RaspberryPi and multiple SBCs Desert! (ARM)

(“Rev 03” work-in-progress… 😉 All details as of Feb 2014.)

We have the continuing rise of the RaspberryPi taking an ever greater proportion of the world by storm, now beyond two million and counting. Can the RasPi alone revitalize computer education and the present day world of computer hobbyists?

Or, what else is there? How do other ARM SoC SBC systems compare?

A good list of devices to compare against the Raspberry Pi is given on elinux.org: RaspberryPi Comparison.

In briefer summary, here’s my brief list of ARM-based systems:

(Errors excepted etc… Let me know for any mistakes or additions! Any other devices? How do these SBCs compare against recently available similarly priced Graphics Pads?…)

Summary list:

And for the more complete spec list:

Baseline is the RaspberryPi (Model B) 700MHz ARM11 ARMv6 (32-bit), 512MB, SDcard, 100Mb/s ethernet:

  • Price: US$ 35
  • SoC: Broadcom BCM2835 (CPU, GPU, DSP, SDRAM, and single USB2 port)
  • CPU: 700 MHz ARM1176JZF-S core (ARM11 family, ARMv6 instruction set)
  • GPU: Broadcom VideoCore IV @ 250 MHz supporting OpenGL ES 2.0 (24 GFLOPS), MPEG-2 and VC-1, 1080p 30fps h.264/MPEG-4 AVC high-profile decoder and encoder
  • Memory (SDRAM): 512 MB (shared with GPU)
  • Storage: SD / MMC / SDIO card slot (3.3V card power support only)
  • Network: 100Mbit/s Ethernet (8P8C) (utilizes an adapter on the third port of the integral USB hub)
  • 2x USB2 via built in integrated 3-port USB hub
  • Video input: CSI input of dedicated camera modules
  • Video outputs: Composite RCA (PAL and NTSC), HDMI (rev 1.3 & 1.4) 14 resolutions from 640×350 to 1920×1200 for PAL and NTSC, raw LCD Panels via DSI
  • Audio outputs: 3.5 mm jack, HDMI, I²S audio (in/out, revision 2 boards)
  • Other I/O: 8x GPIO, UART, I²C bus, SPI bus with two chip selects, I²S audio, +3.3 V, +5 V, ground
  • Power: 700 mA (3.5 W), 5V via MicroUSB or GPIO header
  • Size: 86×54 mm
  • Weight: 45 g
  • Operating systems: Arch Linux ARM, Debian GNU/Linux, Gentoo, Fedora, FreeBSD, NetBSD, Plan 9, Raspbian OS, RISC OS, Slackware Linux, plus others
  • Huge community support from the Raspberry Pi users themselves and also from Maker-groups, FLOSS community, and Education. Large ever-expanding add-ons support.

BeagleBone Black:

  • Price: US$ 45
  • SoC: AM335x 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8 & 3D graphics accelerator
  • Memory: 512MB DDR3 RAM
  • Storage: 2GB 8-bit eMMC on-board flash storage
  • 100Mbit/s native ethernet
  • Video output: HDMI
  • USB host
  • 2x PRU 32-bit microcontrollers
  • 2x 46 pin headers
  • USB client for power & communications
  • Operating systems: Android, Ångström Linux, Ubuntu, Cloud9 IDE on Node.js with BoneScript library, plus much more

pcDuino Development Board:

  • Price: £49
  • SoC: 1GHz ARM Cortex A8 & Mali 400 core, OpenGL ES2.0, OpenVG 1.1
  • Memory: 1GB
  • Storage: 2GB on-board flash, microSD card (TF) slot for up to 32GB
  • 100Mbit/s ethernet and on-board WiFi module
  • Video output: HDMI
  • USB host
  • Extension Interface: Arduino Headers
  • Operating systems: Linux3.0 + Ubuntu 12.04, Android ICS 4.0
  • Power: 5V, 2000mA
  • Overall Size: 125mm x 52mm

Olimex A10-OLinuXino-LIME 1GHz A10 Cortex-A8 ARMv7 (32-bit), 512MB, SATA & SDcard, 100Mb/s ethernet:

  • Price: 30 Euros
  • SoC CPU/GPU: A10 Cortex-A8 CPU 1GHz and Mali 400 GPU
  • Memory: 512MB DDR3 RAM
  • Storage: SATA connector with 5V SATA power jack, MicroSD card connector, 2KB EEPROM for MAC address storage and more
  • 100Mbit/s native ethernet
  • Video output: HDMI (1080p), LCD connector compatible with with 4.3″, 7.0″, 10.1″ LCD modules from Olimex
  • 2x USB2 host with power control and current limiter
  • 160 GPIOs on four GPIO connectors
  • DEBUG-UART connector for console debug with USB-SERIAL-CABLE-F
  • GPIO LED, Battery charge status LED, Power LED
  • 3x buttons with Android functionality & reset button
  • USB-OTG with power control and current limiter
  • LiPo Battery connector with battery-charging capabilities
  • 5V input
  • Size: 84×60 mm

