme, and micro SD slot (UHS-1 SD models supported)
  • Video & Audio Output – micro HDMI port
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet (Realtek RTL8211F)
  • USB – 4x USB 2.0 host ports (via GENESYS LOGIC GL852G), 1x micro USB OTG port (Cannot be used for power input)
  • Expansion Headers – 40-pin Raspberry Pi (mostly) compatible header with GPIO, I2C, SPI, UART, and ADC.
  • Debugging – Serial console header (3.3V)
  • Misc – 4x Status / Power LEDS, IR receiver, RTC + RTC battery header, solder pads for power switch, boot media selector
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A DC input (2.5/0.8mm barrel). Typical power consumption:  0.5A @ 5V, up to 2A @ 5V with several USB peripherals.
  • Dimensions – 85 x 56mm (Same dimensions as Raspberry Pi Model B+)
  • Weight – 40 gram

It’s the first S805 device I see that actually uses a Gigabit Ethernet port, so that’s good news. You can boot the system from eMMC or micro SD card, using the boot media selector (Open: eMMC, Closed: SD card).

ODROID-C_Board_Bottom

The company will provide images for Ubuntu 14.04 or Android 4.4 KitKat with Linux 3.10. The source code for U-Boot/Linux will be released on December 15, but the Android source code will take a little longer due to license issues, and is expected for February. WiringPi v2 library used to control I/O in the Raspberry Pi with Python or C/C++, has been ported to ODROID-C1. Further information such an expansion header pinout, and instructions to build u-boot can be found on ODROID-C1 Wiki, which is still under construction. The schematics (PDF) and mechanical drawings have also been released.

What makes this platform existing, beside its attractive pricing and source code availability, is Ubuntu support with proper OpenGL ES and video hardware decoding support, which is showcased in the video below in Kodi 14 Helix running in Ubuntu 14.04.

ODROID-C1 is available for pre-order for $35 on Hardkernel website with shipping scheduled for December 16, but if you are based in North America or Europe, you should be better off purchasing from respectively Ameridroid or Pollin Electonic. I also wish they find a distributor for the rest of the world, as shipping is probably $25 (I can’t access the site from Thailand without proxy), which makes the board $60 [Update: Based on comments shipping is only $9 for some, for $25 for most]. You’ll also need to purchase storage for booting either from Hardkernel or its distributors which sells 8, 16, 32 and 64GB eMMC modules, or 8 to 16GB UHS-1 micro SD cards preloaded with Android 4.4 or Ubuntu 14.04, or buy it one locally, just make sure you don’t buy the cheapest micro SD card, get at least a Class 10 or UHS-1 micro SD, or your ODROID-C1 will feel as slow, or even slower, than a Raspberry Pi. Further details can also be found in ODROID magazine December 2014 (PDF) including a performance and specs comparison between ODROID-C1 and Raspberry Pi Model B+.

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hoangdinh86
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hoangdinh86

Hardkernel really support better than any China development board: update, stable firmware, large community

David W
Guest
David W

Very sexy. Wish the benchmarks included a comparison of memory bandwidth under a variety of CPU loads, and USB performance too (e.g. disk throughput, throughput’s effect on CPU load). At least the USB results should be quite predictable, but without more details of the SOC internals it’s hard to know about memory architecture

Bo
Guest

Ameridroid.com ships to Thailand and pretty much anywhere else in the world starting at $19.95, and some countries as low as $14.95. Plus they have fast shipping for those who need their orders quickly.

Curmudgeon
Guest
Curmudgeon

Can’t help but admire the tenacity of Hardkernel. After their disappointment with Odroid-W this is a wonderful response and I wish them every success.

biasio95
Guest
biasio95

On the hardkernel site the shipping cost is 9$

embedded_geek
Guest

I think this will be my next toy! The only regret I have with HardKernel is there stupid connector for Serial Console. Why don’t they just do like everyone else and use standard pins ??

m][sko
Guest
m][sko

I wish that Amlogic VPU has OpenMAX api but no. They don’t.
They use own api similar to overlay idea from win 95

m][sko
Guest
m][sko

hoangdinh86 :
Hardkernel really support better than any China development board: update, stable firmware, large community

Any links to firmware ?

Armer
Guest
Armer

@m][sko
Here are tons of OS source code.
https://github.com/hardkernel/

Gabe
Guest
Gabe

Does this mean that Ubuntu firmware will work on any S805 chipset box, maybe with some modifications?

8675309
Guest
8675309

Look for the same thing

Armer
Guest
Armer

Gabe :
Does this mean that Ubuntu firmware will work on any S805 chipset box, maybe with some modifications?

