Our 2022 catalog of 136 open-spec, maker-oriented SBCs that run Linux or Android provides updated prices and descriptions plus a comparison spreadsheet of major features.
The following summaries of 136 predominantly community-backed and open-spec Linux/Android hacker boards at $200 or under are listed in alpha order. They list specs and lowest available pricing recorded in the last two weeks of Dec. 2021 and first week of Jan. 2022 with products either shipping or available for pre-order with expected ship date by 2Q 2021.
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Please also check out our introduction article covering the key SBC trends and new products launched in 2021 (see link below).
Bulgaria-based Olimex’s OlinuXino project was among the first open-spec community SBC projects along with BeagleBoard.org, the now defunct Wandboard.org, and the Raspberry Pi community. The A20-OlinuXino-Lime2 builds on an Allwinner A20 with a Gigabit Ethernet (GbE, or 10/100/1000Mbps) port, microSD slot, HDMI port, LCD interface, and 3x USB ports. You also get battery support and 160 GPIOs. The 84 x 60mm SBC is available with Armbian and Debian Buster with mainline images up to Linux 4.19.5. Although the A20-OlinuXino-Lime2 is one of the oldest boards in our catalog, Olimex continues to enhance it with new options. These include a Lime2-SHIELD add-on selling for 7 Euros ($7.90) with 40-pin GPIO, CAN, audio I/O, and microSD. The shield also includes Olimex’s homegrown UEXT connector, which supplies serial, I2C, and SPI. Other LIME-2 options include a new metal enclosure (8 Euros), among many others. There are also enclosed versions of the LIME2: The $75-Euro LIME2-Server has a metal case, an external SATA drive, and UPS backup, and the 69-Euro Pioneer Edition FreedomBox Home Server combines the LIME2 with a metal case, backup battery, power adapter, LAN cable, and a 32GB microSD card with FreedomBox software. Olimex has now released a follow-on to the A20-OlinuXino-Lime2 called the STMP1-OlinuXino-Lime2, which advances to an STM32MP1 SoC (see farther below).
The A20-OlinuXino-Micro has all the I/O of the first-gen Lime models, and adds audio I/O, VGA, and a touch-enabled LCD interface. This larger, 142 x 83mm board offers expansion connectors with optional I/O modules. You get a choice of various flash options, and like all the OlinuXino boards, optional -45 to 85°C support.
The 71 x 66mm A33-OlinuXino has a faster quad-core Allwinner A33 compared to earlier OlinuXino boards, but with a reduced feature set. The only real-world ports are a mini-USB OTG port, audio jacks, and a 5V jack. Two unassembled 40-pin connectors support GPIO, as well as 1280 x 800-pixel LCD and dual MIPI-CSI camera interfaces. You can download images for Android 4.4 and Armbian.
Like Olimex’s open source (Teres-A64) laptop, the 90.0 x 62.5mm A64-OLinuXino runs Ubuntu on a quad Cortex-A53 Allwinner A64. The SBC is available in models including a 1G version with 1GB RAM and no flash, a 1Gs16M that adds 16MB SPI flash, a 1Ge4GW with 1GB RAM and 4GB eMMC, a 1Ge16GW with 1GB RAM and 16GB eMMC, and a 2G16G-IND with 2GB RAM, 8GB eMMC, and -45 to 85°C support. Only the 1Ge4GW and 1Ge16GW ship with WiFi and Bluetooth. They all offer GbE, microSD, USB 2.0 host, micro-USB OTG, HDMI, MIPI-DSI, 40-pin GPIO, and an RTC with battery connector. As we noted a year ago, Olimex continues to work on a more powerful Tukhla board built around NXP’s i.MX8 QuadMax. There is now a preliminary IMX8QM-Tukhla product page. See farther below for two more Olimex boards: the RK3328-SOM-EVB and the STM32MP157-OLinXino-Lime2.
Most of T-Firefly’s boards are sold under Firefly branding and others have ROC branding (see farther below). The $149 AIO-1808-JD4 is one of its sandwich-style AIO boards, in this case expanding upon a Core-1808-JD4 AI Core Board module that sells for $59 on its own with 1GB RAM and 8GB eMMC. The module runs Ubuntu 18.04 with Qt and provides an NPU development tookit with RKNN. It was announced with 2GB to 4GB RAM and 128GB eMMC, but times being what they are, 1GB/8GB appears to be the only option. The RK1808 is limited to dual Cortex-A35 cores and lacks 3D graphics, but features the same 3-TOPS NPU found on the Rockchip RK3399Pro. The open-spec AIO-1808-JD4 is equipped with GbE, USB 3.0, and USB 2.0 ports plus 5x more USB 2.0 and 2x COM interfaces. Media features include LVDS, MIPI-DSI, and -CSI connectors and an optional touchscreen and camera plus an audio jack and mic, speaker, and I2S audio. A mini-PCIe slot with SIM supports an optional 4G module. There appears to be an M.2 slot, as well. This is the only RK1808 board in the roundup. Beiqui’s BeiQi CarrierBoard Kit combined with a BeiQi RK1808 AIoT module is over out limit, selling for a combined $243.
Last March, T-Firefly announced a Rockchip RK3568 powered Core-3568J module, which was to be paired with an unnamed mainboard (see LinuxGizmos link above). Since then, the module and its AIO-3568J carrier have launched, but the latter starts beyond our price limit at $259 with 2GB RAM and 32GB eMMC. T-Firefly also launched a similar AIO-3566-JD4 board, which sells for $139 (1GB/8GB) or $155 (2GB/32GB). The board ships with the Core-3566-JD4 module, which offers the the RK3568’s slightly scaled back RK3566 sibling. The module sells on its own for $59 or $75. The 12V AIO-3566-JD4 carrier ships with SATA, as well as an M.2 slot for NVMe and a mini-PCIe slot for 4G. Major ports include GbE, HDMI, USB 3.0, and Type-C OTG. There are dual audio jacks, eDP, and dual MIPI-DSI interfaces. The higher-end AIO-3568J with the Core-3568J adds a GbE WAN port with PoE plus 3x more USB ports, dual MIPI-CSI, wide-range power, and a variety of terminal block industrial I/Os such as CAN and serial. The Core-3568J is available with up to 4G/32GB ($289).
Announced in Nov. 2019, this collaboration with SunPlus is available for $75 on AliExpress, which is about $10 more than last year when you factor in the cheaper $3.16 shipping to the US. We have removed from the catalog the newer and more feature-rich BPI-F2P variant from last year, which is no longer available on AliExpress. Only two BPI-F2P units are left via Smartfly on Amazon for 100 Euros ($113), which is almost twice as much as last year. The similarly industrial-focused BPI-FS2 is built around the SunPlus SP7021 (Plus1) SoC. There is no indication whether the price is for the 128MB or 512MB DDR3. The 110 x 75mm BPI-F2S is equipped with a 720p HDMI port, MIPI-CSI, 2x 10/100 Ethernet, 2x USB 2.0, micro-USB, TPM, and debug I/O. For expansion, there is a HAT-compatible 40-pin GPIO link and dual 50-pin connectors that support a Trenz Electronic TE0725LP-01-100-2D module equipped with an Artix-7 FPGA and 95 I/Os. Images are available for Debian Buster, Fedora 31 Mate, Ubuntu 18.04, Kail Linux, Mozilla IoT Gateway, and CentOS, all with Linux 5.4.35. Source is found on GitHub, and SinoVoip has posted schematics and other open hardware resources.
The Banana Pi BPI-M2 Berry, which sells for $42 on AliExpress plus $6.32 for US shipment, is based on the earlier BPI-Ultra design. It similarly features native SATA. The Berry has a smaller, Pi-like 85 x 56mm footprint and a different quad -A7 Allwinner SoC: the camera enabled Allwinner V40 instead of the almost identical R40. The BPI-Berry offers 4x USB 2.0 host ports plus a micro-USB OTG port. Other features include microSD, WiFi, Bluetooth, GbE, HDMI, MIPI-DSI and -CSI, audio I/O, and an RPi-like 40-pin connector.
The 65 x 65mm Banana Pi BPI-M2 Pro is an upgrade of the discontinued, Allwinner H3 powered BPI-M2+ and can use the same accessories and enclosure. Like the slightly more expensive and more feature-rich BPI-M5 (see farther below), the SBC taps the Amlogic S905X3. The BPI-M2 Pro has half the RAM and half the USB 3.0 ports (2x) of the RPi-like BPI-M5. It also lacks the M5’s audio jack. However, its smaller size and standard WiFi/BT add appeal. Other features include GbE, HDMI 2.1, micro-USB, IR, and 40-pin GPIO. Unlike the BPI-M5, there is a 5V/3 DC input jack instead of Type-C. The SBC supports Android 9, as well as Ubuntu, Debian, CoreELEC, and Huawei OpenEuler. The Pro sells for $61 on AliExpress.
The Banana Pi BPI-M2 Ultra (BPI-M2U) may be on the way out. It is no longer available at AliExpress and only three are in stock at Amazon for $70, which is $17 more than last year. The SBC superseded the similarly 92 x 60mm — and now defunct — BPI-M2 with a faster Allwinner R40 SoC that enables the Ultra’s native SATA connector. The M2 Ultra is equipped with GbE, WiFi, Bluetooth, 3x USB host, and single HDMI and micro-USB OTG ports. Other features include a 40-pin RPi connector, MIPI-DSI, an audio jack, and a mic interface.
Selling for $22.90 on AliExpress with free shipping to the US, the 60 x 30mm Banana Pi BPI-M2 Zero mimics the Raspberry Pi Zero W, but has a faster Allwinner H2+. The H2+ is like an Allwinner H3, but with HD instead of 4K support. The feature set is almost identical to the RPi Zero W, with WiFi, BT, MIPI-CSI, 40-pin expansion, mini-HDMI, and power-only micro-USB OTG ports. There are two M2 Zero spinoffs: the BPI-P2 Zero, which adds 8GB eMMC and 10/100 Ethernet with PoE and the BPI-P2 Maker without the eMMC or WiFi (see below) They all run Ubuntu 16.04, Raspbian and Android 4.4.
The BPI-M3, which sells for $73 on AliExpress, features an octa-core Allwinner A83T. The SBC has about the same size (92 x 60mm), layout, and features as the M2 Ultra, and similarly integrates 40-pin GPIO. Like the M2 Ultra, the M3 supplies GbE, WiFi, SATA, 3x USB, and multiple display and camera options. Software support includes Android 5.1, Debian 8, Ubuntu 16.04 Mate, Raspbian Jesse Mate, Arch Linux, and more.
SinoVoip announced the Banana Pi BPI-M4 back in Feb. 2018 but did not launch it until June 2019. Selling for $$49.50 or $55 on AliExpress plus $8.54 shipping to the US, the BPI-M4 is the only board in our catalog with a Realtek RTD1395. Although at 92 x 60mm, the M4 is larger than the Raspberry Pi, it has an RPi 3-style layout, 40-pin GPIO, and similar feature set. It lacks the GbE port of the RPi 3B+ or RPi 4, but similarly offers optional PoE. Like the similarly sized BPI-M64, the SBC supplies a WiFi-ac/BT 4.2 module and an M.2 E-key slot for cellular. However, the M4’s HDMI port lacks 4K support and there are no MIPI interfaces. Other features include 2x USB 2.0 host, 2x USB OTG, a single Type-C port, and an audio jack. The novelty of the RTD1395 initially slowed OS support, but there are now images for Android 8.1, Debian Buster, AArch, Raspbian, Ubuntu Mate 18.04, and Ubuntu Server 16.04, all with Linux 4.9.119.
The BPI-M5 was major Banana Pi announcement of 2020, but this Raspberry Pi 4 competitor did not launch until 2021. The BPI-M5 now starts at $67 on AliExpress. Like the Odroid-C4, it provides an S905X3 equipped with 4x, up to 2GHz Cortex-A55 cores and a Mali-G31 GPU. The SBC provides 4GB LPDDR4, 16GB eMMC, 4x USB 3.0, GbE and HDMI, and 40-pin GPIO. Other features include Type-C power port, an audio jack, IR, and a debug interface. For $5 more you get a power adapter, and an $88 bundle also supplies an acrylic case and a BPI RTL 8822CS with 802.11ac and BT 4.2. Software support includes Android 9 with Linux 4.9.113, or Ubuntu Mate Desktop 20.04, Ubuntu Server 20.04, and Debian Buster, all with kernel 4.9.241.
Unlike most Banana Pi models, the M64 is not a Raspberry Pi lookalike, although it has a RPi-style 40-pin connector. The 92 x 60mm SBC provides 4K-ready HDMI, MIPI-DSI, and -CSI, as well as wireless and GbE connections. The BPI-M64 is further equipped with 3x USB host ports and a micro-USB OTG port. The board is selling for $62 at AliExpress plus $6.32 shipping.
The BPI-P2 Maker is a smaller version of the BPI-P2 Zero that lacks its WiFi/BT and 8GB eMMC. The Maker sells for $24 on AliExpress or $28.50 with PoE, almost twice as much as a year ago. A year ago, we included the BPI-P2 Zero in this listing but have removed it now that the AliExpress page says it is no longer available. Oddly, the Zero is still listed at the Banana Pi site but the Maker isn’t. (The LinuxGizmos and product page link above goes to the Zero, but the image shows the Maker.) You can still find the BPI-P2 Zero, itself a variant of the BPI-M2 Zero, at several sites selling off stock such as Chip Board AliExpress page, where pricing ranges from $12.12 to $41.58. The newer BPI-P2 Maker provides MIPI-CSI, mini-HDMI, USB 2.0, power-only micro-USB OTG, and 40-pin GPIO. Both models share the same Linux and Android support.
The BPI-R2 follow-on to the BPI-R1 router board is being replaced by a BPI-R2 Pro model that was announced in August but has yet to ship. The original AliExpress page says the R2 is no longer available but you can still pick up some pieces for $104.80 at the Million Sunshine page on AliExpress plus shipping. The price is about $20 more than last year. Features include 4x GbE, WAN, HDMI 1.4, MIPI-DSI, and up to 2x SATA III interfaces. You also get WiFi/BT, mini-PCIe, 40-pin GPIO, 2x USB 3.0, and micro-USB 2.0 OTG. The upcoming Pro replacement advances from a quad -A7 MT7623N to a quad -A55 RK3568 with a Mali-G52 EE GPU and a 0.8-TOPS NPU. The BPI-R2 Pro doubles the RAM and eMMC to 4GB and 16GB. It also adds MIPI-CSI, an audio jack, a speaker connector, and an RTC with battery and replaces the WiFi/BT module with an M.2 E-key slot. The Pro removes the optional second SATA interface and SATA power connector.
The BPI-R64 is a variant of the BPI-R2 with a faster but only dual-core Cortex-A53 based MT7622 SoC. The network-savvy SoC integrates a “4x4n” 802.11n and Bluetooth 5.0 chip. There is an option for a MTK7615 chip with 802.11ac, as well as a PoE card, but neither is available as an option on the SmartFly page on AliExpress. The BPI-R64 has the same 148 x 100.5mm dimensions as the BPI-R2, and most of the same features, but is limited to only 1GB of RAM and single USB and SATA connections. Like the R2, the headless board provides 4x switched GbE ports, a WAN port, microSD, IR, 40-pin GPIO, and mini-PCIe slot with SIM slot. Linux support is the same, with a focus on OpenWrt. In 2020, SinoVoip launched a Banana Pi GrassRouter router board that is way beyond our price limit at $750. The MediaTek MT7622E based GrassRouter offers 4x GbE, 5x mini-PCIe, M.2, and 7x SIM slots.
The BPI-W2 router and NAS board, which sells for a low of $88 on AliExpress, is a spinoff of the BPI-R1 and R2 boards. The 148 x 100.5mm SBC provides dual SATA III, dual GbE, and a WAN port. You also get 4x USB ports, including Type-C and 3.0 ports. For expansion there are 3x M.2 slots with PCIe support and a SIM slot, as well as 40-pin GPIO. Unlike most networking boards, the BPI-W2 can also bring it when it comes to media: You get HDMI in and out, mini-DP, and an audio jack. The BPI-W2 runs Android 6.0, CentOS, Debian 9, Raspbian, Ubuntu 15.04, or OpenWrt on Realtek’s RTD1296, a NAS-oriented variant of the RTD1295 with a Mali-T820 MP3 GPU.
The BeagleBone AI (or BBone-AI) is the first BeagleBone to break with the BeagleBone Black’s single-core -A8 TI Sitara AM3359 design. The TI AM5729 is still a 32-bit SoC and only bumps up to dual cores, but they are faster Cortex-A15 cores clocked at 1.5GHz. The SBC is loaded with co-processors, adding to the previous PRU cores and PowerVR GPU with dual DSPs, dual Cortex-M4, and 4x EVE cores for vision processing and AI acceleration. The SBC sells for a low of $107.27 at Newark, with most other distributors charging over $120. The BeagleBone AI retains the familiar BB Black footprint and Cape add-on connectors. The SBC offers WiFi-ac/BT, as well as single GbE, HD-ready micro-HDMI, USB 3.0 Type-C OTG, and USB 2.0 host ports. You also get a PMIC, LCD with touch, and I/O including UART, I2C, SPI, and JTAG. Debian 10.3 is available. Meanwhile, the BeagleV SBC announced a year ago, based on the RISC-V architecture StarFive JH7100, has re-emerged with minor changes as StarFive’s VisionFive V1 (see farther below). BeagleBoard.org plans to launch at least one BeagleV SBC in 2022 based on other RISC-V processors.
