Revision as of 08:00, 19 July 2013 by Olimex (talk | contribs)

The A13 processor from Allwinner runs at 1GHz with a Mali400 GPU. It was designed for integration into tablets. Olimex has made several development board designs based around this chip. This wiki page contains information about hardware and software to help make use of these development boards.

The A13 based boards currently available are

  • A13-OLinuXino-WIFI - Recommended if your developing software for the A13 for the first time as its the only one with network connectivity.
  • A13-OLinuXino - This is the same as the WIFI version but without WIFI module and NAND flash. Note: Android requires NAND flash to run, so this board can't run Android.
  • A13-OLinuXino-MICRO - Similar to the A13-OlinuXino but with less extras

Official Images from OLIMEX


A13 Debian 4GB SD-card image release-7 with:

  • Linux Kernel 3.0.52+
  • XFCE4 desktop environment
  • Mplayer CLI
  • GCC 4.6
  • iceweasel WEB browser
  • LCD and touchscreen support
  • GPIO
  • I2C
  • SPI
  • USB WIFI RTL8188CU, Ethernet AX88772B
  • Audio
  • apache2
  • dpkg
  • git
  • i2c-tools
  • perl
  • vlc
  • xorg
  • Scratch
  • GCC
  • Python 2.7.3
  • PyA13 python module with GPIO,I2C,SPI support
  • OpenCV
  • Default Login: root/passowrd

Note: the A13-OLinuXino-SD card which we have on our webshop contain same image on 4GB Class10 fast micro sd-card, if you want to use this image please use Class10 fast card or the performance of Linux will slow down

Note: Changing A13-OLinuxino VGA or LCD resolution
The default SD card setup is made with settings for VGA 800x600. If you want to change VGA 800x600 resolution then you have to replace the existing script.bin file from the first SD card partitition (note that this partitition is FAT - so you can replace the file under Windows or Linux) with the script.bin file from the other corresponding directory. The possible resolutions are listed below:

script_GPIO_VGA_1024x768 script_GPIO_VGA_800x600 script_GPIO_LCD_1024x60 script_GPIO_LCD_800x480 script_GPIO_LCD_480x272


A13 Android image with LCD 4.3" 480x272 and touchscreen

  • Android_version - 4.0.3
  • Baseband version - 1.2
  • Kernel version 3.0.8+
  • LCD 4.3" 480x272 pixels with backlight
  • touchscreen support

A13 Android image with LCD 7" 800x480 and touchscreen

  • Android_version - 4.0.3
  • Baseband version - 1.2
  • Kernel version 3.0.8+
  • LCD 7" 800x480 pixels with backlight
  • touchscreen support

A13 Android image with VGA 800x600

  • Android_version - 4.0.3
  • Baseband version - 1.2
  • Kernel version 3.0.8+
  • VGA 800x600 pixels

Note: A13 Android is hardcoded with 800 pixels width maximal resolution, so VGA 1024x768 mode and LCD 10" 1024x600 pixels are not supported


Projects people from the olinuxino community are working on or have finished and how they did it.

Build Bootable SD Card with Debian Run Debian and u-boot, Step by step instructions how to make SD card image.
Prebuilt SD card images running debian

Change GPIOs using scripts in linux

A13 OLinuXino fast GPIO with /dev/mem now achieve up to 2 Mhz toggle

A13 kernel module for direct support of UEXT MOD-IO board, adding ADC, relays etc, cool project can be used as reference how to make your own kernel modules

Instructions how to run MOD-BT with A13-OLinuXino

A13-Olinuxino-WIFI and opencv face detection

Controlling Relays, Switching ON/OFF of 220V appliances and home automation

Door security logger, image capture

GPS logger with google maps viewer, MOD-GPS module on UEXT

Web server with MOD-RGB controlling RGB LED strip

Interface MOD-IO board with I2C under Android

Run old games on android mame4droid

Bare Metal programming A13 Programming directly for the chip without an OS

FreedomBox/UniLeipzigPractical is the documentation of a freedom box related practical course at the AKSW Research Group at the University of Leipzig


Schematics and board designs can be found here

Olimex Hardware

Designs were created with Eagle

A limited functionality freeware version of Eagle can be downloaded here

Eagle Freeware

There is very limited information about the A13 processor. The only detailed data found is an A10 datasheet which has some errors in it apparently. As this is the best source of low level information it is linked here

A10 datasheet

A serial connection can be made to the A13 board, which can help with debugging and is a booting option

Serial connection to A13 Description of how to connect a computer to the A13 board over serial.


The A13-OLinuXino can be partially powered over Micro USB, but to power all peripherals, a 6+ watt DC power supply between 6 and 16 volts can be used. The connector is a positive-center 2.5mm barrel plug. There is also an on-board connector for a Li-PO battery.


A generic wiki for the allwinner devices is here. It contains some great detailed info

Bare Metal programming - no OS

It is possible to program and debug code written directly on the chip without an OS such as linux or android.
The advantage is no kernel overhead and tighter control of the CPU operation.

Bare Metal programming A13

Using an operating system - Nand flash

The Wifi version of the A13 board comes preprogrammed with android, which is held in the Nand flash.

The image in the Nand flash can be updated using the tools found at the following links:

LiveSuit for Windows

LiveSuit for loading images

to the NAND flash; to activate A13 bootloader do as follows: run Livesuit, disconnect the power supply and USB cable, then press HOME button, apply power supply, attach USB cable and release the button, Livesuit will detect the bootloader and will ask which file to program to the NAND flash.

Prebuilt images that can be programmed into the Nand flash can be found here.

Using an operating system - SD card

The A13 board can boot from an SD card. Just plug it in an imaged uSD card and connect power.

Note: The SD card can easily be corrupted if power is removed while the system is booting or writing to system files. To avoid this do not remove power while it is booting and shut the system down properly before disconnecting power.

Prebuilt images

Some prebuilt images have been created, follow the link below for details.

Prebuilt SD card images running debian

Build your own kernel and image onto SD card

Some developers want more control over the kernel and modules that are included. The link below shows directions to build your own kernel and image it onto an SD card.

Build Bootable SD Card with Debian Step by step instructions how to make SD card image with above Kernel and U-boot

Setup and configure the installed debian image

There are several settings that can be made for a particular hardware configuration in the script file.

The following link explains the script file as well as wifi or ethernet setup and GPIO settings

Configuration of hardware in the debian image

Installing UsbVideoClass(UVC) on A13-OLinuXino board

To work with USB Video Cameras you have to enable the UVC support in the kernel. The link below explains how to do it.

UVC support

Setup VLC player for video streaming on A13-OLinuXino board

To setup video streaming you should first have installed UVC support so you can connect USB cameras to A13-OLinuXino.

VLC streaming

Creating a program to run on the A13-OlinuXino board

Programming for A13 in debian Step by step instructions to make your first hello world program run on the A13 board running debian.

Software Links

Tools to hack A13-OLinuXino

Installing Xfce4 graphical interface on Debian How to install XFCE4 on A13-OLinuXino

A13-SDK Android 4.0.3 ICS

A13-SDK contain everything you need to build Android ACS 4.0.3 NAND image for A13-OLinuXino-WIFI. Both mirrors contain same image a13.tar.gz which you should unpack and follow the instructions inside. Builds on Debian 64bit as on Ubuntu have some problems with Java which we never managed to solve.

Mega upload mirror

Gdrive mirror

A13-SDK Android 4.1 JB

This is version 1.5 of A13-SDK which builds Android 4.1 Jelly Beans image. It works slower than 4.0.3 and we personally do not see any advantage to use 4.1 vs 4.0.3

Andreas Auer kindly offered to host this 4GB image


Under construction

List of Contributors

Henrik Nordstrom - a.k.a. hno, uboot for A13 development, A1X guru, Linux-Sunxi maintainer

Dimitar Gamishev - a.k.a. HEHOPMAJIEH, Linux kernel configuration for OLinuXino, Android images, LCD touchscreen

Alexandro Mery - a.k.a. mnemoc, Linux-Sunxi maintainer

Davide Fabbri - Linaro kernel and lubuntu image

Scott Anderson - A13 wiki maintainer

Jeffrey Wischkaemper - a.k.a. jwischka, A13-OLinuXino Debian image with X

Maxime Ripard - ARM Linux patches

Jason Plum - Arch Linux support