ODROID-C2 64-Bit ARM Development Board is Now Available for Purchase for $40

ODROID-C2 is a quad core 64-bit ARM development board based on Amlogic S905 processor with 2GB RAM that was planned to launch in early March, but maybe unsurprisingly, Hardkernel decided to launch their latest board, the very same day as Raspberry Pi 3 launch.

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We already knew the specifications, but it’s always useful to mind ourselves of the details:

  • SoC – Amlogic S905 quad core cortex-A53 processor @ 2.0 GHz with 3+2 cores Mali-450 GPU
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3 SDRAM
  • Storage – eMMC module socket with 8, 16, 32, or 64GB module by Toshiba or Sandisk + micro SD slot supporting UHS-1 SD cards.
  • Video Output – HDMI 2.0 up to 4K @ 60 Hz
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet (Realtek RTL8211F)
  • USB – 4x USB 2.0 host ports + micro USB OTG port
  • Expansion Header
    • 40-pin header with GPIO, I2C, UART, and ADC ; All I/Os are 3.3V, except ADC that is limited to 1.8V.
    • I2S interface
  • Debugging – Serial console port (3.3V)
  • Misc – Status & power LEDs, IR receiver, boot selector, power jumper
  • Power Supply –  5V/2A DC input via 0.8mm/2.5mm power barrel, or micro USB port (selectable via jumper)
  • Power Consumption – Less than 500mA in most cases, and up to 2A with USB peripherals
  • Dimensions – 85 x 56mm (Same as ODROID-C1+)

While ODROID-C2 is more expensive than Raspberry Pi 3, it does have a few extra features that justify the price:

  • The processor is based on the same Cortex A53 cores but clocked @ 2.0 GHz instead of 1.2 GHz, meaning integer performance is likely to be around 67% faster.
  • 2GB RAM instead of 1 GB RAM
  • HDMI 2.0 with 4K video output instead of just 1080p @ 60 Hz
  • H.265 and 4K hardware video decoding both of which are missing in Broadcom BCM2837 processor found in Raspberry Pi 3
  • Gigabit Ethernet instead of Fast Ethernet
  • eMMC module support (at extra cost), while RPi boards only support micro SD card storage.
  • Built-in IR receiver

The Raspberry Pi 3 also has some advantages with Built-in WiFi and Bluetooth, SPI support, and composite video and stereo audio output (ODROID-C2 also has composite output but it needed to be soldered). The Raspberry Pi community can be be matched in terms of sheer number of people involved, but I think ODROID boards community is now large enough to provide a level of support that not much lower than for the Raspberry Pi. Officially supported operating systems include Android 5.1 and Ubuntu 16.04 beta.

ODROID-C2 can be pre-ordered for $40 + shipping on Hardkernel website, as well as via distributors such as Ameridroid with shipping scheduled for March 4, 2016. One weakness of Hardkernel is their distribution network, which despite serving customers properly, does increase shipping costs, and potentially custom duties, significantly to some countries.

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