Hardkernel have made a name for themselves within the open-source community by delivering high performance development boards at affordable prices. Today, the Korean company has just announced the new ODROID-XU platform boasting an Exynos 5 Octa processor – the same SoC found inside the Samsung Galaxy S4.

The Exynos 5410 inside the ODROID-XU board includes a PowerVR SGX544MP3 GPU clocked at around 600 MHz.

Hardkernel ODROID-XUThe Hardkernel ODROID-XU board, powered by the Samsung Exynos 5 Octa processor

Get high performance and low cost with the ODROID-XU boards

The good news for developers is that we’ve worked closely with Hardkernel, enabling them to deliver a complete and fully capable graphics and compute platform by providing our latest PowerVR SGX OpenGL 2.1 and OpenCL 1.1 EP drivers for Linux as well as OpenGL ES 1.0/2.0 and Renderscript drivers for Android.

An image processing demo using OpenCL for GPU compute, running on the Hardkernel ODROID-XU dev board

Furthermore, we’ve delivered all the resources they need to enable OpenCL and Renderscript on the Hardkernel ODROID-XU platform, opening up endless possibilities for developers to use GPU compute efficiently for realistic, mobile-specific applications such as image and video processing, camera vision or augmented reality, where keeping power consumption in check is vital.

OpenCL on PowerVR SGX (cloth demo)An example of using OpenCL and OpenGL ES together to create some interesting use cases

Hardkernel have addressed this essential requirement for mobile graphics developers by including an on-board power measurement circuit for their ODROID-XU+E package. It connects to a smart power meter and allows users to monitor CPU, GPU and DRAM power consumption. This is a completely new feature for the ODROID family; by using the integrated power analysis tool, developers will reduce the need for repeated trials when debugging for power consumption and get the opportunity to enhance and optimize the performance of their GPU compute applications, and therefore keeping battery drain as low as possible.

The full OpenGL ES 2.0 and OpenGL 2.1 stack plus extended functionality

In addition to OpenCL, our multicore PowerVR SGX544MP3 GPU implements much more than the baseline OpenGL ES 2.0 API – including a series of near-OpenGL ES 3.0 features – which allow developers to enhance visual effects in games, user interfaces or AR applications like no other GPU available today.

These APIs are meant to deliver some of the core functionality of OpenGL ES 3.0 to PowerVR Series5XT-based platforms, by offering essential features such as MRTs, occlusion queries, seamless cube maps, sampler access from vertex shaders, floating point textures, GLSL full-precision floating point and many more.

PowerVR SGX544 OpenGL ES 2.0 extensionsThe new OpenGL ES 2.0 extensions for PowerVR Series5XT GPUs (top) enable developers to create apps that can access some of the features of OpenGL ES 3.0, with better performance, richer effects and improved image quality

For Linux graphics and compute enthusiasts, we’ve worked with Hardkernel to deliver OpenGL 2.1 and OpenCL 1.1 EP which will allow ODROID-XU to run different flavors of the open-source popular operating system, including Ubuntu.

If that isn’t impressive enough, the full ODROID-XU package is priced at only $149 for early bird buyers, providing a much more affordable solution to developers who wish to have the industry’s leading platform in terms of features, performance and power consumption yet want a configurable and flexible solution.

ODROID-XU’s features and full specifications

The key features and specifications of the ODROID-XU development board include:

  • big.LITTLE processing based on the Cortex™-A15 and Cortex™-A7 quad core CPUs
  • PowerVR SGX544MP3 GPU (OpenGL ES 2.0, OpenGL ES 1.1, OpenCL 1.1 EP, Renderscript/Filterscript)
  • 2Gbyte LPDDR3 PoP (1600Mbps/pin, 2 x 32bit Bus)
  • USB 3.0 Host x 1, OTG x 1, USB 2.0 Host x 4
  • HDMI 1.4a output Type-D connector (Micro-HDMI)
  • eMMC 4.5 Flash Storage
  • Micro-SD socket
  • MIPI DSI for LCD display output
  • On-board Audio Codec
  • Fast 10/100 Ethernet LAN
  • WiFi, Bluetooth (Optional)
  • Gigabit Ethernet LAN (Optional)
  • 10.1″ LCD and capacitive touch screen (Optional)
  • On-board power measurement circuit to monitor CPU/GPU/DRAM power consumption (Optional)
  • Well-structured mechanical case & cooler
  • 5V/4A power supply

Hardkernel has put together an introductory video for the ODROID-XU as well as the development board in action running several demos here.

Hardkernel ODROID-XU block_diagram

Hardkernel ODROID-XU block diagram

The Hardkernel ODROID-XU is capable of running Android and various Linux operating systems such as Ubuntu (support coming soon) and it’s available to purchase from the company’s store.

We are very excited to welcome Hardkernel to our ecosystem and ensure them easy access to drivers, our PowerVR Graphics SDK and other resources like our dedicated PowerVR Insider forum.

What are your first impressions on the ODROID-XU features and specifications? Are you thinking of picking one up? Leave us your feedback in the comment box below and follow us on Twitter (@ImaginationPR, @GPUCompute and @PowerVRInsider) for more news and announcements.

About the author: Alex Voica

Profile photo of Alex Voica

Before deciding to pursue his dream of working in technology marketing, Alexandru held various engineering roles at leading semiconductor companies in Europe. His background also includes research in computer graphics and VR at the School of Advanced Studies Sant'Anna in Pisa. You can follow him on Twitter @alexvoica.

View all posts by Alex Voica