Allwinner did it again – New quad core powerful chip pin to pin compatible with A10 and A20!


A10 was one of most successful chips made by Allwinner, for couple of years it was top seller in tablets and other devices, A10 also was selected for our EUR 30 low cost Linux board the LIME.

Then Cortex-A8 single core become obsolete, then Allwinner released A20 – Dual Core more powerful and power efficient Cortex-A7 processor with pin to pin backward compatibility to A10.

This was incredible wise move for Allwinner as people could just re-use their old PCB designs without spending time to change PCBs.

A10/A20 had one nice feature – they have LCD, HDMI, SATA, Ethernet, in A20 Allwinner even add Gigabit Ethernet on top of the normal 100M Ethernet. All other new devices they release have either LCD either HDMI but not both and we miss SATA interface in all new Quad core devices they released.

Now they did it again – we got information from Allwinner that they are about to release Quad core more powerful processor which to be pin to pin compatible with A10/A20 we still don’t know the name, maybe A40 ? 🙂

Anyway this is very clever move as all existing designs which people have can be re-used. This means more modern SoC with more power but without forcing you to re-design your boards.

So expect Quad core LIME soon and I guess at same price range like other LIMEs!

33 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Chris
    Jul 09, 2015 @ 16:45:08

    I can’t wait for a A20-OLinuXino-MICRO with SATA and Gigabit Ethernet 🙂


  2. anonima
    Jul 09, 2015 @ 16:47:31

    and 2 GB RAM, please!


  3. SK
    Jul 09, 2015 @ 17:00:31

    Yay! Now let’s hope for cheaper DRAM prices so we can have a 4-core, 1GB RAM LIME that can compete with the RPi price-wise and be better feature-wise.

    Any timeframe given from Allwinner?

    I know the situation is not very pretty because of internal competition that you would not like very much (LIME2 is priced at 45 EUR, I guess partially beacuse of the A20-SOM, so you can’t really afford to release a better product at a lower price 😀 ).


    • OLIMEX Ltd
      Jul 09, 2015 @ 17:34:37

      do you think this will make impression to RPi fans? for years there are cheaper, better etc alternatives to RPi but RPi fanatics don’t care 🙂
      our major sales are corporative customers who want to have reliable (not toy) quality boards to put in their products, boards which are offered by supplier who can guarantee long term supply without changing the processor or specs every couple of months. with our deal with Allwinner we can guarantee supply until demand lasts, this is much more important to the corporative customers than how many cores and how much memory one board have, there are customers who still buy imx233 boards, although there are newer faster better specs boards, because they use in their device and they do not want to re-design it


      • SK
        Jul 09, 2015 @ 17:42:43

        Hey, I never mentioned RPi fans 😀
        And the pluses of OSHW are crystal clear to me, that is why I didn’t even bother to comment on that 🙂

        Isn’t the LIME series more end-user oriented?

        So, about the timeframe, did Allwinner say anything? They usually take > 6 months to release an announced chip but I am not sure whether they have been working on it or just decided to start such a project right now 🙂

      • OLIMEX Ltd
        Jul 09, 2015 @ 18:11:20

        I hope they will start selling in few weeks.

      • Dominique
        Jul 27, 2015 @ 19:53:16

        I would like to share some point of view about future A40 and RPi comparison.

        Despite the fact that RPi Fan are “fanatic”, there is a very good thing about the RPi.
        Lot of hackers and teenager are now introduced to Linux environment and finding solution to their problems around Linux, c and Python and the RPi GPIO.
        The RPi community was large and so active that many people get interested into the RPi. One of the big winner of this the “Open-Source” community which is highlighted. Who know the RPi also know what is open-source (software, OS, hardware)! And it is quite a lot of people now.
        Many of those users will become our next generation of IT support, technician, developer and scientist. The good point here is they do it with an “almost” Open-Source OS and Hardware.
        The good point with Next generation of AllWinner is that the characteristics would be closer to the RPi 2. So RPi fan may still be tempted by similar materiel if they offer extra feature (like SATA) on reliable hardware. They will still be FAN of the RPI but they will also know about corporate product that may be used for some “professional” project. This would be possible only if both environment are closed enough.
        It is important to draw people from unprofessional material to the other possibilities… to the “dark side of the moon”. (Key, here a good idea of name for “A40-OLinuXino-Micro” code name “Dark Side of the Moon” with a special edition on a black board or name it “black board” 😉 )

        With the “Olimex Black board your RPi prototyping and learning may become a real life project with reliable Olimex material”.

        So competing is a “nonsene” but being compared may highlight Olimex’s quality, a good company that make good product. And that, it is good for everyone of us.

        AllWinner are used for Tablets… and RPi GPU is used for smartphone application.
        I do see an opportunity to make a excellent + popular product? (A true open-source product).

        Here is some thought.

  4. manuti
    Jul 09, 2015 @ 18:49:58

    Great news, maybe this time I buy one of your boards.
    Yeah, Lime4 rulez|


  5. Asbjørn Mikkelsen
    Jul 09, 2015 @ 19:58:41

    Have the A20-OLinuXino-MICRO-4GB and was almost ordering an A20-LIME2 yesterday, now I’ll wait for this one 🙂
    Will the board have more than 1GB ram please?


