Cubieboard 5 (aka CubieTruck Plus) Development Board is Powered by Allwinner H8 SoC

Merrii unveiled H7 Hummingbird board based on Allwinner H8 octa core Cortex A7 processor a few days ago, but it turns out they’ve not been the only ones working on a board with that processor, as Cubietech also showcased prototypes of Cubieboard 5, which they also call CubieTruck Plus, around mid July.

Top of Cubieboard 5 (Click to Enlarge)
Top of Cubieboard 5 (Click to Enlarge)

They’ve only shown pictures of the board, without much more information, but we can derive most specifications from the pictures:

  • SoC – AllWinner H8 octa-core ARM Cortex-A7 processor @ up to 2.0GHz with PowerVR SGX544 GPU @ up to 700MHz
  • System Memory – 2GB RAM (4x H5TQ4G63AFR-PCB DDR3 chips)
  • Storage – FORESEE eMMC or NAND flash + micro SD card slot + SATA port (via GL830 USB 2.0 to SATA bridge)
  • Video Output – HDMI and DisplayPort
  • Audio – HDMI, optical S/PDIF, 3.5mm headphone jack, built-in microphone
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet (RTL8211E),  dual band WiFi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0 (AP6330 module)
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 host port, 1x micro USB OTG port
  • Expansion – 30-pin, 24-pin and 16-pin expansion headers
  • Debugging – 4-pin header for serial console
  • Misc – IR receiver, 4x LED, power/reset/u-boot button
  • Power Supply
    • 5V (2A without HDD, 3A with 2.5″ HDD).
    • External battery support
    • AXP818 PMIC
  • Dimensions – Probably 11 x 8 x 1.4 cm
Bottom of Cubieboard 5 Board (Click to Enlarge)
Bottom of Cubieboard 5 Board (Click to Enlarge)

The board appears to have the same form factor as the original CubieTruck, and beside the new processor (Allwinner A20 dual core vs Allwinner H8 octa core), they’ve also replaced the VGA port by a DisplayPort connector. This also means most accessories such as CubieTruck Metal Case will also be compatible.

There no official information about the supported operating systems, but again it’s very likely that the ones provided for CubieTruck (Cubieboard3) will be updated to the new board, i.e. Android, CubieEZ, Ubuntu Linaro server, and Debian server.

Pricing and availability information have not been announced yet.

Via miniNodes.

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24 Comments
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Jibril
Jibril
5 years ago

very interested … for retro compatibility with accessories.
Unhappy for these missing: 4 GB Ram, holes for a heatsink and a PWM fan (IMHO)

JotaMG
JotaMG
5 years ago

I, for sure, will never buy or recommend anyone buying anything from Cubietech, as I had explained in previous comments.

IgorGlock
IgorGlock
5 years ago

Powerful hardware but no software support 🙁

mongrol
mongrol
5 years ago

@JotaMG
Me too. I had a very bad experience with Cubietech. Sent broken board back for replacement. No refund, confusing emails, eventually I gave up.

anlumo
anlumo
5 years ago

Displayport: nice!

USB2.0 to SATA bridge, really? Not even USB 3.0, not to mention PCIe?

JotaMG
JotaMG
5 years ago

@mongrol
Exactly the same that has happened to me!!
Sad…

wens
wens
5 years ago

@anlumo

The H8 doesn’t have USB 3.0 hosts or PCIe. You don’t put something on the board if the SoC doesn’t support it.

agumonkey
5 years ago

@mongrol “interesting” they’re one of the most active SBC (at least judging by the boards version number)… I’d expect better customer experience than that. sad.

Phil Harbison
Phil Harbison
4 years ago

@Jean-Luc Aufranc (CNXSoft) That RAID card is selling for $56 on Amazon. It is a bit of a disappointment. It has a chip that can drive dual SATA3 drives, but the link between the CubieBoard3 and the chip is only SATA2 so you’ll never go faster than SATA2. My main objection is it sits right on top of the CB3, and I mean literally right on top. I believe the spacer is only .375″. That leaves little room for airflow around the SOC, and makes it impossible to use a cooling fan for the CPU. The best you could do… Read more »

Phil Harbison
Phil Harbison
4 years ago

@Phil Harbison
I was under the impression the CB3 did not use the USB-SATA bridge. The RAID card has a USB 3 port, so it appears the board can also operate as a USB3-SATA bridge. That would make sense if the CB3 or CB5 had USB 3, but the cable they include is a USB2 to USB3 cable. You can read more about the card and see what I mean about low clearance here.
http://www.cubietech.com/product-detail/hdd-raid/

Phil Harbison
Phil Harbison
4 years ago

The chip they’re using on the RAID card is the JMicron JMS562. It bridges either superspeed USB3 or eSATA3 to a pair of SATA3 drives. Here is the board schematics.
http://dl.cubieboard.org/addon/HDD-RAID/Hardware/HDD_RAID_V1.1_Sch.pdf