Olimex A13-OLinuXino-WIFI 1GHz A13 Cortex-A8 ARMv7 (32-bit), 512MB, 4GB flash & SDcard, 150Mb/s WiFi:

  • Price: 55 Euros
  • SoC CPU/GPU: A13 Cortex-A8 CPU 1GHz and Mali 400 GPU
  • Memory: 512MB RAM
  • Storage: 4GB NAND flash, SDcard connector
  • WiFi RTL8188CU 802.11n 150Mbit/s module on-board via onboard USB
  • Video output: VGA/HDMI or LCD, Optional low-cost 7″ LCD with touchscreen
  • 3x USB hosts
  • Audio Output & Microphone Input
  • RTC PCF8536 real time clock
  • UEXT connector for connecting additional UEXT modules such as Zigbee, Bluetooth, Relays, etc
  • GPIO connector with 68/74 pins to add NAND flash, LCDs, 3x I2C, 2x UARTs, SDIO2 for SD cards and modules, general IO
  • 5x system pins: +5V, +3.3V, GND, RESET, NMI
  • 5x Keys on board for android navigation
  • 1x USB OTG which can power the board
  • 6-16VDC input power supply
  • Battery option and connector
  • Android OS ready in NAND memory, optional SDcard Linux image
  • Size: 120×120 mm

Olimex A20-OLinuXino-MICRO 1GHz(?) A20 Cortex-A7 dual-core ARMv7 (32-bit), 1GB, SATA & SDcard, 100Mb/s ethernet:

  • Price: 55 Euros
  • SoC CPU/GPU:A20 Cortex-A7 dual-core CPU & dual-core Mali 400 GPU
  • Memory: 1GB DDR3 RAM
  • Storage: SATA connector with 5V SATA power jack, microSD, SD/MMC card, 2KB EEPROM for MAC address storage and more
  • 100Mbit/s native ethernet
  • Video output: HDMI & VGA (1080p), LCD connector compatible with with 4.3″, 7.0″, 10.1″ LCD modules from Olimex
  • 2x USB2 host with power control and current limiter
  • Audio Output & Microphone Input
  • 2x UEXT connectors
  • 160x GPIOs across three GPIO connectors
  • DEBUG-UART connector for console debug with USB-SERIAL-CABLE-F
  • 10x buttons with Android functionality & reset button
  • GPIO LED, Battery charge status LED, Power LED
  • USB-OTG with power control and current limiter
  • Battery connector with battery-charging capabilities
  • 6-16V input power supply, noise immune design
  • Size: 142×83 mm

ODROID-U3 Community Edition
$59

* 1.7GHz Quad-Core processor and 2GByte RAM
* 10/100Mbps Ethernet with RJ-45 LAN Jack
* 3 x High speed USB2.0 Host ports
* Audio codec with headphone jack on board
* XUbuntu 13.10 or Android 4.x Operating System
* Size : 83 x 48 mm, Weight : 48g including heat sink

Processor Samsung Exynos4412 Prime Cortex-A9 Quad Core 1.7Ghz with 1MB L2 cache
Memory 2048MB(2GB) LP-DDR2 880Mega data rate
3D Accelerator Mali-400 Quad Core 440MHz
Video supports 1080p via HDMI cable(H.264+AAC based MP4 container format)
Video Out micro HDMI connector
Audio Standard 3.5mm headphone jack
HDMI Digital
LAN 10/100Mbps Ethernet with RJ-45 Jack ( Auto-MDIX support)
USB2.0 Host High speed standard A type connector x 3 ports
USB2.0 Device ADB/Mass storage(Micro USB)
Display HDMI monitor
Storage (Option) MicroSD Card Slot
eMMC module socket
Power (Option) 5V 2A Power
System Software Linux : Xubuntu 13.10 or latest version
Android : u-boot 2010.12, Kernel 3.0.x, Android 4.x
Full source code is available now.
PCB Size 83 x 48 mm
Weight 48g including the heat sink

Cubieboard2 1GHz(?) A20 Cortex-A7 dual-core ARMv7 (32-bit), 1GB, SATA & SDcard, 100Mb/s ethernet:

  • Price: £55
  • SoC CPU/GPU:A20 Cortex-A7 dual-core CPU & dual-core Mali 400 GPU
  • Memory: 1GB DDR3 @ 960MHz
  • Storage: SATA, microSD, 4Gb NAND Flash
  • 100Mbit/s native ethernet
  • Video output: HDMI (1080p)
  • 2x USB Host
  • 1x IR
  • 96 extender pins
  • Size: 100×60 mm
  • Operating systems: Android, Ubuntu and other Linux distributions