I think so. But I’m not sure how much work should be done.

onebir
Guest
onebir

I think this is Hardkernel’s gesture of contempt to RPi – same shape, same price 4x the spec 😉

(Title on main page is rendering as “core processor” – maybe because it’s so long?)

Gerry
Guest
Gerry

Thanks for the nice review !
A very nice device.

However, I would not compare this device against a RASPBERRY PI, rather a CUBIETRUCK.

But what makes it’s design somewhat inconsequent is a missing SATA- connector or USB3. There is a Gigabit LAN, but only USB2 for harddisks. A SATA/USB3 connection would make it the perfect solution for a NAS system, home automation, media server etc. The CPU is powerfull enough, but I doubt if there is enough storage performance.

For now I will head from RASPBERRY to CUBIETRUCK, not ODROID.

Gerhard

Kenneth
Guest
Kenneth

I am the user of odroid-x, the support of hardkernel (no matter from official or community are great).

Mine was ~USD$130 before. this one may be another wave of purchase.

Kenneth

Kenneth
Guest
Kenneth

recommend to buy also the emmc.

Armer
Guest
Armer

Kenneth :
recommend to buy also the emmc.

According to their benchmark result, the UHS-1 micro-SD card performance seems to be enough to enjoy this cheap board. Do not waste money too much.

Curmudgeon
Guest
Curmudgeon

@Gerry
I don’t understand why people regularly put down the performance of USB 2.0. I would have thought that 480 Mb/s would be quite adequate for a domestic media server unless there are several ultra high density streams being served concurrently.

Harley
Guest
Harley

No news on Android 5.0 Lollipop support on ODROID-C1 then?

If not from Hardkernel then maybe from AMLogic for S805?

Harley
Guest
Harley

@m][sko
I believe that AMLogic S805 and S812 actually have OpenMAX IL drivers now and support Google’s MediaCodec API on Android, and I heard that it is suppose to work in latest Kodi.

Google’s MediaCodec API on Android is however more restrictive / limited and have less features than using AMLogic’s own SDK and native implementation.

Harley
Guest
Harley

Gerry :
I would not compare this device against a RASPBERRY PI, rather a CUBIETRUCK.

Cubietruck costs over $100 so no they can not be compared as price is important.

Once you reach a price tag of $100 then they are too many options to compare.

Gerry
Guest
Gerry

@Curmudgeon
Good point.

Perhaps my concern came from the RPI’s performance of around 5MB/sec at my external UDB2 HDD. Storing backup images of several GBs there is a pain. Experts say, RPI has USB and LAN on the same bus, that it why it is so slow.

Hopefully ODROID doesn’t have this design.

Convinced, I’ll give ODROID chance.

Thx
Gerry

anon
Guest
anon

Finally, that is how _real_ engineers do board level dcdc power supplies. 🙂

Too bad those 2.5mm/0.8mm barrel connectors are pretty fragile, and drawing 2A via one of those sounds a bit too close to the max of the connector itself, the 5.5mm/2.1mm would have been much better choice for 24/7 usage.

onebir
Guest
onebir

@cnxsoft
Me too! What’s missing now is a <$10 Piclone for developing countries with composite out…

(“Core Processor” title issue is gone).

anon
Guest
anon

@cnxsoft
If you look up the block diagrams of any ARM platform you will found that the all I/O ports are controlled by a single controller block, thus whatever I/O ports you use, they are always sharing their bandwidth, blame the ARM, not the platform manufacturers, only I/Omen (tmpfs) can reach the max performances.

If ARM platform finally moves to separate I/O blocks with an switch-based interconnect (a’la x86 processors) then overall could improve.

anon2
Guest
anon2

@anon
It depends on the bandwidth of the connection. Current Intel desktop designs has just one multilane connection between the processor and the IO chip (SATA, USB3, Ethernet…) and there is no bottleneck. Highend ARM designs doesn’t have any issue there, neither.

anon
Guest
anon

@anon2
The DMI/Alink you mean is nothing but renamed PCIe x4 (Gen 2/3) that has the nominal bandwidth of 2GiB/4GiB, in reality after packet headers/CRC and 8/10 or 128/130 bit coding around 1.6GiBps/3.6GiBps that then is shared between different I/O ports by an embedded communications processor, so naturally there is less bandwidth loss.

Intel used an embedded 8051 for a long time in their southchip, not sure do they still use that, while AMD had some in house one on theirs, but likely use some ARM version on their APU FCH chips… ?

And x86 chipsets have had multiple EHCI/xHCI controllers in them for years, while all is in singular on ARM (AFAIK), at least all CCI-based ones I have seen.

