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HCL:Einstein A20

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The Einstein A20 is a very compact (75x50mm, Credit Card size) Allwinner A20 ARM dual core based device.

Einstein A20

Technical Data

  • Allwinner A20, ARM Cortex A7 1.0Ghz, Mali 400 MP2 complies with Open GL ES2.0/1.1
  • 1GB DDR3 RAM memory
  • 8GiB eMMC
  • AP6210 onboard, wifi 802.11 abg/n, Bluetooth 4.0. Supply Ipex connector, can support ceramic antenna, FPC antenna, telescopic antenna.
  • RTC with dedicated battery connector
  • Li-Po battery charger with dedicated battery connector
  • IPEX connector for CVBS signal.
  • 200 pins stamp hole package

Before flashing the image

The Einstein A20 has no SD card connector, it has only the internal eMMC. This can be accessed USB-OTG by u-boot ums command, which emulates a mass storage USB device. For this a serial TTL cable needs to be connected to get access to the u-boot console and the board needs to be powered by the host computers USB.

Install the sunxi tools on the host computer

zypper install sunxi-tools

Download the Einstein A20 u-boot rpm from here and extract the files in it

rpm2cpio u-boot-einsteina20-<version>.armv7hl.rpm | cpio -idmv

Start a serial console terminal (e.g. miniterm which is part of the pyserial package).

miniterm /dev/ttyUSB<N> 115200 --raw --eol=LF

Unplug the Einstein A20 USB and hold the "UBOOT" button (nearby the LiPo connector) down while reconnecting it. The board will then start in "FEL mode". Download and start the u-boot via USB:

sunxi-fel uboot boot/u-boot-sunxi-with-spl.bin

Stop the u-boot boot process by pressing enter in the serial console terminal. Then run on u-boot commandline:

ums 0 mmc 1

Now a new /dev/sdX device should appear on the host computer. Use this for flashing the image. The u-boot in the image supports the ums command, so the FEL mode uboot download is no more needed. The u-boot mass storage device emulation is not very fast, so it could take more than 30 minutes to flash the image.

Warning: This will overwrite the eMMC, all data is lost after that and cannot be restored!

  1. Download the image you want (Leap is stable, Tumbleweed is rolling) from here:
    JeOS image

    If the direct links above do not work for you, please check the general download directory for the images.

  2. As root extract the image onto your SD card (replace sdX with the device name of your SD card).
    WARNING: all previous data on the SD card will be lost. Check first if the device you have selected is really your SD card!
     xzcat [image].raw.xz | dd bs=4M of=/dev/sdX iflag=fullblock oflag=direct; sync
  3. Insert the SD card with the openSUSE image into your board.
  4. Connect the board to your PC via serial port (optional, but helpful for debugging; USB-TTL serial cable needed).
  5. Connect the board to your monitor (via DVI/HDMI, optional).
  6. Power on the board.
  7. Walk through the first boot steps.
  8. Ethernet is configured to request an IP via DHCP, check your DHCP server for the board IP if used.
  9. Have a lot of fun...
Default login is root:linux, works on serial console, via ssh, GUI.