New 96Boards board: HiSilicon Poplar (4K capable, HDMI 2.0a, USB 3.0, GBit)
#1
Hi there,

just read the new article on cnx-software about a new 4K capable board with incredible specs

Image
[source: cnx-software.com]

Specs (copy&paste from cnx-software.com)
  • SoC – HiSilicon Hi3798C V200 quad-core 64-bit ARM Cortex-A53 CPU up to 2.0 GHz per core with ARM Mali-T720 GPU supporting OpenGL ES 3.1/3.0/2.0/1.1/1.0, OpenVG 1.1, OpenCL 1.2/1.1 Full Profile, RenderScript, and Microsoft DirectX 11 FL9_3
  • Memory – 1 or 2 GB DDR3 (Specs are conflicting depending where you look)
  • Storage – 8GB eMMC flash + micro SD card slot
  • Video Output – HDMI 2.0a with HDCP 2.2 up to 4K @ 60Hz
  • Video Decoding – H.265/HEVC Main/Main10 and VP9 up to 4K @ 60 fps
  • Audio Output – HDMI, optical S/PDIF, 3.5mm audio jack
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n/ac WiFi and Bluetooth
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0 port, 2xUSB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB OTG port for console
  • Expansion
    -40-pin Low Speed (LS) connector with UART, SPI, I2S, 2x I2C, 12x GPIO
    -1x PCIe 2.0 interface
    -12-pin Smart Card connector (unpopulated)
    -24-pin connector for tuner (unpopulated)
  • Debugging – 1x JTAG port, 1x UART connector
  • Misc – IR receiver, boot selection jumper, LEDs, power button
  • Security – ARM Trustzone, trusted execution environment, secure boot, secure storage, secure video path, DRM, DCAS
  • Power Supply – 12V / 2A
  • Dimensions – 160 x 120 mm (96Boards TV platform specs)
  • Temperature Range – 0°C to +70°C



This board simply rocks from specs point of view. Especially having USB 3.0 is great. It could also serve as a NAS server with this specs. Especially if one could utilize the PCIe Interface for SATA Adapters/SATA splitters or so...

I don't know anything about the kernel stuff of HiSilicon SOCs, but if somebody knows something about the probability of development for this board in the future, I'd love those guys share their thoughts in this thread Smile. After the Odroid C2, this is perhaps the next promising thing Smile
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#2
Interesting board : http://www.cnx-software.com/2016/08/30/7...ant-board/

HiSilicon SoC - PCI-E slot (!), TS Stream input for external DVB (and other) tuners , USB 3.0, Gigabit Etthernet, WiFI 802.11b/g/b/n/ac + BT 4.1, HDMI 2.0a, HEVC 10 bit decode etc. etc. 1 or 2GB RAM, 8GB eMMC.

US$79 + shipping.

Linaro are supporting it - not sure what the VPU driver support is like. Definitely interesting IF THE SUPPORT IS THERE...

Looks like a reference board with fixed connector positions (to allow common box design?)

Other links here :
http://www.linaro.org/news/linaro-announ...ification/
http://en.tocoding.com/index.php/96boards-poplar/
http://www.linaro.org/news/linaro-announ...ification/
http://www.cnx-software.com/2016/07/26/9...nd-boards/
http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/....85.jZ7Tzj
http://www.96boards.org/product/poplar/

*** EDIT : Thanks for merging mods ! ***
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#3
Threads merged.
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#4
Same SoC as HiMedia Q5 Pro / Q10 Pro.
[H]i-[d]eft [M]edia [K]een [V]ideosaurus
My Family Room Theater
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#5
(2016-08-31, 01:13)hdmkv Wrote: Same SoC as HiMedia Q5 Pro / Q10 Pro.
Ah ok. On first sight there seems to be no LibreELEC approaches for this SOC so far (also not for HiMedia Q5/Q10). But this might be because of the high price of those HiMedia devices. So how do you think are the LibreELEC chances for this SOC/Device which is now way cheaper to get?

The Hardware/Specs are superb and the Idea of having a standardized layout (for having standardized cases) is simply awesome!
Do you happen to know whether developers would avoid this SOC for one or another reasons?
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#6
Hmmmm.. Got my attention.

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#7
(2016-08-31, 01:13)hdmkv Wrote: Same SoC as HiMedia Q5 Pro / Q10 Pro.

Interesting convo at the bottom
http://www.cnx-software.com/2016/08/30/7...ant-board/

mo123 Wrote:Since this board uses the same CPU as Amlogic S905,S905X & S912 it would be interesting to know if it can achieve real 2Ghz or also suffer from the same speed limits of only 1.5Ghz.