“Cubietruck” Cubieboard3 1GHz(?) A20 Cortex-A7 dual-core ARMv7 (32-bit), 2GB, SATA2 & SDcard, 1Gb/s ethernet:

  • Price: £90
  • SoC CPU/GPU: A20 Cortex-A7 dual-core CPU & dual-core Mali 400 GPU
  • Memory: 2GB DDR3 @ 480MHz
  • Storage: SATA2, MicroSD, 4Gb NAND Flash
  • 1Gbit/s native Ethernet, WIFI & BT wireless with on-board antenna
  • Video output: HDMI, VGA (1080p)
  • 2x USB Host
  • 1x IR
  • Audio: 1x Headphone & SPDIF
  • 3x Keys
  • 54 extender pins supporting I2S, I2C, SPI, CVBS, LRADC, UART, PS2, PWM, TS/CSI, IRDA, LINEIN & FMIN & MICIN, TVIN
  • RTC & Li-battery
  • Size: 100×60 mm
  • Operating systems: Android, Ubuntu and other Linux distributions
  • Size: 110×80 mm

CuBox Pro (Obsolete?)

  • Price: £110
  • SoC CPU/GPU: 800 MHz Marvell Armada 510 dual issue ARM PJ4
  • Memory: 2GB DDR3 @ 800MHz
  • Storage: eSATA2, MicroSD
  • 1Gbit/s native ethernet (470Mbit/s max bandwidth due to internal chip bus limits)
  • Video output: HDMI (1080p)
  • 2x USB2, 1x micro-USB2 host
  • 1x IR
  • Audio: SPDIF
  • Operating systems: Android, Ubuntu and other Linux distributions
  • Size: approx 500x500x500 mm cube

CuBox-i4Pro 1GHz i.MX6 Quad core ARM Cortex-A9 ARMv7 (64-bit), 2GB, eSATA2 & microSD, 1Gb/s ethernet & WiFi/BT:

  • Price: US$ 125
  • SoC CPU/GPU: 1GHz i.MX6 Quad core & GC2000 GPU
  • Memory: 2GB DDR3 @ 1GHz
  • Storage: eSATA2, MicroSD
  • 1Gbit/s native ethernet (470Mbit/s max bandwidth due to internal chip bus limits), WiFi b/g/n, BlueTooth 2.1
  • Video output: HDMI (1080p)
  • 2x USB2, 1x micro-USB2 host
  • 1x IR
  • Audio: SPDIF
  • RTC with bBackup battery
  • Operating systems: Android, Ubuntu and other Linux distributions
  • Size: approx 550x550x420 mm cube

UDOO Quad Core Cortex A9 1GHz, 1GB DDR3 RAM, with Arduino ARM Cortex-M3 CPU £115.20

Android and Linux
embedded Arduino Due compatible board based on an Atmel SAM3X ARM processor
Arduino-compatible R3 headers to accept Arduino shields

ARM i.MX6 Quad Cortex Freescale processor

  • FlexCAN (Flexible Controller Area Network) switchable between the i.MX6 and the SAM3X8E processors
  • SDcard
  • Dedicated GPUs for 2D and 3D graphics and composition
  • 1GB of DDR3 RAM
  • 76x GPIO
  • HDMI & LVDS + Touch
  • 2x microUSB
  • 2x USB2 and 1x USB2
  • Digital audio in/out Analog audio and mic jacks
  • CSI camera connection
  • RJ45 Ethernet
  • WiFi module
  • SATA connector with power header
  • Arduino compatible R3 1.0 pinout, accepts Arduino shields
  • Size: 110×85 mm

Parallella Computer – hosting Epiphany multicore chips developed by Adapteva

  • $99
  • Zynq-7000 Series Dual-core ARM A9 CPU (Z-7010 or Z-7020)
  • 16 or 64-core Epiphany Multicore Accelerator
  • 1GB RAM
  • MicroSD Card
  • 2x USB 2.0
  • 4 general purpose expansion connectors
  • 10/100/1000 Ethernet
  • HDMI port
  • Ships with Ubuntu OS
  • 3.4″ x 2.15″ form factor

5 comments to RaspberryPi and multiple SBCs Desert! (ARM)

  • Martin L

    The RasPi gets a make-over to join the legion of SO-DIMM format computer-on-moduleSBCs:

    The Register: Mad Raspberry Pi boffins ripped out its BRAINS and SHRANK them for your pleasure

    … The Raspberry Pi Foundation says kits that bundle one Compute Module and one I/O Board will be available from RS and Element14, its retail partners, sometime in June.

