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IoT-oriented $7 Orange Pi Zero has both WiFi and Ethernet

Nov 3, 2016 — by Eric Brown — 18,536 views

The 48 x 46mm Orange Pi Zero runs Linux or Android on a quad-core Allwinner H2, and offers WiFi, 10/100, microSD, USB host and OTG, and a 26-pin RPi header.

Shenzhen Xunlong has added a Raspberry Pi Zero competitor to its Orange Pi lineup of open source hacker boards. The new Orange Pi Zero is selling for just $7 plus shipping, for a total price of $10.30 when shipped to the U.S.



Orange Pi Zero, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

Designed for primarily headless IoT applications, the Orange Pi Zero is smaller, lighter (26 grams) and cheaper than the $12 Orange Pi Lite and the earlier $10 Orange Pi One. Its 48 x 46mm footprint gives it a total area of 2208mm2 vs. 1950mm2 for the 65 x 30mm Raspberry Pi Zero.

Whereas the Orange Pi Lite and Orange Pi One use the Allwinner H3 SoC, the Orange Pi Zero offers the rarely seen Allwinner H2 variant. As far as we can see, the only notable difference between the SoCs is that the H3 supports 4K video while the H2 is limited to 1080p. Like the H3, the H2 has four Cortex-A7 cores clocked to 1.2GHz, as well as a Mali-400 MP2 GPU clocked at 600MHz. The H2 is still much more powerful than the 1GHz, single-core ARM11 Broadcom BCM2835 on the Raspberry Pi Zero.



Orange Pi Zero (left) and Allwinner H2 block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

The earlier Orange Pi Lite was closely based on the Orange Pi One, with the same 69 x 48mm dimensions, but it added WiFi and a USB port while removing the Ethernet port. The Orange Pi One reverts to one USB 2.0 host port, but offers both WiFi and 10/100 Ethernet with PoE support.

What the Orange Pi Zero lacks compared to those two boards, as well as the Raspberry Pi Zero, is a real-world video output. You can hook up a screen to a TV video out interface that’s located on the board’s 13-pin function header, which also offers audio, IR, and two more USB interfaces. The Zero also has half the RAM of those three boards, with 256MB, although you can buy a 512MB version for only two dollars more, at $9 plus shipping.



Orange Pi Zero detail views
(click images to enlarge)

The Orange Pi Zero is limited to the old school, 26-pin Raspberry Pi B compatible expansion interface instead of the more modern 40-pin interface on the RPi B+, 2, and 3. Shenzhen Xunlong misleadingly calls the interface B+ compatible, which is true only in the sense that the B+, 2, and 3 have 26 pins that are backward compatible. In any case, the Orange Pi Zero helps to compensate somewhat with the non-standard 13-pin header and a 3-pin GPIO interface.

Other features include a microSD slot, a powered micro-USB OTG port, a serial debug port, and a mic interface. The SBC lacks the camera interface of the Orange Pi Lite and One.

The Orange Pi Zero also competes with the Allwinner H3-based NanoPi Neo from FriendlyElec (FriendlyARM), which sells for $8 (256MB) or $10 (512MB). The smaller (40 x 40mm) Neo has almost identical features except that it lacks onboard WiFi, TV out, and unlike the other NanoPi SBCs its 36 expansion pins are not Raspberry Pi compatible.

The Orange Pi Zero is the first Orange Pi we’ve seen that ships with listed support for Armbian, a quickly maturing Debian distribution that offers specific support for Allwinner chips. There is also support for Android 4.4, Debian, Raspbian, and Ubuntu.

