A13-OLinuXino preliminary schematic is complete


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A13-OLinuXino preliminary schematic is complete, here is what we got:

- A13 Cortex A8 processor running at 1GHz
– MALI 400 GPU, 1080p codec
– 512 MB of RAM
– 3+1 HS USB hosts (one reserved for WIFI module on board)
– USB OTG (can power the board)
– Audio input
– Headphone output
– VGA connector
– (optional 4GB NAND flash on board)
– micro SDcard
– 6-16VDC power supply input
– (optional LiPo battery power supply block, allow board to run hours on LiPo 3.7V battery)
– (optional RTL8188CU WIFI module on board)
– 5 buttons
– Real Time Clock module with PCF8563
– LCD expansion port, if no connected to LCD provide 30 GPIOs
– UEXT connector with SPI, I2C, UART for attaching additional UEXT modules
– GPIO connector with 40 GPIOs
– console UART header for USB-SERIAL-CABLE console debug

The readable PDF version of the schematic is push on GitHub. CAD files will not be uploaded until we complete and debug the design.

We try to put this in 120×90 mm board size and this picture show preliminary attempt to put the connectors on correct locations.

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when we released iMX233 everyone was comparing this ARM9 board with Raspberry Pi or Beagle Bone, commenting how small memory it have and runs on only 454Mhz.

Now if we have to do same comparison and if we trust what is written here: http://lists.phcomp.co.uk/pipermail/arm-netbook/2012-June/004194.html i.e. that Cortex-A8 + NEON coprocessor at 500Mhz runs applications x4 times faster than ARM1176 at 720Mhz we have to say thay A13-OLinuXino will have x2 times more memory than RaspberryPi and will run code x8 times faster.
If we compare A13-OLinuXino with BeagleBone it will have x4 times more memory and will run code about x1.5 times faster.

EDIT: 13.06.2012 PCB layout changed to 130×90 mm to fit all connectors and buttons:

42 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. jonsmirl
    Jun 12, 2012 @ 18:56:16

    Have you compared doing an A10 vs A13 board? Adding HDMI to an A13 board probably negates the cost advantage of the A13.

    Plus I want a board where I can get to the I2S lines on the A10.

    Reply

  2. Manis Barosaurus
    Jun 12, 2012 @ 19:20:05

    What’s the output current limit for U7(SY6280)? It would be pretty awesome if we could source at least 500mA per host port.

    Reply

  3. tszaboo
    Jun 12, 2012 @ 21:09:55

    Will you release the datasheet for the A13? There isn’t too much information we can get on our own. Or is it a dev-board, reference design or full product?

    Reply

  4. ultimateohm
    Jun 12, 2012 @ 21:19:33

    Approximate price?

    Reply

  5. 0xFF
    Jun 13, 2012 @ 03:55:01

    Looking Good !

    I have never been that interested in the Raspberry Pi.
    The A13 kills it and it is much more usable by most hobbyists.

    I already love this chip :)

    Reply

  6. John
    Jun 13, 2012 @ 10:38:00

    Why always that comparing against the Raspberry Pi……
    The RPi is a nice little board for kids to learn programming and for some embedded projects.

    The same for your wonderfull A13 board.
    Its just a addition with some different specs, so we have more choice what to use for a project, Arduino (or compatible), iMX233, RPi and now also the A13 board.

    The biggest miss I find with the A13 is that it has no RJ45 (or PoE), so I have to use the wireless option or use the UEXT for ethernet.
    I am curious how the definite board will look like, I can understand the problem in getting all the connectors on it, I think with the A10 you will even get more connectors… :)

    But overall a nice board, nice solution with that LCD/GPIO connector

    Reply

    • OLIMEX Ltd
      Jun 13, 2012 @ 10:45:52

      there are plenty of low cost under $5 USB-TO-Ethernet converters on ebay based on QF9700 chipset with linux support so if you want wired Ethernet this is not problem
      today we had to increase size to 130×90 mm to may put VGA connector
      about the comparison … RPi are the pioneers and set the standard for low cost embedded SBC linux computer, so it’s good to compare with the first and most successful board to see where you standing :)

      Reply

      • Manis Barosaurus
        Jun 14, 2012 @ 01:35:38

        Can’t you just put the vga DACs + port on another secondary board stacked on the main board? It could help minimize the board area. Also, I’m not sure how many people will actually find VGA useful…’cause in our case, we will be doing mostly console work via SSH or UART.

      • OLIMEX Ltd
        Jun 14, 2012 @ 06:23:02

        VGA connector increased the board X dimension with only 10 mm :) and cost almost nothing, headless board may be what you need for your specific application, but most of the people will need monitor (CNC, 3D printer, etc)

      • Krasimir
        Jun 15, 2012 @ 13:04:38

        In the same way, you can save the GL850 and let the customer buy USB hub for 3 euros :-)
        Here is something about the refered QF9700:

        http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=27336326&postcount=4

        “the performance with this adapter is horrible”
        I agree that there exists better USB-to-LAN adapters, but those are not so cheap (as adding PHY+jack to the BOM)

      • OLIMEX Ltd
        Jun 15, 2012 @ 13:26:53

        “horrible” is not an engineering term ;) they can say 500-600KB/s for instance or 1MB/s
        and yes, probably it’s slower than build in 100Mbit MAC, but still give option to one who want to use wired Ethernet instead of WIFI
        it all depends on what you want to do with A13, this processor is not intended to replace Internet servers applications in the first place, but will be quite OK if you want to use the Ethernet to move 500-600KB of G-code file for 3D printer or to do some remote web controlled applications.