The industrial-oriented, Debian-ready BeagleBone Black Rev C stands out with its numerous expansion interfaces and programmable “PRU” MCUs, as well as its robust BeagleBoard.org community and add-on ecosystem. This legendary hacker board sells for a low of $52.50 at Mouser and Digi-Key with other vendors close behind. The BB Black has been followed by more feature rich and/or lower cost clones, as well as the pricier, but more powerful BeagleBone AI. Farther below, check out several BeagleBone Green models from Seeed, as well as BeagleBoard.org’s own BeagleBone Black Wireless and BeagleBone Blue. (The PocketBeagle is out of stock.) We did not include a separate listing for Element14’s BeagleBone Black Industrial 4G, which is identical to the BB Black except for its conformal coating and -20 to 85°C support, and is selling for $78.95 at AliExpress. However, we did add a separate listing for Sancloud’s more distinctive BeagleBone Enhanced.
BeagleBoard.org’s alternative to Seeed’s BeagleBone Green Wireless sells for a low of $104.27 at Element14, which is about $34 more than last year. Like the BB Green Wireless, the SBC adds 2.4GHz 802.11a/b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.1 BLE to the BeagleBone Black design. Unlike Seeed’s two BB Green models, the BeagleBone Black Wireless retains the BB Black’s micro-HDMI port but removes the Ethernet port. It is otherwise identical to the BB Black with one big exception: It incorporates the OSD3358 SiP (system-in-package) module from Octavo Systems, which built the SBC as well. Octavo sells a more advanced OSD3358-SM-RED BeagleBone compatible with the same SiP package, which has gone way over our price limit to $350.
This robotics-oriented, education-focused BeagleBoard.org collaboration with the UCSD Coordinated Robotics Lab is a BeagleBone clone that adds motion control and battery friendly power. The BB Blue is one of the few boards in the roundup to drop in price since last year, selling for $70 at Arrow. Like the BeagleBone Black Wireless, the BeagleBone Blue integrates a TI WiLink 8 with WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1 LE, as well as an Octavo Systems OSD3358 SiP module that encapsulates the Sitara AM3358 SoC, RAM, and flash along with a PMIC and other features. There is no Ethernet or display I/O, but you get micro-USB 2.0 host and client ports, 8x servo outputs, 4x DC motor outputs, and 4x quad encoder inputs. Other features include an IMU, barometer, JTAG, GPS, and a DSM2 radio. You also get a 9-18V DC input, a LiPo battery connector, extra user buttons and LEDs, plus the usual extensive list of BB Black interfaces. Distro support includes the BeagleBone’s default, real-time enhanced Debian stack, as well as Ubuntu Core. There is also compatibility with ArduPilot, MATLAB, Simulink, LabVIEW, and ROS.
Aside from the BeagleBone AI, which has a faster processor, this is the most advanced of the BBone clones. The SBC adds 1GB RAM support, 1MB SPI boot flash, and Gigabit Ethernet. The two WiFi models offer 2.4GHz WiFi with BT 4.0 with external antennas. The WiFi 1G adds an internal antenna and like the non-WiFi Industrial model, it adds a micro-HDMI port as an alternative to the LCD interface. Both SKUs add an audio output, 6-axis MEMS accelerometer/gyro, barometer, temperature sensor, and a DC jack in addition to the mini-USB. The Industrial also offers -40 to 85°C support. They all provide optional RTC and battery backup, as well as three homegrown Cape variants: 3G 4G CAN-Bus Cape, CAN-Bus Cape, and a GNSS/GPS 3G 4G CAN-Bus Cape. The Industrial model is available in separate SKUs that bundle each of these.
Seeed’s BeagleBoard.org-sanctioned, IoT-focused re-spins of the BeagleBone Black lacks the BB Black’s micro-HDMI port and 5V barrel jack, but it costs less, and adds expansion connectors for Seeed’s Grove sensors. It also replaces the mini-USB port with a micro-USB. The Wireless model adds WiFi and Bluetooth, as well as three more USB host ports for a total of four, making it the USB leader among all the BB Black clones. A TI WiLink8 module is now standard, boosting wireless capabilities to Bluetooth 4.1 LE and 2.4GHz 802.11a/b/g/n with 2×2 MIMO. We have combined the two models into a single blurb since the BB Green Wireless is out of stock, and both models will likely fade away due to the arrival of the Gateway version, which combines features from both (see below). Both models are out of stock at Seeed, but the BeagleBone Green sells for $51.04 at OKdo.
The BeagleBone Green Gateway launched in 2020 with the 10/100 Ethernet port of Seeed’s BeagleBone Green along with the BB Green Wireless’ TI Wilink8 module with 2.4GHz 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.1 LE. The open spec board is equipped with 2x USB 2.0 ports instead of one port on the BB Green and 4x ports on the Wireless. The Gateway is currently out of stock at Seeed but is available at Digi-Key for $78.90.
The C-SKY Linux Development Board taps into a Nationalchip GX6605S SoC running a novel C-SKY ISA launched in China by Hangzhou C-SKY. The tiny SBC made a splash with its $5.90 Taobao price, but we could no longer find it there at any price. It is still available for $15.90 on Tindie (from Maker go), and for $23.66 on AliExpress (with free shipping). The C-SKY board is supported with a Linux 4.16 based stack with Buildroot and uClibc-NG, and ships with schematics. The SBC is a bit smaller than a Raspberry Pi and offers an HD-ready HDMI port and dual USB 2.0 ports. One of the two micro-USB ports supports JTAG and the other offers 5V/1A power with UART console. A 5-pin header supplies power and 3x GPIO, and you get a reset button and several user buttons and LEDs.
Novtech’s 96Boards CE compatible Chameleon96 SBC is the first FPGA-based 96Boards entry, running Debian on a Cyclone V SE ARM/FPGA SoC. The Chameleon96 features SecureRF’s quantum-resistant security, as well as Intel Video Suite for FPGA technology. The FPGA can stream 60fps 1080p video via the HDMI port and can encode similar video via a two-lane MIPI-CSI interface. Other features include a microSD slot, a micro-USB OTG port, 2x USB 2.0 host ports, an audio interface, a USB Blaster, and a UART. Like most 96Boards SBCs, this 12V SBC offers WiFi and Bluetooth, but lacks Ethernet. It offers the usual 96Boards low- and high-speed I/O connectors. The SBC sells for $184.71 at Arrow.
Google’s sandwich-style Coral Dev Board sells for $130 at Seeed and Amazon. The SBC runs a Debian based Mendel Linux distro on a 48 x 40mm Coral SOM module equipped with NXP’s i.MX8M. The module showcases Google’s Edge TPU chip, a stripped-down, but up to 4 TOPS version of Google’s TPU Unit for accelerating TensorFlow Lite AI models. The Edge TPU, which also appears on a Coral-branded USB stick, PCIe card, and pre-soldered Coral Accelerator Module, is backed up by a Cloud Edge IoT stack. The Coral SOM offers 8GB eMMC and 1GB RAM, as well as a crypto chip and dual-band 802.11b/g/n/ac with BT 4.1 BLE. There is a 4GB RAM version of the Coral Dev Board listed at Google and Seeed for $170, but like last year it is out of stock. The SBC has a somewhat Pi like size, layout, and 40-pin GPIO. Ports include GbE, USB 3.0, USB Type-C OTG, Type-C 5V power, and micro-USB console. Media I/O includes a [email protected] HDMI 2.0a port, 4-lane MIPI-DSI and -CSI, and audio I/O. Google also offers its smaller, cheaper Coral Dev Board Mini SBC with a MediaTek 8167s and an Edge TPU (see next item) and Asus has launched a Tinker Edge T SBC based on the Coral SOM (see farther below).
Google shipped the stripped-down Coral Dev Board Mini variant of the Coral Dev Board in Oct. 2020, selling it directly and at Seeed for $100. (Note that the SBC goes for $60 at Walmart via a reseller with a 1-star rating that Walmart refuses to vouch for.) Although the Mini offers twice the base-level RAM than the Coral Dev Board with 2GB, it runs Mendel Linux on a slower (typically 1.3GHz), but more efficient Cortex-A35 based MediaTek 8167s. In place of the Coral SOM, the SBC solders down Google’s new Edge TPU-equipped Coral Accelerator Module. Instead of 4K support you get 1280 x 800 micro-HDMI 1.4. Features include 802.11ac/BT 5.0, dual USB 2.0 Type-C, 40-pin GPIO, 4-lane MIPI-DSI and -CSI2, 3.5mm jack, digital mic, and speaker headers. The Mini goes head-to-head with Nvidia’s $99 Jetson Nano Developer Kit, which is not included here due to insufficient open hardware support.
The Cherry Pi PC (AKA Cherry PiPC-V3S, LCPI-H3-V7R3, and Lctech Pi H3) is a near clone of the Orange Pi PC, which is itself a pseudo-clone of the defunct Raspberry Pi 2. The board is slightly cheaper than the Orange Pi PC and unlike that board offers a 512MB version. The $16.50 SKU on the AliExpress page is a bit unclear but appears to indicate a 512MB model. The Cherry Pi PC has one less USB 2.0 host port but adds a reset button, and on most SKUs, 2.4GHz WiFi. The SBC provides a USB Type-C port for power compared to Orange Pi PC’s 5V/2A jack. Other features are almost identical, including the 10/100 LAN port, 40-pin header, HDMI, CSI, A/V output, audio jack, mic input, and OS support (Android, Ubuntu, Debian). A few months after the Cherry Pi PC debuted, SmartBoardHome announced a Pi-PC-H3 PK SBC based on the Cherry Pi. No single-unit pricing is available.
The CubieBoard.org community has shut down and CubieTech is selling off stock, so we have condensed our coverage into a single blurb for the CubieBoard6 and CubieBoard7. The SBCs, which are identical except for their processors, are the fully integrated SBC cousins to the sandwich-style CubieAIO series, which no longer appears to be available. The 100 x 60mm CubieBoard6 and 7 offer USB 3.0-based SATA along with 10/100 Ethernet, WiFi/BT, 2x USB 2, mini-USB, HD-ready HDMI, audio jacks, RTC, IR, UART, and dual 48-pin GPIO headers. Images include Actions-optimized Android 5.1.1 and Debian builds. The CubieBoard6 sells for $89 and the CubieBoard7 for $75 at on Amazon, both via SmartFly. The only other CubieBoard we could find was the CubieBoard5 (CubieTruck-Plus), sold as an $89 reseller deal at Amazon. The CubieBoard5 runs on an octa-core -A7 Allwinner H8 and offers SATA, WiFi/BT, GbE, HDMI, DP, 2x USB, IR, and SPDIF. Other CubieBoards include the CubieBoard4, which unlike last year, no longer appears to be available.
The DE0-Nano-SoC Development Kit looks like a commercial development board, but it offers open specifications and is supported on the RocketBoards.org community site. The DE0-Nano-SoC uses the lower-end SE variety of Intel’s Cyclone V SoC, which is roughly equivalent to a Xilinx Zynq-7020. The SoC similarly combines FPGA circuitry with dual Cortex-A9 cores running Angstrom v2014.12/Yocto 1.7 with a Linux 4.0 kernel. The board has GbE, USB OTG, and micro-USB ports, as well as a microSD slot with a 4GB card. There is also an accelerometer, an Arm-linked expansion header, and a variety of FPGA-linked interfaces, including a 40-pin header and an Arduino shield connector.
Geniatech’s Developer Board 4IoT, which is listed simply as the 4IoT on Linaro’s 96Boards site, is the only 96Boards IoT Edition (IE) SBC that runs Linux except for the Orange Pi IoT (see farther below). Using the same Snapdragon 410 SoC as the 96Boards CE DragonBoard 410C (see following item), the 4IoT uses the smaller IE spec. Like the Orange Pi IoT, the 60 x 35mm SBC implements the “Standard Micro” IE format’s 40-pin low-speed expansion connector, which is required on the “Extended” format, rather than the 30-pin subset used on MCU-based IE boards such as Seeed’s Carbon. Arrow is selling the 4IoT for $69.12, but there are only three units currently available. Since 96Boards lists the price as $92.72, we will presume that the Arrow version uses the base 1GB/8GB model instead of the 2GB/16GB config promoted on the Geniatech and 96Boards sites. The 4IoT is equipped with a microSD slot and WiFi/BT and GPS with antennas. There is a micro-USB port for power, 6x LEDs, 2-lane MIPI-CSI, and -25 to 85°C support. OSes include Debian-based Linux, Android 5.1, and Win 10 IoT Core. Open hardware files have yet to be posted and probably never will.
The Qualcomm-backed DragonBoard 410c and the now defunct HiKey were the first 96Boards Consumer Edition (CE) SBCs and the first 64-bit ARM hacker SBCs. The 85 x 54mm, Snapdragon 410 driven SBC has doubled in price since last year to $133.06 at Arrow. The SBC lacks an Ethernet port, but you get WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, HDMI, microSD, 3x USB ports, and the 96Boards 40-pin low-speed and 60-pin high-speed connectors. The SBC supports Android 5.1, Debian 8.0, and Windows 10 IoT Core. Arrow’s newer DragonBoard 820c CE Extended SBC based on the high-end Snapdragon 820E has dropped in price by about $100 to sell for $345.17 — still far beyond our $200 limit. In 2018, Arrow announced three other 96Boards CE Extended SBCs. The $130, STM32MP1-based Avenger96 appears to be discontinued. The AI-ML Board and Thor96 run Linux on NXP’s i.MX8X and i.MX8M SoCs, respectively. The AI-ML Board was not available a year ago but can now be purchased for $629.11 and the Thor96 sells for $382.17, which is about $180 lower than last year.
Rockchip partner T-Firefly opened the gates of the Rockchip wave that swept the hacker board scene in the 20-teens. One of the earliest models was the Firefly-RK3128, which sells for $75 , $15 more than last year. The SBC dual boots Android 5.1 and Ubuntu 15.04 on a quad -A7 RK3128 that is clocked slower than the more popular RK3288. The sandwich-style, COM/baseboard device includes GbE, WiFi, BT, HDMI, MIPI-DSI, MIPI-CSI, SPDIF, analog audio, LVDS, IR, and CVBS. The 117 x 85mm SBC is further equipped with 4x USB host ports, a micro-USB OTG port, and dual 42-pin expansion connectors. The similar, but extended temp Firefly-PX3-SE continues to be out of stock. Over the last year, the Firefly-RK3288, based on the quad -A17 Rockchip RK3288, appears to have been discontinued.
The original Rockchip RK3399 hacker board has jumped in price by $30 to sell for $179 with 2GB RAM. The 4GB version continues to be unavailable. The SBC features an M.2 slot for an SSD plus a GbE port, WiFi-ac, BT 4.1 BLE, and mini-PCIe and SIM slots for an optional LTE module. DP and HDMI ports drive up to 4K @ 60Hz video, and you get MIPI-DSI, eDP, DVP, IR, and 2x MIPI-CSI. The Firefly-RK3399 offers 2x USB 3.0 ports (including a Type-C), 2x USB 2.0 ports, a 42-pin expansion header, and numerous audio options. The board dual-boots Android 7.1 or 8.1 and Ubuntu 18.04 or 20.04. It also supports Debian 10, Yocto, and Buildroot. T-Firefly also sells an RK3399 Coreboard COM version of the Firefly-RK3399. The CoreBoard is available in a sandwich-style AIO-3399J board, which sells for $185. Also note that several more Firefly boards are sold under ROC branding and are covered farther below.
This Crowd Supply funded board has an Adafruit Feather like, 51 x 23mm form factor. The SBC runs Debian with mainline Linux kernel 5.0 on a Microchip SAMA5D27. The SoC is delivered via Microchip’s ATSAMA5D27C-D1 System-In-Package (SiP), which packs in 128MB RAM. By dint of its micro-USB port, microSD slot, and optional WiFi, the Giant Board barely qualifies as an SBC. Yet, it can load stackable FeatherWing modules from a list of 60+, including Ethernet and LCD add-ons. I/O includes 6x ADC, 4x PWM, I2C, SPI, UART, and I2S. The SBC also provides 3.7V LiPo battery support.
The Habanero DVK showcases a 49 x 45mm Habanero module that runs OpenWrt on a quad -A7 Qualcomm IPQ4019. The SoC lacks a 3D GPU but has NEON support and Wave2 WiFi dual-band MU-MIMO 802.11ac for improved simultaneous connections. The DVK is equipped with 5x Gigabit Ethernet ports, USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports, and a 12-24V power socket. For storage, you get a microSD slot, an eMMC socket, and up to 1GB NAND flash. A wide range of I/O includes PCIe 2.0 and 46 GPIOs. See also 8devices’ similar Jalapeno board farther below. 8devices has opened $69 pre-orders on a Habanero-I module that appears will work with the Habanero DVK. The Habanero-I is almost identical to the standard Habanero, but switches to an IPQ4029, a quad -A7 SoC sibling of the IPQ4019 with a -40 to 85°C range instead of 0 to 65°C. 8devices also offers a sandwich-style Mango-DVK, but at $219, it is over our limit. The Mango-DVK offers a choice of two Mango modules that run OpenWrt Linux on an up to 1.8GHz, quad -A53 Qualcomm IPQ6000 or IPQ6010 SoC, both with 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6). The DVK features 2.5GbE with PoE, SFP, and 2x GbE.
