Kettlepop is a Limited Edition of a CHIP Pro Derivative with 8GB eMMC flash

Next Things Co. CHIP was a $9 Arm Linux board based on Allwinner R8 processor that become fairly popular due to its low price, built-in WiFi & Bluetooth connectivity, open source hardware design, and integration into fun kits such as PocketCHIP portable gaming console/ Linux handheld computer. Later the company expanded their product line with CHIP Pro featuring Allwinner GR8 system-in-package, and designed as a low profile system-on-module to make it more suitable for integration into commercial products.

Sadly, the company eventually ran into financial problems, and had to fold later in 2018. However, later that year, a company called Source Parts announced they were working on Popcorn Computer, a derivative of C.H.I.P. board, and appears to have sold it through Amazon US for a time.

KettlePop Board
Click to Enlarge

But this morning, I was informed that a board called Kettlepop was added to HackerBoards database with Next Things Co. GR8 SiP, and also made by Source Parts.

Kettlepop specifications:

  • SiP – Next Thing Co. GR8 with an Arm Cortex-A8 processor @ 1.0 GHz, Arm Mali-400 GPU, 256MB DDR3 RAM
  • Storage – 8GB eMMC flash
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi + Bluetooth 4.2 with chip antenna and u.FL antenna connector
  • USB – 1x micro USB OTG port for power and serial console access
  • Expansion – 2x 16-pin with up to 30x GPIO, 2x UART, 1x ADC, camera interface, 2x I2C, 1x SPI, 2x PWM, 2x microphone, 1x headphone, etc…
  • Power Supply – AXP209 PMU supporting USB power (5V), charge in, and 2.9 to 4.2V LiPo battery
  • Dimensions – 45 x 30 mm

Searching a bit more details about the board, I found a Medium post explaining Kettlepop is a limited edition of a CHIP Pro derivative with an 8GB flash instead of a 512 MLC NAND flash, because it’s now cheaper.  The board will be a limited edition because the company managed to “obtain 662 GR8 System-in-Packages which happened to be the last stock available on earth”. The board is said to be pin-to-pin and software compatible with CHIP Pro and Popcorn Computer. Nevertheless, that means the board is not really suitable for most commercial projects, unless somehow GR8 SiP becomes available again.

Source Parts is now offering 500 units of Kettlepop for $19,500 USD at a price of $39 each. I just don’t know how they expect to sell the parts, since no link has been provided, but you can inquire the company via their website (note: the SSL certificate expired yesterday, so your browser may warn you about this).

Thanks to Rick for the tip.

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Diego
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Diego

Why the heck would one invest in a new design with such a limited possibility to sell, due to limited parts supply? Just targeting maker scene?

A13 is much easier to get hold of in quantities…

theguyuk
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theguyuk

Here is a thought for you. Many of the Chinese screen casting dongles have chips with inbuilt memory. A USB and a HDMI out. Sadly they are stuck on very old Linux, as far as I am aware.
Guess the SoC manufactures just think the RPI zero owns the market.

theguyuk
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theguyuk
dgp
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dgp

If it’s Cortex A and you can get the vendor kernel source you should be able to “port” basic mainline to it without much trouble. If you are lucky they’ll have used of the shelf stuff for USB etc and getting that stuff working will be trivial. The harder part is writing drivers for totally new undocumented IP blocks and I guess that’s why no one ventures outside of the AllWinner, Amlogic etc stuff that has some documentation.

siliconhippy
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siliconhippy

Yes those $10 ezcast.com or clone dongles are quite fantastic.! Here is a comparison- ezcast last major upgraded their ROM in Aug’15 after Checkpoint security report:

https://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2632288

Now it will be cool to know if the ezcast ROM already has built in LIRC package or LIRC could be installed, so you could just use a $1-2 TV IR remote to control incoming DLNA stream from TVheadend or VLC etc. 😁😁

PS. For the record, I have great respect for @chewitt at LibreElec, and read his Panfrost comments in the LibreElec @balbes150 thread for kernel 4.x builds for Kodi18 based S905/912. So I am not the person commenting on today’s Panfrost article !! ( Shippy is my userID incidentally on LibreElec.)

Lily
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Lily

Want to buy mobile power source recently, fear buys quality bad, hope everybody can give a bit of opinion

Jeroen
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why do they ask 30$ more then the original?, also that cpu was already to slow 3 years ago.

martinayotte
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martinayotte

At that price, I will never purchase that.