It seems that hardly a week goes by these past few months without some announcement of a new ultra low cost (usually USB stick sized) computer.
This flurry of activity was kicked off by the Raspberry Pi (a $35 bare bones, exposed circuit board, hobbyist computer featuring a 700MHz ARM CPU, 256MB of RAM).
I think the next serious contender was the RikoMagic MK802 (a 1GHz ARM CPU, with 1GB of RAM, and 4GB of Flash) fully encased in a oversized USB stick form factor.
You can read a comparison of the two over here.
The Raspberry Pi is coming out with a second generation version. The MK802 has spawned two minor revisions (the first being a small board redesign and coming in more colours, the second being a slightly revised form factor that has 3 USB ports and an HDMI plug instead of socket, as well, it doesn’t need a separate power adapter – it can be powered directly off a USB port).
Other similar computers include:
- CubieBoard – this is an AllWinner A10 (as in the MK802) Raspberry Pi style open circuit board.
- ODROID-X – quad core, 1.4GHz, open circuit board based on the Exynnos 4412 CPU
- APC 8750 – another open circuit board (neo-ITX form factor) based on the VIA WonderMedia ARM 11 CPU
- EPIA-P910 – quad core, 64-bit x86 compatible processor, open circuit board
This is not an exhaustive list. You can easily find more computers in this category.
The latest entry to this group is the UG802:
The UG802 is based on the Rockchip RK3066 ARM CPU. It features:
- dual core, 1.2GHz ARM-A9 CPU
- 32kB data + 32kB instruction cache
- 512kB L2 cache
- quad core Mali 400 GPU @ 250MHz (while running at half the speed of the AllWinner A10 Mali 400 GPU, in theory, you could divide your display among the 4 and experience double the performance of the AllWinner A10)
- 1 GB RAM
- 4 GB Flash
- HDMI plug
- 1 USB connector
- 1 micro-SD connector
- Android 4 installed
You can order it here. (There are also more pictures there.) NOTE: I have ordered one, but I have not yet received it.
Because the CPU is different from the original MK802 (Rockchip RK3066 vs AllWinner A10), I don’t expect to be able to just drop an existing MK802 ISO image onto the UG802 – special distros will be required if you want to hack on anything other than the Android platform. NOTE: at this time, there are no alternate OSes for the hardware – Android is the only one.
These are external sites and were deemed safe and relevant at the time they were included.
You can find the RK3066 datasheet here.
You can find a forum for the device here.
The image is taken from the dealer’s website where I ordered mine from.