The HummingBoard CBi (CAN bus interface) is an even more industrial variant of the HummingBoard Edge (see below) that swaps the HDMI port and GPIO for CAN and RS485 ports. It also comes standard with Edge options including an enclosure, heatsink, WiFi/BT, and -40 to 85°C support. It has the same footprint as the Edge and similarly runs Linux on a choice of dual- or quad-core i.MX6 based MicroSOM modules. Debian, Yocto, Buildroot, and OpenWrt stacks are available with Linux 4.4x. Except for an extra user button and LEDs, the board is identical to the Edge. The 1GB Dual version may be found in the LG link above, and the 2GB Quad version is here.
The single- and dual-core models of the HummingBoard Edge are no longer available, leaving only the i.MX6 Quad based on a MicroSOM module. The board is priced $30 higher than last year. The Edge duplicates all the features of the HummingBoard Pro, which is no longer available in single units. The 102 x 69mm Edge doubles the USB 2.0 count to four and adds M.2, SIM, and MIPI-DSI. The SBC also provides a larger 36-pin GPIO connector and boosts the power supply to a wide-range 7-36V. An extra $19 gives you an enclosure. The -40 to 85°C range that has long been a mainstay of the HummingBoards no longer appears to be available on the Edge in single units.
As the name suggests, the HummingBoard Gate is designed primarily for IoT gateway duty. The SBC is almost identical to the HummingBoard Edge, with the same 102 x 69mm footprint, 7-36V power supply, mini-PCIe slot, and optional wireless modules and metal enclosure. It lacks Edge features like LVDS, analog audio, or M.2, but adds a MikroBus socket that accepts MikroElektronika’s 200-plus Click add-on I/O and sensor modules. Only the single-core Solo model with WiFi/BT and a 0 to 70°C range is currently available.
The HummingBoard Mate is based on the HummingBoard Ripple, a scaled-back version of the HummingBoard Pulse, which similarly runs on an i.MX8M Mini. This year the Pulse priced out of our $200 limit, with prices now starting at $226. Unlike either board, the Mate features the i.MX8M Plus via a new iMX8M Plus CoM module. The Plus SoC is like an i.MX8M Mini but with a 2.3-TOPs NPU, a DSP, dual ISPs, and a faster Cortex-M7 MCU. Although the iMX8M Plus CoM module is available in both dual- and quad-core models with up to 4GB RAM, the Mate is offered in single units only with a Quad with 1GB. Like the Ripple, the Mate subtracts the Pulse’s M.2, MIPI-DSI, digital audio, PoE option, and one each of the dual GbE and MIPI-CSI links. Features include 2x USB 3.0, micro-USB, HDMI, mini-PCIe with SIM, MikroBus, a 7-36V input, and an RTC.
The stripped-down HummingBoard Ripple variant of the HummingBoard Pulse (which is now over our price limit) is much more affordable than a similarly configured, quad-core Pulse, although with only 2GB instead of 3GB RAM. The new SBC offers only the i.MX8M Mini SOM with an i.MX8M Mini SoC that is faster but limited to HD video. The Ripple subtracts the M.2, MIPI-DSI, digital audio, PoE option, and one each of the dual GbE and MIPI-CSI links. It also switches the HDMI port to micro-HDMI. The Ripple offers many of the same features and runs the same Linux 4.4x stack. The Ripple was originally announced with an optional Lightspeeur AI chip, but this is no longer mentioned. See also the very similar new HummingBoard Mate farther above, which instead provides an AI-enabled i.MX8M Plus. In December, SolidRun announced a HummingBoard-T SBC that expanda upon an AM64x SOM based on TI’s FuSa-enabled AM64x. The AM64x provides up to 2x 1GHz Cortex-A53 cores, up to 4x 800MHz Cortex-R5F cores, and dual PRU units for managing up to 4x GbE ports with TSN and fieldbus support. The 3x GbE HummingBoard-T Pro model recently opened pre-orders at $249, but it is possible the Base will sell for under the $200 limit.
The I-Pi SMARC PX30 is one of two maker-friendly SBCs launched by Adlink in 2020 built around SMARC modules and offering compact dual-GbE carrier boards. Adlink added two more in 2021 built around the i.MX8M Plus and Intel Elkhart Lake, but they are over our price limit (see end of blurb). While the Vizi-AI (see farther below) uses an Apollo Lake based LEC-AL module, the more rugged I-Pi SMARC PX30 taps Adlink’s LEC-PX30 module, which runs Ubuntu 18.04 LTS or Yocto on a quad -A35 Rockchip PX30. Like the Vizi-AI, this is not an open-spec board, but is included here due to its robust community and support features, in this case via a separate I-Pi site. The LEC-PX30 on the I-Pi is equipped with 2GB soldered DDR3L. The $166 price (a $41 increase since a year ago) includes a 32GB microSD card and a power adapter. Specs have changed slightly from those listed in the LG link above. You get single HDMI 2.0b plus dual GbE ports and multiple serial, CAN, SPI, I2C, and GPIO headers. The 116 x 81mm board provides 2x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0, and micro-USB 2.0 OTG. Other features include LVDS, 4-lane MIPI-DSI, 2-lane MIPI-CSI, and I2S audio. The 12V SBC has a 0 to 60°C or optional -40 to 85°C range with shock and vibration resistance. The new i.MX8M Plus and Elkhart Lake I-Pi boards are summarized in a Mar. 3 story we did about Adlink providing Altium’s Geppetto-infused Upverter board customization service for its I-Pi carriers. The $275 I-Pi SMARC IMX8M Plus builds on Adlink’s i.MX8M Plus driven, 2GB/32GB LEC-IMX8MP SMARC module and offers 2x GbE, 4x USB, and 2x PCIe x1 Gen3, among other features. The $399 I-Pi SMARC Elkhart Lake kit builds on Adlink’s LEC-EL SMARC with Atom x6425E, 4GB RAM, and 64GB eMMC. The Elkhart Lake model’s features are much like that of the i.MX8M Plus I-Pi, but with dual 2.5GbE ports instead of GbE.
The Jalapeno DVK preceded the similar Habanero DVK and offers a lower price and fewer GbE ports. The headless, sandwich-style board incorporates a 47 x 32mm Jalapeno module that runs OpenWrt on a quad -A7 Qualcomm IPQ4018. The SoC lacks a 3D GPU but has NEON and crypto support plus built-in Wave2: dual-band 802.11ac with support for simultaneous connections to multiple devices. The DVK is equipped with 2x Gigabit Ethernet ports, 2x USB 3.0, and a micro-USB port. I/O includes I2S, SPI, UART, GPIO, and JTAG. See also 8devices’ MIPS-based Komikan DVK.
The Jupiter Nano funded on Crowd Supply and is still available, although now at a higher $99 price. The 63.5 x 28.6mm, Teensy 4.1 form-factor SBC runs Linux and the NuttX RTOS on Microchip’s SAMA5D27C via Microchip’s ATSAMA5D27C-LD1G SIP package, which integrates 128MB RAM. The headless, open-spec board provides a microSD slot and micro-USB 2.0 OTG and debug ports. An optional $19 cable converts a USB 2.0 header to a Type-A host port. You also get a mini-JTAG link, 48 GPIO pins, and a battery connector. The GitHub page is here.
The Khadas Edge was announced in July 2018 and launched on Indiegogo later that year along with a similar Edge-V model and an RK3399Pro based Edge-1S that has yet to ship. The Edge and Edge-V Basic models are available on the Khadas shopping page, but the Pro and Max models with 4GB RAM and 32GB or 128GB eMMC are not currently available. (Chip shortage!) You can order numerous options, although the $45, gaming-oriented Captain Carrier remains out of stock. The Edge has an MXM3 connector for deploying the board as a compute module for a cluster or carrier board such as the Captain. It also offers FPC connectors for hooking up options like the Edge IO serial debug and GPIO board. The Edge-V replaces the MXM3 and FPC links with a Khadas Vim-like 40-pin RPi connector and adds a GbE port, microSD, and M.2 2280 with NVMe support. The Edge-V also adds MIPI-CSI and -DSI, eDP 1.3, touch support, RTC, IR, gesture sensor, and 6-axis IMU. The RPi-sized Edge models include single USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports, 4K-ready DP, HDMI 2.0a, and DP via one of the two Type-C ports. Both models provide a wide-range DC input and WiFi-ac with BT 4.1. They support Android Oreo, Ubuntu 18.04, Debian 9.0, and more, as seen at the Khadas GitHub page.
This original Khadas Vim board, which was followed by Vim2, Vim3, and Vim 3L models, is built around an Amlogic S905X, a lower-cost upgrade to the quad -A53 Amlogic S905 found on the recently discontinued Odroid-C2. OS support includes Android 9.0, Android TV, Ubuntu 18.04, Armbian, LibreELEC, and mainline Linux 5.0. The 82 x 58mm Vim1 offers 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2, Fast Ethernet, and 3x USB 2.0 host ports, one of which is a Type-C OTG with power. Other features include HDMI 2.0a, IR, microSD, and 40-pin expansion. Shenzhen Wesion’s Khadas project also offers a $79.90 Khadas Tone Board (Tone1) audio add-on and recently released a greatly improved, $249.90 Tone2 Pro model, which is similarly available for all the VIM boards. The Khadas community is a lively one with numerous software updates and new add-ons such as an 8MP HDR camera, touchscreen, and VTV Board.
The Khadas Vim2 has the same 82 x 58mm footprint as the Vim1 but advances to an octa-core Amlogic S912 and Mali-T820 GPU. OS support is the same as the Vim1 except for the older Android 7.1 build. Like the Vim1, the Vim2 is equipped with HDMI 2.0a with [email protected] decoding, 2x USB 2.0, a micro-USB OTG Type-C with 5V input, and 40-pin expansion. The Vim2 advances to GbE with WoL and adds an FPC link and two Pogo Pad I/O connectors, one of which controls an STM8S003 MCU for a programmable EEPROM. Other features include microSD, RTC, IR, and an acrylic case. The mid-range, $99.90 Pro model was available last year and now lists for a price of $1,000,078.90, which is just a bit above our price range. The Max model offers 3GB RAM, 64GB eMMC, and 802.11ac with BT 5.0 (in place of 802.11n/BT 4.1).
The Khadas project’s Vim3 may well be the fastest Arm-based SBC in the roundup, although if the Khadas Vim4 had begun shipping, it would have taken the prize. Whereas the Vim3 offers a 12nm Amlogic A311D SoC with 4x 2.2GHz -A73 cores, 2x 1.8GHz -A53 cores, a high-end Mali-G52 MP4 GPU, and a 5-TOPS NPU, the upcoming, octa-core VIM4 offers 4x -A73, 4x -A53, and a Mali-G52 MP8 (8EE). It is unclear if Khadas will add an NPU to the Vim4 design. Meanwhile, the Vim3 is plenty powerful, and there is also a cheaper Khadas Vim3L model that shifts down to a quad -A55 Amlogic S905D3 with a Mali-G31 and a 1.2-TOPS NPU. The $69.90 Vim3L is limited to the same 2GB RAM and 16GB eMMC of the basic Vim3 but is otherwise identical. The Khadas Vim3 boards have the same, somewhat Raspberry Pi-like 82 x 58 x 11.5mm footprint and layout as the earlier Vim boards. They similarly offer 40-pin GPIO and support all the Vim accessories. An M.2 2280 socket lets you load NVMe modules. Dual simultaneous displays are available via the [email protected] ready HDMI 2.1 port and 4-lane MIPI-DSI. Other features include WiFi/BT, 4-lane MIPI-CSI, GbE, USB Type-C OTG, and 2x USB 3.0 host ports. You also get an RTC, IR, an accelerometer, and a 5-20V input. OS support includes Ubuntu 18.04 LTS with Kernel 5.0, Armbian, LibreELEC, and Android 9.
In 2019, 8devices, which is known for MIPS-based modules such as the Carambola, released an open-spec Komikan DVK board that features a not-so-open Komikan compute module. The module runs OpenWrt on a MIPS-based Realtek RTL819FS SoC accompanied by a Realtek RTL8822BEH chipset with Wave 2 WiFi and BT 4.1. Wave 2 provides concurrent 2.4GHz/5GHz, MU-MIMO 802.11a/b/g/n/ac for up to 1.166Gbps throughput. Unlike most Wave 2 devices, the Komikan can operate without a heatsink with low 6W consumption. The Komikan DVK adds an eMMC socket, microSD slot, 10/100 and 10/100/1000Mbps ports, 2x USB 2.0 ports, and a USB Type-C for power and console duty. You also get antennas and a 20-pin GPIO. See also 8devices’ Habanero DVK and Jalapeno DVK for an Arm-based spin of Wave 2.
In last year’s roundup, DFRobot’s original, Intel Cherry Trail based LattePanda Delta v1 was a footnote to an entry for the second-gen LattePanda Delta 432. However, the Delta 432 is now out of stock and out of our price range, starting at $208, so we brought back the original. (More on the Delta 432 may be found here.) The LattePanda boards are not open source, but offer community resources, and Linux support, despite the product line’s Windows focus. Here, we cover the two barebones LattePanda v1 models without pre-installed Windows. The 89 x 70mm board combines its Cherry Trail CPU with an Arduino compatible ATmega32u4 MCU and offers WiFi/BT plus 10/100 Ethernet, USB 3.0, USB 2.0, and HDMI ports. You also get LCD, an audio jack and GPIO that includes a 24-pin Arduino header. DFRobot also sells a higher-end, Intel Kaby Lake-based LattePanda Alpha board, and in Nov. 2021, DFRobot Kickstarter’ed a $229 and up LattePanda 3 Delta that runs Win 10 or Linux on Intel’s Jasper Lake, a follow-on to Gemini Lake. Highlights for the upcoming 3 Delta include 8GB RAM, 64GB eMMC, GbE, WiFi-6, M.2 M- and B-key, HDMI, eDP, 100 GPIO pins, and 4x USB including a Gen2 and Type-C with DP. Shipments are due in March. Note also, last year’s Gemini Lake based Hackboard 2 SBC from Hackboard, which now starts at $174.95. There is no indication, however, that this is an open-spec or community-backed board.
The last blog entry from Libre Computer was in 2019, so the party is probably over. But the boards are still available. The Kickstarter-backed Tritium, which was renamed the Libre Computer Board ALL-H3-CC, taps the Allwinner H2+, H3, and the quad -A53, 4K-ready H5. All three models sell on Amazon for $10 more than they did at a year ago and at LoverPi for $15 more. The ALL-H3-CC runs Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, Android 7.1, Debian 9 Stretch, Armbian, Raspbian, and more, with upstream device drivers from the linux-sunxi community. Like the Amlogic S905X based AML-S905X-CC (Le Potato), the ALL-H3-CC has a Raspberry Pi 3-like form factor, layout, and 40-pin expansion interface. The only I/O difference we can see is the Tritum’s addition of an IR receiver.
Libre Computer’s Kickstarter funded La Frite, which became the Libre Computer Board AML-S805X-AC, is available on LoverPi, having increased $5 over the year to match the original prices. The AML-S805X-AC is a smaller, stripped-down version of the Libre Computer Board AML-S905X-CC (Le Potato) described in the following blurb and is billed as a replacement for the Raspberry Pi Model A. Since it launched, an improved, $25 RPi 3 Model A+ arrived, which Libre Computer compared to La Frite in a Dec. 2018 update post. La Frite has a lower-powered, 1.2GHz S805X compared to the 1.5GHz S905X model on Le Potato. Coastline ports include a low-profile 10/100 Ethernet, an HD-ready HDMI, 2x USB 2.0, and a micro-USB OTG port with power input. There is also an RPi-style 40-pin header, an IR receiver, and a boot button. The board supports mainline Linux with Ubuntu, Debian, LibreELEC, Lakka, RetroPie, Android Oreo, and more.
Launched on Kickstarter as Le Potato, the Raspberry Pi-like Libre Computer Board AML-S905X-CC is now available at LoverPi, although like last year the 1GB model is sold out. The SBC is equipped with the same quad -A53 S905X SoC found on the original Khadas Vim, and has the same size, port layout, and basic features as the RPi 3, including 4x USB host ports, Fast Ethernet, and 40-pin expansion. There is no WiFi/BT, but you get optional eMMC, IR, and an ADC + I2S header. Compared to the RPi 3, the HDMI port is upgraded to v2.0 with 4K. The board ships with schematics and source code for Linux 4.14 LTS, Buildroot with Linux 4.9, Armbian Debian and Ubuntu, LibreELEC 9, and Android builds up 8.0 (Oreo). Libre also offers an AML-S805X-AC (La Frite) board, which is like a stripped-down Le Potato.
