What products are in the pipeline?
Products are divided into two parts: EOMA68 form factor Computer-on-Module (COM) CPU cards and I/O Boards. The first of each of these that will be available are the Allwinner A20 EOMA68 CPU Card and a base unit called the Micro-Desktop.
The EOMA68 CPU cards are similar in appearance and shape to the legacy PCMCIA IO cards, but this is where the similarity ends. The EOMA68 cards are electrically very different and incompatible with PCMCIA. The EOMA68 CPU cards have the CPU, GPU, system RAM, Flash drive, and IO controllers such as USB, UART, SD/MMC, SPI, HDMI, LCD, etc. all in a small self contained metal shelled card that is pluggable into all types of products. This gives the OEM a complete ready-to-go CPU card that is often the most difficult part of the design process, and allows the OEM to focus its efforts on the more simple aspects of product design such as IO connectors, LCD, touchscreen, battery and the industrial design of the end products enclosure. The EOMA68 cpu cards are also swappable between various products with different IO boards. Pop a cpu card into your notebook and then back out and into your carPC as you head to the office. Then later swap the cpu card into your set-top-box. The EOMA68 cpu cards may also be permanently mounted inside any product that would prefer it to be integrated.
The IO Boards form the IO and user interface electronics of products such as Notebooks, PanelPC's, Set-Top-Boxes, Tablets, CarPC's, Network Switches and Routers, Cluster Computers, Servers and Desktop PC's. Reference IO board designs will also be available for many products such as netbooks, tablets, set-top-boxes, carPC's etc.
At the moment, there are four EOMA-68 CPU cards being designed: in order of priority these are the Allwinner A20, the ICubeCorp IC1T, the Ingenic JZ4775 and the Allwinner A33. These are presently at different phases, with the A20 CPU Card being the focus of the initial crowd-funding campaign.
There is also a EOMA-CF compact flash sized card version planned for the allwinner A10. This form factor is even smaller than the EOMA-68 at only 43×36×3.3 mm (Type I). It will easily integrate itself into even smaller devices or more dense cluster applications
A list of product design concepts is maintained on the elinux.org EOMA-68 page, including an LCD Panel-PC, Laptop/Netbook and Tablet.
If you have any ideas for products or engineering boards please add them to the community ideas page. If you find any CPUs that are worth evaluating please add them to the Evaluated CPUs list, at the top.
The first product will be an EOMA-68 CPU card, using the 1.2ghz Allwinner A20 ARM Cortex A8. Thanks to the low cost of the Allwinner A20, mass-volume pricing (just for the parts-populated PCB of the EOMA-68 CPU card, and therefore excluding tax, shipping, profit, a case and a power supply) looks to be on target for around $45 retail ex tax and packaging. The first samples have been done and demonstrated. Allwinner very graciously agreed to provide Rhombus Tech with advance access to the GPL Source Code, which will be placed into the Rhombus git repository shortly: in the meantime please see the kernel compile and u-boot page - discussion is taking place on arm-netbook
Another idea under consideration is to adapt the beaglebone, which has full CAD/CAM schematics, publicly available under Open Hardware Licenses. The reason for considering this CPU is that in mass-volume it is as low as $USD 5. Placing this into an EOMA-68-compliant format would provide a low-cost third option, and use of the AM3357 instead of the AM3358 would allow products that used the AM3357 to be FSF Hardware-endorsed.