OlinuXino A20 Lime2

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[T] - OlinuXino board - Lime 2 - 4GB Nand - AllWinner A20

OLI-LIME2-4GB-A20-BRD

Embedded Linux ARM system - Nano single card computer - 1Gb Ram - 4Gb NAND - Gigabit Ethernet - CORTEX-A7 Dual Core - Allwinner A20 dual. A20-OLinuXIno-LIME2.

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Description

11/22/2016: le Lime 2 is now sold with eMMC memory instead of NAND memory. EMMC memory is known to be more efficient.

Since 2017: Olimex has replaced the fixing notches with fixing holes :-) 

A Linux nano-computer built for industrial production

Lime 2 is a powerful Linux board based on AllWinner A20 processor, the same processors that equip many tablet models. With components without compromising on quality, this board based on a Cortex-A7 processor offers many inputs/outputs, a Gigabit Ethernet port, 1Gb of RAM, 4 Gb of Nand, a connector for Sata hard drive, an HDMI socket (Full HD video support at 1080p), good documentation and many other very interesting features.    

4Go of NAND & 1Go of RAM

This version of Lime 2 has 4Gb of NAND memory in addition to 1 Gb of RAM memory.
This NAND memory can be used to embed the operating system instead of storing the OS on a microSD card (as is the case for the other Lime 2 board or Raspberry-Pi). It's as if your SD card was integrated directly into the board. 

What is the interest of this NAND memory?
An embedded system is intended to be "embedded", in a car, a train, etc. The boards are therefore subjected to vibrations, vibrations wich damage the mechanical elements of your board... such as the micro SD reader. Having a NAND memory welded on the board protects you from these mechanical disadvantages but also from contact problems linked to the invasion of dust.

That said, the NAND memory is also connected to a "bus" with many signal lines , whereas an SD card can't offer a "serial" type communication interface. 

Installation note?
Please follow the installation procedure described in the Olimex documentation ("Tutorial" section) to install the OS in the NAND memory.

Intermediate level required

The use of this board requires a minimum of knowledge in hte field of Linux systems. OlinuXIno boards use Debian Linux from which Raspbian Wheezy (the Raspberry-Pi OS) is also derived.
If you lack experience, we recommend that you start your route with the Raspberry Pi, he will prove to be an excellent teacher.

Features

  • Allwinner A20 processor, Cortex-A7, dual core.
    Each core operates at 1GHz.
    3.3v logic
  • GPU dual core Mali 400.
    OpenGL ES 2.0/1.1
  • 1Gb of DDR2 RAM memory
  • 4Gb of NAND Flash
  • SATA connector (hard drive) with SATA 5V power connector.
    See accessories for wiring.
  • Capable of playing Full HD videos (1080p, video playback, cfr Olimex)
  • HDMI connector
  • 2 x "High-speed" USB Host with power control and current limitation.
    You can connect peripherals such as USB sticks, 3G USB modem, hard drive, keyboard, mouse, WebCam, etc... any hardware supported by Debian Linux :-)
  • USB-OTG (On The Go, wikipedia.fr) with power control and current limitation.
  • Native Ethernet connection. 1000MBit (Gigabit). Realtek RTL8211
  • Connector for Lipo battery (see our Lipo batteries available on the WebShop) with battery recharging capacity. What transform this nano-computer into an autonomous platform.
  • Connector for display/LCD screen (impaction of 1.27mm, 0.05'')
  • 160 GPIOs grouped on 4 GPIO connectors/lines (3.3v logic, impaction 1.27mm, 0.05'')
  • Connector for Micro SD card, 32Gb max.
    Micro SD card used to support the operating system.
    Note that there is also another OlinuXIno boards model equipped with 4Gb of NAND memory allowing the operating system to be stored there. This is not the case with this product which doesn't have this type of memory, so the operating system is placed on the SD card. 
  • DEBUG-UART connector (serial debug port, 3.3v) used to connect an debug console using a USB-Serial-TTL cable.
    Default and recommended communication method for communicating with the embedded Linux operating system. If you plan to use an HDMI/LCD screen , this method of communication will allow you to get out of all the bad steps and confguration errors. Over time, this connector will become your best friend. 
  • GPIO LED
  • Battery charge status LED
  • LED power indicator
  • 2KB EEPROM (for storing the MAC address) and the permanent parameters/configuration of your application. 
  • 3 buttons with Android functionality + RESET button
  • 4 mounting holes
  • Power supply: 5V continuous (jack plug) with design immunizing the impact of noise on the power supply.
    The board can consume from 400mA to 650mA (Exluding USB devices).
  • Board dimensions: 84x60 mm 

