Posts Tagged ‘odroid-xu4’
Orange Pi Development Boards

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.

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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 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.

Hardkernel ODROID-XU4Q is a Fanless Version of ODROID-XU4 Exynos 5422 Development Board

April 27th, 2017 11 comments

We had already seen ODROID-XU4 development board price drop to $59 earlier this year, but a frequent complain about the board remained: it requires a fan to operate at full speed, and makes noise while the fan turns. To address this issue, the company has now launched ODROID-XU4Q board with exactly the same specifications with Samsung Exynos 5422 octa-core processor, 2GB RAM, eMMC module support, Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0, HDMI 1.4 etc…, except the fan is replaced by a large heatsink.

ODROID-XU4 (left) vs ODROID-XU4Q (right) – Click to Enlarge

The company has also thoroughly tested both versions in different configurations such as setting the maximum frequency to 1.8 or 2.0 GHz, and found ODROID-XU4Q to be slightly slower under high load due to CPU throttling, as the large heatsink does not cool quite as well as the smaller heatsink in combination with a fan. However in many cases, the difference is minimal as shown by Antutu results (61,112 vs 60,283 points). Running sysbench at 2.0 GHz showed one of the biggest gaps in performance, with XU4Q taking 16% more time (420 seconds vs 362 seconds) to complete the test as shown below.

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If you run the board at 1.8 GHz, the difference decreases to just 6%. If you are using ODROID-XU4 as part of a build farm, you may want to keep using the actively cooled version, it takes take 25 minutes to build the Linux kernel against 30 minutes on ODROID-XU4Q.The company also found that if you don’t want throttling at all, you need to set the CPU frequency to 1.2 GHz.

The company also had to add a cut out line to ODROID-XU4(Q) cases to allow for the taller heatsink. If you have a ODROID-XU4 board with a fan, and would like to convert it into a quitet ODROID-XU4Q board, you can do so by purchasing a similar (but not exactly the same) heatsink for $4.90 + shipping. The price for ODROID-XU4Q board is the same as for ODROID-XU4 ($59 + shipping).

If you’re wondering when the next major update of ODROID board is coming, there is a clue in ODROID Magazine April 2017:

In 2017, we are planning another 64-bit ARM platform and a 64-bit x86 platform, and we are also considering an upgraded version of XU4.

Android and Linux Benchmarks on MiQi Development Board

April 20th, 2016 25 comments

MiQi is an upcoming low cost development board powered by Rockchip RK3288 SoC that will sell for $35 with 1GB RAM and 8GB storage, and $69 for the version with a  2GB / 32GB combination. Since Rockchip RK3288 was launched in 2014, most available benchmarks were made on Android 4.4, and since MiQi is the first low cost board based on the processor, other RK3288 based board such as FireFly have not been that popular. So I’ve decided to run updated benchmarks in MiQi both in Android 5.1 and Linux (Lubuntu 14.04), which was easy since a dual boot image is pre-installed. But since I received an early sample without heatsink, I found a spare heatsink added some thermal paste and placed it on top of the processor and partially on RAM and eMMC flash.

MiQi_Board_HeatsinkMiQi Board Android 5.1 Benchmarks

I ran Antutu both using 1080p60 and 2160p30 video output, and for both output, the system achieved a little over 51,000 points, which remains a good score even today, and better than recent Rockchip RK3368 or Amlogic S905 based devices (35,000 to 38,000 points)

MiQi_Board_Antutu_6.0.1You can get the full details about the score here.

Vellamo Score is also very good with 3308 points for Chrome Browser, 3,021 points for the stock Browser, 2,019 for multicore, and 1,322 points for the Metal test.

MiQi_Board_VellamoIt’s not quite as fast as Xiaomi Mi Box 3 Enhanced, but still offers superior performance (orange bars) compared to most Android TV boxes on the market.

MiQi_Board_Vellamo_TV_Boxes3DMark Ice Storm Extreme is about the same as on Android 4.4 RK3288 devices launched about 18 months ago with 7,758 points.

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MiQi Board Linux / Ubuntu 14.04 Benchmarks

I’ve installed Phoronix, and repeated the benchmarks run recently on some other developer platforms such as Orange Pi boards, Banana Pi Boards, Raspberry Pi 3, ODROID-C2, ODROID-XU4, and so on.

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Let’s have a closer look at a couple of benchmarks.

