The Cubietruck is an ARM-based developer board, or a single-board computer, depending on how you look at it. The little device measures about 4.3″ x 3.1″ and has the processing power of a mid-range Android phone or tablet, but far more ports, pins, and other doohickeys for connecting odds and ends.

First introduced in June, the Cubietruck is now available for purchase for $89. Order should start shipping in mid-October.

Cubietruck

The board features an Allwinner A20 ARM Cortex-A7 dual core processor with Mali 400 MP2 graphics, 2GB of RAM, HDMI, Gigabit Ethernet, WiFi, Bluetooth, and a microSD card slot.

There’s nothing too surprising in those specs, but here’s what sets this developer board apart from a tablet with its screen ripped off. The Cubietruck has a SATA 2.0 interface, 2 USB host ports, SPDIF, a headphone jack, IR port, and 4 LED lights.

It also has 54 extended pins including UART, PS2, and a bunch of other options I honestly know even less about.

You can find more details at the company website.



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18 replies on “Cubietruck dev board with Allwinner A20 dual-core CPU now available for $89”

  1. From what I can tell, it’s the best specs and potential linux support out of all the dev boards under 130$.
    The one catch is that if their other boards are any indication, it will take a few more month for the software (Android, drivers…) to really mature.

    1. True, but it eventually gets there. If you’re looking for a middle road between your Raspberry Pi and your x86 desktop then these really do fit the bill.

      1. I’d say this is more like a middle point between RPi and the i.MX6Q-based Wandaboard or Utilite. You get 2 GB of RAM, GigE and SATA, but without the processing power.

        1. Agreed. But the step from RPi to Cubie isn’t that big. The Wandboard really is a developer board, you really need a build chain to make use of it. (Also, you need the Wandboard Quad to get SATA)

        2. For me, the step from RPi to Cubietruck will be amazing. RPi xfers data to my PC at max 5 MB/s, because the ethernet and USB share the same resources. Not to mention that my RPi is also usually at 100% when trying to download over 1 or 2 MB/sec anyway.

        3. There’s no middle ground for the real world use cases I’m familiar with:

          Dev-board: Feature depended. If you need a specific hardware feature set then that’s what you’re going to get. There’s no one size fits all.

          Media streaming: I’m thinking GbE, SATA, 1080p and Android support. The GbE and SATA might be mutually exclusive depending on whether there’s actually a remote file server in place or not… But I’d argue that it’s cheaper to produce one board that can cover both sub-use-cases with current SoCs since you’re handling the same GPU, memory bandwidth and processing cores loads.

          File serving: Needs test loading but from what I know the disk drives are really the limiting factor all the way up to a RAID array. So, I think this board covers everything a household might care to do. Maybe even a small office…

          Other use-cases for small cheap board aren’t really relevant right now:

          Desktop: Current SoCs are just too weak to handle JavaScript.
          Next year’s ARMv8 or even a MIPS Series5 server SoCs could be placed on a
          small dev board for something more capable but that depends on pricing.

          Cluster nodes: Depends on what you’re crunching. With the exception of
          Parallala, I think we’re looking at a whole different class of products.
          Currently Calxeda comes to mind. I don’t know a small cheap board
          competing in here.

  2. Anyone know: 1) if the sata works with a port multiplier? 2)how these, or the earlier Cubieboard with A20 are at running Linux (preferably debian), headless?

    1. 1) The Cubieboard 1 & 2 do not so I think the answer is no.
      2) Cubieboard 1 & 2 are great as headless linux machines.

      1. Thanks. I saw that the original Cubieboard didn’t, I couldn’t find info on the Cubieboard 2, but I was hoping that the A20 had solved the problem. Too bad it didn’t. This, or even the Cubieboard2 would be perfect for my backup server if only I could hang more disks off SATA.

        I may get a Cubieboard2 anyway. With 1GB RAM and 1 SATA disk It’ll probably still beat my Pogoplug2 for running Crashplan even if I end up hanging some drives off of USB2. The lack of GigE on the Cubie2 is kind of a bummer, but given that my server runs backups over WiFi and a cable connection, 100BaseT shouldn’t be a bottleneck, most of the time.

        1. SATA II Port Multiplier (PM) Dip Switch RAID
          Someone already tested this solution?

          http://www.aliexpress.com/item/1-5-5×1-Internal-SATA-II-Port-Multiplier-PM-Dip-Switch-RAID-Bracket-Mounting/902909803.html

          Is it possible to combine different capacity disks?

          Cubieboard sees it as one drive.

          Sample configuration theoretical:

          Sata 1 – 128GB SSD

          Sata 2 – 1TB HDD

          Sata 3 – 1TB HDD

          Cubieboard 2 see one entire disk:

          ===============================
          2176GB

          Just create partitions in the correct order:

          + + ================ xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
          128GB / 2TB

          + (Sata ssd tested speed 100MB / s and more) from sata 1
          = (Sata hdd tested speed 40MB / s) from sata 2
          x (sata hdd tested speed 40MB / s) from SATA 3

          The speed test will show if the partition partition Ends on the ssd or enter already on HDD, etc.

          What do you think? I know that it is not worth the work you need to put in but I’d like to try.

    1. Developer boards tend to cost more than direct consumer products… this is actually a good price for what it offers and the market it’s intended for… but look elsewhere if your intention is a low cost ARM based bare bones home PC as that’s not what this is really for…

        1. Have you actually shopped around for a developer board?

          The only thing you’re going to find for less either isn’t a developer board or has even lower specs.

          Really, developer boards are not the same as getting a bare bones system and they tend to cost more than you’re apparently thinking, because they’re specialty product meant for niche uses that likely don’t apply to you.

  3. Seriously overpriced Chinese crap processor, for the same price I can get a Quad core samsung chip

    Cannot find a ‘decent’ development board below $150…. LOL go do some research….

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