Orange Pi One Quad Core ARM Linux Development Board Launched for $9.99

Orange Pi One board was unveiled at the end of last year as a cheaper alternative to Orange Pi PC with Allwinner H3 quad core processor, 512 MB RAM, an Ethernet Port and HDMI output. I’ve already compared it to C.H.I.P and Raspberry Pi Zero, and found that it was both much more powerful and cheaper to use as an Internet connected board with HDMI output than the two more well-known competitors. The good news is that Orange Pi One is now selling for $9.99 + shipping on Aliexpress, which in my case would be $13.38 in total.

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Orange Pi One technical specifications:

  • SoC – Allwinner H3 quad core Cortex A7 @ 1.2 GHz with an ARM Mali-400MP2 GPU up to 600 MHz
  • System Memory – 512 MB DDR3
  • Storage – micro SD card slot
  • Video & Audio Output – HDMI with CEC support
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet
  • USB -1x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB port (data only, not for power)
  • Camera – CSI Interface
  • Expansions – 40-pin Raspberry Pi compatible header
  • Debugging – 3-pin UART header for serial console (unpopulated)
  • Misc – Power button; Power and status LEDs
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A via power barrel
  • Dimensions – 69mm × 48mm
  • Weight – 36 grams
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Just like Orange Pi PC, the board supports Android 4.4, Ubuntu, Debian, and “Raspberry Pi” Images. The latter does not mean you install the exact same image you use on Raspberry Pi, but instead that a Raspbian port is available for Orange Pi One. Many people had issues with Orange Pi PC, simply because they got confused, and although did not realize their were several Orange Pi boards. The image should soon be available on the Download page, and should be slightly different from Orange Pi PC at least due to a different way to handle power. Orange Pi Lite, the version with WiFi instead of Ethernet, is scheduled for a little later.

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30 Replies to “Orange Pi One Quad Core ARM Linux Development Board Launched for $9.99”

  1. In theory (dvfs drivers were already complete when launching the 1st H3 based Orange Pis) it should be sufficient to exchange fex stuff since the new voltage regulator does not rely on I2C but GPIO instead. According to the linux-sunxi devs it should be possible to use one single kernel for all H3 based Orange Pis and describe the differences only through fex/script.bin (Fast vs. Gbit Ethernet for example). So no need to even download broken OS images from Xunlong if the fex stuff would be published.

    BTW: They finally give up on this overclocking/overvolting crap: http://forum.armbian.com/index.php/topic/504-quick-review-of-orange-pi-pc/?view=getlastpost

  2. Hi,
    Thanks for the news!
    Does someone know if I2S will be supported by this board, I mean if it is wired to gpio AND supported by OS ?
    It would be nice to turn it into a cheap HD audio player 🙂

  3. @tkaiser
    That’s actually because of the regulator (I2C vs GPIO) that i thought another image would be needed, but if the behavior of the regulator driver can be configured with the FEX file all good then.

    @Davy
    Not sure. They have not released that much info yet. I assume I/Os should be quite similar, if not exactly the same, as Orange Pi PC.

  4. Nice, I have just ordered one 🙂 It is great that it has an Allwinner SoC and 40-pin Raspberry Pi compatible header.

  5. @Davy
    The pins are exposed apparently, so I think it’s “just” a matter of getting the software right.
    Some pointers:
    1. FEX configuration – http://linux-sunxi.org/Fex_Guide#i2s_configuration
    2. I2S on Allwinner A20 @ https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/linux-sunxi/t44VY2-cOMo%5B1-25%5D

    In case, it has already been implemented you’d just need to check the FEX file and enable the right options in the kernel. Otherwise you may need to write some drivers.

  6. I don’t agree with the sentiments expressed here. Orange PI PC did not so much fail because people mis-understood them – though that did happen. The images on their site simple do not work properly. I’ve taken a look now and they have STILL not updated them – the so-called “Raspbian” has not been updated since June last year and had NO support for I/O – and sound would not work reliably through the 3.5mm jack. Links to any form of IO support were dead and probably still are.

    The new board may well be cheap – but right now, Ali Express are selling them and yet there is NOTHING on the site to support them as far as I can see – not operating systems, nothing – and when there is – will it be in the same state as the Orange Pi PC software?

    We all want to see cheaper hardware and more competition – but to even consider Raspberry Pi and these in the same sentence does not make sense. Raspberry Pi has full support, bang up to date operating system and everything works. The Pi PC is to some extent or another unusable due to lack of support. I have raised several queries with the company via their sole support email and not once had a satisfactory answer. Indeed I don’t think I’ve had ANY answers. The boards may be ok for someone with nothing better to do than struggle through forums trying to get answers – but for the rest – I would stay away from this company.

  7. @Peter Scargill
    Seconded.

