Huawei, Google supercharge Android with new Raspberry Pi-like board

The HiKey 960 will be the go-to computer board for Android and will sell for US$239

Prepare to run Android at blazing fast speeds on a new Raspberry Pi-like computer developed by Huawei.

Huawei's HiKey 960 computer board is priced at US$239 but has some of the latest CPU and GPU technologies. Google, ARM, Huawei, Archermind, and LeMaker all played roles in developing the board.

The HiKey 960 is meant to be a go-to PC for Android or a tool to develop software and drivers for the OS. The board development was backed by Linaro, an organization that develops software packages for the Android OS and ARM architecture.

Linaro CEO George Grey recently said it was sad that Android developers had to write code on x86 chips. He encouraged the organization's members to build a superfast computer so developers could build ARM software on ARM architecture. Intel has scaled back Android support on x86 PCs and isn't making smartphone chips.

The HiKey 960 can be used to create robots, drones, and other smart devices. But it's mainly intended to be an Android PC or a tool for developers who want to write and test applications.

The board can deliver performance similar to the latest smartphone and tablets. It has a Huawei Kirin 960 octa-core chip, which has four high-performance ARM Cortex-A73 and four low-power Cortex-A53 cores. The Kirin 960 is also used in the Huawei Mate 9 smartphone, which started shipping late last year.

The HiKey 960 has 32GB of storage and 3GB of LPDDR4 RAM. The Mali-G71 GPU is capable of delivering 4K graphics and is based on ARM's latest Bitfrost architecture. However, the board will only have HDMI 1.2a slot, which is a 1080p display output.

Other features include dual-band 802.11 b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1. The board has a PCIe m.2 slot to add additional storage or wireless capabilities. It also has 40-pin and 60-pin expansion connectors and multiple high-definition outputs so cameras can be connected to the board.

It will ship in the U.S., European Union, and Japan in early May. It will later ship worldwide.

The board will also support multiple Linux versions in the future.

You can load Android 7.1 on the board, but you will need to be technically savvy and have knowledge of command-line operations. Instructions to load Android 7.1 are on Google's website.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?