Orange Pi Zero development board powered by Allwinner H2+ quad core Cortex A7 processor with 256 to 512MB RAM, Ethernet, and USB ports is now available for sale on Aliexpress for just $6.99, which shipping adding $3.39 in my case bringing the total to $10.38.
Orange Pi Zero specifications:
- SoC – Allwinner H2(+) quad core Cortex A7 processor @ 1.2 GHz with Mali-400MP2 GPU @ 600 MHz
- System Memory – 256 to 512 MB DDR3-1866 SDRAM
- Storage – micro SD card slot
- Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet + 802.11 b/g/n WiFi (Allwinner XR819 WiFi module) with u.FL antenna connector and external antenna
- USB – 1x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB OTG port
- Expansion headers – Unpopulated 26-pin “Raspberry Pi B+” header + 13-pin header with headphone, 2x USB 2.0, TV out, microphone and IR receiver signals
- Debugging – Unpopulated 3-pin header for serial console
- Misc – 2x LEDs
- Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port or optional PoE
- Dimensions – 52 x 46 mm
- Weight – 26 grams
Based on the hardware features and likely good availability it’s a serious contender to Raspberry Pi Zero (and Nano Pi NEO) for headless applications, and provided Allwinner H2+ is close enough to Allwinner H3 software support should be fairly good, as I expect armbian support very soon. Allwinner XR819 is a completely new WiFi module, at least to me, so there may be driver issues, but if it is working in the firmware image provided by Orange Pi (none so far), it should be possible to add this to other Linux images too. [Update: Orange Pi Zero schematics are now available]
The Aliexpress page explains the default version has 256MB RAM, but it’s not really clear whether / how we can buy the 512MB version. [Update: The 512MB version now available on Aliexpress for $8.99 + shipping]
Thanks to OvCa77 for the tip.