Gooseberry Is The Latest ARM Linux Board

It looks like we’re finally seeing the proliferation of single board computers take off. The latest is called the Gooseberry. While it will cost about £40/$62 USD at release, it greatly outperforms the current crop of tiny Linux boards.

As the latest in what will be a long line of these ARM-ified single board computers, the Gooseberry hugely outperforms the VIA APC and Raspberry Pi with a Allwinner A10 CPU running at 1.2 GHz, 512 MB of RAM, and built-in WiFi. Basically, the Gooseberry has all the features you would expect from an Android tablet; the reason for this is because the Gooseberry actually is the board found in a few Chinese tablets.

There’s a few very nice features like an LVDS output to add LCD displays without hogging the HDMI output, and the form factor is incredibly thin making it perfect for building a small portable device.

After the break you can check out a walkthrough of the Gooseberry board along with evidence of it running Ubuntu.


20 thoughts on “Gooseberry Is The Latest ARM Linux Board

    1. Dear Mr. Annoying Internet Slang:

      From the Gooseberry FAQ:

      “We have not designed nor manufactured this board. We have only recognized the potential it holds in both price and performance and so, have made it available and known to the public.”

    2. 1: most likely cost considerations. 2: because 512MB of ram is plenty for a wide range of applications and your premise fails?

      I suppose you could do better at that price point. I’m glad you’re here to tell us where. So many other people simply come on the internet to complain, and here you selflessly making useful contributions. You win.

  1. As it says in the FAQ, this is a Chinese PCBA meant for use in cheap tablets. It’s not open source, nor will there be any more once the supply dries up.

    A good bargain while they last, but, hardly competition for the Pi.

  2. Ha, I think this guy has been pushing these alwinner ideas for a while now as a ‘pi beater’, if it’s not offering gpio and community based educational support or funding the charity to get more of these out to kids, then it’s just another chinese board without a case. From what I’ve seen of the alwinner stuff, don’t get your hopes up of anything decent in the way of datasheets either.

    Good luck with getting it off the ground with a working capital of 5 boards at a time.

    1. So don’t buy one?!

      About GPIOs: Not every embedded application needs them. There’s something to be said about having a micro hanging off USB as a dedicated I/O processor when you’re not running an RTOS.

      1. but that *is* part of the point of the pi, it’s got all these interfaces accesible, so you can interface your own i2c chips, you can interface your own spi chips, you can add you own LEDs and you don’t have to search around on a board with no schematic to find them. So the alwinner not having them available means it’s not even in the same class as a pi, you know, teh machine it’s trying to compete with. It’s a cheap chinese board with a chancer with a reference board trying to hide behind everything pi (including the naming) without actually providing it, no open source, no community, 5 boards at a time.

    2. *face palm*
      this has been out for one week, wow thats such a long time to “PUSH IT AS THE PI BEATER”.

      maby your just jelly you didnt think of it first, dumbass.

  3. Just another person who lacks the patience to wait for a Pi. So instead they made a deal with a Chinese manufacturer to order small quantities of tablet guts, and are reselling them as a “Pi alternative”.

    Here’s a few things you should know before considering this:

    1) For a little more money, you could just buy a tablet containing this board or something like it. And get a touchscreen, case, and battery too. Plus a a warranty, which has at least some chance of being honored by whatever fly-by-night Chinese company it came from. There is no mention of any warranty at all on the Gooseberry. And I’d definitely want one, because…
    2) There’s no indication of the manufacturer’s name, or which tablets use it; so we have no idea of the quality or reliability. Some Allwinner-based tablets have known problems with frequent dropped wireless connections that require a reboot to fix, extremely poor wireless range, connectors snapping off the board, etc.
    3) Hope you’re not planning on making a Ubuntu multimedia machine, because “Ubuntu as of yet has no hardware acceleration, (lima driver should hopefully sort this!), no audio and freezes when shutdown virtually.” Otherwise, you’re stuck with Android.
    4) It’s not really a full “Pi alternative”. It has built-in wireless, but not Ethernet. And no GPIO headers. The locations and quantity of any usable GPIO are currently unknown.

  4. I was initially under the impression that the support for these chips would be crap, but having done a little research yesterday, I was pleased to find I was wrong. While I have not dowloaded it, I have seen an english datasheet for the Allwinner chip online. They have also released all the source under GPL, and there’s also reverse engineered open source drivers for the mali 400 gpu if you like. They seem to be one of the few Chinese SoC manufacturers that see the benefit that open source can provide in terms of of software robustness and support, all while reducing their in house software engineering burden. And since these chips are really cheap ($7 in large quantities), I think they hold a lot of promise.

    1. The MALI GPUs aren’t proprietary. It’s a design licensed from ARM, same as the ARM processor cores which are now everywhere.

      So it’s no wonder that there is going to good open source support, at least eventually.

      The Allwinner itself seems a really capable and inexpensive chip. But I don’t see any special efforts being made on the part of their manufacturer to make them accessible to hackers, or provide support anywhere near the level you’d expect from Atmel, Microchip, or even ST. If I recall, the claimed English datasheet (which I didn’t download either as it required registration) was a 74K PDF; which makes it a list of features, rather than a real datasheet that tells you how to access them. I suppose since they’re just reproducing ARM designs, most information could be gotten straight from ARM instead.

      Time will tell. I’d recommend waiting until this chip appears on board from a reputable manufacturer, that will use quality parts and stand behind their product. In the meantime, you can get a Pi quicker, or select from a myriad of other solutions.

      1. dude you are such a pessimist, did you not see what this whole article is about? they are trying to get these out to the community. The poster above your useless and arrogant rant SHOWED you that there are schematics, data sheets, open source stuff for the community at large.

        Grow the hell up or get off hackaday. I am reporting you comment as spam btw.

  5. I am with others in suggesting that if you want this the extra $30 for the full tablet is well worth the extra components (screen, battery, capacitive multitouch screen, case, etc).

  6. Actually, that netbook from a few posts ago (that one the guy managed to get Arch running on) is looking the most tempting right now. The pi will be comparable until there are decent graphics acceleration drivers, an then you get a screen, case, battery, and keyboard for $30. No GPIO, but I already have a Pi and an arduino. Now I want the netbook too… :P but probably not this thing. Looks like it will be poorly supported at best, whereas the pi has a massive community that is capable of working on it.

  7. As noted in this post we can expect a whole raft of ARM based small computers.

    If you are looking for something using this cpu but more in the Pi mold, with open source, GPIOs, etc. take a peek at

    Still in development.

    Of course the name of this company immediately brought to mind the Dis-organizer, mark 5 “Gooseberry” from the Discworld.

  8. I might be mistaken here. But as people have stated you can get a tablet running these components for $30 more.

    I’m sorry for this link as it might be unusable in 1-6 months. But atm you can get a tablet running these components cheaper than buying this card.

    So really. I dunno but it dsnt seem that it’s worth the money.

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