MiQi_John_The_RipperJohn the Ripper is a password cracker benchmark that makes good of all available cores, and while octa-core boards like ODROID-XU4 and Banana Pi M3 do great, MiQi somehow edges out ODROID-XU4 board.

MiQi_Board_FLAC_Audio_EncodingFLAC audio encoding is mostly a single thread benchmark, and here ODROID-XU4 does best, followed closely by MiQi board. The diffference with

Full detailed results can be found  here.

The results are mostly in line with what to expect in theory, but bear in mind that while Android benchmarks are rather short, and most of the time cooling is not that much of an issue, Phoronix Test Suite benchmarks in Linux may take around one hour to complete, and the heatsink got really hot at some stage (67 degree with IR thermometer) and too hot to leave the fingers on it for more than a few seconds, so it’s quite possible that adding an fan to the heatsink may have yielded slightly better results in some cases.

Low Cost Development Boards Linux Benchmarks – Raspberry Pi vs Banana Pi vs Orange Pi vs ODROID

April 2nd, 2016 22 comments

LoveRPi, a distributor and reseller of electronic boards and accessories, has run benchmarks from the Phoronix Suite on several low cost development boards:

  • $46* Banana Pi M2  based on Allwinner A31s quad core Cortex A7 processor @ 1.0 GHz with Armbian (Ubuntu 14.04)
  • $74* Banana Pi M3 based on Allwinner A83T octa core Cortex A7 processor @ 1.80 GHz with Debian 8.3
  • $32 ODROID-C1+ based on Amlogic S805 quad core Cortex A5 processor @ 1.5 GHz with Ubuntu 14.04
  • $40 ODROID-C2 based on Amlogic S905 quad core Cortex A53 processor @ 2.0 GHz with Ubuntu 16.04
  • $74 ODROID-XU4 based on Samsung Exynos 5422 quad core ARM Cortex-A15 @ 2.0GHz quad core ARM Cortex-A7 @ 1.4GHz with Ubuntu 15.10
  • $10 Orange Pi One based Allwinner H3 Cortex A7 processor @ 1.2 GHz with Armbiam (Debian 8.3)
  • $15 Orange Pi PC based on Allwinner H3 Cortex A7 processor @ 1.3 GHz with Armbiam (Debian 8.3)
  • $39 Orange Pi Plus based on Allwinner H3 Cortex A7 processor @ 1.3 GHz with Armbiam (Debian 8.3)
  • $35 Raspberry Pi 2 based on Broadcom BCM2836 quad core Cortex A7 processor @ 900 MHz with Raspbian
  • $35 Raspberry Pi 3 based on Broadcom BCM2837 quad core Cortex A53 processor @ 1.2 GHz with Raspbian

* Banana Pi boards price includes shipping, while all other boards do not. The total price for each board may vary a lot for your country depending on shipping and local taxes.

Banana_Pi_Orange_Pi_Raspberry_Pi_ODROID_BenchmarkThe 7 benchmarks John The Ripper (password cracker), C-Ray (raytracer), Smallpt (illumination renderer), Himeno Benchmark (solver of pressure Poisson), OpenSSL, FLAC audio encoding, and Timed MAFFT alignment are mostly stressing the CPU’s integer and floating-point unit either for single thread or multi-thread performance, so other parts such as storage should have very little impact on the scores.

The table shows the Cortex A15 based ODROID-XU4 is ahead in most benchmarks, and from a CPU performance perspective deserves its higher price, while the Raspberry Pi 2 is now clearly the slowest of the bench.

John_The_Ripper_Banana_Pi_M3John The Ripper is the only test where ODROID-XU4 is outperformed, and the eight cores clocked at 2.0 GHz of Banana Pi M3 makes it the best boards of the lot, if you want to crack passwords with a cheap board. Interestingly Orange Pi boards performance is not that far of the one of Raspberry Pi 3.

Audio_Encoding_BenchmarkFLAC audio encoding must mostly relies on single thread performance as ODROID-XU4 is clearly ahead here. For this particular task a $10 Orange Pi One board will do just as well as a $35 Raspberry Pi 3.

If you want another take on Raspberry Pi 2 & 3 benchmarks, Mikronauts recently posted different benchmarks comparing the boards to ODROID-XU4, ODROID-C1+, LeMaker Guitar (Actions Semi S500 Cortex A9 processor), MIPS Creator CI20, etc…

Of course benchmarks are only one part of the story as you also need to consider the interfaces, system memory (e.g. there’s usually no difference between a system with 1GB RAM and one with 2GB RAM in benchmarks), and other requirements for your project or use case.

