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Orange Pi Plus Development Board Gets Upgraded to Allwinner H3 Processor

Orange Pi boards were recently launched with a form factor similar to the Raspberry Pi Model B+, and featuring Allwinner A20 and A31s processors. Orange Pi Plus was initially fitted with Allwinner A31s processor, but Shenzhen Xunlong Software has now decided to use the latest Allwinner H3 quad core processor instead for this model, adding better CPU performance, and H.265 video decoding up to 4K @ 30 fps, likely at the cost of a slower Mali- 400MP2 GPU against the PowerVR SGX544MP used in Allwinner A31s.

Orange_Pi_Plus_Allwinner_H3_640px

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New Orange Pi Plus specifications:

  • SoC – Allwinner H3 quad core Cortex A7 @ 1.6 GHz with ARM Mali-400MP2 GPU up to 600 MHz
  • System Memory – 1GB DDR3
  • Storage – micro SD card slot, SATA interface (via a USB to SATA chip), unpopulated  8GB eMMC on the back of the board (despite picture, see comments section)
  • Video Output – HDMI, AV port
  • Audio I/O – HDMI, AV port, on-board microphone
  • Connectivity – 10/100/1000M Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • USB – 4x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB OTG port
  • Camera – CSI Interface
  • Expansions – 40-pin Raspberry Pi Model A+/B+ (mostly) compatible header with 28 GPIOs, UART, I2C, SPI, PWM, CAN, I2S, SPDIF, LRADC, ADC, LINE-IN, FM-IN, and HP-IN
  • Debugging – 3-pin UART header for serial console
  • Misc – IR receiver; Power, reset, and u-boot buttons; Power and Ethernet LEDs
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A via barrel jack or micro USB OTG
  • Dimensions – 112 x 60 mm
  • Weight – 60 grams

Orange_Pi_Plus_Allwinner_H3_Back

I would not put too much faith in the Gigabit Ethenet claims, as Allwinner H3 SoC only supports 100M Ethernet.

The board is said to support Android 4.4 , Lubuntu, Debian, and “Raspberry Pi” image. However when I visit the Download section of Orange Pi website, I can only see the Android image for Orange Pi Plus, and the file name reads “sun6i_android_mars-a31s.rar”, which clearly is for the older board based on Allwinner A31s. Orange Pi also has a github account, but it’s empty. That’s OK, as there must be something in the Wiki… but unfortunately all documentation is about Orange Pi’s Allwinner A20 board. There’s nothing about the new Orange Pi Plus in the forums either. All that to say the hardware might be ready, but there’s nothing yet with regards to documentation and firmware images.

Orange Pi Plus sells on Aliexpress for $59 including shipping, but I would not rush to purchase the board yet based on the lack of documentation and software, because as it stands you’ll just get a pretty brick. Further information should eventually be published on Orange Pi Plus product page.

Thanks to Freire for the tip.

  1. February 9th, 2015 at 17:05 | #1

    Since Raspberry PI 2 said hello to the world nobody seems to be interested in other SBC’s. Fair the RPI 2 is the biggest bang for your buck and put competition back in time (consider specs/price).

  2. John
    February 10th, 2015 at 04:05 | #2

    Its possible that the PHY is only 10/100 and the controller is Gigabit. This would require a Gigabit PHY for Gigabit Ethernet support.

  3. February 10th, 2015 at 06:12 | #3

    @cnxsoft Orange Pi plus is shipping 8GB EMMC flash onboard in mass production. Orange Pi plus price is $59 with free shipping to Worldwide. We are dubuging software.

  4. February 10th, 2015 at 09:15 | #4

    @Steven
    Thanks for the clarification. I did not see eMMC on the picture, that’s why I thought I was unpopulated. I’ll update the post.

    What happens to people who order now? When can they expect to receive the board? Is this pre-loaded with an operating system in the eMMC?

  5. February 10th, 2015 at 10:28 | #5

    @John
    Yes, they could have used an external mac/phy connected to a high speed interface on H3, but I can’t see any PCIe or USB 3.0 interfaces, so I’m not sure what they could have used. USB 2.0 may be the only option. Maybe @Steven could provide an explanation.

  6. February 12th, 2015 at 05:02 | #6

    Orange pi plus has gigabit PHY chip (rtl8211e) for gigabit Ethernet. SATA through usb to SATa bridge. Android is default os int the EMMC.