In Aug. 2018, a startup founded by former Allwinner employees launched an open-spec, 139 x 85mm SBC that debuted a 1.5GHz Allwinner camera SoC called the V5 V100. Instead of the usual Mali GPU, the SoC offers a custom VPU, a dual-core ISP, and an “AIE” acceleration engine for visual analytics. The Lindenis V5 runs Linux 4.4, as well as a homegrown Debian 9 stack called Linbian that supports the V5 V100 SoC and its AIE engine with OpenCV, Compute Library, Tensorflow, and GStreamer with hardware acceleration. The board is available for $95 at AliExpress, presumably with the base 1GB RAM. Features include GbE and 4K-ready HDMI ports, 4x USB 2.0, and a micro-USB port. Other features include 2x MIPI-CSI2 interfaces with an optional camera module plus MIPI-DSI, audio, mic, optional WiFi/Bluetooth, and an RPi 40-pin header. Also check out the Lindenis V536 and recently introduced Lindenis V833 below.
Last year, Lindenis followed up on its Lindenis V5 with a slightly more affordable camera-oriented SBC called the Lindenis V536. The 130 x 85mm SBC runs OpenWrt or Lindenis Video OS with Linux 4.9 on a dual -A7 Allwinner V536 via a Lindenis V536 SoM. Like the quad-core Allwinner V5 on the earlier board, the V536 lacks a 3D GPU, but offers an ISP and 4K-ready VPU. It also appears to lack the V5’s “AIE” acceleration engine for visual analytics. Features include GbE, a WiFi/BT header, HDMI 1.4, 4-lane MIPI-DSI + TP, LCD, MIPI-CSI, 2x audio jacks, and analog and digital mics. You also get micro-USB and battery headers for power plus 2x USB 2.0 ports and various I/O headers. The SBC sells for $83 on AliExpress.
The Lindenis V833, which sells for $125 on AliExpress with $6.32 shipping, offers a lower powered, single -A7 Allwinner V833, compared to the dual- A7 Allwinner V536 on the Lindenis V536 covered above. However, the SoC adds a 0.4-TOPS NPU that assists the Lindenis Video SDK package for analytics, which runs on Tina Linux. The SDK also includes a lightweight Melis 4.0 RTOS, based on RT-Thread. The V833 SoC offers a robust ISP with special imaging effects and a VPU capable of dual-stream video. The 512MB RAM can be upgraded by the user to up to 3GB. The 75 x 68mm SBC is equipped with a microSD slot, a 10/100Mbps port, and 2.4GHz WiFi. The Lindenis V833 provides 4-lane MIPI-DSI and -CSI with optional 5-inch LCD and camera, and there is a BT1120 input and output for HDTV apps. Video resolution tops out at up to 2592 x 1936 @ 30fps. Real-time, multi-stream encoding supports [email protected] or [email protected], among other choices. You also get a speaker header, an audio I/O jack, and GPIO.
The MaaxBoard is now called the MaaxBoard i.MX8MQ and has increased in price by $65 since last year. (Avnet is selling the original, i.MX8M-based MaaxBoard for 79.72 Euros ($90) at Farnell, only $5 over last year’s price, but it is on back order.) Major features on this Raspberry Pi like board include a 802.11ac/BT 4.x module, a GbE port, 2x USB 3.0 ports, and a power-only USB Type-C port. You also get MIPI-DSI and CSI, 40-pin GPIO, and SPDIF and SAI audio interfaces. The MaaxBoards were previously manufactured by Embest, which was in the process of being acquired by Avnet. Yet a Mar. 2021 Embest “about us” page says Embest ceased operations in March and suggests that fellow Chinese embedded firm Emtop has taken over the product line. Indeed, Emtop has product pages for the MaaxBoard i.MX8MQ, MaaxBoard Mini, and a new MaaxBoard Nano (see following summaries). Emtop’s website shows no indication that the company is owned by Avnet, which is apparently continuing as a distributor. The MaaxBoards do not appear to be a fully open-spec SBCs, but the wiki provides extensive hardware and software documentation, as well as an image and source code for Yocto, Debian, and Android 9.0.
The MaaxBoard Mini, which last year cost only $73, now sells for $150 at Emtop. Avnet also has a product/shopping page, but the “Buy” link was not working. The Raspberry Pi-like MaaxBoard Mini is a variant of the MaaxBoard i.MX8MQ (see above). The MaaxBoard Mini switches from the i.MX8M to the i.MX8M Mini, which is faster, but limited to HD video. The SBC offers 4x USB 2.0 ports versus 2x USB 3.0 for the MaaxBoard and removes the HDMI port and some of the digital audio headers. Other features include MIPI-DSI and -CSI interfaces, 802.11ac/BT 4.2, GbE and USB Type-C power ports, and an RPi HAT compatible 40-pin connector.
The MaaxBoard Nano is almost identical to the MaaxBoard Mini except for a switch to the i.MX8M Nano. NXP’s Nano SoC is clocked down to 1.5GHz instead of 1.8GHz for the Mini, and it lacks the Mini’s VPU. However, instead of the Mini’s Cortex-M4 real-time core, the Nano offers a faster Cortex-M7. The MaaxBoard Mini is only available in single unit sales with 1GB RAM instead of 2GB on the Mini, although the spec list says it supports 2GB. Otherwise, check out the Mini blurb above for a feature summary. As with the MaaxBoard Mini, Emtop has yet to produce a wiki for the Nano SBC. However, Avnet has a product page (with a broken “Buy” link) in addition to the Emtop product/shopping page above. The Android and Linux images on the MaaxBoard i.MX8MQ wiki should work, and most of the documentation should be applicable.
MYIR is primarily a commercial board vendor, but it has spun several open-spec hacker boards like the MYS-6ULX SBC that have crossover appeal to makers. Others include the new i.MX8 Mini based MYS-8MMX (directly below) and the Sitara-based Rico Board and Zynq-based Z-turn boards (see farther below). The MYS-6ULX offers a choice of i.MX6 UL (UltraLite) or its almost identical sibling, the i.MX6 ULL. Each SBC model has its own unique super power: The i.MX6 UL version provides -40 to 85°C support instead of 0 to 70°C, and the i.MX6 ULL model features a USB-powered WiFi radio. Otherwise, the 70 x 55mm boards are identical. (There is also a $37.80 MYS-6ULY2-256N256D-50-I-IND version of the IND model, but it is unclear how it differs.) The MYS-6ULX SBC provides Fast Ethernet, USB host, and micro-USB 2.0 OTG ports, as well as a debug connector and an LCD interface for optional touchscreens. The dual 20-pin connectors can be used to attach an optional baseboard. The MYS-6ULX comes with a Linux BSP with a 4.1.15 kernel and either Debian or Yocto Project with Qt. There is no forum or dedicated community site, but you get full schematics, support, and extensive documentation.
Like the HummingBoard Ripple (above) and Nitrogen_Mini (below), the MYS-8MMX taps NXP’s i.MX8M Mini, a faster variant of the i.MX8M that is limited to HD rather than 4K displays. This open-spec, monolithic SBC complements MYIR’s commercial MYD-C8MMX dev kit, which runs on an i.MX8M Mini powered MYC-C8MMX module. The MYS-8MMX is also available in a MYS-8MMX Box system starting at $139. The SBC runs Yocto 3.0 or Ubuntu 18.04 on the Mini, which is clocked to 1.8GHz for the 0 to 70°C model and 1.6GHz for the -40 to 85°C SKU. The 95 x 69mm SBC features an M.2 2242 slot for a SATA or NVMe SSD, as well as GbE, 802.11ac with BT 5.0, 2x USB 2.0, and a micro-USB OTG port. You also get HDMI, LVDS with touch, MIPI-CSI, an RTC, various switches and buttons, and dual 25-pin expansion connectors with I/Os including digital audio.
As far as we know, FriendlyElec (AKA FriendlyARM) announced only one new SBC in the chip shortage plagued year of 2021 with its NanoPi R2C, a minor variant of the NanoPi R2S (see farther below). The company has also discontinued several SBCs, including the NanoPi Neo2 and Neo4. Yet, their catalog continues to rival the breadth of fellow Chinese hacker board vendors Shenzhen Xunlong (Orange Pi) and SinoVoip (Banana Pi). The NanoPC-T3 Plus, which jumped in price by over $28 since last year, replaced the NanoPC-T3, which was similarly equipped with an octa-core S5P6818. (The earlier, almost identical NanoPC-T2, which has a quad-core S5P4418, is still available at $75). The T3 Plus doubles the RAM and flash of the T3 and adds -40 to 80°C support. The SBC is slightly larger at 100 x 64mm, and switches one of the USB headers to a Type-A port, thereby providing 3x coastline USB 2.0 ports instead of two. Like the T3, the T3 Plus supplies WiFi, BT 4.0, and a GbE port, as well as microSD and micro-USB client connections. Media ports include HDMI, LVDS, LCD, MIPI-DSI, MIPI-CSI, and audio. In place of the 40-pin RPi connector found on NanoPi boards, the NanoPC-T3 Plus provides a 30-pin GPIO header. OS support includes Android 7.1.2, Debian, and the Ubuntu Core 16.04 based FriendlyCore. Available images for each of FriendlyElec’s open-spec boards may be found here and a common wiki index is here. Like most of the NanoPi and NanoPC SBCs boards, the NanoPC-T3 Plus is available with extensive options ranging from cases to heat sinks to camera modules.
When it debuted in early 2018, the 100 x 64mm NanoPC-T4 was the smallest RK3399 SBC around, an honor that was quickly eclipsed by FriendlyElec’s NanoPi M4 and recently discontinued NanoPi Neo4. The relatively high price, which rose by a whopping $65 since last year, is due to the standard allotment of 4GB of RAM. FriendlyElec’s first Rockchip-based SBC is also its most powerful, combining the hexa-core RK3399 with advanced features like M.2 and native SATA. Display interfaces include HDMI 2.0, DP, eDP, and MIPI-DSI. You also get MIPI-CSI with dual-camera support, an RPi-compatible 40-pin interface, and a 0 to 80°C operating range. OS support includes Android 8 and 10, Armbian, Buildroot, Lubuntu 16.04, and the similarly Ubuntu based FriendlyCore 18.04 and FriendlyDesktop Bionic 18.04. Like most of the NanoPi and NanoPC SBCs boards, the NanoPi K1 Plus is available with extensive options ranging from cases to heat sinks to camera modules.
The tiny (50 x 25.4mm) NanoPi Duo was launched in Aug. 2017 as the first of several headless, COM-like NanoPi boards, including the more recent, 40 x 40mm NanoPi Neo Core and Core2 spins of the Neo and Neo2. The Duo was replaced by the NanoPi Duo2, which switches the HD-ready Allwinner H2+ to the similar, but 4K ready, H3 model. The NanoPi Duo2 provides an optional IoT-2G Application Carrier Board (currently out of stock) that replaces the Duo’s optional Mini Shield carrier. The only other differences include the addition of Bluetooth and a narrower -20 to 70°C range. The Duo2 has 32x I/O pins via a dual-in-line interface designed to plug into the IoT-2G carrier or a 2.55mm pitch breadboard. Unlike the Core boards, the Duo2 supplies WiFi, a microSD slot, and a micro-USB port, qualifying it as standalone SBC. Headers supply 10/100 Ethernet, 2x USB host, audio, CVBS, and serial debug. The NanoPi Duo2 is available with FriendlyCore 16.04 Xenial and FriendlyWrt 19.07.10 (OpenWrt), both with Linux 4.14. Shipping to the U.S. is more expensive on the NanoPi and NanoPC boards than for most Banana Pi and Orange Pi boards. Also, FriendlyElec adds a note for all its SBCs that: “Although DHL service is partly recovered, there are still issues with on-time delivery. Postal services get delayed by around 30-45 days in many countries.”
The shopping page for the NanoPi M1 Plus lists a $48 price that is $10 higher than last year, and it also says availability is “temporary stopped.” This more feature-rich update of the discontinued NanoPi M1 retains the Allwinner H3 but is slightly smaller at 64 x 60mm. The higher price of the NanoPi M1 Plus reflects the standard 1GB RAM and 8GB eMMC, as well as new features like WiFi, Bluetooth, a mic, and Gigabit Ethernet. One of the three USB 2.0 host ports, however, has moved to an onboard header. Other features include HDMI, DVP camera, CVBS A/V, IR, and a microSD slot, plus a 40-pin RPi header. OS options include FriendlyCore Xenial, OpenWrt, and Debian.
The NanoPi-M4V2 updates the now discontinued NanoPi-M4, but its availability is listed as “temporary stopped.” The V2 model doubles the RAM count to 4GB but is otherwise the same except for the addition of power and recovery buttons and a WiFi upgrade to 2×2 MIMO. Unlike the RK3399-based, $175 NanoPC-T4, which also ships with 4GB, the NanoPC-M4V2 has a Raspberry Pi form factor, layout and 40-pin header. It also supplies a 24-pin header with 2x PCIe lanes. Other features include native GbE, 802.11ac, Bluetooth, HDMI 2.0a, USB Type-C, and 4x USB 3.0 ports. You also get audio I/O, an RTC, -20 to 70°C support, and two configurable MIPI-DSI/CSI interfaces. OS support includes Android 7.1.2, Lubuntu 16.04, FriendlyCore 18.04, and FriendlyDesktop 18.04.
In Nov. 2017, FriendlyElec replaced its NanoPi 2 Fire with two fiery new models. One is the NanoPi Fire3-LTS with an octa-core S5P6818 and 1GB RAM, which is now listed as out of stock for $22 more than last year at $57. Here, we cover the other variant: the $30 NanoPi Fire2A, which runs on the same quad -A9 S5P4418 found on the defunct NanoPi 2 Fire along with 512MB DDR3. The 75 x 40mm SBC offers GbE, micro-HDMI, USB 2.0 host, and a micro-USB OTG port for 5V input. The Fire2A is equipped with a 40-pin GPIO header, RGB LCD, DVP camera, and serial debug interfaces plus an RTC with battery and PMIC. OS support includes Linux 4.4, Debian, FriendlyCore with Qt 5.9 (based on Ubuntu Core 16.04), and FriendlyWrt 19.07.
The Neo was the first of a sub-series of tiny NanoPi boards such as the wireless enabled Neo Air, quad -A53 Neo2-LTS and the Neo Plus2 (see below). The Neo boards are among the world’s smallest and most affordable quad-core ARM SBCs. At 40 x 40mm, they occupy only 1,600 square millimeters, compared to 1,950 sq. mm for the 65 x 30mm Raspberry Pi Zero. The NanoPi Neo, which has now been given LTS status, is equipped with microSD, USB 2.0 host, and micro-USB OTG ports, but like the other Neo variants, it lacks a display interface. You get 36 GPIO pins instead of the usual RPi connector. The board runs Ubuntu Core or Mate on the Allwinner H3. The similar NanoPi Neo2 has been discontinued over the last year and the similar NanoPi Neo2 Black disappeared the year before that. There is still a $22 to $23 Neo Core-LTS compute module that is designed to work with an optional, $11, RPi-like Mini Shield carrier board.
The NanoPi Neo3-LTS was announced in July 2020 and was later renamed with the long-term LTS designation. The RK3328-powered SBC is more than twice as expensive as last year. The NanoPi Neo3 is equipped with a microSD, GbE, USB 3.0, and a power-only micro-USB port. Other features include some USB and serial debug headers, a user key, 2x LEDs, and 26-pin GPIO. The -20 to 70℃ tolerant board supports Ubuntu Core 18.04 and FriendlyWrt (Linux kernel 5.4 LTS). Note that the RK3399-bsed NanoPi Neo4 has been discontinued.
The NanoPi Neo Air-LTS is a wireless variant of the NanoPi Neo. This headless IoT board has the same 40 x 40mm footprint, and similarly runs Ubuntu Core and Mate on an Allwinner H3. The Neo Air adds WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, and a DVP camera connector, but sacrifices the Neo’s Ethernet port and the sole USB host port, leaving you only a micro-USB OTG for power and data. You can derive more USB ports or a power connection via the split bank of 36 GPIO pins. Now an LTS (long-term support) product, the Neo Air no longer offers an eMMC option beyond the standard 8GB. The price has risen $8 since 2020 and now ships with a 3-4 week wait time.
The NanoPi R1 mini router board, which is now standard with 1GB DDR3, has doubled in price to $60 with an up to 1-month lead time. The similarly headless and Allwinner H3-based NanoPi R1S linked to above, has also almost doubled in price, in this case to $39.90 with 512MB DDR3. The R1S was previously referred to as the R1S-H3, but FriendlyElec shortened the name after the Allwinner H5-based NanoPi R1S-H5 was discontinued. The R1S loses one of the R1’s two USB 2.0 host ports, as well as the RTC and UART interface. The dual-band WiFi/BT module has been changed to a 2.4GHz WiFi chip without Bluetooth. On the other hand, you get dual GbE ports instead of 10/100Mbps and 10/1000/1000Mbps on the R1. (The new second GbE is a slower, USB-driven model.) The NanoPi R1S is smaller at 55.6 x 52mm compared to the 60 x 55.5mm R1 and both the board and free case are redesigned. Common features for both include a microSD slot, micro-USB port, and -20 to 70°C support. OS support includes FriendlyCore (Ubuntu Core) with Linux-4.14-LTS, Armbian, and FriendlyWrt (OpenWrt). For an even cheaper FriendlyElec board with an H3 SoC and a tiny footprint, see FriendlyElec’s single-GbE ZeroPi SBC.
