Top 5 Raspberry Pi Alternatives in 2019

Raspberry Pi Alternatives 2019

The Raspberry Pi boards are great little Arm Linux SBC’s with a low price and great community support. But the Broadcom processors used in the boards are also fairly old so they may not be suitable for some projects. If your application needs or would benefit from modern features such as memory over 1GB RAM, an actual Gigabit Ethernet port, USB 3.0 port(s), 4K video output, or H.265 hardware video decoding you’ll have to find Raspberry Pi alternatives. I’ll point out 5 alternative single board computers in this post from the point of view of existing Raspberry Pi users, who will want good software support and a board with the same or similar form factor as Raspberry Pi 3 Model B/B+ in order to reuse their add-on boards and/or enclosures. Price has to be competitive as well, so nothing above $80 will be mentioned. The boards are not listed in any particular order. Pine64 Rock64 The Rock64 board is ideal …

Linux 4.20 Release – Main Changes, Arm and MIPS Architectures

Linux 4.20 Changelog

After Greg K-H handling Linux 4.19 release, Linus Torvalds is back at the helm, and released Linux 4.20 just before Christmas: Let’s face it, last week wasn’t quite as quiet as I would have hoped for, but there really doesn’t seem to be any point to delay 4.20 because everybody is already taking a break. And it’s not like there are any known issues, it’s just that the shortlog below is a bit longer than I would have wished for. Nothing screams “oh, that’s scary”, though. And as part of the “everybody is already taking a break”, I can happily report that I already have quite a few early pull requests in my inbox. I encouraged people to get it over and done with, so that people can just relax over the year-end holidays. In fact, I probably won’t start pulling for a couple of days, but otherwise let’s just try to keep to the normal merge window schedule, even …

Giveaway Week Winners – November 2018

We just had a week of fun on CNX Software with our yearly “Giveaway Week” activity where 7 prizes – from development boards to Raspberry Pi add-on boards or solar chargers – were randomly given away to people who entered by leaving a comment. The winners are in, with Asia starting strong, but Europe quickly taking the lead, and the US ending up the giveaway with a great (again) finish. Here’s the full list of winners: Videostrong VS-RD-RK3399 development board – Việt trần, VIETNAM CHOETECH Solar Charger – Erki, ESTONIA ESP32-LyraTD-MSC audio mic HDK – Ron, The Netherlands ROC-RK3328-CC development board – Dainis, LATVIA (a second time winner having previously won during Giveaway Week 2016) ThaiEasyElec 3G GPS Raspberry Pi Hat – zmlopez, SPAIN ANAVI Infrared and RGB strip pHAT – Joe, USA NanoPC-T4 development board – Jeffrey, USA I’ve just send all 7 packages earlier this afternoon. Hopefully, the winners will received their prize before Xmas and have fun …

Giveaway Week – Libre Computer ROC-RK3328-CC Board

ROC-RK3328-CC Heatsink Mount

What will be the prize on the fourth day of this year’s giveaway week? Libre Computer ROC-RK3328-CC, a development board based on Rockchip RK3328 processor and mostly following Raspberry Pi 3 form factor. When I reviewed the board with Debian 9 last summer, I was mostly reminded how important fast storage and proper power supply were important. I had some kernel panic when using slow storage (micro SD card), but when I switch to the eMMC flash stability improved a lot. I also had some troubles with my USB 3.0 hard drive, but switching from a 5V/2A power supply to a 5V/2.5A power adapter solved most of my problems. Once I had “solved” those two issues the board worked fairly well, and Libre Computer always aims for mainline Linux support on their board, so that’s an advantage to take into consideration. The kit offered includes the board and heatsink, so you’ll need to get your own micro SD card or …

La Frite Amlogic S805X Board Runs Mainline Linux, Goes for $5 and Up (Crowdfunding)

AML-S805X-AC Board

Libre Computer first started with their AML-S905X-CC (aka Le Potato) board powered by Amlogic S905X processor last year, and they’ve since then launched several other boards based on Allwinner or Rockchip processor. But their latest “La Frite” board – also known as AML-S805X-AC – is an even lower cost version of the “Le Potato” board, with an Amlogic S805X processor limited to 1080p60 output and video decoding, a smaller footprint based on the one for Raspberry Pi Model A+, and price starting at just $5 on Kickstarter. AML-S805X-AC “La Frite” board specifications: SoC – Amlogic S805X quad core ARM Cortex-A53 processor @ 1.2 GHz with penta core ARM Mali-450MP GPU @ 650 MHz, and Amlogic Video Engine 10 System Memory – 512 MB or 1GB DDR4 @ 2400 MHz Storage –   eMMC module connector, 128 Mb SPI NOR flash Video & Audio Output – HDMI 2.0 port Video Codecs Decoding – Up to 1080p60 VP9 P2, 10-bit H.265, and H.264. …

Linux 4.18 Release – Main Changes, Arm and MIPS Architecture

Linux Changelog 4.18

Linus Torvalds has just announced the release of Linux 4.18: One week late(r) and here we are – 4.18 is out there. It was a very calm week, and arguably I could just have released on schedule last week, but we did have some minor updates. Mostly networking, but some vfs race fixes (mentioned in the rc8 announment as “pending”) and a couple of driver fixes (scsi, networking, i2c). Some other minor random things (arm crypto fix, parisc memory ordering fix). Shortlog appended for the (few) details. Some of these I was almost ready to just delay to until the next merge window, but they were marked for stable anyway, so it would just have caused more backporting. The vfs fixes are for old races that  are really hard to hit (which is obviously why they are old and weren’t noticed earlier). Some of them _have_ been seen in real life, some of them probably need explicit help to ever …

ROC-RK3328-CC Board Review, or the Case for Fast Storage and Adequate Power Supply

ROC-RK3328-CC Board Connection

Firefly team from T-chip company has send me some of their Rockchip development boards, and we’ve already checked the provided boards and accessories, so today I’ll report my experience with one of the board: ROC-RK3328-CC also known as Renegade. I won’t test it with Android, since I have already reviewed RK3328 Android TV boxes such as Zidoo X7, and I’ve been told the team is hard at work with Android 8.1 SDK, so an Oreo image should be released in a few weeks/months. So I had initially planned to report my experience with one of the Linux images,  then show how to install mainline Linux (currently 4.17) to the board, and reports what works. However, I encountered many issues, although likely not directly related to the board or its software support, so instead I’ll write about my experience getting started with the board, and list all the issues I had so that people can avoid those – or at least …

Renegade Elite (ROC-RK3399-PC) RK3399 Single Board Computer Launched for $99 on Indiegogo

ROC-RK3399-PC RK3399 Single Board Computer

Libre Computer and Firefly Team previously collaborated on Renegade (ROC-RK3328-CC) board powered by a Rockchip RK3328 quad core Cortex A53 processor and mostly following Raspberry Pi 3 form factor.  We already knew both companies worked again on another Rockchip RK3399 single board  computer, and were expected to launch it in July via a crowdfunding campaign. The good news is that Libre Computer has just launched Renegade Elite (aka ROC-RK3399-PC) SBC on Indiegogo. Renegade Elite board specifications: SoC – Rockchip RK3399 hexa core processor with 2x Arm Cortex-A72 @ up to 2.0 GHz + 4 Arm Cortex-A53, Arm Mali-T860MP4 with OpenGL ES 1.1 / 1.2 / 2.0 / 3.1 / 3.2 and OpenCL 1.2 support System Memory – 4GB LPDDR4 SDRAM Storage – eMMC 5.x interface for storage modules up to 128GB,  micro SD card slot, and 128Mbit SPI NOR flash Video Output / Display I/F HDMI 2.0 connector Embedded DisplayPort (eDP) interface Up to 2x MIPI DSI Interfaces (one shared with …