Jibril
Guest
Jibril

ok, ok, but IMHO: Hardkernel should think instead for a S812 board with more Ram (4GB) …

jn
Guest
jn

hdmi cec?

anon
Guest
anon

@Jibril
By looking the Odroid history, I could imagine there is an Odroid-C2 in the works with S812… Hopefully. 😉

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

I am looking forward to see RISCOS for this, too bad the people behind riscosopen are still support the , outdated, rpi, seems they are in bed with the producer.. darn

ovidiu
Guest

For Europe Pollin.de will have available in stock this odroid C1 starting from January 15 2015.

quoted from my email

Dear Sir or Madam

Many thanks for your email.
The article you want to buy is in stock in about a month.
Please send us an order with all the information we need to create a PI without VAT.

Vorweihnachtliche Grüße aus Pförring
Christine Beringer
Kundenservice
__________________________________________________________________
Pollin Electronic GmbH
Max-Pollin-Straße 1 │ 85104 Pförring
Tel. +49 (0) 8403 920-950 │Fax +49 (0) 8403 920-951
[email protected]http://www.pollin.de

Geschäftsführer: Max Pollin │ Amtsgericht Ingolstadt HRB 1927

ade
Guest
ade

How does this SoC/board compare to the similarly-priced Banana Pi ? (Allwinner A20)

adem
Guest
adem

is the price normal price or is it going to be more expensive later because i ran out of all my money i spent close to $550 in the last 4 days buying draco a80 , 5 x fly mouse , and 3 x rk3288 tv box from geekbuy. will keep the draco but planning on selling the others he he 🙂

onebir
Guest
onebir

What are people getting quoted for shipping? I got $25, not $9. Bit of a dealbreaker.

John Doe
Guest
John Doe

I bought two odroids c1 with shipping to a country in europe and i was quoted 30$ shipping & handling so not sure what is the rate for just one unit.(i do hope they ship by DHL and not EMS/UPS tho)

xxiao
Guest
xxiao

@ade
this one is at least much cheaper? A20 has SATA with dual-core A7, this one has no SATA but 4-core A5, bananapi size is larger and the support is so-so

Johny007
Guest
Johny007

@Gerry
Native SATA is perfect for NAS. USB to SATA is for amateurs. Or does your USB to SATA adapter have SMART info? What would really be awesome is development board with at least two SATA ports and adapter with 12V SLA lead acid battery backup. Now that would make one hell of a DIY NAS. I know that is not gonna happen, but one can dream.

anon
Guest
anon

@Johny007
12V SLA?!? How dare you? We are talking about today’s systems, 5V USB (LiPo) UPS is the approciate for these natively 5V system (everyone sane uses 2.5″ SSD/HDD anyway).

Sure 12V LiFePo4 is pretty nice (GoalZero especially), but still pure LiPo can be much more energy condense, and much more efficient to charge.

Johny007
Guest
Johny007

@anon
Why do you need energy condensation? It’s not like you are gonna carry this thing around. Lead acid SLA are cheap, easy to charge. For 20 bucks I’m gonna get 7 hours for uptime. That’s more than enough for 99% power outages around here. Also you can buy much more capacity than you need and start charging it when below 50%, which should give you much more baterry lifetime. I use 3.5 HDD, they have bigger capacity, speed and are cheaper. See, when we start talking about NAS that has battery backup, multiple SATA ports etc, I don’t think 1TB of space or even less with SSD’s is gonna do it. Something between those Intel Atom NASes and Kirkwood slowness would be nice to have.

adem
Guest
adem

@cnxsoft
i bought a few different types to test and see which ones are good to use also i will be selling them with a android tv box

Gabe
Guest
Gabe

Is the GPU Quad-Core Mali-450MP or Dual core? Other S805 boxes specify it as Quad-Core.

anon
Guest
anon

@Johny007
Heh, forget to add a bit humor into my response, or /s mark…

Anyway, sure SLA and 3.5″ might be more suitable for >10TB systems, but for example over here 2.5″ vs 3.5″ TB/$ is pretty much the same, sure there are only 2TB 2.5″ HDDs, and 1TB SSDs widely available, but personally would rather use 2.5″ disks, not just for low power/heat, physical size, noise level, or durability, but also by the fact that modern laptop drives are much faster that average desktop drives (access times faster as less travel on the heads, bandwidth higher as bits compressed to smaller area).

And pretty much all 12V ssystems only reach about 60% to 70% energy efficiency of both charging, and store/output, while it is pretty simple to reach >90% efficiency on all on 3.6V/3.7V battery 5V step-up systems, and cheap if doing 2SnP 7.2V to 5V step-down.

anon
Guest
anon

@Johny007
Forgot to mention that even my CubieBoard2 with Allwinner A20 supports SATA port multipliers, so could easily do RAID5/6 with it… Using single SSD on mine though. 🙂