Allwinner R16 with its lowly four Cortex A7 cores and Mali-400MP2 GPU would not normally come to mind when designing a gaming console. But Nintendo used the R16 processor twice in their retro gaming consoles: NES Classic and SNES Classic Edition.
Clockwork, a startup based in Hangzhou, China, decided they could also do gaming console with the processor: Gameshell. But their product is quite different, as it’s both a portable console with 2.7″ display, and a development platform with the console based on Clockwork Pi development board, and an Atmel AVR (Arduino) based keypad board.
- Clockwork Pi development board
- SoC – Alwinner R16-J quad core Cortex A7 processor @ 1.2 GHz with Mali-400MP2 GPU
- System Memory – 512MB or 1GB (in future revision of the board)
- Storage – 1x micro SDHC slot
- Video Output / Display I/F – 18-bit RGB display interface, micro HDMI (planned in revision of the board),
- Audio Output – Via HDMI, 3.5 mm stereo audio jack
- Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0
- USB – 1x micro USB port
- Expansion – 14-pin header with UART, I2C, SPI, GPIO
- Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port or 3.7V battery
- Dimensions – 70×50 mm
- Keypad board
- MCU- Microchip Atmel ATMega160p MCU
- 30-pin header with flat headers
- ISP programming connector
- I2C? interface to Clockwork Pi
- micro USB connector
- Display – 2.7″ RGB display with 320×240 @ 60 Hz
- Stereo Speaker Module
- Battery – 1,050 mAh good for 3 hours of continuous use, 100 hours standby
- Weight – 195 grams
The console runs Linux, and supported thousands of games from Atari, GB, GBA, NES, SNES and more. Doom, and Cave Story are included in the console, with more free games coming in the future. The game console is designed to be disassembled, so that you can use it as a Linux + Arduino development platform for education and/or fun. You can run the company’ Clockwork OS with classic games support (apparently via RetroArch) and programming languages, but other OS will also be provided including Debian, Ubuntu, and Raspbian.
Gameshell is now on Kickstarter, and it’s going rather well right now with over $180,000 raised for the project. A $109 early bird pledge will include the white and gray Gameshell, a micro SD card preloaded with the OS and games, and a logo sticker. They also have rewards with different a rear shell with a different colors, and bundles with multiple consoles. Shipping add $10 for one console, and delivery is planned for April 2018. You may also find more details on Clockworkpi.com website.
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.