Posts Tagged ‘hardkernel’

Hardkernel Unveils ODROID-N1 Board with Rockchip RK3399 Processor, 4GB RAM, Dual SATA, and More

February 6th, 2018 38 comments

It’s official, there’s a bubble of Rockchip RK3399 boards announcements or launches in early 2018. After AAEON RICO-3399, Orange Pi RK3399, and Pine64 RockPro64, which add to 96Boards compliant Rock960 announced a couple a months ago, and which may launch in Q1 2018, Hardkernel has now announced they’ve been working on ODROID-N1 board.

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ODROID-N1 board specifications:

  • SoC – Rockchip RK3399 hexa-core processor with a dual-core Arm Cortex-A72 @ 2GHz, a quad-core Arm Cortex-A53 @ 1.5Ghz, and a Mali-T860MP4 GPU that supports OpenGL ES1.1/2.0/3.0, OpenCL 1.2
  • System Memory 4Gbyte DDR3-1866 RAM, Dual channel interface for 64bit data bus width
  • Storage –  eMMC 5.0 (HS400) flash storage, UHS capable micro-SD slot., 2x SATA3 ports using, native SATA implementation via PCIe-gen2 to SATA3 interface
  • Video Output – HDMI 2.0 for 4K display
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet port
  • USB – 2x USB 3.0 host ports, 2x USB 2.0 host port.
  • Expansion – 40-Pin GPIO port with GPIOs, I2C, SPI, S/PDIF, PWM, ADC, UART, GND, 3.0V, and 5.0V
  • Power Supply – 12V/2A by default, but adding two 3.5″ HDD will require a 12V/4A PSU
  • Dimensions – 90 x 90 x 20 mm (excluding cooler)

The company will officially support Ubuntu 18.04 or Debian Stretch with Kernel 4.4 LTS, and Android 7.1. Linux 4.14 has also been found to be working, except for some GPU/VPU issues, so a kernel update is possible/likely.

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Beside the specifications, it’s also interesting to learn why they made the board: as an upgrade to ODROID-XU4 / XU4Q (which will still be mass-produced). The company also looked at Amlogic S912 and Realtek RTD1295, but decided Rockchip RK3399 was the best match for the requirements of their community. Compared to ODROID-XU4, ODROID-N1 will come with a faster CPU & GPU, more DRAM memory, faster storage IO, and be more Linux friendly.

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As with the ODROID-XU4 family there will be an actively cooled model, and a passively cooled one with a bigger heatsink. The latter will work well for most people, but if you need to continuously run loads using all 6 cores at full power, the former will perform a bit better overtime.

What may be disappointing if that we’d have to wait a few more months before availability. The company will send 30 engineering samples to pre-selected members of the community for a “Debug Party” to further test the board before mass production, expected in May or June. Price should be around $110, with the final price depending on the DRAM market price. If the board is popular, an ODROID-N1 Lite version with 2GB RAM and no SATA port may be launched later on for $75.

Some Early Benchmarks for ODROID-N1, Raspberry Pi 3, and Older ODROID Boards


Thanks to Jerome, T, crashoverride, and Nanik for the tip.

Linux 4.15 Release – Main Changes, Arm and MIPS Architectures

January 30th, 2018 13 comments

Linus Torvald has released Linux 4.15 last Sunday:

After a release cycle that was unusual in so many (bad) ways, this last week was really pleasant. Quiet and small, and no last-minute panics, just small fixes for various issues. I never got a feeling that I’d need to extend things by yet another week, and 4.15 looks fine to me.

Half the changes in the last week were misc driver stuff (gpu, input, networking) with the other half being a mix of networking, core kernel and arch updates (mainly x86). But all of it is tiny.

So at least we had one good week. This obviously was not a pleasant release cycle, with the whole meltdown/spectre thing coming in in the middle of the cycle and not really gelling with our normal release cycle. The extra two weeks were obviously mainly due to that whole timing issue.

Also, it is worth pointing out that it’s not like we’re “done” with spectre/meltdown. There is more work pending (arm, spectre-v1, misc details), and perhaps equally importantly, to actually get the biggest fix for the indirect branch mitigations, you need not just the kernel updates, you need to have a compiler with support for the “retpoline” indirect branch model.

You can do

cat /sys/devices/system/cpu/vulnerabilities/spectre_v2

and if you don’t have a compiler that supports the retpoline mitigations, you’ll get:

Vulnerable: Minimal generic ASM retpoline

because only the assembly code (not the C code) will have the retpoline mitigation. So keep that in mind.

Anyway, while spectre/meltdown has obviously been the big news this release cycle, it’s worth noting that we obviously had all the *normal* updates going on too, and the work everywhere else didn’t just magically stop, even if some developers have been distracted by CPU issues. In the *big* picture, 4.15 looks perfectly normal, with two thirds of the full 4.15 patch being about drivers, and even the arch updates are dominated by the arm DTS diffs, not by CPU bug mitigation.

So the news cycle notwithstanding, the bulk of the 4.15 work is all the regular plodding “boring” stuff. And I mean that in the best possible way. It may not be glamorous and get the headlines, but it’s the bread and butter of kernel development, and is in many ways the really important stuff.

Go forth and play with it, things actually look pretty good despite everything.

And obviously this also means that the merge window for 4.16 is open. I already have a number of pull requests pending that I will start merging tomorrow. Hopefully we’ll have a _normal_ and entirely boring release cycle for 4.16. Because boring really is good.

Linux 4.14 extended memory limits to 128 PiB (Pebibyte = 1.024 Petabyte)  of virtual address space and 4 PiB of physical address space, added zstd compression in Btrfs and Squashf file systems, improved kernel traces, and implemented zero-copy from user memory to socket among many other changes.

Linux 4.15 was especially newsworthy due to the Spectre/Meltdown debacle and initial fixes affecting all major silicon vendors, and operating systems, but that are also other notable changes:

  • Initial RISC-V Support with device tree bindings for RISC-V CPUs, early boot and initialization code, the Linux atomic and memory model intrinsics, some interrupt and timer infrastructure, paging and MMU related code, and  an implementation of the user-facing ABIs for RISC-V Linux systems.
  • Improved power management in systems with SATA Link Power Management – Because of the lack of documentation of the ALPM (Aggressive Link Power Management), and because  it easily caused data corruption, Linux has been unable to properly implement ALPM support for years. Lack of ALPM support prevents the system from entering in deep power saving states, which means a much worse battery life for Linux users on systems with ALPM. This lack of implementation leads to worse battery life in systems that support ALPM, but now a patch has been merged that implements a better default behavior for ALPM without corrupting data. Linux users with ALPM (e.g. on Intel Haswell, Broadwell, Skylake) should see better battery life with for example Thinkpad T440s laptop saving 0.9-1.2W when idle.
  • AMD Secure Encrypted Virtualization – Linux 4.14 added AMD Secure Memory Encryption, and now Linux 4.15 adds initial support for AMD Secure Encrypted Virtualization, which integrates the memory encryption support in the AMD-V virtualization architecture to support encrypted virtual machines
  • User-Mode Instruction Prevention Intel Security feature – Spectre/Meltdown was not the only security issue addressed in Linux 4.15, and the release also added support for “User Mode Instruction Prevention” found in Intel processor, that disable some instructions ( SGDT, SLDT, SIDT, SMSW and STR) from being executed in user mode in order to reduce the tools available to craft some type of privilege escalation attacks.

As usual, I’ll also provide a summary of some changes specific to the Arm architecture:

