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$15 Orange Pi PC hacker SBC packs 1.6GHz quad-core SoC

Aug 29, 2015 — by Rick Lehrbaum 50,343 views

[Updated: Sept. 1] — Shenzhen Xunlong tipped a $15 “Orange Pi PC” SBC with a 1.6GHz quad-core Cortex-A7 SoC, Pi-compatible expansion, HDMI, 100Mbit Ethernet, quad USB, and more.

Late last year, Shenzhen Xunlong Software introduced a pair of open-spec, Linux- and Android-ready “Orange Pi” single board computers that copied many Raspberry Pi features. The $49 Orange Pi and $40 Orange Pi Mini were based on Allwinner’s A20 SoC, featuring a dual-core, 1GHz Cortex-A7 CPU and PowerVR SGX544MP2 GPU. They were soon followed by a set of three gen-2 Orange Pi SBCs built with Allwinner’s H3 SoC, which integrates four 1.6GHz Cortex-A7 CPU cores along with a Mali-400 MP2 GPU.

The gen-2 quad-core Orange Pi SBC series began with a longish (108 x 60mm) $59 Orange Pi Plus. Next, came a pair of slightly shorter (93 x 60mm) Orange Pi 2 SBCs, which mimicked the second generation, quad-core Raspberry Pi 2 Model B that the Raspberry Foundation launched in February.

Orange Pi PC top (left) and bottom views
(click images to enlarge)

This week saw the arrival of yet another gen-2 Orange Pi SBC based on Allwinner’s quad-core H3 SoC. The new “Orange Pi PC” comes with 1mm of the Raspberry Pi 2’s size, matches its features in most respects (see details below), and is selling for the amazingly low price of $15 (plus a modest shipping charge).

Another view of the Orange Pi PC
(click image to enlarge)

Despite the presence of “Pi” in their names, the Orange Pi SBCs are not designed to be exact, drop-in replacements for Raspberry Pi SBCs. In fact, Shenzhen Xunlong makes no claim of Pi compatibility other than the similarity of the boards’ 26- or 40-pin expansion buses to the corresponding RPi interfaces.

Left to right: Orange Pi, Orange Pi Plus, Orange Pi 2, Orange Pi PC
(click images to enlarge)

Each Orange Pi model has a unique board layout and set of I/O ports, and each offers varying degrees of similarity to the Raspberry Pi. In particular, the original Pi implemented the original RPi’s 26-pin style expansion, whereas the Orange Pi Mini, Pi Plus, Pi 2, and Pi PC all provide Raspberry Pi B+-like 40-pin expansion.

Orange Pi PC (left) compared to Raspberry Pi 2 Model B
(click images to enlarge)

At 85 x 55mm, the Orange Pi PC closely matches the Raspberry Pi 2’s 85 x 56mm footprint. Additionally, as suggested by the pair of photos above, the Pi PC appears to have most of its 40-pin bus and coastline I/O ports in locations that match those of the RPi 2, although its single — rather than dual — USB connector at the top of the right edge clearly differs from the RPi 2’s arrangement. The images below show the locations of the Orange Pi PC’s I/O ports and other key features.

Orange Pi PC details: top (left) and bottom
(click images to enlarge)


The table below compares the key features of the four Orange PI family SBCs to each other, as well as to the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B. A detailed list of the Orange PI PC’s features and specifications appears farther below.

Comparison of key specifications

Orange Pi Orange Pi Plus Orange Pi 2 Orange Pi PC Raspberry Pi 2 Model B
Processor AllWinner A20 Allwinner H3 Allwinner H3 Allwinner H3 Broadcom BCM2836
CPU cores 4x Cortex-A7 @ 1GHz 4x Cortex-A7 @ 1.6GHz 4x Cortex-A7 @ 1.6GHz 4x Cortex-A7 @ 1.6GHz 4x Cortex-A7 @ 900MHz
GPU PowerVR SGX544MP2 ARM Mali-400 MP2 ARM Mali-400 MP2 ARM Mali-400 MP2 Broadcom VideoCore IV
Storage microSD, SATA 2.0 microSD, SATA 2.0, 8GB eMMC microSD microSD microSD
Wireless WiFi WiFI WiFi
Ethernet Gigabit Gigabit 10/100 10/100 10/100
A/V I/O HDMI, composite, LVDS, VGA HDMI, composite HDMI, composite HDMI, composite HDMI, composite
USB ports 4x USB 2.0; 1x USB OTG 4x USB 2.0; 1x USB OTG 4x USB 2.0; 1x USB OTG 3x USB 2.0; 1x USB OTG 4x USB 2.0
Power +5V via micro-USB or barrel jack +5V via micro-USB or barrel jack +5V via barrel jack +5V via barrel jack +5V via micro-USB
Expansion 26-pin Pi-style; 18-pin 40-pin Pi-style 40-pin Pi-style 40-pin Pi-style 40-pin
Dimensions 112 x 60mm 112 x 60mm 93 x 60mm 85 x 55mm 85 x 56mm
Price (less shipping) $49 $59 $30 $15 $35

