Neutis N5 Allwinner H5 CPU Module and Development Kit are now up for pre-order

Emlid Neutis N5 system-on-module (SoM) powered by Allwinner H5 processor was unveiled right before Embedded World 2018 in February with an expected launch date scheduled for April.

There have been some delays but the Allwinner H5 CPU module and corresponding development kit are now up for pre-order with delivery slate for the end of August.

Neutis N5 SoM

Neutis N5 Allwinner H5 CPU ModuleNeutis N5 specifications:

  • SoC – Allwinner H5 quad core  Arm Cortex-A53 processor @ up to 1.3 GHz with Arm Mali-450MP4 GPU
  • System Memory – 512 MB DDR3 RAM
  • Storage – 8 GB eMMC flash
  • Connectivity – Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n. Bluetooth 4.0 dual-mode BLE with on-board antenna and u.FL connector for optional external antenna
  • HW Security – Tamper-resistant dedicated crypto chip (secure element) for storing cryptographic keys, unique ID, random number generation and more
  • 2x DF40 80-pin board to board X1 and X2 connectors with
    • 38x GPIOs
    • 4x UART, 3x I2C, 2x SPI, 2x PWM
    • 3x USB 2.0, 1x USB OTG
    • 1x IR input
    • Ethernet
    • Audio – 2x PCM, Line OUT, Line IN, 2x Mic in
    • Display – 1x HDMI, 1x CVBS
    • 1x SDIO
  • Supply Voltage – 3.3V
  • Dimensions – 41 x 29.5 x 4.3 mm
  • Temperature Range – -25…+70 °C (Extended)
  • Certifications – FCC & CE

The company provides Neutis BSP for the module. It is based on Yocto Project build system, comes with up-to-date mainline Linux kernel, and supports OTA firmware updates. Emlid also developed manufacturing software tool for parallel flashing of multiple units, component testing, and serial number management.

Neutis Developer Board & Development Kit

Neutis Developer Board

In order to get started with development the company also offers Neutis developer board exposing various I/Os and ports:

  • Storage – MicroSD card slot
  • Video – HDMI port
  • Audio – 3.5 mm jack line out, 3.5 mm jack line in
  • Camera I/F – CSI interface for 5MP OV5640 camera module
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet (RJ45)
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 Type A ports, 1x micro USB 2.0 OTG port
  • Debugging – micro USB port for serial console
  • Expansion – All I/Os on 2.54mm pitch headers
  • Misc – 3x buttons (reset, uboot, PL10/ext_int)

The board is sold as part of Neutis Development Kit with a Neutis N5 module,  a heatsink, a  camera module, a micro USB to USB cable, a USB OTG adapter, and a set of jumpers: 7x female-female, 7x male-female.

Neutis-Development-Kit
Neutis Development Kit

Emlid has also posted what looks like to be decent hardware and software documentation on a dedicated microsite, and you’ll also find this same documentation on Github.

Neutis Development Kit is sold for $229, but using devkit10off coupon will reduce the price by 10%. Extra Neutis N5 modules cost $49 each, and volume discounts are available as well with for example the module going for $43.61 per unit if you purchase over 5,000 units.

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Icenowy Zheng
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Icenowy Zheng

However, I’ve heard that H5 is going to be discontinued…

theguyuk
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theguyuk

Do you know why?

Da Xue
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Da Xue

1.3GHz H5…right…

tkaiser
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tkaiser

Where’s the problem? They use Linux with mainline kernel and not Android or Allwinner’s BSP without voltage regulation…

Da Xue
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Da Xue

1.3GHz is only for demo and benchmark purposes at 1.35V. The highest stable operating speed should be at most 1.008GHz at 1.2V and the rated speed is 816MHz at 1.1V. Unless they bin the modules they create annd trash 10%, it is not wise to advertise anything over 1.008GHz. This is not a consumer product so I am nit-picking.

Icenowy Zheng
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Icenowy Zheng

I think with quite good cooling it’s okay.

Jon Smirl
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I support more companies does SOC modules like this using Allwiner processors. But.. the module needs to have reasonable pricing. This module can be built for $10 if they are making it in China. That implies a $30 list price with volume discounts from there. $50 is too much, at $50 only a few people will use it in low volume production. Check out the competition., you can buy an OrangePi H5 board with identical specs shipped for $24 on Aliexpress (Orange Pi Zero Plus2 H5 – 512MB RAM, 8GB flash, AP6120 wifi).

Also, 2.4Ghz is unusable in areas with a lot of video stream happening so consider using the AP6255 instead of the AP6210.

Not sure why they need the crypto chip. The H5 has trustzone which is pretty much the same hardware as the crypto chip. We use the cypto chip on CPUs like the V3 which are missing trustzone.

Da Xue
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Da Xue

Just looking at the major BOM components, I see $13. That doesnt include PCB, other components, design, assembly, testing, and shipping. Unless we are talking recycled or faulty components, $10 is not close to possible.

Jon Smirl
Member

This puts a cap on the cost, more expensive BOM on taobao – 149Y. ($21.80) for finished unit.
https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z10.5-c.w4002-9552179460.20.2d981e7dAEaVpe&id=547283341900

I was probably optimistic at $10 but $15 looks doable for variable cost to finished module. That does not include overhead, shipping, etc.

The point is that $50 is very high compared to the OrangePi product at $21.80.

Da Xue
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Da Xue

I would expect at least $19 for variable cost given the PCB type and assembly. $50 is not unreasonable for low quantity orders with the engineering involved. Comparing this to Orange Pi is like comparing apples and oranges. Orange Pi’s claim to fame is xiaomi margins while these guys seem to provide good english documentation. NXP charges more than ten dollars for a single A35 core because the target market.

Jon Smirl
Member

I agree that they will get low volume customers. I just don’t see anyone using that module with that price at over quantity 100. Over Q100 it is more cost effective to make a custom PCB, Dozens of places in Shenzhen that can knock one out in a couple of weeks. Don’t forget that you still have to design and produce your own baseboard in order to use their module.

Personally I ‘d use an OrangePi at low volume if you can get the connector placement to work out with your custom enclosure.

I’d be using iMX CPUs if they weren’t 10x the cost of Allwinner. We used to use them but the cost differential is too great.

theguyuk
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theguyuk

Charbax over at armdevices has put up a interesting video about this product, dated 9 Aug 2018. Worth viewing to see products it gets used in.