NanoPi NEO Core

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Introduction

Overview
Front
Back
  • The NanoPi NEO Core(abbreviated as "NEO Core") is an alternative NanoPi NEO that works like a CPU board with male pin-headers. It has the same form factor as the NanoPi NEO and same pin descriptions. The connectors and ports are populated to pin-headers on the NEO Core. The NanoPi NEO Core has ESD protection for its MicroUSB port and TF card slot. In addition the NEO Core can have an optional onboard eMMC flash which is preferred by industrial customers.
  • The NEO Core uses a popular Allwinner H3 SoC and has onboard 256M/512M DDR3 RAM. FriendlyElec offers models with three eMMC options: 8GB/16GB/32GB and one that doesn't have eMMC at all.
  • FriendlyElec migrated UbuntuCore with mainline kernel 4.14 for it.
  • FriendlyElec develops a Mini Shield for NanoPi NEO Core/Core2 which has the same form factor as the RPi 3. When a NanoPi NEO Core is connected to this Mini Shield the whole assembled module can be well fit into a common RPi 3's case.

Hardware Spec

  • CPU: Allwinner H3, Quad-core Cortex-A7 Up to 1.2GHz
  • DDR3 RAM: 256MB/512MB DDR3 RAM
  • Storage: NC/8GB/16GB/32GB eMMC
  • MicroSD Slot x 1
  • MicroUSB: OTG and power input
  • GPIO: two 2.54mm spacing 12x2pin header,one 2.54mm spacing 10x2pin header
  • Connectivity: 10/100M Ethernet(6Pin, included in 2.54mm pitch pin header)
  • USB Host x3(included in 2.54mm pitch pin header)
  • Debug Serial Port(4Pin, included in 2.54mm pitch pin header )
  • Audio input/output Port(4Pin, included in 2.54mm pitch pin header )
  • GPIO:It includes UART, SPI, I2C, IO etc
  • PC Size: 40 x 40mm
  • Power Supply: DC 5V/2A
  • Temperature measuring range: -40℃ to 80℃
  • OS/Software: U-boot,Ubuntu-Core
  • Weight: xxg(WITHOUT Pin-headers)

Diagram, Layout and Dimension

Layout

NanoPi NEO Core Layout
pinout
  • GPIO1 Pin Description
Pin# Name Linux gpio Pin# Name Linux gpio
1 SYS_3.3V 2 VDD_5V
3 I2C0_SDA / GPIOA12 4 VDD_5V
5 I2C0_SCL / GPIOA11 6 GND
7 GPIOG11 203 8 UART1_TX / GPIOG6 198
9 GND 10 UART1_RX / GPIOG7 199
11 UART2_TX / GPIOA0 0 12 GPIOA6 6
13 UART2_RTS / GPIOA2 2 14 GND
15 UART2_CTS / GPIOA3 3 16 UART1_RTS / GPIOG8 200
17 SYS_3.3V 18 UART1_CTS / GPIOG9 201
19 SPI0_MOSI / GPIOC0 64 20 GND
21 SPI0_MISO / GPIOC1 65 22 UART2_RX / GPIOA1 1
23 SPI0_CLK / GPIOC2 66 24 SPI0_CS / GPIOC3 67
  • GPIO2 Pin Description
Pin# Name Linux gpio Pin# Name Linux gpio
1 VDD_5V 2 SPI1_MOSI / GPIOA15 15
3 USB-DP1 4 SPI1_MISO / GPIOA16 16
5 USB-DM1 6 SPI1_CLK / GPIOA14 14
7 USB-DP2 8 SPI1_CS / GPIOA13 13
9 USB-DM2 10 MICIN1P
11 GPIOL11/IR-RX 363 12 MICIN1N
13 SPDIF-OUT/GPIOA17 17 14 LINEOUTR
15 PCM0_SYNC/I2S0_LRCK/I2C1_SCL 16 LINEOUTL
17 PCM0_CLK/I2S0_BCK/I2C1_SDA 18 UART_RXD0 / GPIOA5 / PWM0 5
19 PCM0_DOUT/I2S0_SDOUT 20 UART_TXD0 / GPIOA4 4
21 PCM0_DIN/I2S0_SDIN 22 VDD_5V
23 GND 24 GND
  • GPIO3 Pin Description
Pin# Name Linux gpio Pin# Name Linux gpio
1 EPHY-LINK-LED 2 EPHY-SPD-LED
3 EPHY-TXP 4 EPHY-TXN
5 EPHY-RXP 6 EPHY-RXN
7 NC 8 NC
9 NC 10 NC
11 GND 12 GND
13 USB-DP3 14 GPIOA7 7
15 USB-DM3 16 I2C2_SCL / GPIOE12
17 5V 18 I2C2_SDA / GPIOE13
19 5V 20 SYS_3.3V
Note:
  1. SYS_3.3V: 3.3V power output
  2. VVDD_5V: 5V power input/output. When the external device’s power is greater than the MicroUSB's the external device is charging the board otherwise the board powers the external device. The input range is 4.7V ~ 5.6V
  3. All pins are 3.3V, output current is 5mA
  4. For more details refer to its schematic

