A Raspberry Pi-style computer you can build yourself: Blueberry Pi - Techies Updates

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Sunday, August 19, 2018

A Raspberry Pi-style computer you can build yourself: Blueberry Pi

Provided you can think of something useful to do with a board with only 64MB of on-chip RAM.

Raspberry Pi

If buying a Raspberry Pi or one of the many other single-board computers available isn't a tough enough challenge, hacker Marcel Thürmer has sketched out enough details about his Blueberry Pi open-source hardware project to help the like-minded take things to the next level.

As Thürmer wryly notes on the GitHub page where he's left the Blueberry Pi's schematics, this is just "another fruit single-board computer" based on the Allwinner V3s system on chip (SoC).

However, while some single-board computer makers have open-sourced their hardware designs unless you're building a large enough quantity, it's probably not worth the cost or effort.

The key difference with the Blueberry Pi, according to hacker site Hackaday is that Thürmer has made it cheap and simple enough to build without needing your own pick-and-place robot.

That particular SoC, intended for cameras, is useful because it comes with an easy-to-solder TQFP or 'thin quad flat-pack' package, which allowed him to choose a two-layer printed circuit board (PCB) and is cheaper than, say, an eight-layer PCB.

The downside with the Allwinner V3s is that it comes with 64MB of RAM, which is far less than the Raspberry Pi Zero's 512MB.

Other features of the DIY Blueberry Pi include 100mbps Ethernet, one USB host port, a camera serial interface that lacks Linux kernel support, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, an RGB interface for connecting displays, an audio jack, and an onboard microphone.

It also has four buttons for play, pause, next and previous, and a Raspberry Pi compatible header, as well as an SD card slot and serial peripheral interface (SPI) for Flash.

According to Thürmer, the Blueberry PI can boot from an SD card or SPI Flash. He notes that the V3s doesn't have a standard video output, but he plans to create a video add-on board for VGA or HDMI.



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