  • Allwinner:
    • Allwinner A10/A20/A31 –  Drivers for Display, HDMI controller,
    • Allwinner A33 – Audio codec fixes
    • Allwinner A64 – DMA controller
    • sunxi-ng clocks –  Audio PLL sigma-delta modulation support for accurate audio playback
    • Device tree changes:
      • Allwinner A10/A20 – CCU sunxi-ng style clock conversion, Display pipeline, HDMI controller
      • Allwinner A31 – HDMI controller, I2S controllers
      • Allwinner A64 –  DMA controller, EMAC, SPI
      • Allwinner H3/H5 – EMAC
      • Allwinner R40 – Basic dtsi
    • Cleanups – Removal of GPIO pinmux settings for A10 and A80
    • New devices & boards – TBS A711 tablet (Allwinner A83T), FriendlyARM NanoPi NEO Plus2, Olimex A20-OLinuXino-Micro eMMC variant, Banana Pi M2 Ultra, Banana Pi M2 Berry
  • Rockchip
    • Clocks – New clock ids for Rockchip rk3188 and rk3368 SoCs
    • Thermal – Add Rockchip RV1108 support in rockchip thermal driver
    • Pinctrl – Various non-critical fixes
    • LVDS support in DRM driver
    • New boards – Amarula Vyasa single-board computer (RK3288)
    • Device tree changes:
      • Support for the RGA (raster graphics accelerator) on rk3399 and efuses on rk3368
      • Enablement of display support on the rk3399-firefly, which got its default serial set as well and got cec support as well.
      • Gru boards got their touchpad support refined to actually mark the button correctly and also git their rt5514 dsp added.
      • RK3328 eval board got its cpu regulator and mmc nodes
      • CEC support for the two rk3288-firefly variants and general hdmi support for the firefly-reload.
      • Thermal support for the rv1108
      • Vyasa from Amarula Solutions using a rk3288 and core LVDS node for the newly added driver+binding.
      • bindings + nodes for the Mali-Utgard GPUs found on some Rockchip socs like RK3036 and RK3188. (Lima project can render a red triangle to a png file).
  • Amlogic
    • Clocks – Amlogic Video Processing Unit VPU and VAPB clks
    • nvmem – meson-mx-efuse: fix reading from an offset other than 0
    • adc – meson-saradc: fix the bit_idx of the adc_en clock
    • Various fixes – GPIO interrupt fixes, socinfo fix for GX series, typo
    • Power management support for Amlogic GX family
    • SMP support for Amlogic Meson8/8b
    • MMC – meson-mx-sdio: New driver for the Amlogic Meson8 and Meson8b SoCs
    • SoC info driver for 32-bit Amlogic SoCs
    • New boards / devices – Amlogic Meson-AXG A113D based development board, Khadas VIM2 board, Tronsmart Vega S96 set-top-box
    • Device tree changes:
      • 64-bit
        • Add support for new GPIO IRQ driver
        • Support for A113D SoC
        • reserved memory fixups
        • gpio-names cleanups
        • MMC cleanups, enable high-speed modes
        • Misc cleanups
      • 32-bit
        • Add efuse node
        • Add SDIO MMC controller
        • Reserved memory fixes
        • SoC info driver nodes
        • Enable USB host controller
  • Samsung
    • Clocks – Updated runtime PM support for Samsung exynos5433/exynos4412 providers, removed clkdev aliases on Samsung SoCs
    • Minor drivers cleanups, e.g. remove of Exynos4212 related dead code (no more support for this SoC).
    • New boards – ODROID HC1 board for mini NAS / home cloud
    • Samsung DTS ARM changes
      • Add new board: Hardkernel Odroid HC1.
      • Fix incomplete Odroid-XU3/4 thermal-zones definition leading to possible overheat if first pair of A7+A15 cores is idle but rest of CPUs are busy.
      • Add capacity-dmips-mhz properties for CPUs of octa-core SoCs.
      • Add power button to Odroid XU3/4.
      • Improvements in Gscaler, HDMI and Mixer blocks on Exynos5.
      • Add suspend quirk to DWC3 USB controller to fix enumeration of SuperSpeed devices on Odroid XU4.
      • Add HDMI and MHL to Trats2.
      • Cleanups (redundant properties and nodes).
    • Samsung defconfig changes
      • Enable USB3503 on multi_v7 for Odroid U3.
      • Enable USB Attached SCSI for Odroid HC1.
  • Qualcomm
    • Clocks – RPM clk support on Qualcomm MSM8996/MSM8660 SoCs
    • Regulator – Support for Qualcomm PMI8994
    • Added USB modems – Quectel BG96 Qualcomm MDM9206 based IoT modem, Sierra Wireless EM7565 devices based on Qualcomm Snapdragon X16 LTE-A modem
    • Drivers updates
      • Add Qualcomm Remote Filesystem Memory driver
      • Add OF linkage for RMTFS
      • Add SCM firmware APIs for download mode and secure IO service
      •  Add SMEM support for cached entries
      • Add SMEM support for global partition, dynamic item limit, and more hosts
    • New devices – Fairphone 2, Sony Xperia Z2 tablet
    • Device tree changes:
      • Add MSM8660 GSBI6/7 nodes
      • Disable GSBI6 at APQ8064 platform level
      • Fix phy cells on APQ8064
    • ARM64 updates:
      • Add PCIE support to relevant MSM8996 based boards
      • Add RPM clock controller node on MSM8996
      • Add dload address on MSM8916 and MSM8996
      • Add MBHC button support on APQ8016 SBC
      • Add RTMFS specific compatible for rmtfs memory node
      • Fixups for MSM8916 GPIO line names and MDP address length
    • Defconfig updates:
      • 32-bit
        • Enable Sony Z2 tablet options
        • Enable USB on APQ8064/MSM8974
        • Fixup/catchup config to support newer options
      • 64-bit (ARM64):
        • Enable QCOM IOMMU
        • Enable Qualcomm USB options (re-enable Qualcomm DB410c USB)
  • Mediatek
    • New clock driver for Mediatek MT2712 and MT7622
    • Mediatek MT7622 RTC driver
    • Power management – Add missing module information to the Mediatek cpufreq driver module
    • Drivers update:
        • add 32 bit read/write support to pwrap
        • add mt7622 support to pwrap
        • test build all mediatek soc drivers
      • fix compiler issues
      • clean up Kconfig description
    • DTS updates:
      • 32-bit
        • mt7623 update nodes to binding description
        • mt2701 add display pwn nodes
        • mt2701 update audio node description
      • 64-bit – mt2712: add cpuidle support
  • Other new ARM hardware platforms and SoCs:
    • Actions Semi – Cubieboard6 SBC (Actions S500 )
    • Broadcom – Broadcom Hurricane 2 based Ubiquiti UniFi Switch 8, Broadcom bcm47xx based Luxul XAP-1440/XAP-810/ABR-4500/XBR-4500 wireless access points and routers
    • NXP – i.MX51: Zodiac Inflight Innovations RDU1 board; i.MX53: GE Healthcare PPD biometric monitor;  i.MX6: Pistachio single-board computer, Vining-2000 automotive diagnostic interface, Ka-Ro TX6 Computer-on-Module in additional variants
    • Realtek – RTD1295 based set-top-boxes MeLE V9 and PROBOX2 AVA
    • Renesas –  R-Car V3M (R8A77970) SoC and “Eagle” reference board, Renesas H3ULCB and M3ULCB “Kingfisher” extension infotainment boards, Renesas r8a7745 based iWave G22D-SODIMM SoM

