A13-OLinuXino 1Ghz Cortex-A8 development started


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We got last friday 4 samples of Allwinner A13 ICs and AXP209 and we begin the new board design.

We also got finally the A13 datasheet and there is GREAT news inside it, Allwinner A13 operates in INDUSTRIAL temperature range also, so -25+85C is what this chip can work and there is no problem to be used in INDUSTRIAL applications too.

I worked this weekend for the specifications and this is what I came with:

1. A13 Cortex A8 1Ghz processor
2. 512 MB of DDR3 memory
3. 6-16VDC input power supply
4. 4x USB hosts – one reserved for optional WIFI
5. 1x USB OTG
6. VGA
7. Audio Output
8. Audio Input
9. RTC PCF8536 on board for real time clock and alarms
10. SDcard
11. 5x Keys on board for navigation
12. UEXT connector for connecting addtional UEXT modules like Zigbee, Bluetooth, Relays, etc
13. GPIO connector with 68/74 pins and these signals :
– 17 for adding NAND flash
– 22 for connecting LCDs
– 24 GPIOs, 3x I2C; 2x UARTs;  1x SDIO2
– 5 system pins: +5V, +3.3V, GND, RESET, NMI

Another great news which came right on time was that there was leak of A10 Linux 3.0.8 kernel source and Android 4.0 sources http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=25978796&postcount=121 where the support for A13 is not cleaned so we have now linux and android 4.0 sources which support A13 processor, so releasing the proper software for A13 will be easier than I though first.

34 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Entropia
    May 14, 2012 @ 10:37:03

    Wow, great news! Any chance you can release the datasheet? Is there any way an individual person can get their hands on A13 chips? What would be the price per chip?

    Reply

    • OLIMEX Ltd
      May 14, 2012 @ 10:39:51

      I already uploaded A13 datasheets to GitHub. We only got these samples, officially Allwinner do not sell these as they can’t manage to fulfill the big demand from the tablet factories, so in the next 1-2 months these chips may be not able to purchase but I guess after this will be possible to buy, we need 1-2 months to design, build and verify the prototypes anyway so this will not slow down our development

      Reply

  2. Laurent
    May 14, 2012 @ 12:46:29

    Hi !

    So, Ethernet will require an additional UEXT module ?

    Reply

  3. RS
    May 14, 2012 @ 15:07:40

    Hi,
    Are you bringing the I2S signals out to a connector? Thanks

    Reply

    • OLIMEX Ltd
      May 14, 2012 @ 15:16:59

      did you read the datasheet? A13 have build in 24 bit stereo audio codec but have no I2S

      Reply

      • 0xFF
        May 14, 2012 @ 19:01:31

        This chip is a little revolution, i can’t wait to play with it !!! Too bad there is no I2S though, those integrated CODECs always tend to be noisy and unsuited for anything serious …

        That’s amazing you already got the datasheet and even schematics. AllWinner seems quite cooperative :) Do you expect to have the Linux source soon ?

        I’ll definitely buy this board one you have it.

  4. milou
    May 14, 2012 @ 21:02:40

    What do you mean by “where the support for a13 is not cleaned” ? do you mean there is source code for both a13 and a10 in that leak ?

    Reply

    • OLIMEX Ltd
      May 14, 2012 @ 21:05:56

      exactly the source code contain Linux Kernel 3.0.8 and Android 4.0 for both A10 and A13 :)

      Reply

      • 0xFF
        May 14, 2012 @ 21:20:07

        great ! I haven’t downloaded it yet because it’s 1.6GB haha, no git of it somewhere ? I assume that most of the A13 peripherals are the same than the one in the A10, there must be a lot of common points between those two chips. I am especially interested in finding how to boot the A13.

        Just curious, do you already have an A13 tablet that you can play with by any chance ?

      • OLIMEX Ltd
        May 14, 2012 @ 21:33:22

        1.6GB is only the Linux 3.0.8 sources, the Android 4.0 sources are 6.4GB!

        the A13 tablets are just started to be produced the first samples were shown on HK electronics fair in April.
        I see some A13 tablet advertised for online sale now, but I believe we will make our A13 boards earlier than I will receive A13 tablet by post from China :)

      • 0xFF
        May 14, 2012 @ 21:37:55

        ahah yes it seems you have everything you need to start schematics ! :-)

      • 0xFF
        May 14, 2012 @ 21:49:14

        Are you on an IRC channel by any chance ?

  5. mtx512
    May 16, 2012 @ 09:05:52

    Interesting in board … some questions:

    1. Can I ask why no ethernet on board?
    2. Is there much cost difference between 512 & 1GB ram?
    3. Also what price point are we looking at for the end board?