Here is info on the chip.
http://www.jmicron.com/product0201.html
http://www.jmicron.com/PDF/brief/jms562.pdf

Phil Harbison
Phil Harbison
4 years ago

@Jean-Luc Aufranc (CNXSoft) I have concluded that none of the SBCs currently on the market are suitable for my cluster use case except possibly just as a proof of concept. I have yet to see an SBC that has more than 2GB RAM. Most don’t have SATA and if they do it’s just one port or it is poorly implemented (CB4 & CB5). I am considering designing a board based on the Freescale T4240. It has 12 64-bit PowerPC cores, 3 DDR3 memory controllers, and lots of ports including 1Gb and 10Gb Ethernet, RapidIO, PCIe, and SATA. If the SATA… Read more »

tkaiser
tkaiser
4 years ago

@Phil Harbison
Forget about the CB5 combined with any SATA disk since they use the slowest USB-to-SATA bridge in the world (GL830). LeMaker’s Cello is a joke since they use a SoC that’s capable of 2 x 10GbE and 14 x SATA and expose only GbE and 2 x SATA. And if you think about clustering (Hadoop) ECC RAM is mandatory and then it gets interesting (I would have a look at Marvell Armada for this purpose)

tkaiser
tkaiser
4 years ago

@Jean-Luc Aufranc (CNXSoft) No idea whether this ‘Cello’ supports ECC or not. It’s useless to ask LeMaker since they never provided specs but only copy&paste weirdness done by marketing guys or their webmaster, new example: http://forum.lemaker.org/forum.php?mod=redirect&goto=findpost&ptid=23189&pid=92437&fromuid=33332 If I understood Phil correctly he wants to set up some sort of a cluster. Cluster means many nodes, running Hadoop requires ECC RAM. So the price per node matters and also network/storage throughout (especially random I/O). Therefore I thought about something like Solid-Run’s Armada SOMs: https://www.solid-run.com/marvell-armada-family/armada-som-system-on-module/armada-som-specifications/ A few of these SOMs on a baseboard equipped with a good switch IC providing one/two 10GbE… Read more »

tkaiser
tkaiser
4 years ago

OMG, I just had a look into Cubietruck Plus’ throttling settings (sys_config.bin): Shell ths_trip1_count = 6 ths_trip1_0 = 50 ths_trip1_1 = 60 ths_trip1_2 = 70 ths_trip1_3 = 85 ths_trip1_4 = 95 ths_trip1_5 = 105 ... cooler_count = 8 cooler0 = "2016000 4 2016000 4" cooler1 = "1800000 4 1800000 4" cooler2 = "1608000 4 1608000 4" cooler3 = "1200000 4 1200000 4" cooler4 = "1200000 4 1200000 2" cooler5 = "1200000 4 4294967295 0" cooler6 = "1200000 2 4294967295 0 1" cooler7 = "1200000 1 4294967295 0 1" 1234567891011121314151617 ths_trip1_count = 6ths_trip1_0 = 50ths_trip1_1 = 60ths_trip1_2 = 70ths_trip1_3 = 85ths_trip1_4… Read more »

Phil Harbison
Phil Harbison
4 years ago

I will check out these other boards, but I’ve been itching to do my own board based on the Freescale T4240. The T4240 does support ECC. It can support up to 4 10GbE an 16 1GbE ports, but not all at the same time. It has 16 SerDes lanes. A 10GbE uses 4 lanes while 1GbE uses one lane, so you have to choose how to use them. For example, 2 10GbE and 8 1GbE. It has another group of 16 SerDes lanes that can be used for a combination of up to 4 PCIe, 2 RapidIO2, and 2 SATA2.… Read more »

Phil Harbison
Phil Harbison
4 years ago

I don’t think the CubieBoard3 uses the GL830 since it uses the A20 which has SATA, but only one SATA2 port. If I buy more CB3, it will only be to construct a demo/POC to help us secure funding to build our own board and do it right.

Forgot to mention in the previous comment that the T4240 has 3 DDR3 channels that are 64 bit + ECC. It can support up to 4 DIMMs per channel depending on the type of DIMM. That’s a lot of memory!

tkaiser
tkaiser
4 years ago

@Phil Harbison
No one wrote that Cubieboard 3 uses GL830. And nearly everthing regarding A20 (network/storage) can be found in the linux-sunxi wiki. As a starting point: http://linux-sunxi.org/Sunxi_devices_as_NAS

Phil Harbison
Phil Harbison
4 years ago

@tkaiser I never claimed anyone else said that. I reverted to the CB3 after realizing the flaws in the CB4. The CB4 is boxed up and ready to return. The CB3 is barely adequate for a POC of a cheap cluster. It’s still slow, has only 2GB of RAM, only one SATA2 port. I’m still inclined to build my own SBC based on the Freescale T4240. It’s a beast. It only has a pair of SATA2 ports on chip, but it has PCIe on-chip and I can use that to connect to as many SATA3 or SAS ports as needed.… Read more »

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