Pine64 to Launch Open Supply Telephone, Laptop computer, Pill, and Digital camera


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At FOSDEM final weekend, California-based Linux hacker board vendor Pine64 previewed an intensive lineup of open supply it intends to launch in 2019. Surprisingly, solely two of the merchandise are single board computer systems.

The Linux-driven merchandise will embrace a PinePhone improvement equipment primarily based on the Allwinner A64. There might be second, extra shopper centered Pinebook laptop computer — a Rockchip RK3399 primarily based, 14-inch Pinebook Professional — and an Allwinner A64-based, 10.1-inch PineTab pill. Pine64 additionally plans to launch an Allwinner S3L-driven IP digicam system referred to as the CUBE and a Roshambo Retro-Gaming case that helps Pine64’s Rock64 and RockPro64, in addition to the Raspberry Pi.

The SBC entries are a Pine H64 Mannequin B that might be substitute the bigger, however equally Allwinner H6 primarily based, Mannequin A model and can add WiFi/Bluetooth. There will even be a 3rd rev of the favored, RK3399 primarily based Rock64 board that provides Energy-over-Ethernet assist.

The launch of the cellphone, laptop computer, pill, and digicam represents probably the most formidable growth so far by an SBC vendor to new open supply kind components. As we famous final month in our hacker board evaluation piece, community-based SBC tasks are more and more specializing to outlive in right this moment’s Raspberry Pi dominated market. In a Feb. 1 Tom’s story, RPi Buying and selling CEO Eben Upton confirmed our hypothesis subsequent technology Raspberry Pi four that strikes past 40nm fabrication won’t possible ship till 2020. That gives a window of alternative for different SBC distributors to innovate.

It’s a comparatively quick technical leap — however a bigger advertising hurdle — to maneuver from a specialised SBC to a completed shopper electronics or industrial machine. Nonetheless, we are able to anticipate a couple of extra distributors to comply with Pine64’s lead in constructing on their SBCs, Linux board assist packages, and hacker communities to launch extra purpose-built shopper electronics and industrial gear.

Already, group tasks have begun providing a extra various set of enclosures and different equipment to show their boards into mini-PCs, IoT gateways, routers, and signage methods. In the meantime, established embedded board distributors are utilizing their community-backed SBC platforms as a basis for end-user merchandise. Acer subsidiary Aaeon, for instance, has spun off its UP boards into quite a lot of signage methods, automation controllers, and AI edge computing methods.

Thus far, most open supply, Linux cellphone and pill options have emerged from open supply software program tasks, reminiscent of Mozilla’s Firefox OS, the Ubuntu challenge’s Ubuntu Telephone, and the Jolla cellphone. Most of those various cell Linux tasks have both failed, light, or by no means took off.  

Among the newer Linux cellphone tasks, such because the PiTalk and ZeroPhone, have been constructed across the Raspberry Pi platform. The PinePhone and PineTab could be much more open supply on condition that the mainboards ship with full schematics.

In contrast to many hacker board tasks, the Pine64 merchandise supply software program tied to mainline Linux. That is simpler to do with the Rockchip designs, however it’s been a slower street to mainline for Allwinner. Work by Armbian and others have now introduced a number of Allwinner SoCs up to the mark.

Working from established and software program platforms might supply a stronger basis for launching cell Android options than a software-only challenge. “The concept, in precept, is to construct convergent device-ecosystems (SBC, Module, Laptop computer/Pill/ Telephone / Different Units) primarily based on SOCs that we’ve have already got builders engaged with and invested in,” says the Pine64 weblog announcement.

Right here’s a better take a look at Pine64’s open merchandise for 2019:

PinePhone Growth Package — Primarily based on the quad -A53 Allwinner A64 pushed SoPine A64 module, the PinePhone will run mainline Linux and assist various cell platforms reminiscent of UBPorts, Maemo Leste, PostmarketOS, and Plasma Cellular. It might additionally run Unity eight and KDE Plasma with Lima. This upgradable, modular cellphone equipment might be obtainable quickly in restricted amount and might be spun off later this yr or in 2020 into an end-user cellphone with a goal value of $149.