Specifications listed for the Orange Pi Zero include:

  • Processor — Allwinner H2 (4x Cortex-A7 @ 1.2GHz); ARM Mali-400 MP2 GPU @600MHz
  • Memory — 256MB or 512MB DDR3 SDRAM
  • Storage — MicroSD slot
  • Wireless — 802.11b/g/n (Allwinner XR819 module) with antenna
  • Networking — 10/100 Ethernet port with PoE (default off)
  • Other I/O:
    • USB 2.0 Host port
    • Micro-USB 2.0 OTG port (with power input)
    • 13-pin function interface (TV out, mic, earphone, mic, 2x USB 2.0, IR)
    • GPIO (1×3) pin
    • Debug serial port
    • Mic interface
  • Expansion — 26-pin header compatible with Raspberry Pi B
  • Other features — power & status LEDs; power button
  • Power — via micro-USB OTG
  • Dimensions — 48 x 46mm
  • Weight — 26 g
  • Operating systems — Android 4.4, Ubuntu, Debian, Armbian, Raspbian

 
Further information

The Orange Pi Zero is selling for $7 plus shipping to the U.S., for a total price of $10.30, with 256MB RAM or $9 ($12.30) for the 512MB version. More information may be found on Shenzhen Xunlong’s Orange Pi Zero product page, plus two Aliexpress shopping pages for the Orange Pi Zero 256MB and the Orange Pi Zero 512MB.
 

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PLEASE COMMENT BELOW

11 responses to “IoT-oriented $7 Orange Pi Zero has both WiFi and Ethernet”

  1. Jerry says:

    I doubt the price will attract potential RPi zero buyers. RPi zero is stil a $5 computer, although the price with shipping from Pi Hut is $12 [1].

    This is what RPi zero users think it will cost (some online comments I found):

    rpi zero $5
    usb otg [cable] < $1
    powered usb hub = $1.5
    usb ethernet [dongle] = $1.5
    mini hdmi adapter = $0.5
    2×20-pin strip male header < 10 cents
    sd card $2
    total: $11

    [1] https://www.reddit.com/r/raspberry_pi/comments/4reqm1/pi_hut_increased_the_cost_of_shipping_so_the/

    • Suraj Bhawal says:

      Except you can actually buy orange pi zero… unlike raspberry pi zero which is almost impossible to buy in my country.

      • chip says:

        Same here. The reason is that the RPI Zero is still produced in very small quantities then very likely sold at a loss just to set the lowest price bar so that it gets the most advertising while possibly keeping people away from other platforms.
        I don’t expect things to change, that’s why I pretty much ignore the platform in favor of OPI/NanoPI and others which are already available and much more advanced feature-wise.

          • chip says:

            Still I can count at least 3 people in the 1st Ebay page, one of them based in the UK, not Mars,
            selling the RPi Zero at over 20 Euros, which is 4 times the retail price. The UK guy adds a USB cable and a HDMI adapter, but the price is over 27 Euros, shipping not included. That’s over 5 times the Zero retail price. More than 10 in stock, 52 sold right now and lots of refused offers for quantities. Nobody would make such a profit with a commonly available board.

  2. Vaidas says:

    Hello, how about industrial temperature range? Is it possible to use this module outside? I’m interested max -30 C.

  3. David Albert says:

    Is there a spec for the temperature range? Also, how is the optional serial flash used? For industrial applications, it’s highly desirable to have an option that’s more reliable than uSD, especially in high vibration environments.

  4. samme says:

    RPi0 with shipping is below $12 now still cheaper than OPi0. OPi0 if add hdmi will be so much expensive than to add usb wifi or ethernet for RPi0.
    To make it worse, Opi0 support is so bad on software side which is much more important than the hardware itself. After months of survey, RPi0 still the cheapest now after pound went down so much. RPi0 also had started mass production since May/June and everywhere is full of Rpi0 now since July.

    • Jerry says:

      Huh? If the price for Opi is $10.30, shipping costs for Rpi 0 must be less than $5 to make it any cheaper. But they aren’t. Also you’re comparing a 4-core 1.2 GHz ARMv7 board with a 1-core 1 GHz ARMv6. Most IoT users don’t need HDMI. Yes, it’s really hard to add video afterwards, but in that case maybe you’ll buy some other board instead? What if you need wifi / builtin flash / ethernet instead?

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