Finally, some of the changes made for MIPS architecture:

  • Fixes:
    • ralink: Fix MT7620 PCI build issues (4.5)
    • Disable cmpxchg64() and HAVE_VIRT_CPU_ACCOUNTING_GEN for 32-bit SMP (4.1)
    • Fix MIPS64 FP save/restore on 32-bit kernels (4.0)
    • ptrace: Pick up ptrace/seccomp changed syscall numbers (3.19)
    • ralink: Fix MT7628 pinmux (3.19)
    • BCM47XX: Fix LED inversion on WRT54GSv1 (3.17)
    • Fix n32 core dumping as o32 since regset support (3.13)
    • ralink: Drop obsolete USB_ARCH_HAS_HCD select
  • Build system:
    • Default to “generic” (multiplatform) system type instead of IP22
    • Use generic little endian MIPS32 r2 configuration as default defconfig instead of ip22_defconfig
  • FPU emulation – Fix exception generation for certain R6 FPU instructions
  • SMP – Allow __cpu_number_map to be larger than NR_CPUS for sparse CPU id spaces
  • Miscellaneous:
    • Add iomem resource for kernel bss section for kexec/kdump
    • Atomics: Nudge writes on bit unlock
    • DT files: Standardise “ok” -> “okay”
  • Minor cleanups – Define virt_to_pfn(), Make thread_saved_pc static, simplify 32-bit sign extension in __read_64bit_c0_split(), etc…
  • Platform support:
    • Broadcom BCM63XX – Add clkdev lookup support, update clk driver, UART driver, DTs to handle named refclk from DTs, split apart various clocks to more closely match hardware, add ethernet clocks
    • Cavium Octeon – Remove usage of cvmx_wait() in favour of __delay()
    • ImgTec Pistachio – DT: Drop deprecated dwmmc num-slots property
    • Ingenic JZ4780 – Add NFS root to Ci20 defconfig, aAdd watchdog to Ci20 DT & defconfig, and allow building of watchdog driver with this SoC
    • Generic (multiplatform) – Migrate xilfpga (MIPSfpga) platform to the generic platform
    • Lantiq xway – Fix ASC0/ASC1 clocks”

For full details, check out the full Linux 4.15 changelog – with comments only – generated using git log v4.14..v4.15 --stat. You may also consider reading Kernelnewsbies’s Linux 4.15 changelog.

ODROID-HC2 Linux NAS System for 3.5″ Hard Drives Launched for $54

January 18th, 2018 37 comments

We knew it was coming, and Hardkernel has now launched an updated version of the ODROID-HC1, called ODROID-HC2 based on the same Samsung Exynos 5422 board, but instead supporting 3.5″ hard drives.