The PinePhone equipment contains 2GB LPDDR3, 32GB eMMC, and a small 1440 x 720-pixel LCD display. There’s a 4G LTE module with Cat four 150Mb downlink, a battery, and 2- and 5MP cameras. Different options embrace WiFi/BT, microSD, HDMI, MIPI I/O, sensors, and privateness switches.

Pinebook Professional — Like most of the upcoming Pine64 merchandise, the unique Pinebooks are restricted version developer methods. The Pinebook Professional, nevertheless, is geared toward a broader viewers that is likely to be contemplating a Chromebook. This second-gen Professional laptop computer won’t substitute the $99 and up 11.6-inch model of the Pinebook. The unique 14-inch model might obtain an improve to make it extra just like the Professional.

The $199 Pinebook Professional advances from the quad-core, Cortex-A53 Allwinner H64 to a hexa-core -A53 and -A72 Rockchip RK3399. It helps mainline Linux and BSD.

The extra superior options embrace a higher-res 14-inch, 1080p display, now with IPS, in addition to twice the RAM (4GB LPDDR4). It additionally provides 4 occasions the storage at 64GB, with a 128GB choice for registered builders. Different highlights embrace USB and a pair ports, a USB Sort-C port that helps DP-like 4K@60Hz video, a 10,000 mAh battery, and an improved 2-megapixel digicam. There’s additionally an choice for an M.2 slot that helps NVMe storage.

PineTab — The PineTab is sort of a barely smaller, touchscreen-enabled model of the first-gen Pinebook, however with the keyboard non-obligatory as a substitute of built-in. The magnetically connected keyboard has a trackpad and might fold as much as act as a display cowl.

Like the unique Pinebooks, the PineTab runs Linux or BSD on an Allwinner A64 with 2GB of LPDDR3 and 16GB eMMC. The 10-inch IPS touchscreen is restricted to 720p decision. Different options embrace WiFi/BT, USB, micro-USB, microSD, speaker, mic, and twin cameras.

Pine64 notes that touchscreen-ready Linux apps are at the moment briefly provide. The PineTab will quickly be obtainable for $79, or $99 with the keyboard.

The CUBE — This “early idea” IP digicam runs on the Allwinner S3L — a single-core, Cortex-A7 digicam SoC. It ships with a MIPI-CSI linked, 8MP Sony iMX179 CMOS digicam with an m12 mount for including totally different lenses.

The CUBE provides 64MB or 128MB RAM, a WiFi/BT module, plus a 10/100 Ethernet port with Energy-over-Ethernet (PoE) assist. Different options embrace USB, microSD, and 32-pin GPIO. Goal value: about $20.

Roshambo Retro-Gaming — This retro gaming case and accent set from Pine64’s Chinese language companion Roshambo will work with Pine64’s Rock64 SBC, which relies on the quad -A53 Rockchip RK3328, or its RK3399 primarily based RockPro64. It might additionally accommodate a Raspberry Pi. The $30 Tremendous Famicom impressed case will ship with an non-obligatory $13 gaming controller set. Different options embrace buttons, switches, a SATA slot, and cartridge-shaped 128GB ($25) or 256GB ($40) SSDs.

Rock64 Rev three — Pine64 says it’s going to proceed to focus totally on SBCs, though the one 2019 merchandise it’s disclosing are updates to current designs. The Rock64 Rev three improves upon Pine64’s RK3399-based RPi lookalike, which it says has been its most profitable board but. New options embrace PoE, RTC, improved RPi 2 GPIO compatibility, and assist for high-speed microSD playing cards. Pricing stays the identical.

Pine H64 Mannequin B — The Pine H64 Mannequin B will substitute the at the moment unavailable Pine H64 Mannequin A, which shipped in restricted portions. The board trims right down to a Rock64 (and Raspberry Pi) footprint, enabling use of current instances, and provides WiFi/BT. It sells for $25 (1GB LPDDR3 RAM), $35 (2GB), and $45 (3GB).

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