The pros and cons of Lime2

Are you from the Hobbyist world? Here is some information that you'll certainly find useful.

The pros:

  • Very very compact format, more compact than OlinuXIno Micro.
  • Case available
  • 160 GPIOs !!!!
    • Wiki explaining how to activate the GPIOs.
    • Python library available
  • HDMI & Gigabit Ethernet port
  • Hard drive connection (sata)
  • Support for Android
  • OS on micro SD card (can easily be replaced)
  • Python interpreter available

The cons:

Documents

Hardware resources

Software resources

OS image links, instructions, demo software, client projets and more. See the Wiki page for more information on the LIME2 board.

The Python package for A20-OLinuXino-LIME2 on Debian Linux is called pyA20Lime2. This package considerably facilitates access to GPIO, I2C bus and SPI. It's installed by default on the Debian image. You can find more information and examples on using this library here:

Frequently asked questions

I have no experience and I'm afraid of ruining everything the first time. What are the most common mistakes when starting with the board?
The best approach is to download the latest version of the Debian or Android image from the Wiki of the OlinuXIno board. Just be careful to follow the correct procedure depending on the selected storage support (microSD card or NAND memory). Then make sure the image is properly burned to the SD card or NAND memory. Finally, if you experience video output issues, make sure you have selected the correct settings for the monitor / screen you are using.
Also check that the power supply is adequate (especially if you are powering an LCD / TFT display from the board).

Can I use the Debian or Android image for A20-OLinuXino-LIME or A10-OLinuXino-LIME instead of the recommended OS for Lime2?
No, Debian & Android images are specific for each board. Make sure that the downloaded image is precisely that corresponding to the OLinuXino-LIME2-A20 board.

I bought an LCD supported by Olimex and the necessary cable but there is no image displayed when I plug it into my OLinuXino-LIME2-A20. What did i do wrong? 
The default Debian OLinuXino-LIME2-A20 image is configured to use HDMI output and HD resolution. To use an LCD or lower resolution you will need to start a shell script on the default Debian image.

What is the standard temperature range for OLinuXino-LIME2-A20?
The board works in the commercial temperature range +0 to 70°C

How long will the card be available?
Olimex produces its board models as long as the various components remain available.
Since Olimex uses products with reliable supplies, solutions based on the Olimex range are assured of a stable supply.

What do I need to connect an Olimex display to the board?

There are two possible scenarios depending on the display available to you.

The new displays are equipped with 3 40-pin connectors. This allows connections via a single cable with impaction of 1.27mm (0.05 ") OR 2.54mm (0.1"). The impaction of the cable depends on the impaction used on the LCD connector on the board).

Older displays only have one 2.54mm impaction connector and you would then need an adapter to connect this screen to the 1.27mm impaction connector on the LIME2. The adapter used is the Olimex cobbler (also called A20-OLinuXino-LIME2-UEXT on the Olimex website). You will also need a 1.27mm impaction cable (0.5 ") and a 2.54mm impaction cable.
Note that a cobbler for OlinuXIno A10 isn't suitable for an OLinuXino-LIME2-A20. The format of the LCD connector for OlinuXIno-Lime-A10 and OLinuXino-LIME2-A20 are different.

What is the current available on GPIOs?
According to the information collected on this thread (support Olimex), it seems that the AllWinner documentation claims that it is possible to obtain 20mA on GPIOs.
This value doesn't seem reasonable (too optimistic for this type of component offering 160 GPIOs) but already gives us an idea of the maximum value.

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