    Shortly after that, the Compute Module will begin selling on its own, at a unit cost of around $30 (roughly $5 less than the full-fat Pi sells for). The catch is that if you want them at that price, you’ll need to order them in batches of 100. You’ll be able to buy individual Compute Modules, too, but the Foundation says the price will be “slightly higher” if you do. No pricing for the kit including the I/O Board was given…

    Raspberry Pi Compute Module: New product!

    … The compute module contains the guts of a Raspberry Pi (the BCM2835 processor and 512Mbyte of RAM) as well as a 4Gbyte eMMC Flash device (which is the equivalent of the SD card in the Pi). This is all integrated on to a small 67.6x30mm board which fits into a standard DDR2 SODIMM connector (the same type of connector as used for laptop memory*). The Flash memory is connected directly to the processor on the board, but the remaining processor interfaces are available to the user via the connector pins. You get the full flexibility of the BCM2835 SoC…

    All very good and ‘nice’ but… For their ‘reference development (I/O) board’ (85x105mm), they STILL have the mess of connectors all around the edges that makes for an explosion of connecting cables in all directions. Can’t they at least put all the ‘must connect’ connectors down just the ONE EDGE so that such as power, USB, and HDMI video all neatly go along just the one edge to then allow the cables to neatly run in just the one direction?…

    Regardless, good to see continuing new ideas!

     

    Note: There’s no network bridge chip on this version. You will need to use a USB -> Ethernet/WiFi adapter.

    * Also note that very ‘obviously’ this module is not pin compatible with a DDR2 memory socket! (Same form factor for convenience but different wiring for a very different function 🙂 )

  • Martin L

    Here is a brief summary and reader poll by linux.com for Top 10 Open Source Linux and Android SBCs

  • Martin L

    Happy New Year for 2015!

    To blow up my little 2014 summary of Linux SBCs, here’s an excellent terse summary by LinuxGizmos.com of no less than 40 SBCs:

    Ringing in 2015 with 40 Linux-friendly hacker SBCs

    … Over the last year we’ve seen some new quad- and octa-core boards with more memory, built-in WiFi, and other extras. Yet, most of the growth has been in the under $50 segment where the Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone reign. Based on specs alone, standouts in price/performance that have broken the $40 barrier include the new Odroid-C1 and pcDuino3 Nano, but other good deals abound here as well…

    … The 40 hacker-friendly SBCs are briefly described in the list below, in alphabetical order:

    And for my view from that lot, the RasPi still has huge appeal for flexibilty, support, and cost. However, the pcDuino Acadia 1 also looks tempting for quad-core grunt but how does that compare for usability and support? Note also the (Phoronix article) ODROID-C1 (and comments). Anyone given those a try?

    Other general comments picked up suggest that the PowerVR GPUs are very poorly supported and also that the Mali GPUs are poor for FLOSS support. Yet a large proportion of those SBCs use the “Allwinner” SoC + Mali GPU combination… Is FLOSS support to improve for those?…

    Regardless, it is good to be spoilt for choice!

    Happy New Year!
    Martin

    • Martin L

      Adding to that little list there is a soon to become available “MIPS® Creator CI20 board”:

      New MIPS Creator CI20 development board for Linux and Android debuts

      MIPS® Creator CI20: £50.00 Inc. VAT, Available End Jan 2015

      CI20 Hardware

      The headline detail is:

      Linux and Android development platform.

      Creator CI20 is preloaded with Debian 7.
      Android 4.4, Gentoo, Yocto are available for download.

      Ingenic JZ4780, dual-core2GHz MIPS32 processor, PowerVR SGX540 GPU, 32k I&D L1 cache, 512k L2 cache
      IEEE754 Floating Point Unit
      4GB Flash, 1GB DDR3 memory
      Video playback up to 1080p
      AC97 audio, via 4-pin input/output jack and HDMI connector
      Camera interface – ITU645 controller
      Connectivity – 10/100 ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0
      HDMI output up to 2K resolution
      2 x USB – host and OTG
      14-pin EJTAG connector
      2 x UART, GPIO, SPI, I2C, ADC, expansion headers

      My main question is how much Linux/FLOSS support is there for the MIPS CPU + PowerVR GPU combination?

      Good and interesting to have another SBC alongside the RasPi!

      • Martin L

        … And Imagination is now shipping (30/01/2015):

        Imagination’s £50 Raspberry Pi Rival is Now Shipping

        … the Creator CI20 microcomputer launched early last month? Well it’s now shipping to everyone who has pre-ordered a board. It has also turned purple, as you can see from the image above.

        The first of a family of boards that will run Linux or Android, Creator CI20 includes two essential ultra-low power technologies from Imagination: a dual-core MIPS32 CPU and a PowerVR SGX540 graphics processor.

        Also check out the board running Android 4.4 KitKat in the video below…

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