JaXX Wrote:whaaat ? You meant “It uses the same A53 cores”, right ? They are far from being the same CPUs, from that point, it’s hard to compare them as ARM doesn’t specify a speed to set…
That said, HiSilicon is I suppose a tad more seasoned in fabless semi design despite their respective age, being a sub of Huawei. (my personnal opinion)
But, well, plenty of little TV boxes and SBCs lack decent heatsinks/cooling anyways.

blu Wrote:It uses an entirely different SoC – HiSilicon Hi3798C V200. As per A53’s clock in general – yes, it can do 2GHz at the proper nm. Qualcomm et al have been doing it for a while.

blu Wrote:BTW, this board, if they manage to produce it to quantities at that price, can be _the_ hobbyist board of choice – it craps all over the ‘consumer’ 96 boards so far, featuring usb3, Gb eth and pcie2. Also, the SoC does sata3, but where’s the connector, 96boards?

nobe Wrote:according to the hardware manual :
– you can extend the pcie connector for sata, ethernet or wireless
– there is 2 GB ram
– there is a button to boot from usb
– the provided ethernet connector is capped to 100M

Mark Gregotski Wrote:Discussions in the LHG Steering Committee resulted in not making the SATA connector mandatory in the 96Boards TV Platform specification, but leaving it as an option. The decision to include a SATA connector is made by the SoC vendor. As noted, both USB3 and PCIe 2.0 are available to provide high-speed connectivity

blu Wrote:Another alternative (albeit more expensive) is the RolidRun 8040 board. I’ll share impressions once mine arrives.
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#8
In the End, whilst tech specs are very impressive - unless you build an Opensource community around any Hardware then its doomed to failure and mediocrity.
We have already seen this with Allwinner and Rockchip, I don't see the LibreELEC Kodi devs scrambling to develop on either of those platforms, even if some of them are superior to RPi's and AMLogic tech specs.

Fingers crossed then Smile

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#9
I saw that article, but worried about
Quote:Licensees of the RDK (Linux) will be able to create Open Embedded/Yocto RDK builds for Poplar.
- does this imply that to get any decent performance on linux you need to pay for some licence?
If I have helped you or increased your knowledge, click the 'thumbs up' button to give thanks :) (People with less than 20 posts won't see the "thumbs up" button.)
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#10
(2016-09-01, 04:11)nickr Wrote: I saw that article, but worried about
Quote:Licensees of the RDK (Linux) will be able to create Open Embedded/Yocto RDK builds for Poplar.
- does this imply that to get any decent performance on linux you need to pay for some licence?

Me too. I've asked the questions in a number of places - but see that there are OpenEmbedded/Yocto build environments for other 96 Boards : https://github.com/Linaro/documentation/...mmon/OE.md
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#11
Well I thought I'd give it a go - and my board, with remote and PSU arrived this morning. Haven't had time to do much - but it booted into Android.

It comes with a bunch of pre-installed video player and DRM test apps (and a DVB PVR app), and the current ARM Android build of Kodi 16.1 installs and runs. One of the internal players handles 1080/50i .ts files with no problems and deinterlaces well, at a first glance. Kodi also plays 1080i and 720p stuff - but the 1080i isn't deinterlaced to 50p by default.

Neither Kodi nor the internal players had any problem playing files from a USB 3.0 flash drive plugged into the USB 3.0 port.

Don't really have much time to play over the next fortnight - but it's an interesting beast. Definitely STB/Satellite receiver form factor.
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#12
Also should add - it boots INCREDIBLY quickly into Android.
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#13
I had to rub my eyes when I just saw that this thread got bumped up Shocked

Great to hear some impressions about this board, noggin!

- Do you happen to know whether plain linux (like debian, armbian, raspbian or similar) is able to boot on it?
- May I ask you whether you could somewhen test the power consumption of this board? Would like to know if I could misuse it as a seafile cloud replacing my current banana.

Where did you get it by the way?
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#14
(2016-10-06, 01:04)infinity85 Wrote: I had to rub my eyes when I just saw that this thread got bumped up Shocked

Great to hear some impressions about this board, noggin!

- Do you happen to know whether plain linux (like debian, armbian, raspbian or similar) is able to boot on it?

It's incredibly early days - and this board appears to be aimed a bit more at developers than end-users.

Still waiting for support other than an Android 5.1.1 image. It's being developed in association wtih Linaro, so I'm hoping there are some Linux sources available at some point, but I get the feeling it is more an Android platform in their eyes.

Tocoding - who developed the board I think - have said Android and Linux sources will be up towards the middle of the month.

Quote:- May I ask you whether you could somewhen test the power consumption of this board? Would like to know if I could misuse it as a seafile cloud replacing my current banana.

Afraid I don't have the equipment to do this.

Quote:Where did you get it by the way?

Tocoding on AliExpress. They are the manufacturers. It took a month to get to me. I'm not sure I'd recommend it yet unless you're comfortable with developing (I'm not actually that much of a coder - but thought I'd give it a punt as a learning exercise).

I suspect I'm one of the first people to get my board.
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#15
Thanks for your infos Smile

Tocoding over aliexpress is almost 100$ to germany Undecided and as I'm no coder either, this seems to be not the right thing for me yet. I've already gotten the impression that this board won't get attention by kodi developers, so I was curious whether you've perhaps got shipped some linux distro/downloadlink or so with it (so it would be interesting as a server then) Wink.

But as you say... you are a very early adopter, so perhaps perhaaaaaps there will be some new development about all this the next 6 months Smile... At least I've noticed in the cnx news comments that tkaiser from armbian noticed the board, so may be I'll see something from him at armbian somewhen, if he decides to order himself one too.

Noggin, I would be glad if you could post news about this board now and then, whenever there's something you want to share about it. I simply think it's a very interesting board overall.
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