Dimensional Diagram

NanoPi-NEO-Core-v1 0-1705-dimensions.png

For more details refer to the document: pcb in dxf format

Get Started

Essentials You Need

Before starting to use your NanoPi NEO Core get the following items ready

  • NanoPi NEO Core
  • microSD Card/TF Card: Class 10 or Above, minimum 8GB SDHC
  • microUSB power. A 5V/2A power is a must
  • A Host computer running Ubuntu 16.04 64 bit system

TF Cards We Tested

To make your NanoPi NEO Core boot and run fast we highly recommend you use a Class10 8GB SDHC TF card or a better one. The following cards are what we used in all our test cases presented here:

  • SanDisk TF 8G Class10 Micro/SD TF card:

SanDisk MicroSD 8G

  • SanDisk TF128G MicroSDXC TF 128G Class10 48MB/S:

SanDisk MicroSD 128G

  • 川宇 8G C10 High Speed class10 micro SD card:

chuanyu MicroSD 8G

Install OS

Get Image Files

Visit this link download link to download image files and the flashing utility:

Image Files:
nanopi-neo-core_sd_friendlycore-xenial_4.14_armhf_YYYYMMDD.img.zip FriendlyCore (base on UbuntuCore) Image File, kernel: Linux-4.14
nanopi-neo-core_eflasher_friendlycore-xenial_4.14_armhf_YYYYMMDD.img.zip eflasher image, for flashing FriendlyCore(Linux-4.14) to eMMC
Flash Utility:
win32diskimager.rar Windows utility for flashing Debian image. Under Linux users can use "dd"

Linux

Boot from TF
  • FriendlyCore / Debian / Ubuntu are all based on a same Linux distribution and their installation methods are the same.
  • Extract the Linux image and win32diskimager.rar files. Insert a TF card(at least 8G) into a Windows PC and run the win32diskimager utility as administrator. On the utility's main window select your TF card's drive, the wanted image file and click on "write" to start flashing the TF card.
  • Insert this card into your board's BOOT slot and power on (with a 5V/2A power source). If the PWR LED is on and the STAT LED is blinking this indicates your board has successfully booted.
Boot from eMMC
Flash OS with eflasher Utility
  • For more details about eflasher refer to the wiki link: EFlasher
  • Extract the eflasher Image and win32diskimager.rar files. Insert a TF card(at least 4G) into a Windows PC and run the win32diskimager utility as administrator. On the utility's main window select your TF card's drive, the wanted image file and click on "write" to start flashing the TF card.
  • Insert this card into your board's BOOT slot and power on (with a 5V/2A power source). If the green LED is on and the blue LED is blinking this indicates your board has successfully booted.
  • If your board doesn't support HDMI or no monitor is connected you can select an OS by running the following command:
$ su root
$ eflasher

The password for "root" is "fa".Type a number and enter to select an OS, then type "yes" and enter to start installation:
eflasher-console
After installation is done shutdown the system, take out the TF card, power on your board again and it will boot from eMMC.

  • If you want to flash other OS image to eMMC download the whole directory "images-for-eflasher" in the CD and extract the packages in the directory to the "FRIENDLYARM" section in your SD card.

