iMX233 OLinuXino now matures to volume projects all around the world


OLinuXino was designed with the idea everyone to may tailor it later to his own needs and now we start to see fruits of this.

When we announced the start of this project many people were comparing iMX233 with Raspberry Pi, Beagle Bone and  was telling us that our Linux board is with so small amount of RAM and at lower frequency and that it would not be popular and people will have no much use of it.

The practice though proved that we were right with our idea big time.

Now every week we get messages from customers of ours who successfully implemented large scale projects based on iMX233-OLinuXino, as it’s reliable, robust, simple … and easy to re-produce.

Both Raspberry Pi and Beagle Bone use BGA processors which are troublesome to assembly in companies with limited resources, but even home amateur could arrange assembly in house of iMX233 based board with TQFP package.

One project which we learned is for web based water pool controller / data logger with potential of 50K units per year (do they really have so many in house pools in USA? I envy 🙂 )

Another project was fleet management with GPS/GSM for vehicle logging with potential several thousands units per year.

Today we got message from Australia for project based on OLinuXino for Lighting in the Cloud
The interesting here is that this project first was based on the famous Raspberry Pi, but then they moved it to iMX233-OLinuXino-MICRO.
Why? Because OLinuXino is Open Source Hardware – once you make your project then you can customize it to your needs – something you can’t do With RPi.

Also since the big demand we read on element14 forum that RS Components didn’t deliver any RPi to their customers since July this year as Broadcom can’t ship them processors (!)
So if you need 1-2 boards to play at home RPi may give you more as specs, but if you want to make PRODUCT, OLinuXino is much more attractive as platform.

In the long term RPi wins the kids to play games at home, OLinuXino wins when you make Product and industrial apps.

A13-OLinuXino preliminary schematic is complete


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.


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: 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: