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

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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87 Comments
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hoangdinh86
hoangdinh86
6 years ago

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

David W
David W
6 years ago

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
Bo
6 years ago

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
Curmudgeon
6 years ago

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
biasio95
6 years ago

On the hardkernel site the shipping cost is 9$

embedded_geek
6 years ago

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
6 years ago

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
6 years ago

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

Any links to firmware ?

Armer
Armer
6 years ago

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

Gabe
Gabe
6 years ago

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

8675309
8675309
4 years ago

Look for the same thing

Armer
Armer
6 years ago

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
onebir
6 years ago

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
Gerry
6 years ago

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
Kenneth
6 years ago

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
Kenneth
6 years ago

recommend to buy also the emmc.

Armer
Armer
6 years ago

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
Curmudgeon
6 years ago

@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
Harley
6 years ago

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

If not from Hardkernel then maybe from AMLogic for S805?

Harley
Harley
6 years ago

@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
Harley
6 years ago

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
Gerry
6 years ago

@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
anon
6 years ago

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
onebir
6 years ago


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

(“Core Processor” title issue is gone).

anon
anon
6 years ago


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
anon2
6 years ago

@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
anon
6 years ago

@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… Read more »

Jibril
Jibril
6 years ago

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

jn
jn
6 years ago

hdmi cec?

anon
anon
6 years ago

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

Daniel
Daniel
6 years ago

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
6 years ago

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
ade
6 years ago

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

adem
adem
6 years ago

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
onebir
6 years ago

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

John Doe
John Doe
6 years ago

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
xxiao
6 years ago

@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
Johny007
6 years ago

@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
anon
6 years ago

@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
Johny007
6 years ago

@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… Read more »

adem
adem
6 years ago


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
Gabe
6 years ago

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

anon
anon
6 years ago

@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… Read more »

anon
anon
6 years ago

@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. 🙂

onebir
onebir
6 years ago

@anon
I think an article about affordable, reliable UPS (or substitutes) for NAS systems (using SSD/2.5″ HDD and 3.5″ HDDs – which do seem to be more reliable) would be great. If such a thing exists.

Many places don’t have 100% reliable power, and I suspect even a short cut can cause real problems if there’s disk activity going on when it happens. This must be an obstacle for people interested in setting up NASes…

Johny007
Johny007
6 years ago

@anon
Oh, CubieBoard2 has that? Nice to know! Btw is that CubieBoard working realiably for you? I got little suspicious about them when Tom Cubie left and started some other business. What distro are you using?

anon
anon
6 years ago

@Johny007 At least my friend’s eSATA 5-disk JBOD box worked just fine (can’t recall the exact chipset, but was an 1 to 5 SiliconImage chipset) with the stock Ubuntu-based system (haven’t tried after moving to Gentoo, but do use exact same kernel+modules, so should work just fine). The CB2 has been rock solid router (and portage share) for my ARM systems since I finalized the setup (dual extra USB-Ethernet adapters + WiFi). Using native Gentoo Linux that is actually carbon copy of the RK3066/RK3188 versions on the ARM cluster, all happily distccd:ing as both the Cortex-A9 and Cortex-A7 share identical… Read more »

xxiao
xxiao
6 years ago

@anon
what do you mean A20 supports SATA port multipliers? anything special on that for CB2? isn’t it just a regular SATA port?

Photon
Photon
6 years ago

Bo : 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. How do you work that out? It only offers US states and US Forces overseas. How the heck can you guess the price to other states? The “Have Ameridroid contact me re postage costs” option they speak of does NOT exist. WTF!? Likewise the cost at HardKernel IS $25 unless you order the board and a case. Add an eMMC and then when the… Read more »

anon
anon
6 years ago

@xxiao
Well, the eSATA box (connected via cheap SATA to eSATA cable) showed all five drives separately under /dev (as sda, sdb etc.), and I was able to mount them individually, so I assumed they worked just fine. 🙂

Isn’t the “SATA multiplier” nothing but a way to encapsulate separate drive data within singular cable, so no special hardware need is even necessary, just proper SATA standard support on the driver?

Vegator
6 years ago

@Jean-Luc Aufranc (CNXSoft) The problem with these advertising tricks is that they then go on to say that the S805 contains a Mali-450 MP4 — which is of course a lie, because it contains a Mali-450 MP2. Several MediaTek and HiSilicon chips have real Mali-450 MP4 GPUs, but they usually just call them quad-core (which is reasonable) and not six core which they do following the “logic” of AMLogic and other vendors. Based on this I am a little sceptical about the claim that Amlogic chips like S802 and S812 really contain a Mali-450 MP6 and not a Mali-450 MP4,… Read more »