The NanoPi R2C launched in August as a minor variant of the NanoPi R2S. The R2C replaces the Realtek RTL8211E GbE transceiver found on the R2S with a cheaper Motorcomm YT8521S chip, which FriendlyElec says offers the same throughput while allowing a price reduction of $12. Like the R2S, there is also a Realtek RTL8153 USB 3.0 to Ethernet controller for the second GbE port. The only other change is a switch from a micro-USB to USB Type-C port for power input. Otherwise, the features are the same as described for the R2S below. In late December, FriendlyElec posted a wiki page for a NanoPi R2C Plus variant, as reported by CNXSoft. The yet to be priced NanoPi R2C Plus will add 8GB eMMC, an 8-pin GPIO header, and a user button. The R2C Plus is slightly larger at 57.5 x 54.3mm (without enclosure).
We would not be surprised if the NanoPi R2S is discontinued in 2022 now that there is a cheaper, almost identical NanoPi R2C model and upcoming R2C Plus (see item above.) The 55.6 x 52mm SBC (without enclosure) can’t quite match the throughput of the native and PCIe-based GbE ports on the larger NanoPi R4S (see item below) but offers higher bandwidth on one of the ports than the smaller, Allwinner H3 based NanoPi R1 and R1S boards covered above. In addition to the native GbE port, there is GbE port based on USB 3.0, thereby providing up to 941Mbps bandwidth rather than 334Mbps. Other features on the headless board include USB 2.0 host and micro-USB 2.0 power/device ports, serial and GPIO headers, LEDS, heatsink, and an optional plastic case. The 0 to 80℃ tolerant board runs FriendlyWrt 19.07 and Ubuntu Core 18.04 with Linux 4.4.
The NanoPi R4S was revealed in Nov. 2020 and started shipping a few weeks later. The SBC offers the unusual pairing of the media-oriented RK3399 with a headless networking board. The 66 x 66mm SBC is larger than the NanoPi R2S and R1S boards and has a different layout. The RK3399 enables native and PCIe-based GbE ports for maximum throughput. Other features include a microSD slot, 2x USB 3.0 ports, a debug UART, and headers for USB 2.0, SPI, and I2C. A USB Type-C port inputs 5VDC, and there is a PMIC, RTC with battery connector, 4x LEDs, a user key, and a 5V fan connector. The operating range is -20 to 70℃ and a case is optional. OS support includes FriendlyCore 20.04 with Linux 4.19.111 and FriendlyWrt 19.07.4 based on Linux 5.4. When we click on the 4GB RAM option, the price stays at $86.90, so considering the current RAM shortage and price inflation, we imagine this option is not currently available.
Moscow-based M2M IOT, which also sells LoRaWAN gear including a GW-01 RPI add-on, announced its open-spec, OpenWrt-driven NetSOM module and dev kit back in May. The NetSOM module sells for $27 with a 10/100 LAN controller, $32.50 with 2.4GHz WiFi (instead of LAN), $34.50 for both, and $37 with WiFi and dual LAN controllers. The separately sold NetSOM Development Board starts at $69 and rises to $77 with an audio module with Class D speaker, mic, and headphone driver. There is also an $81 bundle with a video module that includes a 5MP camera, and an $89 bundle that provides both. The prices do not include the NetSOM module, so the total bill ranges from $96 to $126. There is also an unpriced option for an SX1301 extension board for a LoRaWAN gateway. The carrier board supplies 2x 10/100, 2x USB 2.0, and a Type-C power port. You also get dual terminal blocks for CAN, an SD slot, JTAG, and an antenna. M2M IOT provides a lot of custom software for the NetSOM.
The Nitrogen8M_Mini features NXP’s i.MX8M Mini, which is faster than an i.MX8M, but is limited to HD video. The 114.3 x 88.9mm board offers optional, pre-certified WiFi-ac/BT. (The WiFi/BT model is currently available only at Mouser for $216.79 compared to the $175 price offered by Boundary Devices when and if it returns.) We don’t see last year’s dev kit bundle, but there are plenty of a la carte accessories including a camera, expansion board, touchscreens, and an enclosure. The Nitrogen8M_Mini provides a GbE port with optional PoE, USB 2.0 host, and a micro-USB OTG port. You also get MIPI-DSI and -CSI. The SBC offers dual audio jacks, a PCIe slot, an RTC, a PMIC, and a choice of 0 to 70°C or -40 to 85°C ranges. OS support starts with Linux 4.9x and includes Yocto, Ubuntu 18.04, Debian Buster 10, and Android 9. Boundary Devices also sells a more expensive, sandwich-style offering based on its Nitrogen8M_Mini SOM, but it is over our price limit. The company also offers a Nitrogen8M_Nano board with an i.MX8M Nano, but it is out of stock at $178. The Nano model has a different mix of features including a 10/100 port in addition to the GbE. The original, i.MX8M based Nitrogen8M continues to be out of stock at $194.
The $54 Odroid-C4 continues the Odroid tradition of closely matching the features and performance of the latest Raspberry Pi. Hardkernel’s Korea-based Odroid project is also known for build quality and a vibrant community site. Although the Raspberry Pi 4 has more powerful Cortex-A72 cores, they are clocked to 1.5GHz compared to 2GHz on the Odroid-C4. Hardkernel offers benchmarks showing superior performance over the RPi 4. Unlike the RPi 4, there is an open eMMC socket and 4x USB 3.0 ports instead of a mix of USB 3.0 and 2.0. You also get wide-range power, an IR receiver, and full open hardware support. However, it lacks the RPi 4’s second HDMI port, MIPI-DSI and -CSI, and built-in WiFi/Bluetooth. Supported distributions include CoreELEC, Android 9, LineageOS, and Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. The SBC is only $4 more than a year ago, but Hardkernel accepts only bank transfers or PayPal.
The latest in Hardkernel’s HC (Home-Cloud) line of NAS boards is available for $50 or for $75 with OLED (bank transfers and PayPal only). Originally announced as the Odroid-HC4-Plus, the latter model adds an OLED screen and an RTC. Whereas the now discontinued Odroid-HC1 and -HC2 were based on the Odroid-XU4 and its octa-core Samsung Exynos5422, the Odroid-HC4 uses the same quad -A55 Amlogic S905X3 as the new Odroid-C4 but clocks it to 1.8GHz instead of 2GHz. There are dual PCIe-driven SATA slots, both with 3.5- or 2.5-inch support. The SBC ships with a pop-up, translucent toaster case for air-cooling the drives. The Odroid-HC4 is equipped with 4GB DDR4 plus a UHS-1 compatible micro-SD slot. Other features include HDMI with 4K, USB 2.0, GbE, an IR receiver, and serial debug. The board ships with Ubuntu 20.04 with Linux 4.9.230, or optionally, mainline Linux 5.8+. The board also supports Archdroid and DietPi.
Last year, the Odroid-N2 was replaced with a faster Odroid-N2+, thereby likely edging out the Khadas Vim3 as the likely performance champ among the Arm-based SBCs in our catalog. There are no major new features aside from faster clock rates on the 4x -A73 and 2x -A53 cores. Available with 2GB or 4GB RAM, the SBC with heatsink has a 90 x 90 x 29mm form factor. The Odroid-N2+runs Android 9 Pie and Ubuntu 18.04 LTS with Linux 4.9.162 LTS. The board has a GbE port and optional USB WiFi adapter that fits into one of the 4x USB 3.0 host ports. Other features include micro-USB OTG, composite A/V, and an HDMI 2.0 port with [email protected] with HDR, CEC, and EDID. There is also an RPi-like 40-pin header and a 7.5-20V DC input plus RTC, IR, console, and options including SPDIF and a cooling fan. The Odroid-N2+ CoreELEC Edition has been discontinued, but there is an Odroid-N2+ Home Assistant Blue bundle with preloaded Home Assistant automation software that is available for $159.95 at Ameridroid.
The aging, but popular Odroid-XU4 uses the same octa-core Exynos5422 and Mali-T628 GPU as the earlier XU3, and provides a GbE port, audio-enabled HDMI, 2x USB 3.0, and a single USB 2.0. A similarly priced Odroid-XU4Q model is identical except that the fan is replaced with a heatsink. The XU4 has a 12-pin GPIO header and 30-pin expansion connector. Options include USB-based SATA 3.0, an I/O board, and various wireless add-ons. The Odroid-XU4 ships with several versions of Android up to 7.1 Nougat, as well as Ubuntu 16.04, based on a Linux kernels up to 4.9. The XU4-based Odroid-HC1 mini-PC has been discontinued. Up to four XU4 SBCs can be loaded onto an XU4-based, $220 Odroid-MC1 cluster computer, which is currently out of stock. Hardkernel also offers a stackable, single-unit Odroid-MC1 Solo version that sells for a low of $60 on Amazon. The XU4 based Odroid-HC2 NAS platform has been discontinued.
The Odyssey-X86J4105800 is one of two open-spec SBCs released by Seeed in 2020 along with the Odyssey-STM32MP157C, which like last year is out of stock at Seeed and now also at Digi-Key. (We have at least temporarily removed the SBC from the catalog.) The Odyssey-X86J4105800 is also out of stock at Seeed where it was selling over out limit at $238. However, Arrow has some units in stock at $180.78. Like the recently discontinued Odroid-H2+ and the LattePanda Delta, the 110 x 110mm Odyssey-X86J4105800 runs on Intel’s Gemini Lake platform, in this case a dual-core Celeron J4005. Unlike with the Odyssey-STM32MP157C, we did not see any schematics, but the wiki page offers 2D and 3D models, extensive documentation, forums, and tech support. Tutorials show how to install OpenWrt, Ubuntu, and Arduino Core, which runs on a Cortex-M0+ MCU. The versions with pre-installed Windows add 64GB eMMC and sell for well over $200. The Odyssey-X stands out with its multiple expansion interfaces, including M.2 M- and B-key slots for storage and wireless, as well as a SIM slot, 40-pin GPIO and an Arduino/Grove slot. Other highlights include 2x GbE, 802.11/ac with BT 5.0, SATA III with power, and both HDMI and USB Type-C with DP support. You also get 3x USB ports, audio I/O, TPM, RTC, 12-19VDC input, and an optional case.
In 2019, Onion ramped up production of its open-spec, OpenWrt-on-MIPS SBCs, following up on its year-old Omega2 Pro with an Omega2 LTE SBC released in August. In Dec. 2019, it returned to Crowd Supply to launch its Omega2 Dash, which shipped in May 2020. The Dash uses the same Omega2s+ module with built-in 2.4GHz WiFi found on the Omega2 LTE. Although it lacks that model’s 4G link, it features a 3.2-inch, 320 x 240 resistive touchscreen mounted on the bottom. The 82 x 70mm, Dash expands upon the Omega2S+ with a microSD slot, a USB 2.0 host port, and a micro-USB port with power and serial debug. There’s also 30-pin header that can load the same expansion modules available for other Omega2 products. We no longer see the Essentials Collection and Ultimate Collection bundles, but there are optional LAN, ADC, NFC/RFID, Servo (PWM), and “Proto” expansion modules.
The Omega2 LTE features a Quectel EC25 LTE Cat 4 chipset with GNSS and is designed for remote sensor hubs and real-time asset and fleet tracking gizmos. The SBC runs OpenWrt on Onion’s Omega2s+ module with a MediaTek MT7688, 128MB RAM, 32MB flash, and 2.4GHz WiFi. The 80 x 50mm Omega2 LTE supports a battery and is equipped with a USB Type-C port with power and serial communications. A 30-pin GPIO connector supports the same add-on modules that debuted on the Omega2 Dash (above) and Pro (below). These include 10/100 Ethernet, 1-inch OLED, 16-signal servo, ADC, NFC/RFID, and a breadboard.
In Dec. 2018, Onion released an Omega2 Pro SBC that runs OpenWrt on the same MIPS-based, WiFi-equipped MediaTek MT7688AN SoC as its Omega2 compute module, but with real-world USB and micro-USB ports. The SBC is still available for $55 on Crowd Supply along with an $85 Essentials package that adds Ethernet and OLED expansion modules via the new 30-pin expansion connector. A $175 Ultimate package gives you all eight modules, including GPS, servo, relay, NFC/RFID, ADC, and prototyping options. The 73 x 44mm SBC boosts RAM to 512MB (128MB RAM with 384MB flash swap file) and flash to 8GB compared to the Omega2 module. The 2.4GHz WiFi radio comes with AP support and antenna.
2022 CATALOG PART TWO:
In late December, Shenzhen Xunlong unveiled an Orange Pi LTS SBC that appears to have replaced the Orange Pi 3. The LTS model, which appears to be the only new Orange Pi since our last New Year’s catalog, sells for $35 with 2GB LPDDR3 and 8GB eMMC at AliExpress and Amazon, compared to last year’s $48.50 price for an Orange Pi 3 in the same configuration. The Orange Pi 3 LTS has the same Allwinner H6 SoC, but shrinks from 90 × 64mm to a Pi-like 85 x 56mm. Instead of the USB hub driven 4x USB 3.0 ports and single USB 2.0 port there is a single USB 3.0 and dual USB 2.0 ports. A USB Type-C input replaces both the DC jack and micro-USB OTG port. Perhaps the biggest change was the removal of the mini-PCIe slot, but it apparently never worked well to begin with. As before, there are GbE and 4K-ready HDMI 2.0a ports plus an A/V jack, mic input, 26-pin GPIO, IR, and a microSD slot. The SBC supports Android 9 and Armbian with Ubuntu 20.04 and Debian 11 images. OS support for all the Orange Pi models can be found here. Like other Orange Pi models, this is an open spec board with schematics and other open hardware resources. The Orange Pi boards offer low $5.18 shipping prices to the U.S. The Allwinner H6 based Orange Pi One Plus and Orange Pi Lite2 are no longer available and have been removed from our catalog. The RK3399-based Orange Pi 4 has been removed, as it was only briefly available in the 4B configuration when we checked last year and is now unavailable. The Amazon page says they cannot confirm a future Orange Pi 4 return. This is one of 10 Orange Pi models that we removed this year due to lack of availability, representing the biggest reduction from any vendor.
Based on a budget smartphone oriented, dual -A7 MediaTek MT6572 SoC, the Orange Pi 3G-IOT offers built-in support for 3G GSM, WiFi, BT, GPS, and FM. The 68 x 52mm board provides an LCD interface, MIPI-CSI, audio jack, and mic. You also get USB 2.0 host and micro-USB power ports and 40-pin GPIO. Ubuntu 16.04 and Android 4.4 images are available. The 512MB/4GB 3G-IOT-B sells for a low of $25.80 on AliExpress. Amazon sells the SBC for the same price plus $11 shipping. Last year, the Orange Pi 3G-IOT-A model with 256MB RAM and 512MB eMMC was not available, but we now see it on Amazon for $22.30. The MediaTek MT6737 based Orange Pi 4G-IOT has been removed from the catalog, as the AliExpress page is no longer available and NewEgg lists it as out of stock.
The 60 x 30mm Orange Pi i96 was the only 96Boards IoT Edition (IE) board to run Linux until Geniatech’s more COM-like Developer Board 4IoT came around. The SBC, which sells for $10.30 on AliExpress, taps the same 1GHz, Cortex-A5 based RDA8810PL SoC used on the defunct Orange Pi 2G-IOT, but without the 2G GPRS baseband. The SBC implements the “Standard Micro” IE format’s 40-pin low-speed expansion connector option required by the “Extended” format, rather than the 30-pin subset used on the Carbon board. The Orange Pi i96 offers Android, Ubuntu, Raspbian, and Debian images. Features include WiFi/Bluetooth with external antenna, as well as microSD, USB host, and micro-USB OTG ports. There are no LCD or audio interfaces, but you get a CSI camera interface, 3x GPIO, and a 40-pin connector.
The Orange Pi PC provides an Allwinner H3, a Raspberry Pi-like 85 x 55mm footprint, and RPi-compatible 40-pin expansion. It has twice the RAM of the Lite and the original One models, and provides microSD, HDMI, CVBS, CSI, and 10/100 Ethernet connections. You also get 3x USB host ports and a micro-USB OTG. A newer Orange Pi PC Plus model adds 8GB of eMMC flash. The Orange Pi PC and PC Plus provide images for Android 7.0, Ubuntu 16.04, Debian, and Armbian. An Allwinner H5 based variant called the Orange Pi PC 2 was discontinued last year, and this year, we removed the apparently discontinued, Allwinner H3 based Orange Pi Lite and newer Orange Pi Lite 2. Also part of the wave of discontinuations of H3-based Orange Pi SBCs is the Orange Pi Plus 2E.
