How One Line of Code Tripled Allwinner A20 SATA Write Performance

Allwinner A20 SATA Performance Patch

If you’ve been following this blog long enough, you may remember that all linux-sunxi community work aiming at improving u-boot and Linux software support on Allwinner processors started with Allwinner A10 processor found in MeLE A1000 TV box back in 2012, which at the time provided an interesting alternative to Raspberry Pi board that was in short supply at launch time and several months after. One of the most interesting feature found in Allwinner A10 single core Arm Cortex-A8 processor was its SATA interface, and Allwinner A20 was announced a few months later with a dual core Cortex-A7 processor and virtually the same peripherals as Allwinner A10, including SATA. However when I  tested CubieTruck board connected to a mechanical drive, I noticed sequential SATA performance was fine for reads (~180MB/s), but writes were fairly slow at around 36 MB/s. Other people complained about it, and some looked into it, and […]

Linux 5.0 Release – Main Changes, Arm, MIPS & RISC-V Architectures

Linux 5.0 Changelog

Linus Torvalds has just released Linux 5.0: Ok, so the last week of the 5.0 release wasn’t entirely quiet, but it’s a lot smaller than rc8 was, and on the whole I’m happy that I delayed a week and did an rc8. It turns out that the actual patch that I talked about in the rc8 release wasn’t the worrisome bug I had thought: yes, we had an uninitialized variable, but the reason we hadn’t immediately noticed it due to a warning was that the way gcc works, the compiler had basically initialized it for us to the right value. So the same thing that caused not the lack of warning, also effectively meant that the fix was a no-op in practice. But hey, we had other bug fixes come in that actually did matter, and the uninitialized variable _could_ have been a problem with another compiler. Regardless – all […]

CubieTruck Plus Development Board with DisplayPort & HDMI Sells for $84 (in China)

We first found out about CubieTruck Plus (aka Cubieboard 5) this summer, and while at the time we did not have the full details, it was clear from the board picture and name, that is was an update to CubieTruck board, replacing Allwinner A20 dual core processor by Allwinner A8 octa-core processor, and ditching the VGA port for DisplayPort while keeping most of the same features of the original version. The company has now provided more details while announcing the launch of the board in China, and it turns out CubieTruck Plus has a few more advantages, and at least one drawback. CubieTruck CubieTruck Plus SoC Allwinner A20 Allwinner H8 CPU Dual core Cortex A7 up to 1.08 GHz Octa core Cortex A7 up to 2.0 GHz GPU Mali-400MP2 PowerVR SGX544 up to 700 MHz Memory 2GB DDR3 Power [email protected] power jack Ethernet Gigabit Ethernet (RJ45) WiFi 802.11 b/g/n (2.4 […]

Cubieboard 5 (aka CubieTruck Plus) Development Board is Powered by Allwinner H8 SoC

Merrii unveiled H7 Hummingbird board based on Allwinner H8 octa core Cortex A7 processor a few days ago, but it turns out they’ve not been the only ones working on a board with that processor, as Cubietech also showcased prototypes of Cubieboard 5, which they also call CubieTruck Plus, around mid July. They’ve only shown pictures of the board, without much more information, but we can derive most specifications from the pictures: SoC – AllWinner H8 octa-core ARM Cortex-A7 processor @ up to 2.0GHz with PowerVR SGX544 GPU @ up to 700MHz System Memory – 2GB RAM (4x H5TQ4G63AFR-PCB DDR3 chips) Storage – FORESEE eMMC or NAND flash + micro SD card slot + SATA port (via GL830 USB 2.0 to SATA bridge) Video Output – HDMI and DisplayPort Audio – HDMI, optical S/PDIF, 3.5mm headphone jack, built-in microphone Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet (RTL8211E),  dual band WiFi 802.11 b/g/n and […]