The device can now be purchased for $54 plus shipping, but you may also consider adding some accessories like a 12V/2A power supply, and the top cover for the enclosure. [Update: Also listed on Ameridroid now]ODROID-HC2 specifications:

  • SoC – Samsung Exynos 5422 octa-core processor with 4x ARM Cortex-A15 @ 2.0 GHz, 4x ARM Cortex-A7 @ 1.4GHz, and Mali-T628 MP6 GPU supporting OpenGL ES 3.0 / 2.0 / 1.1 and OpenCL 1.1 Full profile
  • System Memory – 2GB LPDDR3 RAM PoP @ 750 MHz
  • Storage
    • UHS-1 micro SD slot up to 128GB
    • SATA interface via JMicron JMS578 USB 3.0 to SATA bridge chipset
    • Case supports 2.5″ or 3.5″ drives up to 27mm thick
  • Network Connectivity – 10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet (via USB 3.0)
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 port
  • Debugging – Serial console header
  • Misc – Power, status, and SATA LEDs;
  • Power Supply
    • 12V/2A via 5.5/2.1mm power barrel
    • Backup header for RTC battery
  • Dimensions – 197 x 115 x 42 mm (aluminum cooling frame)
  • Weight – 361 grams

The company provides Ubuntu 16.04 with Linux 4.14, and OpenCL support, but other ditributions are available too including Debian, DietPi, OMV (OpenMediaVault) and others such as Armbian which has released stable Ubuntu and Debian server images for HC1 (but it should work for HC2 too). Source code can be found on Hardkernel’s Github account.

Just like the previous model, ODROID-HC2 is stackable, which explains why it does not sell with a top cover by default, so if you want to buy a single system that works out of the box and with a fully closed enclosure, you should add the optional 12V/2A power supply ($5.90) and a clear or black plastic case ($5.00) to your purchase.

More Low Cost ARM Linux NAS Platforms Coming Soon: Popcorn Hour Transformer (XL), ODROID-HC2

December 14th, 2017 24 comments

Last summer, Hardkernel launched ODROID-HC1 Home Cloud 1 taking a single 2.5″ hard drive, and based on a modified version of their popular Exynos 5422 powered ODROID-XU4 board where they removed HDMI, and added a SATA interface (via USB 3.0), but based on the initial announcement, we also knew the Korean company was working on ODROID-HC2 supporting 3.5″ drives instead.

The device is not available yet, but guys at Armbian got an early unit, so we should not be waiting too long. Hardkernel will also have some competition for their ODROID-HC1 NAS, as Cloud Media (and Pine64?) are working on Rockchip RK3328 based Popcorn Hour Transformer & Transformer XL with support for 2.5″ and 3.5″ drives respectively.

Hardkernel ODROID-HC2

ODROID-HC2 (Top) vs ODROID-HC1 (Bottom) – Click to Enlarge

ODROID-HC2 preliminary specifications:

  • SoC – Samsung Exynos 5422 octa-core processor with 4x ARM Cortex-A15 @ 2.0 GHz, 4x ARM Cortex-A7 @ 1.4GHz, and Mali-T628 MP6 GPU supporting OpenGL ES 3.0 / 2.0 / 1.1 and OpenCL 1.1 Full profile
  • System Memory – 2GB LPDDR3 RAM PoP @ 750 MHz
  • Storage
    • UHS-1 micro SD slot up to 128GB
    • SATA interface via JMicron JMS578 USB 3.0 to SATA bridge chipset
    • The case supports 3.5″ drives
  • Network Connectivity – 10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet (via USB 3.0)
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 port
  • Debugging – Serial console header
  • Misc – Power, status, and SATA LEDs;
  • Power Supply
    • 12V/2A via 5.5/2.1mm power barrel (2.5A might covered most use case, e.g. adding another USB 2.0 drive)
    • Backup header for RTC battery
  • Dimensions & weight – TBD

Basically everything should be the same, as HC1, except the power supply (12V vs 5V) and of course the dimensions of the metal enclosure, which is still used for cooling.

Tkaiser ran some preliminary tests, and could confirm HC2 is indeed software compatible with HC1/ODROID-XU4 using Armbian OMV image. Power consumption will be higher than for 2.5″ drives with around 5.3W measured while idle with a mechanical drive, and spikes up to 24Watts when the drive is spinning up, but apparently the 12V/2A power supply provided by hardkernel can somehow handle up to 30 Watts. Power consumption drops to 4.3W with an SSD, and 3.9W with no drive at all.

