A64 OLinuXino OSHW Linux Laptop idea becomes more real :)


Few weeks ago I blogged about the idea to make OSHW Laptop based on Allwinner A64 64-bit SoC.

Today we received the first samples of the laptop plastic body.

The quality of the plastic parts is very good!

As you can see we have already sourced the plastic body, the battery, LCD display, keyboard, touchpad, speakers, camera, microphone and all fittings.

What’s left is to design the motherboard to fit inside the plastic body.

The feeling of building your very own laptop by yourself is incredible.

Every one can go to the shop and buy laptop, but to build one with your hands, and to know every component inside is different experience.

We start seriously thinking to make Do-It-Yourself kit version where you get all components and instructions and can build your laptop.

Why not choose different boards with different SOCs and configurations which you put up to your choice.

These who come to the Help Day this Saturday will be able to touch for first kits, we have one in White and one in Black.

Crossing fingers to may complete the mother boards to show at FOSDEM in January :)

Quiz Answer: The multimeter will show about 10 ohm


As many of you guess correctly the multimeter will show about 10 ohm as it measures the DC resistance not the impedance and in this case it measures just the resistance of 10 ohm plus the resistance of the PCB tracks which is not much in this case.


Friday Free Board Quiz: PCB trace Zo characteristic impedance – prize is OLIMEXINO-32U4 Arduino Leonardo compatible board


OLIMEXINO-32U4 is Arduino Leonardo compatible board with UEXT connector, Arduino connectors, works with Arduino IDE.

And we now add OLinuXino paper Notebook and keychain to all our Quiz winners!

To participate in the Quiz is enough to re-tweet the Twitter Quiz announcement message.

To double your chances you have to answer the Quiz question :)

The Quiz question is:


If we have PCB with traces with 65 Ohm characteristic impedance terminated with 10 ohm resistor and we measure the resistance with Ohm meter, what the Ohm meter measurement will show?

You have time to re-tweet and/or answer until Monday 23th of November.

In Monday we will post the correct answer and ask random.org to generate random number in range then announce the winner and ship the board by post/airmail.

Good Luck!


A64-OLinuXino Update


Schematic and Component libraries are finished, here  is preliminary component placement on A64-OLinuXino.

It will be not possible to fit it inside LIME box, so far the dimensions are 90×62 mm

On the left hand side you can see HDMI, USB host, Audio In, Out and SD-card on bottom.

On the right hand side you see WiFi+BT antenna, USB-OTG, Ethernet, LiPo battery and PWR jack 5V power supply input.

On top you see GPIO connector 2×20, below it is Console connector with 3 pins, HSIC connector 4 pins, eMMC connector 2×5 pins 0.05″

On bottom you see UEXT, LCD 40 pin flat cable connector and LCD-MIPI 20 pin flat cable on bottom.

Next to PWR jack there are RESET and PWRON buttons.

Now we proceed with PCB layout rooting. All changes are commited on GitHub including new PDF with the schematic last changes, so you can review.

Is it time for Open Source Hardware x86 OLinuXino?


We have been so focused on ARM that somehow we have missed the Intel latest development.

Yesterday browsing the net I saw $100 tablet with X5-Z8300 and check the datasheet. It looks good!

Quad Core 1.84Ghz 64-bit data bus “Cherry Trial” Atom with support for up to 4GB DDR Ram, USB 3.0 (!) we guess working as on A80 USB3 is one of the broken peripherials. PICe, MIPI camera, display etc.

All this come in handy BGA 17×17 mm 0.65 package not quite different than Allwinner A64 part.

And of course it comes with first class documentation you can see product page and documentation.

Intel write recommended price for tray $20 in their site, but brief check shows that it could be sourced from China at less than $15. Much better deal than the obsolete iMX6 quad core SoC for instance! Still x3 times more expensive than Allwinner A64 but probably x10 times more powerful.


  • first class SOC vendor 14 nm process;
  • well documented;
  • nice features;
  • removes the cumbersome ARM obsolete Android Linux Kernels problems;
  • you can work with the latest vanilla Linux Kernel;
  • we guess Graphics and Video drivers are also mainlined;
  • can run Linux, Windows, Android whatever you want;
  • can be build to work with standard  64bit computer memory modules, so you can put whatever amount of RAM you want up to 4GB;


  • probably more power hungry than ARM, but maybe not, the tablet I was looking at was with 4000mAh battery



A33-OLinuXino OSHW Quad Core Linux SBC prototypes ready for test


We just assembled our A33-OLinuXino prototypes, these have PMU and should not overheat so badly as H3.


The advantage to have PMU is also that it have LiPo charger and can run from LiPo battery.

The features are:

  • A33 Quad core Cortex-A7 SoC
  • AXP223 PMU
  • 1/2GB RAM
  • optional 4GB NAND Flash
  • Audion Input
  • Audio Output
  • CSI/DSI connector
  • 40 pin LCD connector for LCD-OLinuXino-XX LCD modules
  • GPIO 40 pin connector

Both H3 and A33 support dual CS DDR memories, this means they can work with the new 8Gb DDR3 ram chips which have two CS lines and H3-OLinuXino and A33-OLinuXino could have 1GB or 2GB RAM as option.

A33 have no Ethernet and HDMI, would be good for handheld video/audio processing devices.

The next revision of H3 and A33 OLinuXino will have eMMC option too.


EDIT: 18.00 o’clock update A33-OLinuXino is booting and working fine. As we expected although with same Quad Core Cortex-A7 it do not overheats at all compared to H3. Something is really broken in the H3 Linux clock/power configuration!!!

November Olimex Help day will be 28/11

Help Support Advice Assistance and Guidance on a signpost

Our Help day for November will be on 28/11 in Saturday in Olimex training building starting 14.00 o’clock.

What is Help day is explained here.

If you have something interesting you want to show us or if you want help with your project you are welcome.

Radoslav Kolev and Leon Anavi had interesting presentation on Open Fest about Open Embedded and Yocto and how to build Embedded Linux system with these tools. Their demonstration was with A20-OLinuXino-MICRO.

As the OpenEmbedded talk time was limited they couldn’t demonstrate all their work, so we invited them to come on the Help day and show in more details their demos, so everyone who is interested in how to setup Linux image with OpenEmbedded and Yokto receipts is welcome to the party :)

We will have also some H3-OLinuXino and A33-OLinuXino (waiting first prototypes to come from assembly line today)  to play with for those who are interested in them.

We will show also our new A20-OLinuXino-LIME2 with eMMC 4GB on it, which achieve remarkable speed compared to SD-card and ordinary NAND Flash:

root@OLinuXino-A20:~# time sh -c "dd of=/dev/null if=/dev/mmcblk0p1 bs=64k count=10240 && sync" 
255+1 records in 
255+1 records out 
16776704 bytes (17 MB) copied, 1.06662 s, 15.7 MB/s 
real    0m1.088s 
user    0m0.000s 
sys     0m0.460s 
root@OLinuXino-A20:~# time sh -c "dd if=/dev/zero of=/tmp/testfile bs=100k count=1k && sync" 
1024+0 records in 
1024+0 records out 
104857600 bytes (105 MB) copied, 6.56964 s, 16.0 MB/s 
real    0m8.678s 
user    0m0.010s 
sys     0m1.170s


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