Hardkernel Odroid-XU4 Preview

UPDATE: The FULL ODROID-XU4 Review is now available

Hardkernel launched their new Odroid-XU4 – basically a cost reduced, and slightly faster, version of their Odroid-XU3

Odroid XU4

(click on image for larger version – image courtesy of hardkernel.com)

The Odroid-XU4 is a great looking little board, and comes with a heasink, fan, and 5V 4A DC adapter.

In order to drop the MSRP to $74 from the XU3′s $179, a few features had to be dropped:

  • No USB OTG
  • Three USB2.0 host ports
  • No DisplayPort second video output (like XU3-Lite)
  • No audio CODEC (no headphone in/out)
  • No power monitoring sensors (like XU3-Lite)

On the plus side, there were some positive changes as well:

  • Gigabit Ethernet (instead of only 10/100)
  • more I/O
  • smaller PCB
  • more stable USB 3.0 host ports (their words, not mine)
  • twelve additional I/O’s

As the expansion port usess 1.8V I/O, it is NOT compatible with the Raspberry Pi and Pi add-ons, which uses 3.3V I/O.

Update: I’ve been told there will also be a “Shifter Shield” to level shift the 1.8V GPIO to either 3v3 or 5V, simply using the slide switch on the right:

(click on image for larger version – image courtesy of hardkernel.com)

As you can see the shifter board also labels the GPIO’s and has a small but very handy prototyping area.

(click on image for larger version – image courtesy of hardkernel.com)

When set for 3v3, it looks like the XU4 Shifter is intended to be compatible with the 40 pin Odroid C1 GPIO connector, which is compatible with 37 out of the 40 pins on the Raspberry Pi GPIO connector. The difference is in pins 37, 38 and 40, which on the C1 and XU3 are ADC 0, 1, and ground.

To me, the $105 savings makes the XU4 a significantly better deal than an XU3.

The XU4 is even cheaper than the $99 XU3-Lite!

(click on image for larger version – image courtesy of hardkernel.com)

Feature Summary

  • Samsung Exynos5422 Cortex™-A15 2Ghz and Cortex™-A7 Octa core CPUs
  • Mali-T628 MP6(OpenGL ES 3.0/2.0/1.1 and OpenCL 1.1 Full profile)
  • 2Gbyte LPDDR3 RAM PoP stacked on the SOC
  • eMMC5.0 HS400 Flash Storage available in 8/16/32/64GB optional modules
  • 2 x USB 3.0 Host via on-board USB 3.0 hub, 1 x USB 2.0 Host
  • Gigabit Ethernet port via separate USB 3.0 port (see diagram above)
  • HDMI 1.4a for display, full size HDMI connector
  • Size : 82 x 58 x 22 mm approx.(including cooling fan)

Supported Operating Systems

  • Ubuntu 15.04 (with OpenGL + OpenCL support)
  • Android 4.4 KitKat
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop

Hardkernel published a number of benchmarks on their product page – the numbers look good.

(click on image for larger version – image courtesy of hardkernel.com)

(click on image for larger version – image courtesy of hardkernel.com)

Apparently if you limit the clock speed to 1GHz you can run the board fanless.

Based on the specifications, the Odroid-XU4 should make a nice Android or Ubuntu SBC.

I look forward to benchmarking the Odroid-XU4 and seeing how it really stacks up for myself!

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