      • Krasimir
        Jun 19, 2012 @ 08:21:34

        This is correct, I am just saying the USB-to-LAN is not much usable – in most cases I would use wi-fi. By the way, cheap RTL8192 in A10 tablet achieves about 65Mbits/s up and 30Mbits/s (not simultaneously). Testes with iperf (tcp) and AR9331 based access point with 150M rate capability.

      • OLIMEX Ltd
        Jun 19, 2012 @ 08:34:15

        are you sure its RTL8192 as the reference designs I saw are with RTL8188CU

    • Krasimir
      Jun 19, 2012 @ 16:59:47

      Loaded module is “8192cu”, runtime messages on wake up from sleed mention RTL8192C, so I am quite sure it is a 8192. It is a tablet with A10 (MPMAN MID74C from Technomarket.bg). Here is a link to disassembly of this tablet:

      http://mpman-mid74c.blogspot.pt/

      I believe that allwinner support several wifi chips, there was a list in arm-netbook mailing list.

      Reply

  7. Matzon
    Jun 13, 2012 @ 15:31:27

    Damn, would have loved e/sata :(
    any network traffic on an external device would be severely limited by running both disk io and net io over USB.

    Reply

  8. 0xFF
    Jun 13, 2012 @ 19:30:04

    Hi, I am wondering if is this board 4 Layers ?

    Reply

  9. c0da
    Jun 14, 2012 @ 14:43:07

    Hi,
    I don’t really understand why you are so desperatly trying to get all the components onto the top layer… A bunch of these capacitors/resistors easily could be placed onto the bottom layer, which would result in much more components/cm2. With that said and done, you could route the whole platform an a much smaller PCB…

    But anyway, kudos for the hard work, you guys a re doing great. :)

    Reply

    • OLIMEX Ltd
      Jun 14, 2012 @ 14:57:25

      having components on both sides is not good from assembly point of view: need two times placement machine setup, two stencils, two reflow pass. This have some side effects like using PCB material with higher temperature grade to whitstand two Lead Free high temperature shocks without breaking the tiny vias, so if you want Lead Free process and two pass assembly/reflow the price goes higher than to put everything on top layer and assembly/pass through reflow just once.
      as you can see we try to avoid two reflow passes unless it’s impossible (like on MICRO), iMX233-OLinuXino-MICRO now is producing on FR4 high temperature grade material which will rise the price by 30%, also will rise the assembly cost, I still hope to meet our target of EUR 20 for MICRO but I can be sure if we succeed when we run small 100 pcs batch and I can check all machine times and know our internal cost.
      This is why we always try to avoid two pass assembly

      Reply

  10. ttotto
    Jun 25, 2012 @ 12:41:31

    fantastic!
    One question.
    You wrote.”The readable PDF version of the schematic is push on GitHub.”
    Where can I find the github address?

    Reply

  11. ttotto
    Jun 25, 2012 @ 17:54:55

    Thanks again. Is it possible in next few months? I know you have long vacation in Aug.

    Reply

  12. 0xFF
    Jun 30, 2012 @ 11:07:48

    I see on your schematic that there are a few buttons connected to the UBOOT pin and LRADC. Do you have any documentation that describes the various boot-modes of the A13 ? Can your board boot from the microSD instead of NAND ?

    I think I understand how the button states can be read from the single ADC, which seems to be quite a popular method, and I could see how a “recovery mode” could be triggered on UBOOT by the same method, but how would you select the default booting mode ? (adding/changing resistor values to bias the default voltage?)

    Are the peripherals of the A13 the same as the A10, and Is there any user manual somewhere about A10/A13 that describe those peripherals ? Well, i think i am asking for too much haha! So the doc is the u-boot + linux source code ? ;)

    Regarding the APX209, I am reading it right that there are two outs with 1.6A+1.2A @ 1.2v ? that’s a lot of amps !! can the chip draw that much really ?
    For an application that is always using the CPU at max frequency and does not require a battery (so no dynamic power saving needed), do you confirm that APX209 can be eliminated altogether as long as we provide 1.2v, 3.3v and 3.0va separately ?

    Reply

  13. Midhun
    Sep 17, 2012 @ 11:20:14

    Grate job……..will you provide the bill of materials used in the board……..?

    Reply

  14. Midhun
    Sep 18, 2012 @ 13:46:11

    Hai Olimex……I want the data sheets of SY6280,SY7208….pls tell me where do i find it….?

    Reply

  15. Midhun
    Sep 19, 2012 @ 20:11:25

    Do you have any information about it …..?

    Reply

  16. vinay kumar
    Apr 15, 2013 @ 09:09:30

    can u please post the schematic again because its not clear and i am not able to see the pins

    Reply

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