Tag Archives: Orange Pi

Orange Pi 3G IoT Board- A Cost Effective IoT Hacker Board

The Shenzhen based company, Xulong who makes the famous Raspberry Pi Clone; Orange Pi has recently launched a new IoT board to expand its IoT family line. The company who launched a 4G board, the Orange Pi 4G board early this year has announced the Orange Pi 3G IoT board, an IoT board that offers worth comparison to the 4G board and comes cheaper.

Orange Pi 3G IoT Board
Orange Pi 3G IoT Board

Just like its other released boards, the Orange Pi 3G is also an open source board. The SBC (Single Board Computer) is powered by a dual Cortex-A7 MediaTek MT6572 running at 1.2GHz speed, a bit lower than the quad-core 1.3GHz MediaTek MT6737 found on the Orange Pi 4G board and higher than the single-core 1GHz RDA Micro 8810PL  found on the Orange Pi 2G board.

The Orange 3G boards provide a compromise between using the slower 2G board and the most expensive 4G board. The board will allow users to deploy IoT solution on the widely available 3G networks as compared to 4G networks. The board doesn’t just come with only 3G cellular connectivity but also includes WiFi, Bluetooth, and GPS making it an ideal candidate for use as an IoT gateway.

The board is equipped with a 512MB DDR2 RAM, an onboard 4GB eMMC memory and support for a MicroSD card. It comes equipped with the standard 40-Pin header found on the Raspberry Pi, and this will allow it to have compatibility with some Raspberry Pi Hats.

The following are the specifications listed for the Orange Pi 3G-IOT:

  • Processor — MediaTek MT6572 (2x Cortex-A7 @ 1.2GHz); Mali-4000 MP1 GPU
  • Memory/storage:
    • 512MB DDR2
    • 4GB eMMC
    • MicroSD slot with hot-plug support
  • Wireless:
    • WiFi, Bluetooth, FM, and GPS combo module
    • 3G — GSM 850/900/1800/1900; WCDMA B1/B2/B5/B8; TD-CDMA; CDMA2000
    • Mini-SIM card slot
    • WiFi/BT antenna connectors (ext. antennas may be optional)
  • Display/Media:
    • LCD interface (FWVGA via FPC ZIF connector) with capacitive touch
    • MIPI-CSI camera interface
    • 3.5mm earphone audio jack
    • Mic
    • Optional speaker
  • Other I/O:
    • USB 2.0 host port
    • Micro-USB port with power support
    • 40-pin expansion header
  • Other features — 2x LEDs
  • Power — 5V 2A via micro-USB; power button; optional battery
  • Dimensions — 68 x 52mm
  • Operating system — Android 4.4 with C, C++, Kotlin, Java, Shell, and Python support

One major talking point for the Orange Pi 3G-IoT is the OS support. It is still stuck at the ancient Android 4.4 firmware while the Orange Pi 4G already supports Android 8.1. Linux operating system support doesn’t seems to be available for the Orange Pi 3G but we can’t rule it out since the company normally release the Android SDK which also includes an Linux kernel.

The board is available for purchase at the cost of $19.90 and can be purchased online from Aliexpress.

The Orange Pi 4G IoT Board is the Most Advanced Orange Pi Board

Orange Pi has been known for its several Raspberry Pi board clones and now has launched a better IoT focused board – Orange Pi 4G IoT. The Shenzhen based company, Xulong has gone through different modifications and even as at last year released a low-cost 2G based board – The Orange Pi 2G IoT board that cost just $9.90. However, recent trends have been gearing towards 4G technology, and some countries like Australia are already outfacing the old 2G networks.

Orange Pi 4G IoT Board

Therefore, it did not come as a big shock when the company released a 4G board recently. But it is clear that Shenzhen Xulong outdid itself as the board has a lot interesting and advanced features such as its 4G LTE module, fingerprint sensor support, WiFi, GPS and many more. The Orange Pi 4G IoT board is the most advanced Orange Pi board till date. Like many other Orange Pi boards, the Orange Pi 4G – IoT has a Raspberry Pi like footprint which measurements are 85mm × 55mm and a 40 – pin expansion header.