  7. February 12th, 2015 at 09:28 | #7

    @Steven
    Thanks. But then you’ve connected a Gigabit Ethernet PHY to the Fast Ethernet MAC of Allwinner H3, or is the information on Allwinner website incorrect?

  8. February 15th, 2015 at 11:09 | #8

    @cnxsoft Integrated an internal 10/100M PHY ,Support 10/100/1000Mbps data transfer rate ,Support MII/RGMII/RMII interface. maybe 100M , maybe 1000Mbps.

  9. Harley
    March 24th, 2015 at 16:14 | #9

    There is no GPL/LGPL compliant VPU decoder implementation yet, see http://www.cnx-software.com/2015/03/23/allwinner-cedarx-media-codec-library-gpl-lgpl-compliance-update/

  10. pawlu
    September 7th, 2015 at 14:00 | #10

    I have tried to join their forum, but I am still waiting verification. And, it seems it is restricted to buisness, not end users.
    I have sent emails to various contacts on their website, but they remain mute.
    I wanted to know if its preloaded with an op system, and other info
    Typical of the Chinese.
    It is available only from Aliexpress, with no paypal facility
    I hate dealing with such circumstancies

  11. Jon Smirl
    September 8th, 2015 at 00:24 | #11

    They don’t work on weekends, the will approve you when they come back to work.

  12. pawlu
    September 8th, 2015 at 01:38 | #12

    I am in western europe. I made my account request on Sunday night, that is early morning in Chine and around. Up till monday evening , not a word@Jon Smirl

  13. JotaMG
    September 8th, 2015 at 04:02 | #13

    I’ve heard the news that all the people that work at OrangePi has been abducted by little green extraterrestrial beings…
    or maybe steven has just catch a cold, the result is the same 😉

  14. pawlu
    September 11th, 2015 at 03:19 | #14

    today is almost Friday and not a word from orangpi forum or technical enquiries

  15. Dave
    October 21st, 2015 at 19:08 | #15

    @pawlu
    The AliExpress seller is a the actual manufacturer (steven?) although shipping is terribly slow. Received my OP-Plus today after a month and a half to California, USA. Took a month before it shipped. Although slow you will get it. The only issue I’ve delt with so far is mounting an image to the internal emmc. Literally no documentation on this process. I have noticed the CPU gets extremely hot. I highly highly recommend using a heat sink. I’ve used and RaspberryPi B+ for months and the OP is screaming fast. Unbelieveable.

  16. Paul
    October 21st, 2015 at 22:06 | #16

    @Dave
    Did you get a case for it ? Seems to be very limited (only 1 on aliexpress)
    I want to set ip up as a mediaserver but im a bit concerned about lack of support.
    Would i be better getting the latest RPi instead ?

  17. October 22nd, 2015 at 09:32 | #17

    @Paul
    What would you media server do? Just store files, or do you also expect it to do some on-the-fly video transcoding?

  18. Fossxplorer
    October 22nd, 2015 at 16:06 | #18

    @steven
    What does that really mean? Do we get 1000 or 100Mbps? 🙂

  19. vhanzgj
    January 15th, 2016 at 14:03 | #19

    You can install different Android OS/ROM
    all are working fine except ethernet, some have ethernet functioning and some don’t

    Watch videos for Orange Pi Plus Tutorials
    Install Android OS on Orange Pi Plus https://youtu.be/jWCkTnbureg
    Orange Pi 2 / Plus Android GPIO Tutorial https://youtu.be/4F7_XHbGwt8
    Android GPIO Tutorial, Control Android GPIO from Shell Command https://youtu.be/pV25gWwxSrM
    Android GPIO Tutorial, Voice Command Lamp for Orange Pi Plus https://youtu.be/S7QZX3oFQy8
    Install Android on Orange Pi Plus Tutorial, Beelink X2 SC V1.1 Custom ROM https://youtu.be/8YC3Krl2Q50
    Android on Orange Pi Plus, Install Tronsmart Draco H3 Tutorial https://youtu.be/i6SouvMuMSo
    Install Android OS on Orange Pi Plus with PhoenixSuit Tutorial https://youtu.be/GgEqmH32Yso

  20. January 15th, 2016 at 14:14 | #20

    @vhanzgj
    Will your YouTube channel be dedicated to Orange Pi boards, or will you also cover other boards?
    I can only see Orange Pi boards so far.

  1. March 21st, 2015 at 10:20 | #1
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  5. November 9th, 2015 at 17:00 | #5