Crowdfunded Projects Use Raspberry Pi and ODROID Boards into Home Theater PCs and Retro Game Consoles

February 12th, 2016 3 comments

I’ve been tipped about two separate projects launched on Indiegogo and Kickstarter that integrate Raspberry Pi or ODROID boards into their products. indieGO! retro gaming console and distribution leverages Raspberry Pi 2, ODROID-C1+, or ODROID-XU4 to play older games, while Pi2Media HT1 relies on either Raspberry Pi2, and later the upcoming UP Board or ODROID-C2 boards in order to offer a Surround 7.1 Home Theater PC.

indieGO! Retro Game Console

indieGO!Beside the development board, indieGo! also includes a DVD-RW drive, an SD card reader, a mini-ITX case, a 3D-Printed I/O-shield and ARM board holder, a USB joypad, and two USB ports.

indieGO!-OS is also a Linux distribution based on AEROS running Exagear which means both ARM (native) and x86 (emulation) executables will run on the device. Pre-isntalled programs include Wine, Kodi, Moonlight, AmiCloud, and EmuLA. The many emulators installed allow support for games running Playstation, C64, Dreamcast, Game Boy, Atari, Sega, PC, etc..

Raspberry_Pi_ODROID_Game_EmulatorEmulators highlighted in Orange will run with lag, so for a better experience, you’d have to select ODROID-XU4.

indieGO! project is currently on Kickstarter with less than 48 hours to go, and fully funded with over 60,000 Euros. If you don’t need the hardware, but would like to run the distribution on your development board, you can pledge 25 or 29 Euros to get a download link to indieGO!-OS for respectively Raspberry Pi 2, or ODROID boards. A 99 Euros pledge will get your the OS, and the complete hardware minus the board, and if you want a complete system, you’ll need 149 Euros + shipping for a Raspberry Pi 2 system, or 199 Euros for the version with ODROID-XU4 board. Delivery is scheduled for June 2016.

Pi2Media HT1 – Surround Sound Home Theater PC


Pi2Design has designed expansion boards for Raspberry Pi and other development boards in the past such as CSB502SSD add-on board adding support for SSD, WiFi and an RTC to the popular board, and they mostly rely on two of their existing add-on boards with Pi2Media HT1 home theater PC which will feature:

  • Raspberry Pi 2 board
  • 502SSD Shield adding 2x USB port, mSATA socket up to 1TB, WiFi, RTC, a temperature sensor, and power circuitry
  • 502V2S Shield with:
    • ADV7623 HDMI 1.4 Transceiver takes the RPi 2 HDMI output and passes it through while extracting the 8-Channels of 24-Bit, 96Khz/192Khz audio
    • Digital audio – 24-bit, 96Khz/192Khz 5.1 Compressed Digital Stream (Dolby Digital AC3 and DTS 5.1) via Optical TOSLink (S/PDIF) connector
    • Analog audio – 24-Bit, 96Khz/192Khz Analog Audio Out using four PCM5102A DACs via 3.5mm Jack
    • 16-Pin Header provides access to the I2S bus along with I2C and control
  • A 32GB (Streaming Edition), 250GB (Deluxe Edition) or 500GB (Server Edition) Solid State Drive
  • A 8GB Micro-SD Card with NOOBS, set to boot OSMC from SSD
  • A Basic IR Remote Control
  • [email protected] power supply with 100~240V @ 50/60Hz input
  • Micro USB to USB-A patch cable
  • 3 Meter HDMI 1.4a Cable
  • Getting Started Instructions
  • 1 Year Warranty with unlimited email technical support


The device will be pre-loaded with Open Source Media Center (OSMC), but you can of course run other Linux distributions available for Raspberry Pi 2.

Pi2Media HT1 has recently been launched on Indiegogo (flexible funding), where the company aims to raise $30,000. If you already own a Raspberry Pi 2, you can get all remaining hardware by pledging $179 for the DIY Bundle 2 kit with the two add-on boards, aluminum enclosure, the power supply, and all necessary cables and mountings. A complete Pi2Media HT1 with a 32GB goes for $249, while you’re being asking for $439 the version with a 500 GB SSD. Shipping is included, and delivery is scheduled for May 2016.