Mini Shield for NanoPi NEO Core/Core2

Here is a setup where we connect a NanoPi NEO Core to a Mini Shield for NanoPi NEO Core/Core2. Here is an introduction to Mini Shield for NanoPi NEO Core/Core2 Mini Shield
: Mini Shield for NanoPi NEO Core/Core2

Work with FriendlyCore

Introduction

FriendlyCore is a light Linux system without X-windows, based on ubuntu core, It uses the Qt-Embedded's GUI and is popular in industrial and enterprise applications.

Besides the regular Ubuntu core's features our FriendlyCore has the following additional features:

  • it supports our LCDs with both capacitive touch and resistive touch(S700, X710, HD702, S430, HD101 and S70)
  • it supports WiFi
  • it supports Ethernet
  • it supports Bluetooth and has been installed with bluez utilities
  • it supports audio playing
  • it supports Qt 5.10.0 EGLES and OpenGL ES1.1/2.0 (Only for S5P4418/S5P6818)

FriendlyCore's User Accounts

  • If your board is connected to an HDMI monitor you need to use a USB mouse and keyboard.
  • If you want to do kernel development you need to use a serial communication board, ie a PSU-ONECOM board, which will

allow you to operate the board via a serial terminal.Here is a setup where we connect a board to a PC via the PSU-ONECOM and you can power on your board from either the PSU-ONECOM or its MicroUSB: PSU-ONECOM-NEO-Core.jpg
You can use a USB to Serial conversion board too.
Make sure you use a 5V/2A power to power your board from its MicroUSB port:
USB2UART-NEO-Core.jpg

  • FriendlyCore User Accounts:

Non-root User:

   User Name: pi
   Password: pi

Root:

   User Name: root
   Password: fa

The system is automatically logged in as "pi". You can do "sudo npi-config" to disable auto login.

  • Update packages
$ sudo apt-get update

Configure System with npi-config

The npi-config is a commandline utility which can be used to initialize system configurations such as user password, system language, time zone, Hostname, SSH switch , Auto login and etc. Type the following command to run this utility.

$ sudo npi-config

Here is how npi-config's GUI looks like:
npi-config

Develop Qt Application

Please refer to: How to Build and Install Qt Application for FriendlyELEC Boards

Setup Program to AutoRun

You can setup a program to autorun on system boot with npi-config:

sudo npi-config

Go to Boot Options -> Autologin -> Qt/Embedded, select Enable and reboot.

Extend TF Card's Section

When FriendlyCore is loaded the TF card's section will be automatically extended.You can check the section's size by running the following command:

$ df -h

WiFi

For either an SD WiFi or a USB WiFi you can connect it to your board in the same way. The APXX series WiFi chips are SD WiFi chips. By default FriendlyElec's system supports most popular USB WiFi modules. Here is a list of the USB WiFi modules we tested:

Index Model
1 RTL8188CUS/8188EU 802.11n WLAN Adapter
2 RT2070 Wireless Adapter
3 RT2870/RT3070 Wireless Adapter
4 RTL8192CU Wireless Adapter
5 mi WiFi mt7601

You can use the NetworkManager utility to manage network. You can run "nmcli" in the commandline utility to start it. Here are the commands to start a WiFi connection:

  • Change to root
$ su root
  • Check device list
$ nmcli dev

Note: if the status of a device is "unmanaged" it means that device cannot be accessed by NetworkManager. To make it accessed you need to clear the settings under "/etc/network/interfaces" and reboot your system.

  • Start WiFi
$ nmcli r wifi on
  • Scan Surrounding WiFi Sources
$ nmcli dev wifi
  • Connect to a WiFi Source
$ nmcli dev wifi connect "SSID" password "PASSWORD" ifname wlan0

The "SSID" and "PASSWORD" need to be replaced with your actual SSID and password.If you have multiple WiFi devices you need to specify the one you want to connect to a WiFi source with iface
If a connection succeeds it will be automatically setup on next system reboot.

For more details about NetworkManager refer to this link: Use NetworkManager to configure network settings

If your USB WiFi module doesn't work most likely your system doesn't have its driver. For a Debian system you can get a driver from Debian-WiFi and install it on your system. For a Ubuntu system you can install a driver by running the following commands:

$ apt-get install linux-firmware

In general all WiFi drivers are located at the "/lib/firmware" directory.