    I could never even get them to properly set up my support forum account. I would never receive account confirmations and thus could never even post my list of problems. I want to like these guys but my experience with several of their Orange Pi PC boards has been horrendous. Followed directions to the letter, tried every image they had, various brands of uSD cards, could never get any of the boards to boot at all. Disappointing…

  8. @daveisdigital and @Peter

    Nobody ever received account confirmation just because there was no need for such a thing to login the forum, it was just to waiting a few days.

    And the images on the forum are indeed a mix of things and you have to find out which image is the right one for your board.
    If you follow loboris work and update the image using the script provided by him or build your own image you will find how nice Orange Pi PC is for low cost projects and learning.

    For this price range i think the new Orange PI one will be in the same state as Orange PI PC software today.
    You have to sweat to get it rolling but that is where the fun begins.

    By the way, everybody else is complaining about Orange PI PC is now “out of stock”

  9. Right ! Back in November, I purchased 2 OPi-PC, and getting Loboris image booted, build my own kernel using Loboris github, and finally twaeked my CPU voltage/frequency in Fex as suggested by TKaiser, those board was stable for weeks. So, early in January, I’ve ordered 2 more boards. Same thing : new boards are stable. So, seeing this OPi One announcement this morning, I’ve ordered one.

  10. no case as usual, back to acrylic board. hahahaha……

    @daveisdigital
    Opi is more technically challenged board, most work, problem and solution is done by its small community.
    perf/$ is better than its competitor. but not is support. if you complain that its is hard, you should have tried hacking tru early Allwinner A10 HTPC. i can personally tell you its uber hard.
    also if you cant get this board running, then this is not the right board for you, and you should go with other board, like the RPi, or a more established allwinner A20 SOC. fyi A20 used to need alot of work when it was release.

    @Peter Scargill
    of course you cant compare RPi and OPi, The company behind them as a fundamentally different goal
    RPI goal is more charitable, affordable PC for children computing knowledge,Dammed the profits (or so they claimed )
    OPi, IMO is more business oriented, lower cost (at the expense of many things, like support and dev) to make product more price competitive.

    then you also need to consider the economic scale, RPi sales dwarves all other board combined, which give them more resource to everything. i dont think any other ARM board company has ever reach 1 million in sales (except for arduino of course).

    I learn more about HW tinkering with Allwinner board than i did with RPi

  11. Did anyone find a cheap and good case for this? I can’t only find cases for Orange Pi PC, but not for Pi One..

  12. @Peter Scargill
    It just looks like OrangePi/Xulong guys are not the best firmware makers on earth. Yes the firmware images they have published have broken support for USB and maybe other components, but that does not make the hardware broken in any way. Just the software side and the FEX part have to be fixed.

  13. @Peter Scargill
    I’m a bit scared that you really expect software/support at the price of Orange Pi PC.

    As others already said: the best way to get this thing started was loboris’ work (choose one of his images, run his script to choose the correct kernel/script.bin for your board and you’re done — maybe optionally adjust the thermal/overvolting settings to avoid overheating).

    In the meantime things improved a lot, Orange Pi PC and Plus are supported by mainline u-boot (can be used together with the BSP’s 3.4.39 kernel) and a lot of stuff already works with mainline kernel. These boards are nice hardware if you know how to help yourself on the software/support side.

  14. So, this is not a “development” board that lets you build your own projects using a stable hw base, is a hacker board with the sole purpose of making the board functionable, not your projects. No, thank you. I’m not a hacker, so i’ll stick to rpi.
    BTW, it whould be nice if companies who develop dev boards whould start to invest into sw dev also.

  15. @Martin: I was referring to the Orange Pi “PC” that was being discussed earlier in the comments.
    This article is about the Orange Pi “One” which is a lite version of previous models (like the “PC” model).

    Someone might prefer the Orange Pi PC if they need, for example, the 1GB RAM (instead of 512MB) and the extra USB port.

  16. @Simos
    Yes, I knew you were talking about OPi-PC, but the link you provided shows it at US$23, and I’ve purchase mines from Xulong at US$15.
    So, it is better to wait that Xulong have some new stock after Chinese holidays.

  17. In preparation of Orange Pi One/Lite Armbian started to support all H3 based Orange Pi models with ‘legacy kernel’ too: http://forum.armbian.com/index.php/topic/617-wip-support-for-the-upcoming-orange-pi-one/?p=4689

    At the moment this is not for end-users but for devs only wanting to test/help. Medium-term goal is to provide the usual set of Armbian OS images for all H3 models: Ubuntu Trusty or Debian Wheezy or Jessie with both 3.4 and mainline kernel.

  18. @Martin
    In the meantime I have a working fex file for the new voltage regulator. Just have a look in the 2 links above. Only real drawback: If you allow cpufreq scaling below the 648 MHz treshold then with lower clockspeeds 1.3V instead of 1.1V will be used.

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