Shenzhen Xunlong Software has launched an open-spec, Allwinner H6 based “Orange Pi 3” SBC. The $30 to $40 SBC offers GbE, HDMI 2.0, 4x USB 3.0, WiFi-ac, and mini-PCIe, with the $40 SBC offering 2GB of RAM and 8GB eMMC. Shenzhen Xunlong Software earlier launched their first Allwinner H6 development board, Orange Pi One Plus for $20, but was disappointing, as the board did not utilize some key features of H6 processor such as USB 3.0 or PCIe, and the RAM was limited to 1GB. Subsequently, Shenzhen Xunlong Software introduced Orange Pi Lite2 board for $25 with 802.11ac WiFi, a USB 3.0 port, HDMI 2.0a output, but no Gigabit Ethernet, nor PCIe interface, and also 1 GB LPDDR3 memory.
The Orange Pi 3 however, takes care of this setback by offering 1GB and 2GB LPDDR3 RAM, 4x USB 3.0 ports, an optional 8GB of eMMC, and a mini-PCIe slot. Armbian makes it possible to load experimental Ubuntu and Debian images based on Linux 4.19 on the H6-based Orange Pi boards. Shenzhen Xunlong Software will release Android 7.0, Ubuntu, and Debian images for the board, which will be made available in the download page. At 90 × 64mm, the Orange Pi 3 is larger than the previous H6-based SBCs, which seems to be the only other H6 hacker boards on the market.
The Allwinner H6 is not as fast as its counterpart the RK3399 SoC, lacking the RK3399 dual Cortex-A72 cores. However the Allwinner, features RK3399-like outlying support and also a high-end Mali-T720 MP2 GPU with OpenGL ES3 and DirectX 11. The SBC supports “H.265 6K @ 30fps” video decoding and H.264 4K @ 30fps video encoding and offers full-channel, 10-bit HDR10 technology. The Orange Pi 3 prices ranges from $29.90 for 1GB RAM, $34.90 for 2GB RAM or 1GB RAM with 8GB eMMC, or $39.90 for 2GB RAM, 8GB eMMC.
Specifications listed for the Orange Pi 3 include:
- Processor — Allwinner H6 (4x Cortex-A53); ARM Mali-T720 MP2 GPU with OpenGL ES3 and DirectX 11
- Memory — 1GB or 2GB LPDDR3 RAM
- Storage — microSD slot; optional 8GB eMMC
- Wireless – Ampak AP6256 module with 802.11a/b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth 5.0; antenna
- Networking — 10/100/1000Mbit Ethernet port
- Media I/O: HDMI 2.0a with audio and HDCP 2.2 output, 3.5mm audio output jack with CVBS AV, Mic input
- Other I/O: 4x USB 3.0 ports, USB 2.0 host port, Micro-USB 2.0 OTG port with power, 3-pin GPIO with UART and ground, 26-pin GPIO expansion connector
- Other features — IR receiver; power and status LEDs
- Power — DC barrel jack with +5V @ 2A; supports micro-USB power; PMU (AXP805); power button;
- Weight — 75 g
- Dimensions — 90 × 64mm
- Supported OSes — Android 7.0; Ubuntu and Debian images coming (experimental Linux 4.19 available from Armbian