At the heart of the Orange Pi 4G IoT board is the MediaTek MT6737 SoC. The MediaTek SoC is a 64bit Quad-core, Cortex-A53 and clocked from 1.1GHz to 1.3GHz. There’s also a high-end, up to 650MHz Mali-T720 MP1 GPU with the SoC.

The Orange Pi 4G – IoT Single Board Computer (SBC) runs Andriod 6.0 has a 4G LTE radio module with a mini-SIM card slot, a fingerprint sensor support and a combo module that includes WiFi, FM, GPS, and Bluetooth. There’s also a mic and an earphone jack. The board has a PRX receiver which could be a potential source for the fingerprint reader or a proximity sensor module. The Orange Pi 4G-IOT also includes a three USB 2.0 OTG host ports, a micro-USB port, and an IR receiver.

The below are specifications of the Orange Pi 4G board:

  • Processor —
    • MediaTek MT6737 (4x Cortex-A53)
    • Mali-T720 MP1 GPU
  • Memory/storage:
    • 1GB of DDR3
    • 8GB of eMMC
    • MicroSD slot with hot-plug support
  • Display/Media:
    • HDMI port for HD resolution
    • LCD interface with capacitive touch support
    • 13-megapixel camera interface (25-pin ZIF)
    • 3.5mm earphone UI/O audio jack
    • Mic
  • Wireless:
    • WiFi, Bluetooth, FM, and GPS combo module
    • 4G LTE module (FDD-LTE B1/B2/B3/B4/B7/B17/B20; TDD-LTE B38/B40/B41B; GSM 850/900/1800/1900; WCDMA B1-B8,
    • Mini-SIM card slot
    • Diversity receiving part (antenna connector)
    • Antennas (may be optional)
  • Other I/O:
    • 3x USB OTG host ports
    • Micro-USB port (only for writing image)
    • 40-pin expansion header (2x UART, 3x I2C, 2x SPI, 1.8V)
  • Other features — IR receiver; 2x LEDs; PRX receiver for attaching fingerprint reader
  • Power — 5V 2A input; power button; battery supported
  • Weight — 42.5 g
  • Dimensions — 85 x 55mm
  • Operating system — Android 6.0 with C, C++, Kotlin, Java, Shell, and Python support

Although the Orange Pi 4G IoT board is not listed on the Orange Pi website and has no official product page or wiki page, it is surprisingly available for purchase on Aliexpress and costs only $45.

Top 10 Single Board Computers (SBCs) Of The Previous Year

Introduction

Back in 2012, the arrival of Raspberry Pi started a new era of Single Board Computers – widely known as SBC. It attracted a huge number of hobbyists and tinkerers who are keen to create technology rather than just consuming it. Single board computers made designing complex and computationally expensive projects possible. Robotics, IoT, Computer Vision projects, DIY media center – just name it and SBC will get it done with ease.

Since the massive success of the Raspberry Pi, the market got filled with various single board computers from different developers. Almost all of them have similar features but with some uniqueness.

Nowadays, we can see SBCs as cheap as $9 to as expensive as $250. One should purchase an SBC carefully depending on the budget and the type of the project. This Top 10 List is based on the SBCs that were popular the previous year and it will help you to choose an SBC as per your requirement without much effort.

The Logic of Sorting

While sorting out some products and giving them ranks, the logic of sorting should be clarified. We can sort out SBCs in many ways – performance, form factor, price point, user community etc. In this article, we have kept hobbyists and tinkerers in mind and so, our primary focus is price point and performance at that price. As a result, some extremely powerful boards didn’t rank well just because of being too costly and not affordable by hobbyists. Also, we have not included boards introduced this year (2018) as the list is based on the top boards of the previous year (2017).

So, now you know how we sorted the boards. Let’s get started with the list. (more…)

First Orange Pi SBC Powered By Rockchip’s Hexacore SoC Can Run Android 6.0 And Debian 9

ARM hacker board vendors and commercial x86-centric board vendors are following Firefly’s lead in experimenting with Rockchip’s ARM-based SoCs. These new single-board computers (SBC) offer x86-type features like HDMI 2.0, mSATA, and mini-PCIe. They also come with powerful and more energy-efficient ARM cores. Now Shenzhen Xunlong has launched its first Rockchip based Orange Pi single-board computer, Orange Pi RK3399, at 109 USD.

Orange Pi RK3999 Powered By Rockchip SoC
Orange Pi RK3999 Powered By Rockchip SoC

The Rockchip RK3399 features two Cortex-A72 cores that are clocked up to 2.0GHz, as well as four Cortex-A53 cores typically clocked at up to 1.42GHz. There’s also a high-performing ARM Mali-T864 GPU. There are 2GB DDR3 RAM, 16GB eMMC flash and can be expanded with an inbuilt MicroSD slot. Mandatory I/O ports as USB 3.0 Type-C port, 4x USB 2.0 host ports. DisplayPort 1.2 with audio for up to 4K at 60Hz. There are Other RK3399 based SBCs as Firefly’s Firefly-RK3399 and similarly open source Rockchip RK3399 Sapphire.

Like most of these boards, the Orange Pi RK3399 is a high-end board with various ports and interfaces. The Orange Pi RK3399 is the only one of these SBCs with mSATA, and you can have dual mSATA drives if you dedicate the mini-PCIe slot to mSATA instead of LTE. Orange Pi RK3399 stands out with its numerous sensor assembly, which includes a G-Sensor, Gyro, Compass, HALL sensor, and ambient light sensor.

Orange Pi RK3999 front details
Orange Pi RK3999 front details

The Orange Pi RK3399 offers almost the same as Firefly-RK3399, with GbE, WiFi-AC, Bluetooth 4.1, and a large-scale collection of multimedia features. There’s a 40- instead of 42-pin expansion interface. Just like Firefly boards, there is no support for Raspberry Pi compatibility. The board also lacks the Firefly’s RTC, and at 129 x 99mm, which is heavier and just slightly larger than the Firefly-RK3399.

One of the best advantages of the Firefly board is software support. Firefly offers Ubuntu 16.04 while the Orange Pi only has Debian 9 along with Android 6.0. More importantly, since this is Shenzhen Xunlong’s first Rockchip board, software support is likely to procrastinate. Hopes are high on this being an open hardware board like the other Orange Pi models.

$10 Orange Pi 2G-IoT Competing With Pi Zero W

A new competitor to Raspberry Pi Zero W is just out! A new single-board computer by Orange Pi that is now available at AliExpress is competing against Pi Zero W, the Orange Pi 2G-IoT. Using this powerful SoC you can build a computer, a wireless server, games, musics and sounds, a speaker with Android, Scratch and a lot of other options since Pi 2G-IoT is open source.

The Orange Pi 2G-IoT has ARM Cortex-A5 32bit clocked at 1GHz with 256MB DDR2 RAM, 500 MB of on-board NAND storage to go along with an SD card slot for larger storage. It also has a CSI camera connector, WiFi, Bluetooth, an FM Radio and GSM/GPRS with a sim card slot on the bottom. It is pin compatible with Raspberry Pi’s almost standardized GPIO layout.

This $10 board is impressive especially the addition of GSM/GPRS, but it is not promised to kill other competitors in sales, even though it is a powerful little computer. Since the community of Raspberry Pi product is much more larger and more supportive, Orange Pi fails in engaging its audience with the products it makes.

Unfortunately, Orange Pi website is not updated yet to include its newest product. However if you are interested in getting one for yourself right now, head over to AliExpress to get your 2G-IoT for only $9.90 and to know more details.