There are a variety of tiny (48 x 46mm) Orange Pi Zero boards with slightly different processors or features and names that seem to change from year to year. (See below for the Zero Plus2 and Zero2 boards.) Here, we combine the Zero LTS and Zero Plus. The Zero LTS may be in the stock sell-off phase, as suggested by its availability only on an MBM-Chip Store AliExpress page, where the Zero LTS starts at $18. The Orange Pi Zero Plus sells for $25 on Shenzhen Xunlong’s AliExpress page. The boards are slightly enhanced versions of the Orange Pi Zero, an SBC, which has been discontinued. The long-term supported LTS model, which appears to have launched originally as the Orange Pi Zero H2+, has the same features as the Zero, but with a slightly improved Allwinner H2+ and double the RAM. The Zero Plus advances to an Allwinner H5, but is otherwise almost identical to the LTS, Common features include 26- and 13-pin expansion interfaces, 2.4GHz WiFi with antenna, USB 2.0 host and OTG ports, a microSD slot, and a serial debug port. They also offer 10/100 Ethernet ports. Images include Ubuntu, Debian, Armbian, and Android.
The Orange Zero Plus2 H3 sells for $35 plus $11 shipping on Amazon. The earlier, and almost identical, Orange Pi Zero Plus2 H5 with an Allwinner H5 has been discontinued. The Zero Plus2 H3 is equipped with the Allwinner H3, which adds 4K support compared to the H2+. Compared to the Zero Plus, the Plus2 boards remove the mic, USB 2.0 host, and 10/100 Ethernet port, but add an HDMI, MIPI-CSI, 8GB eMMC, and Bluetooth 4.2, which is delivered via an Ampak AP6212 module that also includes WiFi.
The latest Orange Pi Zero board is larger than the earlier models at 60 x 53mm and advances to a faster Allwinner H1616, a scaled-back, 1.5GHz version of the H6. The Orange Pi Zero2 moves up to a GbE port, compared to 10/100Mbps on the Zero LTS and Zero Plus (and no LAN on the Zero Plus2). The Zero2 offers 802.11ac with BT 5.0 compared to 2.4GHz WiFi on the Zero LTS and Zero Plus and 802.11n with BT 4.2 on the Zero Plus2. Other features include micro-HDMI, USB 2.0 host, and USB Type-C ports, 13- and 26-pin GPIO headers, and serial debug. The SBC lacks the MIPI-CSI interface found on the Zero Plus2. Android 10, Ubuntu, and Debian are supported. The Zero2 sells for $24.91 at AliExpress and $32 on Amazon. We no longer see any 512MB RAM models.
At publication time, the 2GB version of the Pine H64 Model B was out of stock, but the 3GB SKU was available for the same price as last year. The SBC features the video-focused Allwinner H6 with Mali-T720 GPU, enabling [email protected] with HDR video over the SBC’s HDMI 2.0 port. The 86 x 54mm SBC, which can fit inside the case for Pine64’s Rock64 SBC, is equipped with GbE, 2x USB 2.0, and optional eMMC. There are 40-pin and 14-pin Euler expansion connectors as well as WiFi/BT with antenna and SPDIF audio. OS support includes Android 9.0, Armbian, Debian Buster, LibreELEC, and AOSC (Anthon Open Source Community). The Pine A64+
and similar Pine A64-LTS are both out of stock (The LTS model was out of stock last year, too.) Pine64 also sells an open source, $150 PinePhone based on the Allwinner H6. (An RK3399 based follow-on called the PinePhone Pro just went on sale for $399.) Pine64 offers a SODIMM-style SoPine A64 COM featuring the guts of the Pine A64 that is out of stock for $33 at Pine64. Ameridroid has them on pre-order for $42 with “next batch expected early-mid 2022.” A baseboard sells for $35 to $40, so the total cost SoPine A64 dev kit would be about $80. Pine64 also offers a $100 and up, open source PineTab tablet based on the Allwinner A64 with a 10.1-inch touchscreen.
In Nov. 2020, Seeed launched the Quantum Mini in collaboration with a developer named Zhihui and built with Seeed’s design and PCB prototyping and manufacturing services. The GPL 3.0 licensed SBC features an M.2 form-factor “Quark-N” module that runs Ubuntu Core on an Allwinner H3 plus a 40 x 35mm “Atom-N” carrier, making it the smallest Linux hacker board we have seen. The Quark-N module provides the 512MB DDR3 and 16GB eMMC along with a 26-pin GPIO with USB OTG, USB-Serial, I2C, UART, SPI, I2S, and GPIO. The Atom-N carrier adds a microSD slot, dual USB 2.0 host ports, a Type-C port for power, and some golden finger pads for I/O. A small TFT display is mounted on the board along with a motion sensor, user buttons, and a microphone. For communications, you get 2.4GHz WiFi with Bluetooth 4.0.
In 2021, Pine64 shifted its flagship platform to the RK3566, a slightly scaled down sibling to the similarly quad -A55 and NPU-equipped RK3568. The developer-focused Quartz64 Model-A is currently available only in small samples to committed Pine64 developers willing to do beta testing. The 4GB shopping page is above and the 8GB model is here. While the Model-A will primarily be used for in-house development, an upcoming, more consumer focused and RPi-like Quartz64 Model-B is slated for mass production. The 133 x 80mm Model-A can store data via microSD and native SATA, which is multiplexed with the sole USB 3.0 port. You also get GbE, optional WiFi/BT, and 3x USB 2.0 ports. Media features include MIPI-DSI and -CSI, an optional touchscreen, eDP, Digital Video and E-Ink interfaces, an audio jack, and a speaker header. There is also a PCIe x1 header, 20-pin GPIO, optional IR, an RTC, a 12V jack, and a battery connector. The Quartz64 Model-A runs Android 11 and Rockchip’s Linux-4.19 stack, with mainline support in the works.
The Radxa Zero is a near clone of the Raspberry Pi Zero W, but with a much faster, up to 1.8GHz Amlogic S905Y2 and more RAM and eMMC. It even bests the new quad -A53 RPi Zero 2 W on those scores. The S905Y2 is like the Amlogic S905YX, but without a LAN controller. Both are upgrades over the popular S905X. Ameridroid is selling the SBC in limited quantities and with many of the RAM/eMMC SKUs unavailable, starting at $21.95. Compared to the RPi Zero, the Radxa Zero switches from an HD-ready mini-HDMI to a micro-HDMI 2.1 with [email protected] HDR. In place of the Pi Zero’s dual micro-USB ports, you get dual Type-C: a USB 2.0 Type C OTG with 5V input and a USB 3.0 Type-C host port. Like the RPi Zero, the 66 x 30mm SBC has a 40-pin GPIO header. You also get WiFi/BT with an antenna mount plus a crypto chip and a user button. However, it lacks the RPI Zero boards’ CSI and Composite interfaces. Images are available for Android 9, Debian 10, and Ubuntu 20.04.
The tiny, $5 Raspberry Pi Zero costs $14 to $30 or more when you include the various cables and adapters you would likely need for SBC duty. The 65 x 30mm Zero upgrades the same old-school ARM11 processor found on the Raspberry Pi A+ and B+ to 1GHz. The COM-like SBC ships with a microSD slot, a pair of micro-USB ports, and a mini-HDMI port with audio support, as well as an unpopulated composite video header for the VideoCore IV GPU. Missing are all the USB ports, DSI and CSI ports, and audio jacks found on the RPi 3 or 4.
The Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W arrived in October, bringing a SiP packaged, 1GHz, quad -A53 BCM2710A1 SoC that is up to five times faster than the Arm11-based Raspberry Pi Zero and 2.4GHz WiFi/BT equipped Raspberry Pi Zero W. The $5 Zero is sold out and the $10 Zero W is available only at MicroCenter for in-store pickup or at CanaKit on pre-order with shipments due July 15. The $15 Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W is available at PiShop for single unit purchases only, which is a typical policy for Pi SBCs these days. You can also find it at MicroCenter for pickup or as part of a $44.95 Zero 2 W Starter Kit at CanaKit. Other venues are sold out. In addition to the CPU boost, the Zero 2 W upgrades the WiFi/BT module to pre-certified 802.11n with BT 4.2. Other features remain the same, with 512MB RAM, a microSD slot, and micro-USB OTG and mini-HDMI ports. Once again, there is an unpopulated 40-pin GPIO header, composite video/audio headers, and a camera connector, upgraded to MIPI-CSI-2. The 65 x 30mm, -20 to 70°C tolerant SBC derives 5V/2.5A rather than 5V/1.5A power from the micro-USB port, and there is a new $8 RPI Zero 2 power supply. You will also need to add another $8 for cables if you don’t already have them, and there are other options like GPIO pins, a case, and KB/mouse.
In Nov. 2018, an update to the retired, $20 Raspberry Pi Model A+ arrived with the same 65 x 56mm footprint, but also a raft of new features indicated by the “3” in the middle of the name. The Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ has the same 1.4GHz quad-A53 SoC, dual-band WiFi-ac, and 40-pin, HAT-compatible GPIO of the larger, higher-end RPi 3B+. Other similar features include the HDMI port, microSD slot, DSI and CSI interfaces, and composite port. The biggest sacrifice is the halving of RAM to 512MB. Although this is twice the allotment of the earlier A and A+ models, a 64-bit SoC like this deserves better. The SBC lacks a LAN port, and instead of 4x USB 2.0 host ports, you get one. The SBC is largely out of stock, but available at CanaKit on pre-order, with shipments due Mar. 15, or at MicroCenter (in-store pickup only).
The Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ is still relevant in the RPi 4B era for users who want to avoid the potential need for heatsinks, fans, and special cases associated with the 4B. The 3B+ has the same price and much the same layout and feature set of the RPi 3 Model B. The 3B+ provides a faster, 1.4GHz Broadcom SoC (up from 1.2GHz) and pre-certified, dual-band 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.2. The LAN port moved from a 10/100 port to a USB-powered, up to 300Mbps GbE port, and there is even a $20 Power-over-Ethernet POE HAT option. Other RPi 3B+ improvements include a better PMIC, a heat spreader, and 0 to 50°C support. The 3B+ is mostly out of stock but available on pre-order at CanaKit, with shipments due Jun. 15. You can also acquire it there now there as part of a $129.95 Ultimate Kit. The 3B+ is also available at MicroCenter for in-store pickup. The older RPi 3B is available for pre-order at the same $35 price at CanaKit, with shipments due Jun. 15. On Nov. 9, a major new Raspberry Pi OS release arrived with Debian 11 “bullseye” plus the GTK+3 UI toolkit and the “mutter” window manager. In recent years, the Raspberry Pi has become more open source, including posted schematics. (But good luck trying to acquire the Broadcom SoC to build your own.)
The Raspberry Pi 4 Model B is still available, but barely. The new Linux hacker board industry leader arrived Jun. 2019 with enhancements including up to 4GB RAM and a faster, 28nm fabricated Broadcom SoC with 4x 1.5GHz Cortex-A72 cores. The SoC also offers an enhanced VideoCore VI GPU with up to 4Kp60 support. In early 2020, RPi Trading discontinued the 1GB RAM model and lowered the price of the 2GB model to $35 and a few months later, added a $75 8GB model. In Oct. 2021, however, RPi Trading announced that due to chip shortages, it was bringing back the 1GB SKU at $35 and boosting the 2GB price to $45. The RPi 4 steps up to a native PCIe Gen2 based GbE port, once again with optional PoE. Two of the four USB host ports are USB 3.0, and the micro-USB switches to a more versatile Type-C. There is still no M.2 slot with SATA, but the faster USB 3.0 ports make USB storage more feasible. Like the RPi 3B+, the RPi 4 offers a WiFi-ac/BT module, 40-pin GPIO, microSD slot, MIPI-DSI and -CSI, and a composite video/audio jack. The RPi 4 has had a few growing pains, led by overheating problems, but various fans and cases have helped ease the way. Although the dual-display capability is useful to some, many users might have preferred a single HDMI instead of dual micro-HDMI ports. Yet, the RPi 4 has been a hit and reigns among the most powerful Arm SBCs in the catalog. An 8GB RAM option is also available on the similarly Broadcom BCM2711 based Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 (CM4). In Nov. 2020, RPi Trading launched a Raspberry Pi 400 keyboard computer with a faster, 1.8GHz version of the BCM2711. The RPi 4B is available at PiShop for $45 (limited to 1x unit per customer per month) and on pre-order with 2GB RAM only from CanaKit for $45, with shipments due Feb. 28. You can also buy a $129.95 Complete Starter Kit with 2GB that ships immediately. Finally, MicroCenter has the 2GB model at $45 for in-store pickup only.
The open spec Recore is designed for prototyping 3D printer applications. The SBC runs the 3D printer focused Refactor Linux distro on the Allwinner A64. It also taps the SoC’s OpenRISC 1000 ARISC AR100 core for fast real-time controls of components such as the board’s 6x stepper motor drivers. The Armbian/Debian-based Refactor integrates Klipper 3D printing firmware and OctoPrint 3D printer web interface software. The 120 x 120mm board lacks port connectors, so you need to add your own standard GbE, HDMI, and 4x USB 2.0 connectors. Other features include 3x heater outputs and up to 20A heated bed. You also get 4x thermistor/thermocouple inputs, numerous I/O pins, and a 12V or 24V input.
Last April, Olimex announced preliminary pricing for its RK3328-SOM and RK3328-SOM-EVB eval board. There are now product pages with slightly different pricing, but out of stock tags. (Since this is a new board, we are keeping it in the roundup, nonetheless.) The 18-Euro eval board can be paired with either a 1GB (27 Euros) or 2GB (40 Euros) RK3328-SOM module combining to provide a $51 or $65 total price. The module supports Android 8.1, Buildroot Linux, Debian, LibreELEC and Ubuntu 18.04 images with hardware acceleration for GPU and VPU. The RK3328-SOM-EVB supplies a microSD card, GbE and 10/100 Ethernet ports, USB 3.0 and 2.0 host ports and a micro-USB OTG port. There is also an HDMI 2.0 port and a serial debug interface.
MYIR’s open-spec, 100 x 65mm Rico Board runs Linux on TI’s single-core, Cortex-A9, Sitara AM437x SoC. The SBC integrates HDMI, GbE, and dual USB ports, as well as a 24-bit LCD interface that supports optional 7-inch touchscreens. You also get camera interfaces and dual 40-pin expansion connectors with support for CAN and industrial I/O. There is no open source community, but you get online tech support, schematics, and detailed documentation.
The ROC-RK3308B-CC Plus (or ROC-RK3308B-CC-plus) appears to be a replacement for the ROC-RK3308-CC, which had a separate listing in last year’s catalog. This year, this older model is available in limited quantities only on a Seeed page at Mouser for $54.42 with long lead times. The larger, 85.15 x 60mm Plus model, which sells for $40 at T-Firefly, offers the same headless, audio-focused RK3308 SoC, which is found on boards like Radxa’s Rock Pi S (see farther below). This time, T-Firefly implements them via a new Core Board RK3308B compute module, which starts on its own at $23. (Since last year, T-Firefly changed the name of the SBC from ROC-RK3308-CC Plus to ROC-RK3308B-CC Plus to reflect the switch to the new module.) The Raspberry Pi-like, 85 x 56mm SBC provides 4GB or 8GB eMMC, 128MB or 256MB NAND, and a microSD slot for storage. Other features include USB host, Type-C OTG, and 2x 10/100 Ethernet port with PoE compared to one on the earlier ROC-RK3308B-CC. The Plus model can achieve 720p instead of 480p LCD displays on the earlier model, but the 6-mic far-field array has been replaced with a 4-mic array and the SPDIF has been removed. The dual-band WiFi-ac/BT module has been replaced with 2.4GHz WiFi and there is a narrower 0 to 60°C operating range. There are dual 40-pin connectors instead of a single 40-pin with separate mic array and GPIO headers. OS support includes Buildroot Linux with extensions including ROS, Alexa, and iFlytek. The $40 price stays the same when you click on the 512MB/8GB option with 256MB NAND, so we are assuming here that the price reflects a 256MB/4GB with 128MB NAND configuration and that the 512MB/8GB model is not available in single units.
The ROC-RK3328-CC is the newer name of Libre Computer’s Renegade SBC, which launched on Indiegogo in 2017. T-Firefly is sold out but LoverPi and Amazon both sell the Libre-branded 2GB model for $50. Like Pine64’s Rock64 SBC, this is an RK3328-based Raspberry Pi clone with an RPi 3-like footprint, layout, and 40-pin interface. The main differences from the RPi 3 include the lack of WiFi, Bluetooth, and MIPI-CSI and -DSI, as well as the presence of 3x USB host ports (one of them 3.0) instead of four. Like the Rock64, you get GbE instead of 10/100 Ethernet, and HDMI 2.0 with 4K instead of an HD-only HDMI 1.4. Firefly and Bay Libre assisted Libre Computers with software support, which includes Android 8.1 and Ubuntu, with the latter offering a choice of Rockchip’s Linux 4.4 Kernel or Mainline Linux 4.14 LTS.
