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Welcome to CubieTruck world! A series of open ARM miniPC!

07 Jan

Preview of Einstein-A20, A unlimited potential Embeded Computer Module

Just like the previous announcement,  Cubietech will operate another product category other than Cubieboard series, we call it Einstein series. It’s also a relatively complete computer module, but with more potential feature expanding ability. Now we deliver the first member of this family Einstein-A20. With this product, the small company and start-up team can finish their prototypes very quickly and even run production with no trouble. Below is some preview photoes, I hope you will like it…

29 Dec

CubieBoard6 is released to the overseas users

Hi everybody, Merry Christmas and Happy new year!

CubieBoard2 was launched on June 19 2013, it has been more than 4 years till now. CubieBoard2 is a very small size open source single board computer (SBC)which runs Android and many Linux open source operating systems. Because of its low cost, low power consumption and full set of features, many famous open source projects, Linux distributions and none profit organizations define it as one of the default supported devices. In the rising life period CubieBoard2 attracted a lot of hobbyists and makers. Due to the rich GPIO and feature expansion capacity, CubieBoard2 also springing out many many innovative projects and terminal products. Even till now, CubieBoard2 has a large amount of shipment every month.

CubieBoard2 is a CubieTech’s creative board pattern that is compatible with CubieBoard1. Through several years development, they have been built up a rich hardware and software ecology, including the sub-boards, carrier boards, accessories, drivers, Linux distros… However, the application software become more and more cumbersome, and they need larger RAM, faster CPU and GPU. In addition, people always hope a smoother operating experience. So one year ago, we started to develop the upgraded model of CubieBoard2, it was named CubieBoard6 from the time sequence.

By now we have run several batch mass production and we also have sizeable shipment in China. So here we are very glad to announce to the whole world that CubieBoard6 is available. And next I would like to describe the difference points between CubieBoard6 and CubieBoard2 in dimensions, features and performance etc. aspects.

  • Structure and Dimension are compatible

CubieBoard6 was designed to be compatible with CubieBoard2 on physical dimension from the very beginning. And we thought the most important thing of compatible design is to share the same case for both CubieBoard6 and CubieBoard2. Many CubieBoard users know CubieBoard2 has a plastic case that is widely used. As the following photos, CubieBoard6 can also be installed into this case. And we made a newly designed totally enclosed cover plate for it.

  • Functions are further improved

CubieBoard6 was defined as an upgraded product of CubieBoard2, we think there should be very sufficient reasons. First of all, we thought we need to find a more powerful main chip. And most important is that the main chip vendor company shall have open and inclusive approach. The main chip company is willing to continuously support the open source community. Finally we found the S500 main chip and Actions technology company and started the significant cooperation.

Secondly, in the product features we also wanted to make it better. Shown as the below table, compared with CubieBoard2 within the 100mm*60mm board size, CubieBoard6 has 2GB LPDDR3 memory, integrated Wifi&Bluetooth module on board, and support Li-Po battery power input. The 2GB RAM is to meet the more heavy computing program. Onboard Wifi&Bluetooth module is to avoid extend the wireless network function from USB port since more and more applications need to link with network. The battery power feature is to make it more suitable for mobile applications. And S500 has USB3.0 port, we converted it to the SATA3.0 port, and we found the SATA speed is quite fast among the embedded boards. Lastly, the 8GB eMMC storage is a very cost-effective choice, since 4GB eMMC chips are almost end of life in the market.

  • Performance has considerable improvement

Usually in order to evaluate a product’s performance, we have to select a comparison object.  Here we choose the CubieBoard2 which use Allwinner’s A20 main chip mainly for two reasons.  The first one, CubieBoard2 is also belong to CubieTech, so everyone believes we will keep the data trustworthy, that makes all the test results are reading significance . The second reason is that Allwinner’s A20 has good reputation in developer community and various industries.

CubieBoard6 is an open source hardware that supports open source operating system, such as  Android and Linux distros…Here we select Android and Linux Debian system to test the board’s CPU and GPU performance. Generally speaking, CubieBoard6 which adopts Actions S500 Quad-Core SOC has about 2 times comprehensive performance improvement against the CubieBoard2.

As shown in the above figure , in the Android 5.1.1 system, we choose CF-Bench to test the CPU’s integral-point operation and floating-point operation performance.

As shown in the above figure , in the Android 5.1.1 system, we choose GFX-Bench to test the GPU’s performance. Most of the test results get more than 2 times improvement.

As shown in the above figure , in Linux Debian system, we choose Supper- ᴫ to test the CPU performance. Please note, for test result is that small is better.

In the above figure , under Linux Debian system, we choose GLmark2-ES2to test the GPU performance. That means we enable the Imagination PowerVR SGX544 GPU in Linux system.

  • Resource download and Price

At this time point, the product of CubieBoard6 are all ready. And you can download the development resource from this link, we have the download guide for you to get the development materials: http://dl.cubieboard.org/model/CubieBoard6/ 

We advise you buy the board through CubieBoard official distributors, for the European regional users, you can buy it from this shop, more and more distributors will stock this product we believe: https://www.newit.co.uk/shop/Cubieboard/Cubieboard6 

We firstly release the standard version, it is rather high configuration, and has 2GB LPDDR, 8GB eMMC , and Wifi&BT module on board. The recommended retailed price is 69USD/unit excluding shipping fee. Some of the distributors would tag the price within the shipping fees, so the terminal price usually would be higher than 69USD.