Performance was good at 100+ MB/s sequential read/write performance over the network. The reported SoC temperature will be slightly higher than on ODROID-HC1 because the 12V to 5V converter circuit produce heat that increases the PCB temperature by 3 to 4°C, but it should not be an issue.

Popcorn Hour Transformer

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Popcorn Hour Transformer is quite similar to ODROID-HC1, but Cloud Media also left the HDMI 2.0 output, so it could be used as a Android TV box with hard drive too.

Preliminary specifications for Transformer based on photos, and OMV forums:

  • SoC – Rockchip RK3328 quad core Cortex A53 processor with Mali-450MP GPU
  • System Memory – 2GB or 4GB DRAM
  • Storage
    • micro SD slot
    • Support for eMMC flash modules used in ROCK64 board
    • SPI NOR flash
    • SATA interface via USB 3.0 to SATA bridge chipset
    • Support for 2.5″ drives
  • Network Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet
  • Video Output – HDMI 2.0a up to 4K 60Hz with HDR support
  • Audio Output – Via HDMI, and 3.5mm audio jack
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 ports
  • Misc – Power button, IR receiver
  • Power Supply – 5V/3A via power barrel jack
  • Dimensions & weight – TBD

Click to Enlarge

Transformer should be 100% compatible with ROCK64 development board, and based on latest info from #pine64 IRC channel, launch is planned for January, with Transformer XL coming a few months later. Cloud Media already listed Transformer for $95.90$115.90, but accessing further information requires a password. Since the product has not been launched, prices may just be placeholders while designing the website.

In somewhat related news, Pine64 is working on a Rockpro64 board powered by Rockchip RK3399 SoC which will be demo’ed at FOSDEM 2018, and this may eventually lead to a Transformer Pro media NAS if there’s demand for it.

ODROID-MC1 Quad Board Cluster Launched for $220

November 9th, 2017 17 comments

Hardkernel teased us with ODROID HC1 Home Cloud server, and ODROID MC1 cluster last August with both solutions based on a cost down version of ODROID-XU4 board powered by Samsung Exynos 5422 octa-core Cortex-A15/A7 processor. ODROID-HC1 Home Cloud server was launched shortly after in September for $49.

It took a little longer than expected for the cluster to launch, but ODROID-MC1 (My Cluster One) is finally here with four ODROID-XU4S boards, and a metal case with a cooling fan. The solution is sold for 264,000 Wons in South Korea, and $220 to the rest of the world.

Click to Enlarge

ODROID-MC1 cluster specifications:

  • Four ODROID-XU4S boards with
    • SoC – Samsung Exynos 5422 quad core ARM Cortex-A15 @ 2.0GHz quad core ARM Cortex-A7 @ 1.4GHz with Mali-T628 MP6 GPU supporting OpenGL ES 3.0 / 2.0 / 1.1 and OpenCL 1.1 Full profile
    • System Memory – 2GB LPDDR3 RAM PoP
    • Network Connectivity – 10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet (via Realtek RTL8153 USB 3.0 to Ethernet bridge)
    • USB – 1x USB 2.0 port
    • Misc – Power LED, OS status LED, Ethernet LEDs, UART for serial console, RTC backup battery connector
    • Power Supply – 5V/4A via 5.5/2.1mm DC jack; Samsung S2MPS11 PMIC, Onsemi NCP380 USB load switch and TI TPS25925 over-voltage, over-current protection IC
  • Dimensions – ~ 112 x 93 x 72 mm

ODROID-XU4S is software compatible with ODROID-XU4 board, so you could just use the Ubuntu images (Linux 4.9 or Linux 4.14), and instructions from the XU4 Wiki, but to make things easier,  they’ve provided several tutorials specific to the cluster use case:

Note that the cluster is not sold with accessories by default, so you’ll need to make sure you also get a Gigabit switch with at least 5 ports,  five Ethernet cables, four micro SD cards (8GB or greater), and four 5V/4A power supplies (or other 80W+ power supply arrangement as shown below).

Hardkernel ODROID-HC1 Home Cloud One Stackable NAS is now available for $49

August 21st, 2017 15 comments

Hardkernel has just launched their ODROID-HC1 stackable NAS system based on a cost-down version of ODROID-XU4 board powered by Samsung Exynos 5422 octa-core Cortex-A15/A7 processor, which as previously expect, you can purchase for $49 on Hardkernel website, or distributors like Ameridroid.

We now have the complete specifications for ODROID-HC1 (Home Cloud One) platform:

  • SoC – Samsung Exynos 5422 octa-core processor with 4x ARM Cortex-A15 @ 2.0 GHz, 4x ARM Cortex-A7 @ 1.4GHz, and Mali-T628 MP6 GPU supporting OpenGL ES 3.0 / 2.0 / 1.1 and OpenCL 1.1 Full profile
  • System Memory – 2GB LPDDR3 RAM PoP @ 750 MHz
  • Storage
    • UHS-1 micro SD slot up to 128GB
    • SATA interface via JMicron JMS578 USB 3.0 to SATA bridge chipset capable of achieving ~300 MB/s transfer rates
    • The case supports 2.5″ drives between 7mm and 15mm thick
  • Network Connectivity – 10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet (via USB 3.0)
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 port
  • Debugging – Serial console header
  • Misc – Power, status, and SATA LEDs;
  • Power Supply
    • 5V via 5.5/2.1mm power barrel (5V/4A power supply recommended)
    • 12V unpopulated header  (currently unused)
    • Backup header for RTC battery
  • Dimensions – 147 x85 x 29 mm (Aluminum case also serving as heatsink)
  • weight – 229 grams

The company provides Ubuntu 16.04.2 with Linux 4.9, and OpenCL support for the board, the same image as ODROID-XU4, but there are also community supported Linux distributions including Debian, DietPi, Arch Liux ARM, OMV, Armbian, and others, which can all be found in the Wiki.

SAMBA File Copy To/From HC1 – Click to Enlarge

Based on Hardkernel’s own tests, you should be able to max out the Gigabit Ethernet bandwidth while transferring a files over SAMBA in either directions. tkaiser, an active member of Armbian, also got a sample, and reported that heat dissipation worked well, and that overall Hardkernel had a done a very good job.

While power consumption of the system is usually 5 to 10 Watts, it may jump to 20 Watts under heavy load with USB devices attached, so a 5V/4A power supply is recommended with the SATA drive only, and 5V/6A if you are also going to connect power hungry devices to the USB 2.0 port. The company plans to manufacture ODROID-HC1 for at least three years (until mid 2020), but expects to continue production long after, as long as parts are available.

Hardkernel to Launch Stackable $49 ODROID-HC1 Home Cloud & $200 ODROID-MC1 Cluster Solutions

August 10th, 2017 59 comments

Hardkernel ODROID-XU4 board is a powerful – yet inexpensive – ARM board based on Exynos 5422 octa-core processor that comes with 2GB RAM, Gigabit Ethernet, and a USB 3.0 interface which makes it suitable for networked storage applications. But the company found out that many of their users had troubles because of bad USB cables, and/or poorly designed & badly supported USB to SATA bridge chipsets. So they started to work on a new board called ODROID-HC1 (HC = Home Cloud) based on ODROID-XU4 design to provide a solution that’s both easier to ease and cheaper, and also includes a metal case and space for 2.5″ drives.

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They basically remove all unneeded features from ODROID-XU4 such as HDMI, eMMC connector, USB 3.0 hub, power button, slide switch, etc… The specifications for ODROID-HC1 kit with ODROID-XU4S board should look like:

  • SoC – Samsung Exynos 5422 quad core ARM Cortex-A15 @ 2.0GHz quad core ARM Cortex-A7 @ 1.4GHz with Mali-T628 MP6 GPU supporting OpenGL ES 3.0 / 2.0 / 1.1 and OpenCL 1.1 Full profile
  • System Memory – 2GB LPDDR3 RAM PoP
  • Storage – Micro SD slot up to 64GB + SATA interface via JMicron JMS578 USB 3.0 to SATA bridge chipset
  • Network Connectivity – 10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet (via USB 3.0)
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 port
  • Debugging – Serial console header
  • Power Supply
    • 5V via power barrel
    • 12V unpopulated header for future 3.5″ designs [Update: ODROID-HC2 is in the works, to be released in November 2017]
    • “Backup” header for battery for RTC
  • Dimensions & weight – TBD

Exynos 5422 SoC comes with two USB 3.0 interfaces and one USB 2.0 interface, and since USB 3.0 interfaces are used for Ethernet and SATA, that’s why they only exposed a USB 2.0 port externally. The metal frame supports 2.5″ SATA HDD or HDD up to 15 mm thick, and it also used as a heatsink for the processor. The company tested various storage devices including  Seagate Barracuda 2 TB/5 TB HDDs, Samsung 500 GB HDD and 256 GB SSD, Western Digital 500 GB and 1 TB HDD, HGST 1TB HDD with UAS and S.M.A.R.T. function.