The ROC-RK3399-PC Plus and ROC-RK3399-PC Pro are based on Libre Computer’s Renegade Elite (see LG link above). The Elite has been sold over the last two years by Libre and T-Firefly as the ROC-RK3399-PC, and Libre still offers it for $100 on LoverPi. This year, T-Firefly revised the SBC and added Plus and Pro suffixes. The Plus sells for $109 or $135 and the Pro for $135 The 120 x 72 x 11.2mm SBC has the same footprint as the Renegade Elite but a slimmer profile. The Plus and Pro models have removed one of the 2x DP-ready Type-C ports and instead of 3x USB 2.0 host ports you get single USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports. T-Firefly also added an audio jack and a WiFi/BT module. As with the Libre version, there is a GbE port with Power-over-Ethernet, as well as MIPI-DSI, 2x CSI, HDMI 2.0, eDP, and a DC jack, among other features. Once again, there are dual 60-pin expansion headers. The operating range is -20 to 60℃. An optional mezzanine card offers M.2 M- and E-key slots, but only the Pro provides the 2-lane PCIe 2.1 interface required to offer NVMe on the M-key slot. The Pro also advances from 2.4GHz WiFi and BT 4.2 to dual-channel 802.11ac with BT 5.0 and adds a power button and a 9-12V input range. OS support for both include Android, Ubuntu, Station OS, Debian9, and Linux+QT.
Like Pine64’s Quartz64 boards, the ROC-RK3566-PC taps the NPU-equipped RK3566. See also the new ROC-RK3568-PC directly below, which advances to the RK3566’s more I/O enhanced sibling, the RK3568. The ROC-RK3566-PC is available at the Firefly Store starting at $75. The 90 x 60mm SBC is equipped with an M.2 slot for NVMe plus a GbE port, WiFi/BT, USB 3.0 and 2.0 host ports, and a Type-C OTG port. Media features include HDMI 2.0, MIPI-DSI, an audio jack, and dual MIPI-CSI for up to 8MP cameras. The ROC-RK3566-PC offers 26-pin GPIO, IR, and a -10 to 60°C range. The up to 8GB RAM provides all-data-link ECC. There are two accessory bundles with displays, cameras, heatsinks, SSDs, and more. OS support includes Android 11, Station OS, Ubuntu 18.04, and Linux Buildroot with Qt. Firefly also sells a Core-3566-JD4 compute module based on the RK3566 starting at $49 (1GB/8GB), but we did not see a corresponding AIO dev kit for the module.
The ROC-RK3568-PC, which is also the mainboard for Firefly’s Station P2 mini-PC, was not available when we covered it along with the RK3566-based ROC-RK3566-PC in the LG story linked to above. It is now starting at $125 at the Firefly Store, with limited availability of the 8GB models. The 138.0 × 77.5mm SBC is larger than the ROC-RK3566-PC and exploits the greater I/O of the RK3568 to offer more advanced features. The M.2 slot advances to PCIe 3.0 and adds support for more capacious 2280 NVMe modules. The ROC-RK3568-PC also adds SATA 3.0 and more I/O pins via dual 30-pin banks. Instead of one GbE port, you get two, and the WiFi moves up to 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6). The SBC has all the media features of the ROC-RK3566-PC plus a second DSI link, eDP 1.3, and speaker and SPDIF interfaces. You also get a second USB 2.0 port, an RJ45 serial “control” port, a 9-24V input, and a -20 to 60°C range. OS support and accessory bundles are the same. Last March, Firefly unveiled a Core-3568J AI Core Board compute module that sells for $75 (2GB/32GB) or $95 (4GB/32GB). An AIO-3568J dev kit equipped with the module starts at $259.
See also Radxa’s RK3568 based Rock 3 Model A directly below.
Radxa launched its latest Raspberry Pi 4 competitor in July and began shipping it the next month in limited quantities. As far as we can see, it is only available at Allnet China starting at $35, where it sells as the Rock 3A. The Rock 3 Model A is billed as “basically a little brother of” Radxa’s RK3399-based Rock Pi 4 and shares the same Raspberry Pi style dimensions, layout, and 40-pin GPIO. The SBC’s RK3568 offers more extensive PCIe, I/O, and multiplexing capabilities than the similar RK3566 found on Pine64’s Quartz64 SBC (see farther above). These improvements are more fully exploited by Radxa’s larger, RK3568-based, dual GbE Rock 3 Model B, which was unveiled around the same time but was not yet available. The Rock 3A exploits the RK3568’s ability to multiplex SERDES lanes to enable SATA support on the dual USB 3.0 ports (OTG and host) via a SATA breakout cable. The other improvement over the faster Rock Pi 4 is the addition of an M.2 E-key slot for Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax). Like the Rock Pi 4, the Rock 3A has an M.2 M-key slot with PCIe 3.0 x2 for NVMe. The SBC provides HDMI 2.0, 2x USB 2.0, GbE with PoE support, MIPI-DSI and -CSI, an RTC, and Type-C for power. Debian 10 and Ubuntu Server 20.04 are available.
The Rock64 is out of stock at Pine64, but AmeriDroid is selling the SBC for $42.95 (2GB) and $54.95 (4GB). The 1GB model has been discontinued. Like Firefly’s ROC-RK3328-CC, Pine64’s Rock64 combines Rockchip’s mid-range, quad -A53 RK3328 with a Raspberry Pi like 85 x 56mm footprint and expansion. The Rock64 lacks the RPi 3’s WiFi/BT module and there is no MIPI-DSI or -CSI. The Rock64 is limited to 3x USB ports instead of four, although one is a faster USB 3.0 and another is an OTG. The microSD slot and eMMC loaded into the empty socket are bootable. Other features include GbE and HDMI 2.0 with 4K HDR support. Options include an enclosure, heatsink, and a variety of power supplies. The extensive OS support includes Android 9 and Linux distros including Debian, Armbian, Bionic, and more.
We added the “new” tag here because Radxa has recently introduced some “+” models for the Rock Pi 4A and 4B that advance to the faster RK3399K with the dual -A72 cores clocked at 2GHz and the quad -A53 cores at 1.5GHz compared to 1.8GHz and 1.4GHz. The Rock Pi 4A+ and Rock Pi 4B+ also offer bundled, soldered eMMC options instead of an empty socket. Allnet China sells the Rock Pi 4 A, A+, B, and B+ at the prices shown above. Only the 4GB RAM model is currently available. The Model B and B+ differ from the A and A+ in adding 802.11ac with BT 5.0 and support for optional PoE. The newer Model C, which appears to be out of stock, adds a 2-lane, 2560 x 1440 @ 60Hz mini-DisplayPort and switches the HDMI 2.0 port to a still 4K-ready micro-HDMI, thereby enabling dual simultaneous displays. The Rock Pi 4 closely matches the Raspberry Pi layout and feature set, including the 40-pin connector. You get a pair each of USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports, 2-lane MIPI-DSI and -CSI, and the HDMI and/or DP ports. Other features include an audio jack with mic, an RTC, and a Type-C port. There is a native GbE port and an M.2 slot for SSDs, including NVMe. The SBC has a 0 to 80°C range, a 5.5-20V input, and support for Android 9.0. Debian, and Ubuntu Server. Also available is Radxa’s $25 Rock Pi Poe HAT for the Rock Pi 4, which joins other accessories such as a $14.40 Rock Pi 4 Prototyping HAT and a $49.90 Rock Pi 4 Cluster Set. Radxa also offers Dual ($25) and Quad ($35) SATA HATs that work on the RPi 4 or Rock Pi 4 at up to 400 MB/s via USB 3.0. There is also a faster, 800 MB/s $49 “Penta SATA HAT” that uses PCIe to support 5x drives. The SATA HATs can be found on this Allnet China page. Note that the RK3328 based Rock Pi E and Intel Cherry Trail powered Rock Pi X have been temporarily removed from the catalog due to lack of availability. Also removed is the RK3399Pro based Rock Pi N10, which like last year, is sold out.
The Rock Pi S is available at Allnet China. The tiny SBC runs Debian Buster, Ubuntu Bionic, and Slackware on the headless, audio-focused RK3308, which is also found on Firefly’s ROC-RK3308-CC PlusAlthough the shopping pages list the board at 38.1 x 38.1mm, these pages, as well as the wiki, also list it as 1.7-inch sq., which comes out to a still tiny 43.18 x 43.18mm. Now available in a v1.3 model, the Rock Pi S offers flexible pricing for both the 256MB or 512MB models, with or without up to 8GB NAND and/or WiFi/BT. The 512MB version also offers a PoE option. Features include 10/100 Ethernet, USB 2.0 host, and USB 2.0 Type-C OTG ports, as well as a microSD slot and dual 26-pin GPIO headers. Audio interfaces include a VAD (Voice Activity Detector).
Pine64’s RockPro64 stands out with its full-size PCIe x4 expansion slot. The SBC has the same 127 x 79mm dimensions and many of the same features found on Pine64’s Allwinner H6 based Pine H64. You get HDMI, eDP, MIPI-DSI, 2x MIPI-CSI, Parallel camera, USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0, and DisplayPort 1.2 via USB Type-C. For communications, there is a GbE port and optional, $16 WiFi-ac with Bluetooth 4.1. Audio links are available along with a 40-pin RPi-style connector. Images are available for Armbian, Debian, Ubuntu, CentOS, Slackware, DietPi, and more. The 2GB model is out of stock but the 4GB model costs the same as last year — a rarity in this year’s roundup.
In Feb. 2020, Arrow launched a security-enhanced Shield96 Trusted Platform SBC for $159. However, by our year-end roundup the board was no longer available, and a year ago it sold for $241, which was over our limit. Now that Arrow is selling the board for $193.28 we have slapped a “new” tag on it and added it to the roundup. The Shield96 runs Linux on a Cortex-A5 Microchip SAMA5D27, which is also found on the Giant Board and new Jupiter Nano (see farther above). The SBC adopts the 96Boards IoT Edition IE Extended spec and can be found on this 96Boards page. There is now a new Standard model, which similarly offers a separate Microchip ATECC508 secure element in addition to the security-enhanced SAMA5D27, but without the Sequitur Labs EmSPARK Security Suite, which ships on the original Trusted Platform model. Oddly, Arrow sells the Standard model for $268.09. Since the boards appear to be otherwise identical, the price hike appears to be due to the addition of AWS Greengrass certification on the Standard model. The EmSPARK Security Suite software on the Trusted Platform model is specifically designed to exploit the SAMA5D2’s security features, including secure OTA, secure boot, crypto, and hardware root of trust. It also adds Core-TEE, which is based on Linaro’s OP-TEE, an IoT-optimized implementation of Arm TrustZone. The Shield96 provides a microSD slot, a USB 2.0 host port, a 10/100Mbps Ethernet port, and 2.4GHz WiFi. There’s also a micro-USB serial console, a JTAG interface, and a 40-pin GPIO connector. The board supplies a PMIC plus a 5V input via another micro-USB port.
Sipeed launched the LicheeRV-Nezha CM in November after teasing the SBC the year before in conjunction with the launch of a SoC based on Alibaba/T-head’s RISC-V-based XuanTie C906 core. The SoC would later be revealed as the Allwinner D1, shortly before Sipeed launched a more feature rich Nezha SBC based on the D1 (see below). The LicheeRV-Nezha CM (or Lichee RV) sells for $16.90 on AliExpress. The SBC lacks Ethernet or WiFi and barely qualifies as an SBC by dint of its Type-C OTG port and microSD slot. In fact, it is primarily designed to be used as a compute module for two recently revealed carrier board add-ons: a Lichee RV Dock and a Lichee 86 Panel. The Lichee RV Dock sells for $5 to $23.90 on a separate AliExpress page. The 65 x 40mm Dock adds USB 2.0 and HDMI ports ([email protected]) plus 40-pin GPIO. You also get mic, audio, and SPI interfacess, several buttons, and an antenna. A Dock with WiFi/BT sells for $8, and the Dock with the Lichee RV module costs $20.90. There is also an optional mic array add-on. The Panel carrier should be available soon with RGB and MIPI interfaces and more. The 46.2 x 25mm LicheeRV-Nezha CM connects to these carriers via dual M.2 golden finger connectors, enabling HDMI, MIPI-DSI, RGB/MCU, RGMII, audio, SDIO, GPIO, and more. The SBC has a serial debug header and an SPI header for connecting an optional, magnetic micro-display. OS support includes Debian and the OpenWrt-based Tina Linux. In October, the MangoPi project from Beijing Wadora Technology announced a tiny, minimalist MangoPi-MQ1 SBC that runs Linux on a new Allwinner F133-A (D1s), a spin-down of Allwinner’s D1 that adds 64MB RAM. The MangoPi-MQ1 should launch soon.
Back in May, Sipeed and PerXLab’s RVBoards,org project each announced their own versions of a reference design for the RISC-V based Allwinner D1. As we are unable to identify any significant differences aside from OS support (Debian and Tina Linux for Sipeed, Debian for RVBoards), we are covering them both here. The Sipeed Nezha (pictured) launched on Indiegogo and is now available on AliExpress starting at $112. The RVBoards-Nezha starts at $115 at AliExpress. The Raspberry Pi-like 85 x 56mm SBCs ship with 1GB DDR3, 256MB NAND, and a microSD slot, as well as HDMI, GbE, USB 2.0, and USB Type-C OTG and power ports. You also get WiFi/Bluetooth, MIPI-DSI, an audio jack, a mic interface, and 40-pin GPIO. Options include an 8-inch touchscreen, a mic array, power supply, and more. Although these are said to be open-spec designs we have yet to see any details on the Sipeed and RVBoards wikis. In October, Sipeed and Alibaba T-Head opened $399 preorders for an RVB-ICE dev kit that runs Debian 11 on T-Head’s dual-core, 1.2GHz XuanTie C910 ICE RISC-V SoC, which is equipped with an NPU. In a RISC-V breakthrough, it also runs Android 10. The C910 is joined by a Vivante 3D GPU, 4GB RAM, 16GB eMMC, GbE, WiFi/BT, micro-USB 3.0 OTG, USB Type-C, an LCD interface, and 48 GPIO pins.
Sipeed’s Raspberry Pi-like FPGA board, which is also referred to as the Lychee Hex, among other names, sells for $115.49 at AliExpress, about $40 more than last year. The TANG Hex is more affordable than MYIR’s similarly Zynq-7020 equipped, Z-turn board, which had a similar price boost (see farther below). The SBC is equipped with a 10/100Mbps Ethernet port (compared to GbE on the Z-turn) plus 4x USB 2.0 ports, 26-pin GPIO, a microSD slot, and a few headers. Sipeed has posted schematics and a PetaLinux image on GitHub, but there are no community resources or tech support we could see and no product page on the website. Sipeed previously launched a nominally Linux-ready, but more suitably FreeRTOS-driven Sipeed MaixCube based on a RISC-V architecture Kendryte K210 RISC-V with 1-TOPS NPU.
This collaboration between Arrow and Shiratech is one of the few products in the roundup to drop in price in 2021. It is now selling for $148.18 at Arrow. The STM32MP157-based, 96Boards IoT Edition form-factor Stinger96 board ships with a Quectel BG96 NB-IOT modem, which operates at 200kHz with 300Kbps downlink and 375Kbps up. The GPS-equipped modem also supports higher bandwidth CAT-M1 and is accompanied by a micro-SIM slot and dual u.FL connectors. The SBC supplies a Yocto Linux image for the MCU-equipped STM32MP157 and provides microSD, GbE, and camera links. Other features include 2x micro-USB ports — serial debug and OTG — and the IoT Edition 40-pin GPIO header. The Stinger96 joins other IoT Edition boards such as the Orange Pi i96, which uses the smaller 60 x 30mm Standard Micro variant instead of the Stinger96’s 85 x 54mm IE Extended spec. Last May, Shiratech and Arrow teamed up on an SRT-96B-MAIN-SC20-E/A 96Boards CE Extended SBC that runs Android on a Quectel SC20 module equipped with a quad -A7 Snapdragon 210. The SRT-96B-MAIN-SC20-E/A remains unavailable. Arrow’s STM32MP157-based, 96Boards CE Extended form-factor Avenger96, built by DH Electronics, remains unavailable. Other drop-outs due to lack of availability include ST’s official STM32MP157 devkit and Seeed’s Odyssey-STM32MP157C. Olimex, however, has a new STMP157-OLinuXino-LIME2 (below).)
A year ago, we noted that Olimex was prepping an STMP1-OlinuXino-Lime2 variant that updates the A20-OlinuXino-Lime2 form factor and layout with a newer dual -A7, Cortex-M4-equipped ST STM32MP157. On Oct. 28, Olimex announced availability of the SBC in -20 to 85⁰C and -40 to 85⁰C models clocked at 800MHz and 650MHz, respectively. For two Euros more, you can add an HDMI port to either model. Features include GbE, 2x USB 2.0, and USB-OTG ports. There are also LCD, CAN, serial debug, dual 40-pin GPIO, and 20-pin GPIO interfaces. You can add your own SPI, NAND, and eMMC flash, and the 5V board features battery support. In June, Olimex released a sandwich-style spin on the STM32MP1x with a STMP15X-SOM SoM and the STMP1(A13)-EVB. There are separate product/shopping pages for the 20-30 Euro STMP15X-SOM module (pricing dependimg on the STM32MP15x model) and the 18-Euro carrier board, which also supports Olimex’s A13-SOM. The highest-end configuration for both totals 48 Euros ($56). Linux support appears to be the same as with the other OLinuXino models. Like the new Lime2 and other Olimex offerings, these are open source boards that ship with schematics and KiCad files.