Ethernet Connection

If a board is connected to a network via Ethernet before it is powered on it will automatically obtain an IP with DHCP activated after it is powered up. If you want to set up a static IP refer to: Use NetworkManager to configure network settings

Set Audio Device

If your system has multiple audio devices such as HDMI-Audio, 3.5mm audio jack and I2S-Codec you can set system's default audio device by running the following commands.

  • After your board is booted run the following commands to install alsa packages:
$ apt-get update
$ apt-get install libasound2
$ apt-get install alsa-base
$ apt-get install alsa-utils
  • After installation is done you can list all the audio devices by running the following command. Here is a similar list you may see after you run the command:
$ aplay -l
card 0: HDMI
card 1: 3.5mm codec
card 2: I2S codec

"card 0" is HDMI-Audio, "card 1" is 3.5mm audio jack and "card 2" is I2S-Codec. You can set default audio device to HDMI-Audio by changing the "/etc/asound.conf" file as follows:

pcm.!default {
    type hw
    card 0
    device 0
}
 
ctl.!default {
    type hw
    card 0
}

If you change "card 0" to "card 1" the 3.5mm audio jack will be set to the default device.
Copy a .wav file to your board and test it by running the following command:

$ aplay /root/Music/test.wav

You will hear sounds from system's default audio device.
If you are using H3/H5/H2+ series board with mainline kernel, the easier way is using npi-config


Connect to USB Camera(FA-CAM202)

The FA-CAM202 is a 200M USB camera. You can refer to <Connect DVP Camera (CAM500B) to Board> on how to connect a USB camera to a board.
You need to change the start.sh script and make sure it uses a correct /dev/videoX node. You can check your FA-CAM202's node by running the following commands:

$ apt-get install v4l-utils
$ v4l2-ctl -d /dev/video1 -D
Driver Info (not using libv4l2):
        Driver name   : uvcvideo
        Card type     : HC 3358+2100: HC 3358+2100
        Bus info      : usb-1c1b000.usb-1
	...

Check CPU's Working Temperature

You can get CPU's working temperature by running the following command:

$ cpu_freq
CPU0 online=1 temp=26581 governor=ondemand cur_freq=480000
CPU1 online=1 temp=26581 governor=ondemand cur_freq=480000
CPU2 online=1 temp=26581 governor=ondemand cur_freq=480000
CPU3 online=1 temp=26581 governor=ondemand cur_freq=480000

This message means there are currently four CPUs working. All of their working temperature is 26.5 degree in Celsius and each one's clock is 480MHz.

Test Watchdog

You can test watchdog by running the following commands:

$ cd /root/demo/watchdog/
$ gcc watchdog_demo.c -o watchdog_demo
$ ./watchdog_demo /dev/watchdog0 10
Set timeout: 10 seconds
Get timeout: 10 seconds
System will reboot in 10 second

System will reboot in 10 seconds.

Test Infrared Receiver

Note: Please Check your board if IR receiver exist.
By default the infrared function is disabled you can enable it by using the npi-config utility:

$ npi-config
    6 Advanced Options     Configure advanced settings
        A8 IR              Enable/Disable IR
            ir Enable/Disable ir[enabled]

Reboot your system and test its infrared function by running the following commands:

$ apt-get install ir-keytable
$ echo "+rc-5 +nec +rc-6 +jvc +sony +rc-5-sz +sanyo +sharp +mce_kbd +xmp" > /sys/class/rc/rc0/protocols   # Enable infrared
$ ir-keytable -t
Testing events. Please, press CTRL-C to abort.

"ir-keytable -t" is used to check whether the receiver receives infrared signals. You can use a remote control to send infrared signals to the receiver. If it works you will see similar messages as follows:

1522404275.767215: event type EV_MSC(0x04): scancode = 0xe0e43
1522404275.767215: event type EV_SYN(0x00).
1522404278.911267: event type EV_MSC(0x04): scancode = 0xe0e42
1522404278.911267: event type EV_SYN(0x00).

