If you’re looking for something much more powerful than a single core prototyping board, the ODROID C1 fits the bill. It’s a quad-core Cortex A5 single board computer based on the ARMv7 architecture and designed to find its way into low-cost prototyping devices.
The Hardkernel company has always released innovative prototyping platforms with great specs. ODROID C1 has four times the number of CPU/GPU cores and two times RAM memory compared to the Raspberry Pi B. All these features provide more performances from the C1 board, somewhere between four to seven times than Pi. Even so, the price is very modest – $35.00.
Meanwhile, the Raspberry Pi Foundation released an improved version called Raspberry Pi 2 Model B. This new development board comes with improved specifications and reduce the gap between the Pi models and ODROID-C1.
Back to the C1 features, the board is featured with 40 GPIO pins, four USB 2.0 ports, video/audio HDMI ports, Ethernet/LAN, and a USB camera input for 720p video. More than that, the prototyping board has an IR receiver, Real Time Clock, and support for eMMC 4.5 flash storage and a MicroSD card.
ODROID-C1 is part of a new generation of single board computers, but even so, the computer will keep the same preferences in software. The board can run Ubuntu 14.04 or Android 4.4 KitKat.
In order to control all the inputs and outputs in the Raspberry Pi style, the WiringPi v2 library has been ported to ODROID-C1. This feature definitely winks to Pi users, especially those who need high performances and doesn’t lack a wide community.
You can choose to boot the operating system from eMMC or MicroSD card using the boot media selector. The boot from SD card let you test the image, but the eMMC option is much more pleasant and offers higher performance once you have prepared the OS, setup, etc.
Even if the single board computer specifications are impressive, some details may discourage users. The system doesn’t come with eMMC or MicroSD card, so the user needs to provide one of these memory cards and then install the OS image.
C1 uses a custom power supply with DC-jack and cannot be powered via their MicroUSB port. This port is only for data communication. This limitation increases the final costs with up to $5.
The platform provides a wide range of GPIO pins, much more than any other quad-core development board. This feature is impressive, but it would be nice for all users to have all the pins labeled.
So, ODROID-C1 is powerful enough to build robots or automate things, and its price is similar to Raspberry Pi Model B+.
The Raspberry Pi is a prototyping board designed as a solution for students, makers, hackers, artists, etc. So far, it’s the best solution for their problems.
The ODROID-C1 doesn’t have a large community such as the Pi community. But with such features, the board can replace Pi wherever is necessary to use the power of a quad core processor.