We first found out about CubieTruck Plus (aka Cubieboard 5) this summer, and while at the time we did not have the full details, it was clear from the board picture and name, that is was an update to CubieTruck board, replacing Allwinner A20 dual core processor by Allwinner A8 octa-core processor, and ditching the VGA port for DisplayPort while keeping most of the same features of the original version.
The company has now provided more details while announcing the launch of the board in China, and it turns out CubieTruck Plus has a few more advantages, and at least one drawback.
|SoC||Allwinner A20||Allwinner H8|
|CPU||Dual core Cortex A7 up to 1.08 GHz||Octa core Cortex A7 up to 2.0 GHz|
|GPU||Mali-400MP2||PowerVR SGX544 up to 700 MHz|
|Power||5V@2.5V power jack|
|Ethernet||Gigabit Ethernet (RJ45)|
|WiFi||802.11 b/g/n (2.4 GHz only)||Dual band 802.11 b/g/n (AP6330)
|Storage||8GB NAND Flash||8GB eMMC flash|
|SATA 2.0 for 2.5” HDD/SSD||SATA 2.0 for 2.5” HDD/SSD
|Micro SD slot|
|Display||HDMI 1.4a and VGA||HDMI 1.4a and DisplayPort 1.1|
|Audio Out||HDMI, optical S/PDIF, and 3.5mm audio jack|
|Audio In||Line-in pins||On-board microphone, and audio jack
with microphone support
|USB||2x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x USB 2.0 OTG port|
|RTC Battery||Rechargeable 40 mAh @ 3.0V|
|Buttons||Reset, power, and u-boot|
|LEDs||4x user LEDs|
|Expansion pins||54 pins||70 pins|
So that means other improvements include a faster eMMC interface, on-board microphone, full support for headset via the 3.5 mm audio jack, and 16 more I/O pins. The main disadvantage is that due to the USB to SATA bridge, the SATA interface will now be much slower, closer to 30MB/s sequential read and write speeds if properly implemented, instead of the 180MB/s SATA read speed I measured in CubieTruck using a 128GB SSD.
The CubieTruck Plus will ship with an acrylic case, a fan, a SATA cable, a USB OTG adapter, a mini USB to USB cable, and a USB to power cable. Since the dimensions of the new and old boards are the same, CubieTruck Metal Kit case will also be compatible, except they’ve made some modifications to the back plate due to the VGA to DisplayPort replacement.
The company has also released tools, documentation, schematics (PDF), source code, and firmware image on CubieBoard5 download page with Android 4.4 and Linaro Ubuntu desktop images bootable from SD card or the eMMC flash.
Thanks to MigSu for the tip.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.