MiQi Dual Boot Android & Ubuntu Development Board Crowdfunding Campaign Has Launched

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.

Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge

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)
MiQi, Fan, Case, and USB Dongle
MiQi Board, Fan, Case, and USB Dongle

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.

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ROCK 5 ITX RK3588 mini-ITX motherboard

10 Replies to “MiQi Dual Boot Android & Ubuntu Development Board Crowdfunding Campaign Has Launched”

  1. Nice board, but they really should have included at least a heatsink for that price, as the board’s usability without a heatsink is highly dubious – the rk3288 is not the coolest of chips.

  2. @blu
    Seems they try to push the kits for $49/$79 with ‘heartsink + usb cable + small fan + metal case’. IMO a kit with just heatsink and a low resistance 20AWG rated USB ‘power cable’ is missing for $5 more (since as you noted a heatsink is necessary and bad USB cables cause all sorts of troubles when load increases and people don’t understand that Ohm’s law is valid for their cables too)

  3. Support? The super-strong side of x86(_64) is … full Linux kernel support! I used rk3066 as Desktop computer for some time and still could but there was almost no kernel support by manufacturer. The device failed after next x.org update when no more Mali drivers were available. Guys from RockChip, if you read it … concern much much much more on kernel support for your chips! In other way forget about any market success (even small!). Those chips are already strong enough to run as Desktop machine, extremely cheap and power efficient.
    Another huge issue here – no SATA?! Those devices are no more experimantal ones, time to move them into more serious usage with true hard drive!
    As long you (manufacturers!) will ignore above as long you won’t see any money fro the businsess, sorry!

  4. I am pretty sure i can get Lakka boot on this or even port retropie and retroarch so this could be the emulators collector dream board i was waiting for because i like my roms over samba/nfs and gigabit lan with pretty good gpu/cpu vs the money spent looks like a good deal to me 😉

  5. > Support? The super-strong side of x86(_64) is … full Linux kernel support!

    Tell that to owners of all those Wintel tablets/sticks which recently turned into deadweight with Intel leaving that scene. They never run Linux well and now never will.

    That said, Arm64 from reputable vendors gets pretty good and growing support. 96boards project continues, updates are regular, kernels are fresh, issues are fixed, ecosystem grows.

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