Orange Pi 3 Ready To Take On Raspberry Pi 3

Shenzhen Xunlong Software has released its latest Orange Pi 3 development board to rival the Raspberry Pi 3. The Orange Pi 3 is available on AliExpress with the base model starting from $29.90 (£23.59), while the highest-end model will set you back $39.90 (£31.48).

Credit: AliExpressCredit: AliExpress

Measuring 90 x 64mm and weighing in at 75 grams, the Orange Pi 3 boasts a blue PCB. It sports the Allwinner H6 SoC (system-on-a-chip) that features a quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 processor clocked at 1.8GHz with an ARM Mali-T720 graphics processing unit. The Orange Pi 3 comes with 1GB of LPDDR3 memory, which can be expanded to 2GB for an extra $5 (£3.95). For the same fee, consumers also have the option to add 8GB of eMMC flash storage to the Orange Pi 3. There's a total of four models to choose from.

ModelPricing (USD)
Pricing (GBP)
Orange Pi 3 with 1GB LPDDR3$29.90£23.59
Orange Pi 3 with 1GB LPDDR3 and 8GB eMMC
Orange Pi 3 with 2GB LPDDR3
Orange Pi 3 with 2GB LPDDR3 and 8GB eMMC

Connectivity on the Orange Pi 3 includes four USB 3.0 Type-A ports, one USB 2.0 port, and a micro-USB 2.0 OTG (On-The-Go) port with support for power input. However, micro-USB power supplies aren't compatible with the Orange Pi 3. Therefore, consumers are encouraged to purchase a quality DC 5V3A charger to power the Orange Pi 3.

Shenzhen Xunlong Software has equipped the Orange Pi 3 with an HDMI 2.0a port with audio and HDCP 2.2 output, and a Composite video output. The Orange Pi has an integrated microphone and a 3.5mm jack for audio devices.

Credit: AliExpressCredit: AliExpress

The Orange Pi 3 connects to the Internet via a Gigabit Ethernet port based on the Realtek RTL8211 controller, or wirelessly via the built-in Ampak AP6256 module that provides Wi-Fi 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5) and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity. The Orange Pi 3 also comes with its own IR receiver, mini-PCIe (mPCIe) 2.0 x1 slot, and a 26-pin GPIO expansion header for connecting devices like sensors, motors, etc. There's also a 3-pin serial console / UART (Universal Asynchronous Receiver-Transmitter) header for debugging purposes.

The Orange Pi 3 has its own power button and power, status, and USB 3.0 LED indicators for easy monitoring.

The Orange Pi 3 is compatible with Android 7.0 and Linux distributions, such as Ubuntu and Debian, although the images aren't available yet at the time of writing.