Read CHIP ID

As for Allwinner H2+/H3/H5/ SoCs each of these CPUs has an internal 16-btye CHIP ID which can be read by running the following commands in the Linux-4.14 kernel:

$ apt-get install bsdmainutils
$ hexdump /sys/bus/nvmem/devices/sunxi-sid0/nvmem 
0000000 8082 0447 0064 04c3 3650 ce0a 1e28 2202
0000010 0002 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000
0000020 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000
0000030 0000 0008 0508 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000
0000040 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000

"8082 0447 0064 04c3 3650 ce0a 1e28 2202" is the 16-byte CHIP ID.

Access GPIO Pins/Wirings with WiringNP

The wiringPi library was initially developed by Gordon Henderson in C. It contains libraries to access GPIO, I2C, SPI, UART, PWM and etc. The wiringPi library contains various libraries, header files and a commandline utility:gpio. The gpio utility can be used to read and write GPIO pins.
FriendlyElec integrated this utility in FriendlyCore system allowing users to easily access GPIO pins. For more details refer to WiringNP WiringNP

Run Qt Demo

Run the following command

$ sudo /opt/QtE-Demo/run.sh

Here is what you expect to observe. This is an open source Qt Demo:
K2-QtE

Make Your Own FriendlyCore

Use Mainline BSP

The NanoPi NEO Core has gotten support for kernel Linux-4.14 with Ubuntu Core 16.04. For more details about how to use mainline u-boot and Linux-4.14 refer to :Mainline U-boot & Linux

Connect External Modules to NEO Core

Connect Mini Shield for NanoPi NEO Core/Core2 to NEO Core

Connect Python Programmable NanoHat OLED to NEO Core

The NanoHat OLED module is a small and cute monochrome OLED module with low power consumption. It has three user buttons. We provide its driver's source code and a user friendly shell interface on which you can check system information and status.A customized aluminum case is made for it. You cannot miss this lovely utility! Here is a hardware setup:NanoHat OLED
NanoHat OLED_nanopi_NEO_Core

Connect Python Programmable NanoHat Motor to NEO Core

The NanoHat Motor module can drive four 5V PWM steering motors and four 12V DC motors or four 5V PWM steering motors and two 12V four-wire step motors.Here is a hardware setup: NanoHat Motor
NanoHat Motor_nanopi_NEO_Core

Connect NanoHat PCM5102A to NEO Core

The NanoHat PCM5102A module uses TI's DAC audio chip PCM5102A, a convenient and easy-to-use audio module for hobbyists. Here is a hardware setup:NanoHat PCM5102A
Matrix - NanoHat PCM5102A_nanopi_NEO_Core

Connect Arduino Compatible UNO Dock to NEO Core

The UNO Dock module is an Arduino board compatible with Arduino UNO and works with Arduino programs.You can use Arduino IDE to run all Arduino programs on the Dock.It also exposes the NanoPi NEO Core's pins.It converts 12V power input to 5V/2A output.You can search for various code samples from Ubuntu's ecosystem and run on the Dock. These features make it a powerful platform for IOT projects and cloud related applications. Here is a hardware setup:UNO Dock for NanoPi NEO v1.0
Matrix-UNO_Dock_NEO_Core

Connect Power Dock to NEO Core

The Power Dock for NanoPi NEO Core is a high efficiency power conversion module. It provides stable and reliable power source. Here is a hardware setup:Power Dock for NanoPi NEO
Power Dock for NanoPi NEO_nanopi_NEO_Core

Connect NanoHat Proto to NEO Core

The NanoHat Proto is an expansion board which exposes NEO Core's various pins.It has an onboard EEPROM for data storage.Here is a hardware setup:NanoHat Proto
Matrix - NanoHat Proto_nanopi_NEO_Core

Connect Matrix - 2'8 SPI Key TFT to NanoPi NEO Core

The Matrix-2'8_SPI_Key_TFT module is a 2.8" TFT LCD with resistive touch. It uses the ST7789S IC and XPT2046 resistive touch IC. It has SPI interface and three configurable user keys.Here is its wiki page Matrix - 2'8 SPI Key TFT
File:Matrix-2'8_SPI_Key_TFT-1706

3D Printing Files

Resources

Datasheet & Schematics

Update Log

Dec-1-2017

  • Released English version