CubieTruck Metal Case Kit Getting Started Guide and Review

I’ve received CubieTruck Metal Case kit just over a month ago, but just like for Ubuntu on ODROID-XU3 Lite, the board could not get HDMI EDID info from my Panasonic TV, which led to a crash at boot time. CubieTech has now fixed the issue, so I’ve finally been able to complete the review with Cubieez (Cubie Easy) distribution, pre-installed on the board, and based on Debian 7.6. You can get the full hardware specs on my previous post, but the kits is comprised of four parts: CubieTruck development based on Allwinner A20 dual core processor, a rugged metallic enclosure, a 128GB SSD, and a 5,300 mAh battery acting as a UPS. I’ll start by showing how to setup the board, test SATA and Gigabit Ethernet performance,  check if the battery acts as expected, try to use the board as a desktop replacement with LibreOffice, Chromium, and so on, and […]

CubieTruck Metal Case Unboxing and Disassembly

CubieTruck Metal Case is a kit comprised of CubieTruck (aka CubieBoard 3), a 128GB SSD, a 5,300 mAh battery, a power adapter, and various cables. In case you are not familiar with CubieTruck, it’s a development board by CubieTech, based on Allwinner A20 dual core ARM Cortex A7 processor with 2GB RAM, 8GB NAND flash, a SATA connector, HDMI & VGA outputs, Gigabit Ethernet, 2 USB host ports, and a mini USB OTG port. CubieTech decided to sent me a kit, as it was featured on CNX Software, and today, I’ll show what’s exactly is inside the kit since the product description is not 100% clear. I’ve been told it’s pre-installed with Lubuntu, so in a separate post next week, I’ll try Linux, report on the SSD performance, and check the battery UPS function, and possibly life on a charge. CubieTruck Metal Case Unboxing I’ve received the kit in a […]

CubieTruck Allwinner A20 Board Kit with Rugged Metal Case, 128 GB SSD and Battery

Cubietruck, aka Cubieboard 3, is a development board powered by AllWinner A20 dual core processor, with 2GB RAM, gigabit Ethernet, VGA and HDMI and more. There’s now a complete kit for demanding environment such as server, automotive, and industrial applications that including a rugged metal case, a 128GB SSD and a 5,300 mAh battery. The kit includes: Cubieboard3 (Cubietruck) development board with Allwinner A20 processor, 2GB RAM, HDMI & VGA video out, Gigabit Ethernet, WiFi+Bluetooth, SATA interface, 2x USB 2.0 host, 1x micro USB, optical S/PDIF, IR receiver, 128GB SSD, model KingSpec C3000.6-M128 based on installation instructions. 5300mAh Li-battery Rugged metallic case for cubietruck Power cable, USB cable, USB OTG cable, and an optional power adapter with 2.5A@5V output “CubieTruck Metal Case” kit can be purchased for $169 on Seeedstudio, or 149 Euros exc. VAT on Considering that individually CubieTruck board goes for $89 to $95. and KingSpec 128GB […]

CubieTruck’s DVK570 Daughter Board and Add-ons (GPS, Zigbee, Sensors, RS485, and SPI Flash)

CubieTruck is one of the development boards made by CubieTech. It is powered by AllWinner A20 with 2GB RAM, Gb Eternet, various ports, and supports Android and multiple Linux distributions. Waveshare Electronics has just launched DVK570 daughter board for the CubieTruck which adds support for TV in and out, a buzzer, and headers to connect modules such as GPS, RS485, an SPI flash, a Zigbee module, a magnetometer, or a temperature sensor. Hardware features of DVK570 daughter board: CubieTruck Headers – 1x 30-pin header and  1x 24-pin header for connection with the CubieTruck Video – TVIN in, and TV Out interfaces (CVBS) Audio – 3.5mm Line IN interface Debugging – UART interface, micro USB port with USB to UART chip (Profilic PL2303) Expansions for add-on modules: 1x 4-pin I2C interface to connect I2C modules such as PCF8563 RTC Module, MAG3110 Board, and more 2x 6-pin UART interfaces (UART4 and 7) […]