Vegator
6 years ago

@Jean-Luc Aufranc (CNXSoft) The problem with these advertising tricks is that they then go on to say that the S805 contains a Mali-450 MP4 — which is of course a lie, because it contains a Mali-450 MP2. Several MediaTek and HiSilicon chips have real Mali-450 MP4 GPUs, but they usually just call them quad-core (which is reasonable) and not six core which they do following the “logic” of AMLogic and other vendors. Based on this I am a little sceptical about the claim that Amlogic chips like S802 and S812 really contain a Mali-450 MP6 and not a Mali-450 MP4,… Read more »

fossxplorer
fossxplorer
6 years ago

Ah, now i started to get the whole picture: Hardkernel is pissed off since they had to cancel ODROID-W because of Broadcom’s major strange decision and the genius ppl over at Hardkernel decided ” Hey let’s f*** Broadcom” and use Amlogic S805 instead and here came the C1. Awesome! These geeks at Hardkernel are just AWESOME FOSS GEEKS!

xxiao
xxiao
6 years ago

@anon
how about the performance, I could hardly imagine when you have to share one SATA bus while doing XOR for RAID5 on those 5 external drives, considering the multiplexer is really just a physical signal mux as it does not have any RAID engine built-in.

I wish there are any reasonably priced ARM chips that have more than one SATA port, Marvell has it but they seem to have forgotten the open source world since their PLUG efforts a few years ago.

Al
Al
6 years ago

@Johny007
Cubieboard/2 are fine, work well. Reliable .
Just another reasonable , well priced arm board, nothing special.

Al
Al
6 years ago

@xxiao
sata ?, can’t we just get them to implement multiple M2

anon
anon
6 years ago

@xxiao
That box had bunch of WD Green 3.5″ drives, so peaked about 80MBps or so, my current SSD (Crucial M550) hdparm -t about 150MBps, and write speeds hover around 40-50MBps, so obviously the A20 cannot reach even close to the SATA 3Gbps speeds it has implemented.

And of course that is max, using multiple drives it would only slow it even further (encapsulating into separated packages/headers involve more control data) from that, so it could feed single gigabit Ethernet port, but not much more.

anon
anon
6 years ago

@Al
As soon as ARM systems start to implement PCIe ports, NVMe on Gen 3 x4 would indeed be cool.

Nvidia K1 is one that might be possible to hack to have native NVMe, but I would put my money on AMD doing hthat first with those Opteron A1100 platforms… We’ll see… In 2015?

DCPowerConnector
DCPowerConnector
6 years ago

@anon
Exactly! I hoped this 0.8×2.5mm DC connector was part of history after U3, but alas. There are no connectors of that size even on digikey (which has every other size imaginable). Got one USB->DC cable that turned out to be too thin (voltage drop across the cable was too large to supply the board), got another one that turned out to not quite snap in… Why, oh, why not just use micro USB for power connector?

anon
anon
6 years ago

@DCPowerConnector
And to be all modern use Type-C connector, that could power 5V/5A (25W) without going out of spec… And the Type-C is pretty much all encompassing, so could replace all connectors… Only if ARM systems would move to license free DisplayPort signaling… Of course doing a hacky version with just replacing them with common HDMI signals would not be more nonstandard than stuff they already do. 🙂

Thomas
6 years ago

FYI, an Arch Linux ARM image has just been released for ODROID C1, see http://archlinuxarm.org/platforms/armv7/amlogic/odroid-c1 for details.

Bruce
Bruce
6 years ago

NetBSD ported to Hardkernel ODROID-C1
http://blog.netbsd.org/tnf/entry/netbsd_ported_to_hardkernel_odroid

More information on the NetBSD/evbarm on Hardkernel ODROID-C1 wiki page : https://wiki.netbsd.org/ports/evbarm/odroid-c1/

onebir
onebir
6 years ago

http://ameridroid.com/p/shipping

“ameriDroid.com ships to every country in the world where we are legally allowed. We cannot ship to several countries due to trade bans.
….
If you are ordering from outside the US, many countries already have shipping rates for USPS added for First Class Mail, Priority, Priority Express and Global Express Guaranteed. If your country isn’t already in our shipping database, please select the “Have ameriDroid contact you to discuss shipping charges” option, and we will contact you via email as soon as possible. More information is available in the “WORLDWIDE SHIPPING” section below.”

kokonuts
kokonuts
6 years ago

@hoangdinh86 I have spent few months already with C1 Android. I would call it really bad experience , specially, if you are trying to do anything serious with it, it took me 2 moths of nagging to get wifi working! I have found the cheap Chinese android tv boxes (Ricomagic for example) to be very stable and all android features are working out of the box. In C1 wireless connectivity is really bad , so if you are planning on doing some IoT application based on it, forget about it. No BLE, no wifi direct, no miracast, no wifi-hotspot ,… Read more »

onebir
onebir
6 years ago

@kokonuts
Interested to know how people have got on with Linux – I think because Hard Kernel is concentrating on that.

Björn
6 years ago

Found on the Hardkernel Website – ODROID-C1 -> Stock: Sold Out

“It will be available again from middle of August with minor revision.
The price will go up for the next revision. And the case and heatsink will not be compatible since there are some changes of the layout of the PCB.”

i hope they fix all bugs 🙂

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