MiQi is a development board using a form factor similar to Raspberry Pi boards, but based on a more powerful Rockchip RK3288 Cortex A17 processor combined with 1 or 2 GB. I had the change to test an early sample pre-loaded with a dual boot image with Android 5.1 and Lubuntu 14.04, and found it to be one the fastest sub $100 development board in Linux, behind Hardkernel ODROID-XU4, as well as better CPU & GPU performance compared to recent Android TV boxes based on Amlogic S905, Rockchip RK3368, and so on. MQMaker has now launched a flexible funding crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to raise funds for mass production.
Let’s remind us of MiQi hardware specifications first:
- SoC – Rockchip 3288 quad core ARM Cortex A17 up to 1.8 GHz with Mali-T764 GPU supporting OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0 /3.0, and OpenCL 1.1
- System Memory – 1 or 2G DDR3 depending on model
- Storage – 8 or 32 GB eMMC flash depending on model + micro SD slot
- Video & Audio output – HDMI 2.0 up to 3840×2160@60p
- Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet
- USB – 4x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB port
- Debugging – Serial console header
- Expansion Headers – 16-pin header, and 12-pin header but details are not known.
- Misc – Button, unpopulated fan header
- Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port
- Dimensions – 85 x 56 cm (PCB)
One downside at this stage of development is the lack of documentation for the board. All I could find right now, what a link to the dual boot image, and some source code and tools (Linux, Android SDK, mkimgboot) on Github. It’s quite likely many instructions will overlap with what’s already available on Firefly-RK3288 Wiki. MQMakers has their own Wiki, but for now all info is about their WiTi router board.
There are two versions of the board, one with 1GB RAM and 8GB flash for $35, and another one with 2GB RAM and 32 GB flash $69. The boards don’t include heatsink, fan, and accessories by default, so you may consider kits with heatsink (really recommended for high loads), fan, a black enclosure, and WiFi or/and Audio DAC USB dongles. For example, the rewards with MiQi 2GB with a heatsink, fan, metal case, and USB cable goes for $79. Shipping is not included, and quite reasonable if you are in China ($3) or Hong Kong ($5), but goes up to $10 to Taiwan, and $20 to the rest of the world. Delivery is scheduled to start on July 5, 2016 a few days after the campaign ends.
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.