24 Dec

The Rainbow shell for CubieBoard1 and CubieBoard2

The Rainbow shell is specially designed for CubieBoard1 and CubieBoard2 which share the same PCB design. The top and bottom layers adopt transparent acrylic boards, so that the internal structure of the development board is clearly visible. The intermediate layers are stacked up with colorful acrylic boards that look like the rainbow color. So we call it Rainbow shell. This case is mainly designed for makers and hobbyists, so it exposes all the hardware interfaces for users, such as RJ45, USB ports, HDMI, SATA ports, Micro SD card… and even the 96 pin expansion headers.

 

As shown in the photos, it fits the 3.5 inch CubieScreen add-on board very well. You can finish the assembly without any tools. It’s very strong and durable, so we don’t worry about damage to the CubieBoard now. Please get the simple assembly guide from here, I hope you would like it.

18 Dec

CubieTruck Plus/Cubieboard5 Released Now!

Nowadays, embeded technology and open-source hardware have been growing very fast. With the support of everyone, within a few years, CubieTeam has developed a series of products, from CubieBoard1, CubieBoard2, CubieBoard3 to CubieBoard4. All of them widely praised by community and CubieBoard fans.

Cubietruck, aka CB3, is the best one in CubieBoard series products, which has CB2`s high cost-performance ratio, improvement of expanding ability and more functions. With the wide application fields, CubieTruck bacame very popular in the community. By 2014, CubieTruck was voted one of the most popular open-source hardware in the market.

But technology is vigorously developed, and the performance demand of the market changes so quickly. As a dual-core product, CubieTruck’s performance already can’t meet the needs of some CubieBoard users. In order to meet strong demand of fans, at the end of 2014 year, we decided to develop a CubiePlus upgrade model, yes, It is ‘CubieTruck plus’, also named “CubieBoard5”. Next I will use CB5 for short.

 

Based on CB3, CB5 which adopts a Octa core CPU, has been not only improved performance but also increased a lot of unique functions. We worked on this product about one year, wish to build the next CubieBoard star product. We paid more attention to quality controlling ,and also organized large-scale trial sale activity in China before Chinese New Year. Finally, CB5 has been got user’s consistent high praise for it’s ‘High performance’,‘Playability’ and ‘Zero rework’. Now, CubieTech announced: CB5 released for CubieBoard fans all over world, Everyone can buy it from the most convenient channel.

Like the CB3’s design idea of high specifications, stable performance, and rich interfaces, Cubietruck Plus retains all the highlights. We also considered the performance equilibrium、heat controlling  and chip price, Finally, we chose the Allwinner’s  Octa-Core H8 (Octa-Core Cortex-A7 CPU, up to 2.0GHz,PowerVR SGX544 GPU, up to 700MHz ) as the hardware platform. Both CPU comprehensive performance, and the image processing performance of GPU, compared with the previous CB3, all have been increased by four times.

  • Unique Functions
1. Subboard support Raid

CubieTruck Plus can be connected directly to the SATA hard disk, but also can be built to a dual hard disk array by HDD-RAID subboard which transformed from USB3.0/SATA III to Dual SATA III interfaces. HDD can be configured as 4 modes : RAID0, RAID1, JOBD, PM.  Due to its rich Raid modes, people can improve the transmission rate and the safety of data redundancy. This configration can be widely used in these occasions for big data capacity, especially high data security.

2.Dual display and simultaneous display

CubieTruck Plus supports DP (Display Port) and HDMI display solutions, and supports dual display and simultaneous display (two screens show the same picture at the same time), also supports hot plug, can be switched freely between the two displays.

3.Provide UPS level  power supply protection

CubieTruck Plus can use lithium battery (such as 3.7 V@5300 mAh) for independent power supply. It can work without connecting other power. This can make CubieTruck Plus become a mobile device, on the other hand it can ensure that data will never lost when the power is cut off accidentally.

  • Better Functions

CubieTruck Plus can use lithium battery (such as 3.7 V@5300 mAh) for independent power supply. It can work without connecting other power. This can make CubieTruck Plus become a mobile device, on the other hand it can ensure that data will never lost when the power is cut off accidentally.

 

1. Network Support

Cubietruck Plus has a Gigabit Ethernet port, at the same time uses the Broadcom Wifi + Bluetooth solution:AP6330 module. It supports Bluetooth V4.0, but even more remarkable is that it supports 2.4 GHz and 5 Ghz dual-band Wifi.

 

2. Audio Extension

CubieTruck Plus has onboard microphone pickup ,which CubieTruck does not have, and a lot of other development boards don’t have at present. Considering that most cellphones now shipped with headset, so we decided to make CubieTruck Plus also supports the headset with micphone.

3. Pin Extension

Compared with Cubietruck’s 54 pins, Expanded pins become 70 pins for the secondary development. Most of them are compatible with the CubieTruck. This is helpful to realize more differentiated ideas in your project.

 

4. Rich Accessories

We have prepared a series of accessories, such as: Serial Debug cable, USB Wifi Module, 3G WCDMA Module, IR Remote Controller, USB Camera, HDMI Wireless HD Sticks and so on .Thses make it more convenient to debug and development on our CubieTruck Plus platform and achieve more applications.

5. Good Software Ecosystem

Now CubieTruck Plus not only supports Android 4.4.4 ,but also supports Ubuntu Linaro desktop 14.04. The Uboot and Kernel are open source, players can build their own distributions by themselves . We will support more distribution versions in the future. Welcome to put forward your opinions in the community, publish your needs, participate in the development of open source software.


In the coming days, we CubieBoard team will continue to take effort to perfect ecosystem, improve performance and ensure reliability toward intelligent household, monitoring system, server management, and many other areas, in order to meet more different needs of makers and geeks.. Meanwhile we are willing to actively listen to your views, welcome your good suggestions.


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