Hardkernel ODROID-XU4 Development Board Now Supports Android 6.0 Marshmallow

December 27th, 2015 2 comments

Android 6.0 source code was released in October, but so far few development boards are supporting it properly. There’s Android 6.0 for Raspberry Pi 2, but without GPU hardware acceleration is not really usable, and Intrinsyc Open-Q 820 board that will start shipping in a few days with Android 6.0 on Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, is pricey and with limited availability. So there are only two options that I’m aware of LeMaker Hikey with Android 6.0 as part of the Reference Platform Release 2015.12, and Hardkernel ODROID-XU4 with an unofficial port for Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow by voodik odroid community member, which should also work for ODROID-XU3 and XU3 Lite boards.


Despite being an alpha version, the current image looks pretty good, as most required features seem implemented:

  • Android 6.0.1 Lollipop Cyanogenmod 13.0 with Linux kernel 3.10.9
  • OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0/3.0 (GPU acceleration)
  • OpenCL 1.1 EP (GPU acceleration)
  • Multi-user feature is enabled (Up to 8 users)
  • On board Ethernet and external USB 3.0 Gigabit Ethernet support
  • RTL8188CUS , RTL8191SU and Ralink Wireless USB dongle support
  • USB GPS dongle support.
  • USB tethering.
  • Portable Wi-Fi hotspot.
  • Android native USB DAC support
  • USB UVC Webcam support
  • HDMI-CEC support

However some issues remain such as lack of Bluetooth and USB 3G dongle support, the Google search bar may not display correctly at times, and MTP doesn’t work properly.

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It’s quite likely the image will be updated a few times in the future, but you should be able to find it in this CM-13.0 directory with as of now two images:

  • android-cm-13.0-alpha-0.1-sd2emmc_installer-odroidxu3-20151224.img.7z (462M) – Android 6.0 alpha for XU4, XU3 and Xu3 Lite for SD to eMMC installation
  • android-cm-13.0-alpha-0.1-sd_installer-odroidxu3-20151224.img.7z (462M) -Android 6.0 alpha for XU4, XU3 and Xu3 Lite to run SD card.

You can flash the images after uncompressing them with Win32DiskImager (Windows) or dd (Linux) as usual.

Cloudshell for XU4 is a $39 NAS Kit for ODROID-XU4 Board

August 1st, 2015 2 comments

Hardkernel launched ODROID-XU4 development board a couple of weeks ago. The board is a low cost ($74) update to ODROID-XU3 development board, with an Exynos 5422 octa core processor (4x A15, 4x A7), 2GB RAM, Gigabit Ethernet and USB 3.0, making it a pretty good target for a NAS.  It’s easy to connect all requires parts such as hard drive and power supply together, but it would normally be a mess on your desk. So the company create a NAS kit for the board with an enclosure, cables, fans, and even an LCD display with they call Cloudshell for XU4 for sell for $39, so you can get a high relatively high performance NAS for around $113 + shipping, which will vary depending on your distributor, as well as an HDD or SSD drive.

Cloudshell_ODROID-XU4_NASCloudshell kit content:

  • Enclosure with top and bottom covers, rear, front and side panels. Available in Smoky-Blue or Smoky-White as shown above.
  • CloudShell board with a 2.2″ TFT color LCD (320×240), a SATA connector (via Genesis GL3321G USB 3.0 to SATA bridge), and IR receiver
  • A 30-pin GPIO ribbon cable (5 cm) to connect the CloudShell board to ODROID-XU4
  • A USB 3.0 type A-B cable (30 cm) to connect the two boards.
  • Screws & Nuts –  14 x 6 mm Philips screws, 6 x 5 mm Philips screws, 4 x 5 mm Hex Nuts , 4 x 3 mm screws
  • Metallic Spacers – 2 x 21 mm male-female spacers, 4 x 25mm female hex PCB spacers, 2 x 47 mm female hex PCB spacer
  • 4 x adhesive silicon feet


The assembly instructions can be found on the product page. Hardkernel does not provide a specific image for the NAS function, so you’d simply have to install one of the Ubuntu images, and configure the services you’d like to use [Update: To setup the IR and LCD, visit the Wiki]. Such solution was benchmarked at ~80 MB/s (download) and ~70 MB/s (upload) while transferring a 1.6GB files from/to a SAMBA share configured in ODROID-XU4.

Thanks to Onebir and Nitin for the tip.