The fun part is that you can easily stack several ODROID-HC1 kits on top of each other, and you could use Ceph filesystem (Ceph FS), if you want the stacked boards to show as one logical volume [Update: This may not work well due to lack of RAM and 32-bit processor, see comments’ section]. The price is not too bad either, as ODROID-HC1 is slated to launch on August 21st for $49 + shipping with the board and metal frame.

But the company did not stop there, as they found out it was rather time-consuming to setup a 200 ODROID-XU4 cluster in order to test Linux kernel 4.9 stability, and also designed a ODROID-MC1 (MC = My Cluster) cluster with 4 boards, a metal frame and a large USB powered heatsink.

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The solution is based on the same ODROID-XU4S boards, minus the SATA parts. It’s also stackable, so building that 200 board cluster should be much easier and faster to do. The solution is expected to start selling for $200 around the middle of September, and on the software side some forum members are working on Docker-Swarm. Hardkernel is also interested in sending samples to people who have cluster computing experience.

Thanks to Nobe for the tip.

Diskio Pi 13.3″ Touch Panel Display Kit is Designed for Raspberry Pi and ODROID Boards (Crowdfunding)

June 27th, 2017 7 comments

If your project requires a touch panel, there are plenty of solutions for Raspberry Pi and ODROID boards, with Hardkernel even selling ODROID-VU8C fully integrated touch panel display. However, most display kits require you to make your own case, and feature smaller displays with lower resolution. One developer has however come up with Diskio Pi, a higher-end touch panel kit with a 13.3″ Full HD display that works with the most popular Raspberry Pi and ODROID boards.

Diskio Pi with Raspberry Pi 3 Running Pixel

Diskio Pi specifications:

  • Display –  13.3″ AUO TFT IPS display with 1920×1080 resolution connected via a 30-pin eDP connector ; 330 cd/m2 brightness; 85° viewing angles in all directions.
  • Touch panel – 10-point capacitive touch; G/G structure; USB 2.0 interface; ≥6H surface hardness.
  • Main board:
    • HDMI to eDP driver
    • Stereo sound amplifier
    • USB 2.0 hub with 3x ports:  2x external + 1x internal
    • Battery balance circuit (3S/3S2P)
    • Expansion – Various headers for prototyping (RJ45, USB…)
    • Misc – Left & right mouse buttons (home button, USB); circuit protection via fuses, diodes…
    • Power Supply – RJ45 POE+ (Power over Ethernet)
  • Rack board:
    • Connections with the board via cables: 4 x USB, 2 x Ethernet, 1 x Power, 1 x HDMI
    • Fan circuit with potentiometer (fan will be optional)
    • Speakers – 2x round 3W speakers
    • Power Supply – 5V 3A from main board
  • Power Supply – 15 or 18V AC/DC adapter with EU, UK or US plug
  • Battery  – Optional 6 cells LiPo 3.7V=11.1V, 8000mAh
  • Dimensions – 348 x 265 x 25 mm (Final dimensions may change slightly)
  • Weight – 1.8 kg (prototype)

Diskio Pi with ODROID-C2 Board

Diskio Pi is currently compatible with Raspberry Pi 2, Raspberry Pi 3, Raspberry Pi Zero (W), ODROID C1+, and ODROID C2, but later, a modified kit will offer support for ODROID XU4 and Intel Atom based UP board. You can run any operating system you’d like since HDMI is used for video output (and converted to eDP), and USB used for the touch panel. You’ll be able to use accessories like the official Raspberry Pi camera, and there’s even space to add extra boards or modules like an Arduino mini or sensors using the IO headers or the internal USB port. The kit could be use as a large (and thick) tablet, an home automation dashboard, a portable Linux computer, etc…

The project has just been launched on Kickstarter with the aim of raising at least 400,000 Euros, which may prove to be a challenge, but we’ll see. The “very early adopter pack” rewards requires a 350 Euros pledge for Diskio Pi with the power adapter, but no battery, nor a Raspberry Pi or ODROID board. The 45 Euros battery pack is optional is reserved “for users who don’t need the POE+ power”. Shipping adds 9 Euros to France, 16 Euros to most of Europe, and 36 Euros to the rest of the world, with delivery scheduled for February 2018. The person behind the project has 10-year experience as… an optician, but he’s been working on the prototype for 18 months, and Advansee will take care of the final embedded electronics design, while CD-Plast will handle the mechanical design, with both companies based in the west of France.