    • SK
      Jul 10, 2015 @ 00:12:33

      Maybe @Olimex should really think about creating both – a lower-priced LIME board with 1GB RAM and an A20-OLinuXino-MICRO-sized one with 0.1 headers and 2GB RAM? Maybe add WiFi and IR to the mix?


  6. Lucio De Re
    Jul 09, 2015 @ 20:13:05

    That’s an unkind thought to voice here. Olimex go to a lot of trouble to keep us up to date and you punish them by saying that you’ll delay buying their current product. Not nice.


    • Asbjørn Mikkelsen
      Jul 09, 2015 @ 20:15:56

      who is unkind?


    • Teh Maker
      Jul 23, 2015 @ 03:56:42

      As for delays, there is one funny catch people tend to forget: technologies are improving all the time. If you’ll wait for something better, you can soon figure out there is going to be even better thing, “coming soon”. Then, even better thing. And even better than that! So … there is chance you’ll never buy anything at all :D.

      And after all, these boards not meant to be best of the best – have such people ever heard term “good enough”? 🙂


      • neslekkim
        Jul 23, 2015 @ 08:24:09

        If that was pointed to me, I had an order of €120 that day, and already have an A20 OLinuXino Micro 4G, and as an hobbyist I don’t think I need another one, that’s why I want to wait for the new one.
        If anyone have a problem with that, I can stop buying altogether, is that better?

  7. Shervin Emami
    Jul 09, 2015 @ 22:12:11

    That’s great, looking forward to an “A40-OLinuXino-LIME” or an “A40-SOM-4G” 😀


  8. Dave McLaughlin
    Jul 10, 2015 @ 10:32:05

    The A20-OLinuXino-MICRO-4GB with the new processor would be great.

    My biggest issue with the whole design was the LCD was not stable with the ribbon cable but since I built an LVDS driver and added an LVDS receiver to the LCD board, it is now rock solid. The bonus is that I can now use a 20cm cable with no breakup on the display at all now.

    Other than this, the A20-OLinuXino-MICRO-4GB is a great little board and I have a number of them running Android with my custom board and they are used fro monitoring some coal bed methane wells.


  9. Freire
    Jul 11, 2015 @ 04:20:23

    If replace the memory chip by H5TC8G63AMR, would not have 2GB RAM in Lime2, as the ECS Bat-Mini 2?


  10. Stupido
    Jul 13, 2015 @ 10:36:09

    +1 for the 2GB RAM


  11. rs
    Jul 13, 2015 @ 16:50:10

    This is great news! I’m considering the A20 SOM for a new design, but something with more power would be better.

    Do you think you will release a pin-compatible SOM based on this new chip?


    • SK
      Jul 13, 2015 @ 19:47:40

      That is a nice idea. I hope they see it 🙂 Bear in mind Olimex don’t always read all comments and etc. – don’t hesitate to write them about your ideas and needs at 😉


      • rs
        Jul 14, 2015 @ 11:03:21

        I’ll do that if I don’t get a response here, I just thought other people might be interested too 🙂

        I really like the idea of prototyping with the A20 and then just switching the SOM out for a faster CPU in a few months! That would be awesome. I hope it’s possible.

        Another question – does this new chip support gigabit ethernet?

  12. OLIMEX Ltd
    Jul 14, 2015 @ 14:27:51

    the new chip claims to be pin to pin compatible, so we can offer all our A10/A20 boards with it too!


    • rs
      Jul 14, 2015 @ 15:30:32

      Thanks, that sounds great! Looking forward to some more details about the chip when they announce it officially!


  13. frd
    Jul 17, 2015 @ 12:25:30

    2GB RAM? Why make intermediate stops? Go for 4GB.


  14. Linux User
    Jul 19, 2015 @ 03:17:22

    Woot! That’s great since it allows more scalability – now you can make more powerful boards at higher price or cheaper board at lower price. Though I guess it would take some time for mainline Linux support to catch (and Allwinner’s own SDKs suck a lot once you do not need or want android crap, ancient kernel an other troublesome chinese stuff).


  15. Thomas
    May 31, 2016 @ 14:22:14

    Tsvetan: Is it the R40 that has been announced yesterday at Computex by Allwinner?


  16. SK
    May 31, 2016 @ 23:52:31

    Any news on this chip, or Allwinner cut you from the information flow after slipping this? 😛


  17. Thomas
    Aug 19, 2016 @ 11:08:25

    What about T3?

    Seems like the same as R40 (the A20 successor according to Allwinner) but with PMIC support which would be great since being able to use battery/UPS is one of the key features of your Lime boards 🙂


    • OLIMEX Ltd
      Aug 19, 2016 @ 13:01:02

      definitely not, this is BGA468 while A20 is BGA441
      these R40 T3 etc seems like very preliminary announcement for something which exist only on photoshopped pictures


  18. timelectronicsblog
    Sep 04, 2016 @ 00:25:09

    somebody knows when this new processor will be released and what its name is?
    or is it already released?


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