Via Hackaday

Orange Pi PC2 $20 Quad core Linux Computer

Shenzhen Xunlong Software CO., Limited is now offering  a new addition to the community of single board computers. The latest edition of Orange Pi is the $20 Orange Pi PC 2.
Even though this 85mm×55mm board isn’t as cheap as the $4 VoCore2 Lite, its $20 price tag is justified by the hardware it packs inside. And, it also saves you $15 if you don’t want to go for the $35 Raspberry Pi 3. Orange Pi PC 2 is a single-board quad-core 64-bit computer capable of running Android 4.4, Ubuntu, Debian, Banana Pi, and Raspberry Pi images.

best-seller-orange-pi-pc-h3-support-the-lubuntu-linux-and-android-mini-pc-beyond-raspberry

The board includes an Ethernet port and three USB ports. It has 1GB of memory, H5 High Performance Quad-core 64-bit Cortex-A53, and a standalone graphics chip. It supports camera input as well as HDMI out and even has a physical power switch and IR blaster. It takes power using a separate power connector despite the fact that it has a micro-USB port. The absence of WiFi and Bluetooth is a slight turn-down but USB 2.0 ports can be used to add these things.

orangepipc2_info

Full hardware specifications

CPU: Allwinner H5 64-bit Quadcore (Cortex-A53).
RAM: 1GB DDR3.
GPU: Mali-450.
Storage: 2MB NOR Flash, up to 64GB via MicroSD card.
Connectivity: 2xUSB 2.0, 1xUSB 2.0 OTG, HDMI, 10/1000 RJ45, IR receiver, camera interface, 40-pin header.
Audio: 3.5mm jack, inbuilt mic.
Operating System: Ubuntu Debian, Raspbian, Android.
This board is an advanced edition of the recent Orange Pi PC with different CPU, GPU and Ethernet connection.

Getting Started with Orange Pi PC 2

  1. You need to get these accessories to start using your Orange Pi:
    TF card (minimum 8 GB), HDMI to HDMI lead or HDMI to DVI lead (for monitors with DVI input), AV video lead, DC power adapter, keyboard and mouse, plus Ethernet cable/USB WiFi and Audio lead as an option.rms
  2. Prepare your TF card
    1. Insert your TF card into your computer. The size of TF should be larger than the OS image size, generally 8GB or greater.
    2. Format the TF card. (using this tool for Windows, and some commands for Linux)
      1. Run fdisk –l  /dev/sdx command to check the TF card node.
      2. Run umount /dev/sdxx to unmount all the partitions of the TF card.
      3. Run sudo fdisk /dev/sdx command to configure TF card. Use o command to delete all partition of TF card and use n command to add one new partition. Use w command to save change.
      4. Run sudo mkfs.vfat /dev/sdx1 command to format the new created partition of TF card as FAT32.
        (x should be replaced according to your TF card node)
    3. Download the OS image from the Downloads webpage.
    4. Unzip the download file to get the OS image
    5. Write the image file to the TF card using this software on Windows and this command on Linux: sudo dd bs=4M if=[path]/[imagename] of=/dev/sdx (x should be replaced according to your TF card node)
  3. Set up your Orange Pi PC following the steps in the diagram
    sketch_map_pipc_en
    Note : Avoid using the micro-usb power connector, because micro-usb power does not supply power.
  4. Shut down your board
    You can use the GUI to shut down the Orange Pi PC2 safely or just run this command in the terminal:  sudo halt or  sudo shutdown –h now
    This will shutdown the PI safely, (just use the power key to turn off might damage the TF-cards file system). After that you can press the power key for 5 seconds to turn it off. Full guide and any updates on the OS image will be available here.

This open source SBC (single board computer) is a great option to start building IoT devices, DIY projects and for development purposes. You can use it as a mini-computer, a wireless server, music and video player,etc. You should remember that the limit is the sky when it comes to open source boards.

The Orange Pi PC 2 is up for sale on AliExpress and you can get it now for $20. You can apply for free products from Orange Pi through this application by defining your purpose of using the product and following the steps mentioned here.

