A10s-OLinuXino-MICRO progress


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About the hardware:

We made two versions of the A10s prototypes – Rev.A with all components on top and Rev.B with decouplung capacitors on bottom near the BGA chip (both versions are on GitHub).

Then assembled both versions, none of Rev.A worked, so plasing the decouplung capcitors under the BGA is mandatory for the board to work correctly.

From Rev.B the boards work but not stabile, from time to time DDR memory crash and board freezes, this is because we decided that A10s is similar to A10 and the resistor matrixes on the DDR are not mandatory. What we see is that in Linux A10s have same processor ID as A13 which makes us to believe that A10s and A13 are same silicon die just with different ports wired to the different packages TQFP and BGA. The same unstability we see on A13 when try to remove these resistor matrixes, so in the new REV.C we have to keep them.

Another change we will do in Rev.C we are working on now is to add NAND flash on board, which will be optional i.e. we will offer boards with and without NAND assembled.

One bad feature of A10s with the BGA package is that it overheats significant when work at 1Ghz, same we see on the A10 MK802 dongle we have the processor IC overheats up to 60-70C so you cant touch it with finger even at ambient temperature.

A13 do not have such issues as it have big metal pad on bottom side which we connect to large GND ground plane so A13 never ever got temperature higher than the temperature it operates, this makes A13 much more suitable for industrial and automotive applications.

A10 and A10s overheat and we should think for proper heatsink which we to assembly on top of the BGA to dissipate this heat they generate.

As you can see from the picture we added heat sink to A10s as without it it freezes after some hours of work.

The new Rev.C will be ready by the end of February for more extensive testings, this will delay the planned mass production with few weeks.

About the software:

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Android 4.0.4 image generated with A10S-SDK from Allwinner is working fine, but do not support Ethernet by default.

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Angry Birds works well on HD screen:

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You can see here in action Angry Birds on A10s  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fD3IImqEprI

The Android video player is pretty good at HD playback http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rB-eQeKXlTQ

for some reason XBMC on Android works worse http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_579b3by1JA

Linux support patches are submitted to Linux-Sunxi so A10s software support have no issues.

11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jeff
    Feb 15, 2013 @ 18:11:50

    Looks like good progress.

    Any chance on increasing the onboard RAM to 1GB? After playing with a cubieboard, I can without hesitation say the extra 512MB makes a significant difference in responsiveness and performance.

    With video support eating ~120MB of RAM, having only 512 onboard leaves you with about 380MB to play with for the OS, which is a bit tight for running any sort of Linux GUI. When doing some native compiling on the board, I saw about a 50% speed increase with the extra RAM on the Cubieboard as compared to the A13 (yes, I know the Cubie has an A10 chip and not an A13, but still). My general impressions of working with the board are the same though – it seems about 50% faster than the A13, and I suspect much of that is due to the extra memory.

    Reply

  2. John
    Feb 15, 2013 @ 23:28:46

    Currently I have a A13 Micro and I’m very happy having it. It’s a great board and very stable. I’m looking forward to buy a A10s Micro and test it. With the HDMI output it seems it’s going to be a even better board.

    Reply

  3. anthonyvenable110
    Feb 15, 2013 @ 23:57:26

    interesting

    Reply

  4. giovanni.v
    Feb 19, 2013 @ 13:46:36

    Looking at the A10-OLinuXino_Rev_A schematic I saw a sata connector was initially planned but I’m unable to find it on board prototypes photos you published until now. Do you plan to route a sata connector on that board, even unpopulated pads?

    Reply

  5. giovanni.v
    Feb 19, 2013 @ 14:59:46

    Sorry, a bad blunder about the project SoC -:)
    My project could live without … however it would have added a bit of additional versatility.

    Reply

  6. John
    Feb 21, 2013 @ 17:11:32

    I think that it would be interesting that the board had a led to monitor sd activity.

    Reply

  7. Yar
    Feb 28, 2013 @ 07:54:01

    You rock!
    What factory does PCB for this project?

    Reply

  8. Liran bh
    Apr 09, 2013 @ 08:57:14

    when the a10s board will be available to buy

    Reply

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