Hardkernel offers a line of development boards that are basically tiny computers with ARM-based processors. Up until now, most of the company’s products have been based on the Samsung Exynos 4412 quad-core processor, but it looks like a new model with a Samsung Exynos 5 octa-core chip could be on the way.
Update: Yup, it’s official. Hardkernal has introduces its first octa-core dev board.
CNX-Software noticed new code which mentions a new model called the ODROID-XU by name, as well as the Exynos 5410 processor.
That’s the same chip used in some versions of the Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone. It combines 4 ARM Cortex-A15 cores with 4 lower-power ARM Cortex-A7 processors cores. When you need a performance boost, the A15 parts kick in. Otherwise, the A7 cores handle basic tasks in order to help prolong battery life.
Samsung recently introduced a more powerful Exynos 5420 chip which the company says offers twice the 3D graphics performance and 20 percent better overall performance than the 5410 processor.
So while it looks like Hardkernel was working with Samsung’s original 8-core processor, it’s possible the ODROID-XU could eventually ship with the newer chip instead.
Hardkernel’s ODROID-U2 and ODROID-X2 dev boards with Exynos 4 chips sell for $89 and $135 respectively. Both models are system-on-a-module devices which combine quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 processors with 2GB of RAM, SD card slots, USB ports, Ethernet, audio, and a few other goodies, although the X2 has a few more ports than its lower-cost sibling.
It’s not clear how much the new ODROID-XU will cost if and when it goes on sale.