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Huawei’s HiKey 960 is a premium ARM-based Rasberry Pi competitor

HUAWEI AND GOOGLE have teamed up to take on the Raspberry Pi with the ARM-based HiKey 960 development board.

Aimed at devs looking to create Android software on high-end hardware, the HiKey 960 – which will also be compatible with multiple versions of Linux in the future – arrives as a premium alternative to the multi-million-selling Raspberry Pi.

The dev board packs Huawei’s octa-core Kirin 960 processor, the same chip used inside the Mate 9 smartphone, which comprises  four high-performance ARM Cortex-A73 and four low-power Cortex-A53 cores. The HiKey also packs 3GB of LPDDR4 RAM, improving on the Raspberry Pi’s 1GB. 

There’s also 32GB storage, two USB 3.0 ports, one USB-C port, HDMI,  40-pin and 60-pin connectors for attaching hardware, a PCIe M.2 slot, Bluetooth 4.1 and WiFi support. 

Although the Kirin 960’s GPU has enough power for 4K output, the board’s HDMI port only supports 1080p output.

“ARM is committed to providing platform developers with access to new technologies in an effort to support ongoing innovation on ARM-based mobile platforms,” said Laurence Bryant, vice president of personal mobile compute at ARM’s Business Segments Group.

“The HiKey 960 platform integrates the latest big.LITTLE technology that combines the Cortex-A73, the most powerful yet power efficient mobile CPU, the Cortex-A53 for further efficiency and the latest Mali GPU, Mali-G71. Running on the latest AOSP builds, we’re enabling a range of advanced solutions to be brought to market more quickly.”

The HiKey 960 will launch in the US, Europe and Japan in early May priced at $239 (around £185), making it around seven times more expensive than a Raspberry Pi. µ

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