Llast year when we checked on the Tinker Edge R, it was over our price limit, but it has now dropped to $161.55 Euros at Botland (incl. VAT). The RK3399Pro powered SBC is still over our limit at Welectron at about $214. The Pico-ITX form-factor, 12-19V powered SBC is equipped with a GbE port, 802.11ac with BT 4.2, and 4x USB 3.1 Gen1 ports, one of which is a Type-C with DisplayPort support. Other media features include an HDMI port, 4-lane MIPI-DSI, 2x MIPI-CSI2, and an audio jack. The Tinker Edge R has a 40-pin GPIO header plus a mini-PCIe slot with a nano-SIM slot. Debian 9 and Android 9 images are available along with support for major AI frameworks. Other RK3399Pro based SBCs include Vamrs’ VMARC RK3399Pro SoM Ficus2 (see below). The Rockchip RK3288 based Tinker Board S, the heir to the original Tinker Board, is no longer available and “discontinued” according to retailer B&H. The Tinker Board S is being replaced with the Tinker Board 2, which was supposed to ship in early 2021, but is not yet available. There are some other individually priced boards built around the RK3399Pro but they are over our price limit. The BeiQi CarrierBoard Kit with BeiQi RK3399Pro AI module that we covered in 2019 is finally shipping but costs over $300 when you combine the cost of the 96Boards SOM Compute Module compliant BeiQi RK3399Pro AIoT module and BeiQi CarrierBoard Kit. The CarrierBoard Kit combined with a BeiQi RK1808 AIoT module with an RK1808 is also over out limit, selling for a combined $243. Seeed shopping pages for the products are out of stock. Beiqi’s Bearkey site for the boards is here.
The Tinker Edge T can be found at Welectron for 149 Euros (about $168). It’s priced over our limited at B&H and is currently unavailable at Amazon. This 85 x 56mm pseudo-clone of Google’s Coral Dev Board runs Linux on the same Coral SOM module equipped with an i.MX8M SoC, Google’s Edge TPU AI chip, and WiFi/BT. Compared to the Coral Dev Board, the Tinker Edge T advances to 3x USB ports (2x USB 3.2 Gen1 and a Type-C OTG) and adds a wide-range, 12-19V input and a second 4-lane MIPI-CSI interface. It lacks the Coral Dev Board’s audio features, including the 3.5mm audio jack, 2x digital PDM mics, and speaker header. Common features include GbE and HDMI ports, MIPI-DSI, and a 40-pin GPIO header. The SBC runs Google’s Edge TPU focused, Debian-based Mendel Linux. Like the other Tinker Boards, the Tinker Edge T is supported with schematics, forums, documentation, and tech support.
While Vamrs’ RK3399-based, 96Boards Rock960 Model B and Model C have been discontinued, and Vamrs’ 96Rocks community site is looking pretty sleepy, the newer VMARC RK3399Pro SoM Ficus2 Evaluation Board is available starting at $199. Like Radxa’s Rock Pi N10, the dev kit is a sandwich-style SBC featuring Vamr’s SMARC form-factor VMARC RK3399Pro SoM. The module is equipped with the RK3399Pro, a version of the RK3399 with an up to 3-TOPS NPU that is also found on the Tinker Edge R. (The Rock Pi N10 is no longer available.) Vamrs pairs the module with its new 96Boards Enterprise Edition Ficus2 carrier board, which is based on a board announced back in 2018 called the Rock960 Enterprise Edition (Ficus). Vamrs offers the same RAM/eMMC configurations as the Rock Pi N10, with up to half the RAM dedicated to the AI chip. Vamrs also offers a $299 (6GB RAM/32GB eMMC) Toybrick RK3399Pro, which is over our price limit. The only version of the Ficus2 that makes the cut is the $199 4GB/16GB version. The 160 x 120mm carrier board provides GbE and Fast Ethernet ports, WiFi-ac/BT 5.0, RTC, IR, HDMI, eDP, LVDS, MIPI-DSI, audio I/O, USB 3.0 OTG, and 2x USB 2.0 host ports. For expansion, there is a mini-PCIe slot with an optional 4G module and SIM slot, as well as a 4-lane PCIe connector and 96Boards EE 40-pin low- and 60-pin high-speed slots. Vamrs uses OS images from its partner Rockchip, which include a dual-boot Fedora 17/Android 8.1 image and a beta version of Debian Stretch.
Udoo Neo prices have risen by $10 at the Udoo shopping site, and the listed prices exclude VAT and shipping. Like the larger Udoo Quad/Dual SBCs, the IoT-focused, 85 x 59mm Udoo Neo runs Linux or Android on a Cortex-A9 based i.MX6. The Neo, however, is optimized for the single-core i.MX6 SoloX variant and uses its Cortex-M4 MCU to mimic an Arduino. The specs differ slightly from the Kickstarter package referenced in the LinuxGizmos link above. The Udoo Neo Basic provides Ethernet, microSD, USB host, micro-USB OTG, micro-HDMI, LVDS with touch, and a Parallel camera interface. You also get an Arduino connector, as well as GPIO, UART, CAN, PWM, I2C, and SPI interfaces. The Neo Extended bumps the RAM to 1GB, adds 3-axis motion sensors, and replaces Ethernet with a WiFi/Bluetooth module. The Neo Full is identical to the Extended but offers both Ethernet and wireless. The Neo is the only Udoo available right now. The venerable, i.MX6 based Udoo Quad/Dual was discontinued over the last year. The Udoo X86 II has slipped over our $200 limit and like the even pricier, Ryzen V1000 based Udoo Bolt is currently “not available.”
The 85.6 x 56.5mm UP boardstarts at $109 — $10 more than last year — and is on back order, although it appears there is limited availability every month. Like the later UP boards, the original UP is not supported with full schematics. Yet, the UP Community supplies extensive documentation, including some 2D and 3D files, open-source downloads, tutorials and support. The UP board runs Ubuntu 16.04, Ubilinux 4.0 Beta 2, OpenBSD 2.0, or Windows 10/8.1 running on a quad-core, 1.44GHz/1.92GHz Atom x5-Z8350 of the 14nm Cherry Trail generation. Other Cherry Trail based SBCs include the smaller UP Core and Radxa’s lower cost, but currently sold-out Rock Pi X. The SBC not only looks like a Raspberry Pi, but it provides a 40-pin expansion bus via an Altera MAX V CPLD that is said to provide RPi 2 compatibility. The UP is equipped with a GbE port, USB 3.0 OTG, 4x USB 2.0, HDMI, DSI, CSI, I2S, and eDP. Accessories on all the UP boards include heatsinks, fans, enclosures, wireless kits, cameras, touchscreens, cables, UPS batteries, and more. In early 2019, Aaeon introduced a line of second-gen AI Core X M.2 and mini-PCIe modules for its UP boards that advanced to Intel’s Movidius Myriad X VPU. These were followed by AI Edge Computing Modules with Kneron’s KL520 AI SoC, which offers 0.3 TOP NPU performance on only half a Watt.
The UP Core, which began shipping to the public in Mar. 2018 after its 2017 Kickstarter launch, is available starting at $119, with prices $10 to $20 more than last year. (The 2GB/32GB model is marked “Schedule TBD,” but other models are available.) The UP Core is a smaller, 66 x 56.5mm version of the UP board. It runs the same Linux and Windows software and offers a similar feature set except that you get WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 BLE instead of a GbE port. The SBC offers single USB 3.0 and HDMI ports. Other features include dual MIPI-CSI, eDP, I2S audio, and a 100-pin docking connector with RPi HAT compatibility.
Aaeon launched an UP Core Plus SBC on Kickstarter in 2018 as the centerpiece of an UP AI Edge family that includes optional, AI add-on boards. The family also includes a higher end UP Squared AI Vision Kit based on the UP Squared board. Refreshingly, the 2GB/32GB model costs the same as last year and the other models are cheaper. The 90 x 56.5mm, Apollo Lake based UP Core Plus is larger than the Intel Cherry Trail based UP Core and has a choice of three quad-core Apollo Lake Atom SoCs. OS support is the same as the UP Core except that it also supports XenServer 7.2. The UP Core Plus is equipped with a DisplayPort, eDP, and 2x MIPI-CSI interfaces plus USB 3.0 host and OTG ports and 2x USB 2.0 ports. Dual 100-pin high speed GPIO connectors are compatible with UP board add-ons. The SBC supplies 802.11ac and Bluetooth but lacks an Ethernet port. In July, Aaeon launched an UP Connect Plus carrier option for both the UP Core Plus and UP Xtreme that starts at $99. The carrier adds 3x GbE ports with optional TSN plus an M.2 3042/3052 slot with 5G support. Other UP Core Plus options include cooling systems, enclosures, mini-PCIe based 3G and LTE cards, and the UP AI Core module.
The Up Squared shipped to Kickstarter backers in mid-2017 and is available at the same price as last year. (The Atom x7-E3950 model with 4GB/64GB is no longer available.) The 90 x 86mm SBC offers 4K encode and decode, dual GbE ports, dual HDMI outputs, and SATA, M.2, and mini-PCIe. You also get eDP, dual MIPI-CSI, 3x USB host, a micro-USB 3.0 OTG port, and 60- and 40-pin GPIO tied to an Altera Max 10 FPGA. OS support is the same as on the similarly Apollo Lake based UP Core Plus, and the extensive hardware options also appear to be similar. See also the new UP Squared Pro, which adds two more M.2 slots.
The UP Squared Pro arrived last Spring with the same Apollo Lake options available on the UP Squared, but more expansion features. The Pro has risen by $30 to $199, barely qualifying for our catalog. The 8GB RAM models are no longer available. The UP Squared Pro is based on the UP Square but is slightly larger (and finally square) at 101.6 x 101.6mm. The Pro replaces the mini-PCIe and high-speed 60-pin GPIO interfaces with an M.2 M-key slot for SSDs and an M.2 B-key for SSDs and cellular. Both slots support Aaeon’s AI Core XM 2280 module with dual Myriad X VPUs for AI. The board continues to offer an M.2 E-key for WiFi. The dual HDMI 1.4 ports have been replaced with HDMI 2.0 and DP 1.2, and Aaeon has added an audio jack, but the MIPI-CSI and I2S interfaces have disappeared. Two coastline RS422/RS232/RS485 connectors replace the internal UARTs. A 12-24VDC input replaces the 5V supply and there is now a TPM 2.0 security chip. The UP Squared Pro is available with Ubuntu and Windows, but there is no longer mention of Android. A month ago, Aaeon launched an Elkhart Lake powered UP Squared 6000 SBC that starts at $219. Specs include up to 8GB LPDDR4 and 64GB eMMC plus 1GbE, 2.5GbE, SATA, HDMI, DP, 2x USB 3.2 Gen2, 3x M.2, and an optional carrier board. In other UP news, the Whiskey Lake based UP Xtreme starts at $299. For some reason, the slightly stripped down UP Xtreme Lite starts at $699. The UP Xtreme i11 with 11th Gen Tiger Lake launched in Aug. 2021 at $299 and now starts at $749.
Despite its lack of open specifications — not even the 2D/3D files offered by the UP boards — Adlink’s first maker board is included here thanks to its fully featured GOTO50.ai community site, which is packed with tutorials, a forum, and other resources. Like Aaeon’s UP Core Plus, the Vizi-AI Industrial Machine Vision AI Developer Kit combines a quad-core Apollo Lake SoC running Debian 9.9 and an Intel Movidius Myriad-X VPU. Intel’s AI chip is supported with the OpenVINO toolkit and the Adlink Edge edge-to-cloud middleware platform. Unlike Aaeon’s entry, the VPU is included with the base price, although the Vizi-AI lacks the 64GB eMMC of the 4GB UP Core Plus. The Vizi-AI is an x86-based sibling to Adlink’s Myriad X-equipped I-Pi SMARC Dev Kits covered farther above. It similarly offers a sandwich-style design that integrates a SMARC module. The Vizi-AI dev kit is built around Adlink’s LEC-AL SMARC module. The module’s 4GB RAM can be upgraded to 8GB, although we saw no price for this. The Vizi-AI is equipped with 2x GbE, 2x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0, and micro-USB client and HDMI ports. A 40-pin GPIO header is available along with an audio jack and an optional, ribbon connected single-channel LVDS or eDP interface. In addition to the US version linked to in the Product Page link above, Adlink offers a similarly $199 European model.
Announced in late November, the VisionFive V1 is almost identical to a board that BeagleBoard.org called the BeagleV. BeagleBoard.org cancelled the design but will come back this year with at least one more BeagleV design base on another RISC-V processor. The VisionFive V1 runs Fedora Linux on a StarFive JH7100 with dual SiFive U74 RISC-V cores, a VPU, and a 1-TOPS NPU. A future V2 model will add a 3D PowerVR GPU. The Pico-ITX SBC will eventually sell for $149 for a board-only version but is currently available only to developers in in a Starter Kit version in limited quantities at Allnet China. Shipments to the EU will not begin until July. The SBC ships is equipped with a GbE port, 2.4GHz WiFi with BT 4.2, 4x USB 3.0 ports, and 40-pin GPIO. Media features include an HDMI 1.4 port for HD video plus MIPI-DSI, 2x MIPI-CSI, and an audio jack. A Type-C port provides 5V input. The StarFive JH7100 SoC will also power Antmicro’s upcoming ARVSOM compute module, which can plug into Raspberry Pi CM4 carrier boards and will be available with a Scalenode carrier for cluster applications.
The first FriendlyElec SBC without a “Nano” in the name combines the quad -A7 Allwinner H3 of the NanoPi Neo LTS with the Gigabit Ethernet port of the recently discontinued, Allwinner H5-based NanoPi Neo2. The ZeroPi, which has more than doubled in price since last year, shares the 40 x 40mm footprint, USB 2.0 host, micro-USB, and debug features of these earlier models, and it offers the -20 to 70℃ range of the Neo. However, it lacks a GPIO header. Aside from the GbE upgrade, the only improvement we can see from the Neo is a connector for adding SPI flash. For $5 more, there’s a metal case that also includes a heatsink. Images are available for Ubuntu Core 16.04 and OpenWrt, both with Linux-4.14, as well as Armbian.
Icewhale Technology, the creators of DFRobot’s Intel-based LattePanda boards, launched the ZimaBoard on Kickstarter a year ago and is only now shipping it to backers, six month late. New buyers can pre-order for slightly higher prices at the Zima shop. We did not see a projected ship date for the SBC, which is now available in a new 4GB/32GB “432” SKU with the same quad-core Apollo Lake Celeron found on the 8GB/32GB “832” model. The base 216 model has a dual-core Celeron. The SBC is designed for media server, personal cloud, NAS, software router, and other storage and networking applications. When enclosed in its heatsink case, the fanless ZimaBoard measures 120 x 74.5 x 25mm. There are dual SATA III slots for up to 4TB storage plus 2x USB 3.0, 2x GbE, and a mini-DP for [email protected] video. Optional adapter boards for the PCIe x4 slot include 4-channel USB, NVMe SSD, 2.5GbE, 5-channel SATA, and WiFi 6. The SBC supports Linux, OpenWrt, LibreELEC, Android, Windows, and the open source pfSense firewall software. Icewhale also offers an open source CasaOS home cloud platform. This does not appear to be an open-spec board, but there is a community site.
The Z-turn Board, which spun off a Z-turn Lite model (see below), runs Linux on a choice of two Xilinx Zynq SoCs, which combine dual Cortex-A9 cores with two FPGA choices: the Zynq-7010 (28K logic cells) or Zynq-7020 (85K). The SBC has jumped in price by $60 since a year ago. The 102 x 63mm SBC features HDMI, GbE, and dual mini-USB ports, as well as a CAN port and a variety of sensors, buzzers, switches, buttons, and LEDs. Dual 80-pin expansion connectors express the FPGA signals and can be configured as LVDS pairs. A $179 (7010) or $199 (7020) kit version adds a power adapter, cables, and a 16GB microSD card. For software, you get a customized Linux 3.15 BSP. For another spin on the Zynq-7020, check out the Sipeed TANG Hex farther above.
This cheaper, smaller (91 x 63mm), stripped-down version of MYIR’s Z-turn board offers a different mix of ARM/FPGA Xilinx Zynq options. The previous low-end model — the Zynq-7010 (28K logic cells) — is the Lite model’s high end, and the new low end is the Zynq-7007S with 23K FPGA logic cells and only one Cortex-A9 core instead of two. RAM has been halved, but unlike the original Z-turn, you get 4GB eMMC in addition to the 16GB microSD card that ships with both boards. The Lite reduces the number of programmable I/O lines to 84 and omits features such as the HDMI and CAN ports, as well as temperature and motion sensors. MYIR also offers a $29, 91 x 63mm Z-turn Lite IO Cape designed specifically for the Lite that gives you a real-world HDMI port, as well as camera, LCD, Pmod, and GPIO interfaces. Like the Z-turn, prices increased by $60 in 2021.