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.

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