You can check the official website to find more details and updates about Orange Pi PC2 and other boards from Orange Pi. Codes and source files are available at Github.

Two New Orange Pi IoT Boards

Shenzhen Xunlong Orange Pi boards are low price boards and have huge support on communities such as Armbian, but two new Orange Pi boards might make the company even more relevant in the development board space.

First, the company has released the tiny, and hopefully ultra cheap, Orange Pi Zero board with Allwinner H2+ processor and 256MB/512MB DDR3 SDRAM. It’s an open-source 48 mm × 46mm single-board computer that can run Android 4.4, Ubuntu, and Debian.

orangepizero_info

Orange Pi Zero is similar to NanoPi NEO board but with difference in the processor and both Ethernet and wireless connectivity. It comes with these hardware specifications:

  • CPU: H2 Quad-core Cortex-A7 H.265/HEVC 1080P.
  • GPU: Mali400MP2 GPU @600MHz, Supports OpenGL ES 2.0
  • Memory (SDRAM): 256MB/512MB DDR3 SDRAM (shared with GPU)
  • Onboard Storage: Or Flash(2MB Default not posted)
  • Onboard Network: 10/100M Ethernet RJ45 POE is default off.
  • Onboard WIFI: XR819, IEEE 802.11 b/g/n
  • Audio Input: MIC
  • Video Outputs: Supports external board via 13 pins
  • Power Source: USB OTG can supply power
  • USB 2.0 Ports: Only One USB 2.0 HOST, one USB 2.0 OTG
  • Buttons: Power Button
  • Low-level peripherals: 26 Pins Header, compatible with Raspberry Pi B+, 13 Pins Header, with 2x USB, IR pin, AUDIO (MIC, AV)
  • LED: Power led & Status led
  • Key: POWER
  • Supported OS: Android, Lubuntu, Debian, Raspbian

Linaro has announced that an Orange Pi i96 board is coming soon. It is a good choice for making smart gadgets, robots, or drones with wireless capabilities on cheap development board.

The board has features not found on competitive boards. It won’t be based on any Allwinner processors however, but instead it features an RDA Micro Cortex-A5 processor with 256 MB on-chip RAM, 512 MB on-chip NAND flash, a microSD card, two USB 2.0 ports, a CSI camera connector, and WiFi 802.11 b/g/n connectivity.

“We can’t wait to see what developers are going do with this in the areas of vision and recognition systems and robotics,” said George Grey, CEO of Linaro.

orange-pi-i96-640px

The Orange Pi i96 also has a camera interface, which is important to give computer vision to robots and drones. The board is based on specifications set by 96boards, an organization encouraging the development of ARM-based board computers. The exact shipment date for Orange Pi i96 is not yet available.

“Linaro is also encouraging the development of other IoT boards. In the near future, there will be billions of IoT devices collecting and sending information, and more boards will be used to support this growing ecosystem”, Grey said.

Source: CNXSoftware

Raspberry Pi 2 VS Orange Pi 2 VS BPi-M2

In this VS episode “GreatScott” will compare the hardware (CPU, RAM, GPU,….), the software and community aspects of the three most powerful single board computers from the fruit companies.

Raspberry Pi 2 VS Orange Pi 2 VS BPi-M2 – [Link]

Orange Pi undercuts Raspberry Pi

20150901022403_Opi

by Martin Cooke @ elektormagazine.com:

Over the last few months the Asian manufacturer Shenzhen Xunlong Software has released a number of capable open-spec single board computers with the ‘Orange Pi’ label that are both Linux and Android-ready. Their latest offering is the Orange Pi PC which packs an Allwinner (Cortex-A7) quad-core H3 SoC running at 1.6 GHz, priced at just $15. That’s less than half the price of the latest Raspberry Pi board which uses the Broadcom processor based around the same quad cores but running at 900 MHz.

Orange Pi undercuts Raspberry Pi – [Link]