Tiny Giant Board Runs Linux, Follows Adafruit Feather Form Factor

Orange Pi Development Boards

If you want a tiny single board computer that runs Linux on Arm Cortex-A processor, some options include Raspberry Pi Zero (W), PocketBeagle, or FriendlyElec NanoPi Duo with the latter being smaller and more powerful than RPi Zero although it lacks video output.

Another potential option that may become available soon is the Giant Board, which as its name clearly does not imply, is a really tiny board powered by Microchip Atmel SAMA5 Cortex-A5 processor, and leveraging Adafruit Feather form factor.

Giant Board
Click to Enlarge

Giant board preliminary specifications:

  • SiP – ATSAMA5D27C-D1G with Microchip SAMA5D2 Arm Cortex-A5 Processor 500MHz, 128MB DDR2 RAM
  • Storage – Micro SD slot for OS and storage
  • Peripherals & I/Os
    • 6x 12-Bit ADC with 3.3V Reference
    • 4x 16-Bit PWM
    • ADC external trigger
    • PWM external trigger
    • 1x I2C, 1x SPI, 1x UART
  • Misc- Power button
  • Power Supply
    • 5V via micro USB port
    • 3.7V LIPO support for portable projects

Giant board pinout diagramThe Microchip / Atmel SAMA5 SiP is really what made possible the super small form factor possible, as the system-in-package integrates the Cortex-A5 processor, 128MB RAM, and peripherals.

The board currently support Linux 4.14. There’s limited information on the product page, and you may find more details on the developer’s (Groguard) twitter account, where we can learn the board is now supported by Adafruit CircuitPython and has been tested with various Adafruit add-ons such as TFT FeatherWing.

What is unclear is whether the board will ever be for sale. For reference, Groguard also worked on an alternative to the now defunct Next Thing C.H.I.P. board, with Nebula One board featuring Octavo Systems OSD3358-SM SiP, so it’s not his first adventure with small boards powered by a system-in-package.

Via OSH Park

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Abbadon
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Abbadon

I hope this goes up for sale! Breadboard Linux ready to go with a ton of expansion boards available.

kpa
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kpa

I also hope this goes on sale for small deeply embedded linux systems it seems perfect fit !

dgp
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dgp

>small deeply embedded linux systems

If your OS is loading from an SD card in a *deeply embedded system* you need your head checked.

Griff
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Griff

It always amazes me when I open some expensive commercial device only to find a uSD card at it’s heart. And most aren’t even good cards, they’re just whatever crap the manufacturer could get at the time.

dgp
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dgp

I think this will end up too expensive for most. The chip itself is >$12 in 5K quantity so I don’t see this board being less than $20.
If you have $20 to burn you might as well get the pocket beagle for $5 more.

theyguyuk
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theyguyuk

There are several last generation USB TV dongle around, some one just needs to pick one with good Linux support and add gpio pins. Even the cheap Chinese TV cast stick , some of them have 256mb or more on board. To much hard work I guess.