HiKey 960 Development Board Powered by Hisilicon Kirin 960 Cortex A73/A53 Processor To Sell for $239

LeMaker is about to launch a successor to Hikey board with a new 96Boards compliant development board with HiKey 960 featuring the powerful Hisilicon Kirin 960 processor found in Huawei Mate 9 smartphone, as well as 3GB LPDDR4 memory, 32GB UFS storage, HDMI, USB 3.0 ports and so on.

Hikey 960 board specifications:

  • SoC – Kirin 960 octa-core big.LITTLE processor with 4x ARM Cortex A73 cores @ up to 2.4 GHz, 4x Cortex A53 cores @ up to 1.8 GHz, and a Mali-G71 MP8 GPU
  • System Memory – 3GB LPDDR4 SDRAM
  • Storage – 32GB UFS flash storage + micro SD card slot
  • Video Output / Display Interface – 1 x HDMI 1.4 up to 1080p, 1x 4-lane MIPI DSI connector
  • Connectivity – Dual band 802.11 b/g/n/ac? WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1 with two antennas
  • USB – 2 x USB 3.0 type A host ports, 1x USB 2.0 type C OTG port
  • Camera – 1x 4-lane MIPI CSI, 1x 2-lane MIPI CSI
  • Expansion
    • PCIe Gen2 on M.2 Key connector
    • 40 pin low speed expansion connector with +1.8V, +5V, DC power, GND, 2x UART, 2x I2C, SPI, I2S, 12x GPIO
    • 60 pin high speed expansion connector: 4L MIPI DSI, 2L+4L MIPI CSI, 2x I2C, SPI (48M), USB 2.0
  • Misc – LEDs for WiFi & Bluetooth, 4x user LEDs, power button, reset button
  • Power Supply –  8V-18V/2A via 4.75/1.7mm power barrel (EIAJ-3 Compliant); 12V/2A power supply recommended; PMU: Hi6421GWCV530, Hi6422GWCV211, Hi6422GWCV212;
  • Dimensions – 85mm x 55mm

The board will support Android Open Source Project (AOSP) and Linux. Some instructions  to build AOSP from source code and get started with the board can be found on Github, and a Wiki page has also been setup, but it’s basically empty right now, except for a short comparison between Hikey (620) and Hikey 960. Linux support will be done via Linaro Reference Platform Build (RPB), which should mean Debian support.

You may be able to find more information on LeMaker’s Hikey 960 product page, and the board is currently listed for $239 on Lenovator, but out of stock.

Thanks to Theguyuk for the tip.

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LloydS
LloydS
3 years ago

What’s not to like? No RJ45 ethernet, no HDMI 2.x but I could forgive those if the price was not so high. Here’s hoping that Hard Kernel will match the performance of Kirin 960 with UFS storage when they get around to a successor for Odroid XU4. At a more palatable price, of course.

sandbender
sandbender
3 years ago

@LloydS The 960 doesn’t have a GigE mac so they’d have to run it through USB 3.0 anyway. In theory you might be able to add GigE using an m.2 ethernet adapter but given that USB 3.0 has enough bandwidth for GigE you’re probably better off using the m.2 slot for SATA/NVMe(?) and buying a good GigE USB 3.0 adapter. Promising board for ARM development.

blu
blu
3 years ago

Now that’s some proper SoC silicon, and near-proper RAM amount, at a palatable price. Unfortunately all on a wrong-class PCB – I want to see how they’ll cool that kirin960 (hypothesis: they won’t). Re eth – one of the usb3 will apparently need to be allotted for the purpose.

agumonkey
3 years ago

I love the specs, not the price. But LeMaker often starts high. Maybe a price cut in the future. It’s a very nice modern board with no cruft. Kudos.

Theguyuk
Theguyuk
3 years ago

@LloydS
On the older 6220 board LeMaker recommend this AX88772 — USB2.0 to 10/100M Fast Ethernet Controller with Embedded PHY, due to chipset they say. Time will tell on new board.

tkaiser
tkaiser
3 years ago

LeMaker is still as lousy as SinoVoip. A manufacturer producing ‘specs’/’documentation’ writing ‘PCIE Gen2 on M.2 Key connector’ can’t be trusted at all (it’s either 2.0 or 2.1 and ‘Key’ is either B or M). They’re still playing ‘copy&paste gone wrong’ and don’t care about precise specifications. Also they fail to name the Wi-Fi/BT chipset and which USB hub is used. Aren’t they also known for creating vaporware only (anyone being able to buy the LeMaker ‘Cello’ for example)? @Theguyuk C’mon, recommending/mentioning AX88772 for an USB3.0 capable device is plain stupid. No one right in his mind uses Ethernet dongles… Read more »

hex
hex
3 years ago

OMG! I mean… reall?, if there will debian support, ı say them “shot up and take my money!”

bernstein
bernstein
3 years ago

at first glance this seems rather nice… but at $240 i do expect a LOT more:
– no GbE
– no HDMI2 / DP1.4
– …
compared to a slightly cheaper UP² (~$220) there is nothing going for this… except size

Mike Schinkel
3 years ago

Looks like a great board! At 1/2 the price.

Jeroen
Jeroen
3 years ago

A bit expensive, and having no Gbe is a real shortcomming

miniNodes
3 years ago

Looks like an Android build is currently under development, but no sign of Linux quite yet: https://builds.96boards.org/snapshots/hikey960/

tkaiser
tkaiser
3 years ago

blu : I want to see how they’ll cool that kirin960 (hypothesis: they won’t). Re eth – one of the usb3 will apparently need to be allotted for the purpose. The SoC has just a single USB3 port. The official Github repo only contains BLOBs and scripts. According to a commit message there kernel used is outdated (4.4.21, latest 4.4 LTS would be 4.4.52 in the meantime). It seems HiSilicon, Huawei and Linaro staff are contributing to the ‘working-hikey960-1208-base-android’ branch here: github.com/docularxu/linux/tree/working-hikey960-1208-base-android (the good news: LeMaker is not involved but I wonder whether patches are also sent upstream or Kirin… Read more »

sandbender
sandbender
3 years ago

@tkaiser It specifies M.2 M-key on the second picture (and you can always just count the pins on the short side – 6 for a B key and 5 for an M key). I can’t find anything on whether the Kirin 960 supports PCIe 2.0 or 2.1… I can’t even find a proper product/spec sheet for it. There’s no bandwidth difference between 2.0 and 2.1 though, 2.1 just backported some management features from 3.0. There seems to be some misinformation that it’s faster than 2.0 but it’s not, it still uses 8b/10b encoding, not 128b/130b introduced with 3.0. I can’t… Read more »

tkaiser
tkaiser
3 years ago

@sandbender I agree that it’s irrelevant to differentiate between PCIe 2.0 and 2.1, what matters more is this sentence Jean-Luc copied from their pseudo specifications: ‘PCIE Gen2 on M.2 Key connector’. This is stupid since the important part is entirely missing: B or M Key. But it’s also the confirmation that nothing has changed with LeMaker, they simply don’t give a sh*t about providing correct information. They just do copy&paste and assemble words and sentences to create the impression they would provide product specifications. Same story with their Guitar thingie back then, took them months and us endless discussion to… Read more »

Theguyuk
Theguyuk
3 years ago

Either my connect or Lemaker have removed the product page.

Github and wiki still up.

nobitakun
nobitakun
3 years ago

Never saw any board like this at the right price. I can’t believe we can’t have A72/A73 boards around 100$, it’s nonsense, those CPU’s are way cheaper than x86 ones!

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