Summary of Orange Pi PC specs

Specifications listed for the Orange Pi PC include:

  • Processor — Allwinner H3 (4x Cortex-A7 @ 1.6GHz); ARM Mali-400 MP2 GPU @600MHz; 256KB L1, 1MB L2 cache
  • Memory — 1GB DDR3 SDRAM
  • Storage — microSD slot (up to 64GB)
  • Networking — 10/100Mbit Ethernet (RJ45)
  • Multimedia:
    • HDMI output — supports HDCP, CEC, 30 function, and integrated CVBS (allows simultaneous output of HDMI and CVBS)
    • A/V output on 3.5 mm jack
    • Mic input
    • Camera interface — CSI input supports 8-bit YUV422 CMOS sensor interface, CCIR656 protocol for NTSC and PAL, SM pixel camera sensor, and video capture at up to 1080p@30fps
  • Other I/O:
    • 3x USB 2.0 Host ports
    • 1x USB 2.0 OTG port (does not support DC power input)
    • GPIO connector with 3x GPIO lines
    • Debug UART header (TTL level)
    • IR receiver
  • Expansion — 40-pin header compatible with Raspberry Pi B
  • Other features — power & status LEDs; power button
  • Power — DC barrel jack; +5V @ 2A (max.)
  • Dimensions — 85 x 55mm
  • Weight — 38gm
  • Supported OSes — Android, Lubuntu, Debian, Rasberry Pi Image

Further information

The Orange Pi PC can be pre-ordered at AliExpress for $15.00 plus shipping (currently about $3.50 for delivery to the U.S.). Further details are available at’s Orange Pi PC page. Comprehensive technical documentation and OS image downloads will eventually be available at’s downloads page.

(advertise here)

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6 responses to “$15 Orange Pi PC hacker SBC packs 1.6GHz quad-core SoC”

  1. shalabh says:

    Hi admin,

    Thanks for another awesome news.I just ordered an orange pi mini 2 (25 USD) a few days ago. On initial glance, it looks exactly the same as orange pi PC. Can anyone give out the differences ?

    Also, how is that an unknown Chinese manufacturer able to achieve less than half the price of raspberry pi ? Less than 50% ? How ??

    And why wasn’t it done by odroid, etc. ?


    • Ran Talbott says:

      There’s a website at with more info.

      The mini adds a second SD card slot, Wifi, an LVDS interface for LCD panels, and bumps the Ethernet up to gigabit.

      But the CPU is only dual-core, not quad-core.

      I don’t know about Orange Pi, but my experience with other super-low-cost Chinese products has been that they skimp on quality (sometimes a little, sometimes a lot), and usually offer little or no support. Sometimes that’s wonderful: you get a product that’s “good enough for learning and/or tinkering” for much less than the “professional-grade” one. Occasionally it sucks: the product is DOA because it wasn’t tested properly at the factory, or is noisier or less-reliable than the “professional” version because of the corners they cut to make it cheaper.

      My experience with Odroid has been that their higher cost helps pay for better quality and support. I feel comfortable buying their stuff for work projects.

      I’ll probably buy a couple of the Orange Pi boards to play with, since they’re so cheap. But I wouldn’t get any for work until I’ve gotten some experience with them that shows they’re _consistently_ well-made.

  2. non says:

    Saddly, Allwinner A20 SoC doesn’t use a PowerVR GPU, that’s a Mali400MP2 too…
    Mali will probably not have an open source driver soon as Mali project is dead, but at least PowerVR hired a dev for a linux opensource driver…

  3. mina says:

    Does h3 soc support 10 bit hevc

  4. Jordan says:

    Bought a couple of the Orange Pi PC’s off aliexpress and I’ve had no success with either, guess I’ll be returning them for another couple. I have many SBC machines, so far have had far more success with the Banana Pi M1/M2 for cheap dev boards rather than the Orange Pi’s. I find it hard to actually put Odroid’s Banana Pro in the same category since the build quality is so much higher, even than that of the Raspberry.

    • Joel says:

      I recommend you to get a good power supply, I try a lot of times with no success until I change the power supply.

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