    Reply

    • OLIMEX Ltd
      May 16, 2012 @ 09:37:15

      1. because there is WiFi option, anyway there are 3 USB hosts if you want wired Ethernet there are lot of low cost LAN9512 add-on modules on ebay

      2. A13 can address maximum 512MB so this question is irrelevant

      3. Our target is to release this board for retail EUR 40 without WiFi and EUR 50 with WiFi; for OEM quantities of 50+ the prices will be EUR 32.00 / 40.00 respectively

      Reply

      • mtx512
        May 16, 2012 @ 10:36:17

        What will be the max resolution through VGA? Would it be possible to output via HDMI?

      • OLIMEX Ltd
        May 16, 2012 @ 11:44:39

        half of the questions you guys post here have the answers in the A13 datasheet, it would be great if you take some time to read it before you shot your next question :)
        A13 have no HDMI but HDMI output is possible with additonal shield with SIL9022A for instance, the video resolution A13 have is 1980×1080@30fps, it have MALI-400 and NEON inside

  6. JSW
    May 17, 2012 @ 15:14:19

    Can I assume you will include bluetooth in the ‘wifi extension” (For example one of the latest TI modules which also comes in industrial temperture range)?

    Reply

  7. JMS
    May 17, 2012 @ 18:56:49

    Do Olimex will provide PCB schemas for free as your other releases?

    Reply

  8. Antony
    May 24, 2012 @ 01:09:31

    Great design idea. Let there be a competition for the Pi:)

    I wonder why you choose a 6-16 voit as input? any chance it will run at 5V?

    Why not 5V as input. Then one can use any usb charger. Also any idea about A13 power rating? and an estimate for the board you are designing. Quick look at the data sheet only shows an empty table entry for max current. Actually many entries about current and power are empty:)

    6V sounds a bit odd to me. It is nice to see that one could use a 9V or 12 that is a plus.

    being able to power from a USB connector is a great win in my experience. you can use a modern phone charger.

    Reply

    • Bifda
      May 24, 2012 @ 13:47:13

      Educated guess: To ensure that you have a solid 5V after regulating the input voltage (many USB chargers delivers less than 5V continously…).

      Reply

  9. TIme Clock
    Jun 07, 2012 @ 22:49:35

    Sounds good to me, but does A13 support all softwares?

    Reply

  10. 0xFF
    Jun 08, 2012 @ 21:02:20

    Any luck so far with your A13 tablet ? :)

    Reply

  11. AMX
    Jul 01, 2012 @ 23:10:51

    I am curious, where did you obtain the A13 samples from? Directly from AllWinner or is there some other source. I’d really like to get my hands on some of these. I searched through taobao and could find some A10 offers but no A13 (or only as part of device).

    Best regards

    Reply

    • OLIMEX Ltd
      Jul 02, 2012 @ 16:41:34

      Allwinner do not sell A13 in small quantities, this is why I asked my agent in China to source some samples, he found them from tablet factory. We are going to sell A13 in small quantities when we start our PCB production and buy bigger amount of chips. for the moment you can source A13 only if you find some connection with factory which manufacture A13 tablets and convince them to sell you some chips.

      Reply

  12. AMX
    Jul 02, 2012 @ 18:22:35

    Great! Looking forward to buy a board and some chips when they are available. Btw, there seems to be a similar chip (regarding package and capabilities), the GP33003 which comes in a lqfp216 package. Here is some info: http://www.cnx-software.com/2012/06/14/generalplus-gp3300x-application-processor-details/
    and this might be a way to obtain a few: http://www.icminer.com/ic/GP33003.html
    (just in case somebody is interested).

    Reply

  13. Trackback: Running Debian with xfce4 on A13-OLinuXino « olimex
  14. Kevin Broadey
    Jan 10, 2014 @ 14:44:00

    This post says the “Allwinner A13 operates in INDUSTRIAL temperature range also, so -25+85C” but the FAQs for each of the variants under the A13 product page (https://www.olimex.com/Products/OLinuXino/A13/) say “the board works in the commercial temeprature range 0+70C”. So is this board not suitable for industrial applications after all?

    Reply

    • OLIMEX Ltd
      Jan 10, 2014 @ 14:50:36

      0-70C because DDR3 used is in commercial temperature range, industrial versions could be build on request but the price of industrial DDR3 is several times more expensive and hard to find (may be subject to MOQ of 1000 pcs) so if you look for industrial solution you can contact our support

      Reply

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