The ARMBRIX Zero dev board was supposed to be a relatively low-cost computer board with an ARM Cortex-A15 dual core processor and a range of input and output ports which would make it a good platform for use as a hardware prototype… or as a home theater PC.

HowChip started taking pre-orders for the ARMBRIX Zero a few months ago, but apparently the production has been discontinued and HowChip plans to issue refunds to early customers.

armbrix zero

The board was expected to be a bit like a Rasberry Pi PC-on-a-board, but with one of the most powerful ARM-based processors available and significantly more options for connecting peripherals thanks to a number of ports including 2 USB 2.0 ports, a USB 3.0 port, microUSB port, HDMI, and expansion headers, among other things.

The ARMBRIX Zero was expected to feature 2GB of RAM, a microSD card slot for storage, and a Samsung Exynos 5250 processor with Mali-T604 graphics.

Unfortunately it looks like the company behind the problem ran into problems actually building and distributing the ARMBRIX Zero. So if you want an Exynos 5250-powered board, you’ll probably want to check out an Arndale board (which costs more and is back-ordered), or think about picking up a $249 Samsung Chromebook and dissecting it (or just using it as a Chrome OS or Linux laptop).

via CNX-Software



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11 replies on “ARMBRIX Zero dev board is canceled, pre-orders to be refunded”

  1. On all ARM chip producer pages, they claim ARM CPUs are cheap. But I don’t see it – as soon as such CPU is placed on a PCB, no matter how much other components are on this board, it becomes close or more expensive than full featured x86_64 solution like ASUS C60M1-I. Maybe the PCB manifacturers think that linux enthusiasts ‘re going to make big money with it ?

    1. meh…low cost is just an illusion. ARM boards are actually more expensive when you compare them with x86 boards on a performance/price basis. You can very well get the complete x86 package with much higher performance than this board for $200.

      Even the performance/watt ratio advantage is not with ARM anymore as Intel’s new Atom z2760 board is significantly more efficient than the A15.

      1. Bullshit. This is just a particularly overpriced board. You can pick up a quad core Exynos 4412 board (ODROID U2) for $89 shipped. The cubieboard2 is an Allwinner A20 board that costs $45.

        Some boards are oversized and have large, flexible feature sets, which is great for low yield development boards, but not so great for scaling down price.

        Making a generalised statement based on a single board that is heavily targeted towards flexibility rather than mass production is either clueless or disingenuous.

        Also, the new Exynos chips completely smoke many Atom processors in absolute performance, not just relative performance.

      2. By the way, if you’re referring to a certain AnandTech article that “compared” the z2760 to various ARM chips — their conclusion was completely bunk an the article was complete and utter quack science at it’s very worst.

  2. What a shame…i hope we something similar come out. I like these boards better then the HDMI sticks.

  3. The new Samsung Homesync with have a dual core A15, not to mention a 1 TB internal harddrive. Just wait for that if you want a home theatre PC.

    1. The HomeSync looks interesting but there is no announced price from Sammy. Hopefully, it will not cost more than $150, that would be acceptable for such a media player.

      I am curious when will NAS producers switch to such powerful SOCs (although may be overkill in many cases).

      1. NAS producers like QNAP and Synology will jump on it very soon, no doubt about that but there’s not gonna be much joy for those customers who are looking to score a good deal. These companies have been ripping gullible customers off for ages with their overpriced NAS devices based on dirt cheap ATOM and ARM boards.

        If you know a little bit of Linux, you would be better off waiting for one of these bare bones board based off the A15 to hit $100 and then set up linux on it to make your own NAS.

        1. I am fairly Linux-savvy but I believe they add a lot of value to which would be hard to replicate by a home-built NAS.

          For example Synology adds a beautiful web GUI and Android/iOS apps for their different “station” software.

          1. Yeah, their pretty… The install routines these days are pretty simple with extensive online support. Web based gui for Linux has been around almost longer than my kids. (Webmin?) It is too easy to assemble small efficient systems these days for specific services (with a little Google). I understand that things are priced for what you can get, not what they cost + profit, but with a little learning, one can save much.

          2. The FreeBSD-based FreeNAS already has a web GUI included and is well ahead of the game on utilising high-end hardware. There’s absolutely nothing stopping a Linux solution from doing the same. Most consumer NAS devices have all kinds of software limitations and the software they do have invariably sucks.

            I find it quite hard to believe that someone who thinks consumer NAS products are good value has much of a clue what he’s talking about.

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