Benchmarks Of The $129 8-Core 64-bit ARM Development Board

Written by Michael Larabel in Arm on 6 March 2015 at 09:25 AM EST. 7 Comments
Announced last month was the HiKey 8-core 64-bit ARM development board being based upon the HiSilicon Cortex-A53 SoC. This HiKey board came out of 96Boards as the first certified board by the Linaro Community Board Group. I happen to have some early benchmarks of this eight-core AArch64 development board running Linaro/Debian.

One of my contacts at MIT who previously worked on the ARM 96-core solar-powered super computer happened to receive an early HiKey development board with the eight Cortex-A53 cores. Kurt has been running some benchmarks on this board -- using the Phoronix Test Suite and, of course. I also received SSH access to this system for running a few more tests.

The HiKey with HiSilicon Kirin 6220 SoC has eight Cortex-A53 cores running at 1.2GHz, which is relatively low-end compared to some of the higher-end ARMv8 designs. There's just 1GB of 800MHz LPDDR3 memory and 4GB of eMMC storage for this 96Boards design. It's far from being a super high-end board, but it costs just $129 USD and allows developers to begin easily experimenting with 64-bit ARM on real hardware.

The Linaro base distribution for this board was based on Debian 8.0 and using the Linux 3.18 kernel with GCC 4.9.1.

Compared to a number of old Intel benchmarks I did that were uploaded on, Kurt ran a basic comparison with limited results and uploaded it to this result file. The HiKey board was the slowest and also fell short of the ODROID-XU.

For some standalone results if you want to quickly and easily see how your own system stacks up against the HiKey, there's this standalone result file. If you install the Phoronix Test Suite on your system, simply run phoronix-test-suite benchmark 1503054-DE-64BITARML86 to see how your own system compares CPU-wise with the C-Ray and Smallpt benchmarks.

Stop by to see the many other ARM Linux benchmark results.
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Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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