HiKey: An 8-Core 64-bit ARM Cortex-A53 Board For $129 USD, But With One Sad Flaw
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 9 February 2015 at 09:19 AM EST. 42 Comments
HARDWARE --
96Boards, the open hardware specification for ARM boards out of the Linaro Community Board Group, has out their first ARM board certified against their consumer edition standard.

This first board is the HiKey that is powered by an eight-core HiSilicon Kirin 620 Cortex-A53 running at 1.2GHz. This eight-core 64-bit ARM SoC has an ARM Mali 450-MP4 for graphics.

The eight-core ARMv8 Cortex-A53 processor is certainly the highlight of the board while the rest of the specs are mediocre at best with having just 1GB of RAM, 4GB eMMC flash storage, and microSD. Best of all for this ARMv8 single-board computer is the cost: just $129 USD! This could be a really nice ARMv8 starter board for development work and such, but the 1GB of RAM will probably be most limiting. Still, I'll be looking forward to picking up a HiKey board for benchmarking with it being one of the few -- and certainly most affordable -- ARM Cortex-A53 boards out there right now.

You can learn more about the HiKey at 96Boards.org and the Linaro press release. The 64-bit HiKey is available for pre-order right now from two distributors but it doesn't look like it will be in stock for a few weeks.

For those wondering about Linaro's 96Boards Consumer Edition specification, see the PDF spec. The HiKey board ships with a pre-release version of Debian 8.0 Jessie. As soon as I see one in stock somewhere, I'll certainly get one for some 64-bit ARM Linux benchmarking.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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