|Formerly||Pine Microsystems Inc.|
|Founded||October 2015Fremont, California, United Statesin|
|TL Lim (CEO)|
Pine Store Limited, known by its trade name Pine64 (styled as PINE64), is a Hong Kong-based organization which designs, manufactures and sells single-board computers, notebook computers and smartphones. While Pine Store Ltd. is a legal for-profit entity, it operates much like a non-profit organization in the sense that it does not draw profits from most device sales, operates with volunteers, and reinvests income from sales back into the company. Its name was inspired from the mathematical constants pi and e with a reference to 64-bit computing power.
Pine64 initially operated as Pine Microsystems Inc. (Fremont, California), founded by TL Lim, the inventor of the PopBox and Popcorn Hour series of media players sold under the Syabas and Cloud Media brands.
In 2015 Pine Microsystems offered its first product, the Pine A64, a single-board computer designed to compete with the popular Raspberry Pi in both power and price. The A64 was first funded through a Kickstarter crowdfunding drive in December 2015 which raised over $1.7 million. The Kickstarter project was overshadowed by delays and shipping problems. The original Kickstarter page referred to the Pine64 Inc. based in Delaware, but all devices for the Kickstarter campaign were manufactured and sold by Pine Microsystems Inc. based in Fremont, California.
In January 2020, Pine Microsystems Inc. was dissolved while Pine Store Limited was incorporated on December 5, 2019 in Hong Kong. As of late 2020, the standard form contract of pine64.com binds all orders to the laws of Malaysia, while the products are shipped from warehouses in Hong Kong and Shenzhen, China.
After the initial Kickstarter orders for the Pine A64 single board computers had been satisfied, the company went on to create several successors and later also added notebooks and a smartphone to the "Pine" family.
The original Pine A64 boards released in 2016 are powered by an Allwinner A64 system-on-chip. It features a 1.2 GHz Quad-Core ARM Cortex-A53 64-Bit Processor, an ARM Mali 400 MP2 graphics processor unit, one HDMI 1.4a port, one MicroSD slot, two USB 2.0 ports and a 100 Megabit Ethernet port. The A64 board has only 512 megabytes of RAM, the 1 GB and 2 GB versions are labeled "Pine A64+". While the 512 MB model only works with Arch Linux and Debian GNU/Linux distributions such as Armbian, the A64+ with more memory can also run other operating systems including Android, Remix OS, Windows 10, FreeBSD, and Ubuntu. Optional eMMC storage modules can be plugged into special headers on the board.
A compute module called SOPINE A64 was introduced in January 2017. It features the same system-on-chip as the Pine A64, but mounted on a SODIMM DDR3 form factor board without the USB/HDMI/Ethernet connectors. It competes with the Raspberry Pi Compute Modules. Pine64 sells a "Clusterboard" with an inbuilt 8-port Gigabit Ethernet switch which can be used to build a cluster system out of up to seven SOPINE modules. A review by Hackaday noted problems with production quality, software, and user support.
2017 also saw the addition of a "Long Term Supply" (LTS) version of the Pine A64/A64+ boards called "Pine A64/A64(+)- LTS". The LTS versions are identical to the A64/A64+, but are guaranteed to be available until the year 2022 at a slightly higher cost.
In July 2017 the company added a new line of single board computers based on Rockchip SoCs. The ROCK64 features a Rockchip RK3328 Quad-Core ARM Cortex A53 64-Bit Processor, a Mali-450MP2 GPU capable of playing 4K HDR videos, 1/2/4 Gigabytes of RAM, two USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 ports, one HDMI 2.0 port, a Gigabit Ethernet port, a MicroSD slot and several other peripheral ports.
Its larger brother, the ROCKPro64, is based on a Rockchip RK3399 Hexa-Core (dual ARM Cortex-A72 and quad ARM Cortex A53) 64-Bit Processor instead. It features a Mali T-860 Quad-Core GPU and, in addition to the standard USB/Ethernet/HDMI/MicroSD ports, also has an eDP interface and an open-ended PCI Express x4 slot. An optional PCI Express to Dual SATA-II adapter and an optional Wi-Fi module are offered by Pine64
In 2019 a new Allwinner-based board was added as a direct competitor to the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+. The Pine H64 is based on the Allwinner H6 Quad-Core ARM Cortex A53 64-Bit Processor. It features a Mali T-722 GPU, two or three Gigabytes of RAM, two USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 ports, one HDMI 2.0 port, onboard 802.11n Wi-Fi, a Gigabit Ethernet port, a MicroSD slot and several other peripheral ports.
In November 2016 the Pinebook, a netbook built around an Allwinner A64 SoC with 2 GB of RAM and a 16 GB eMMC module was announced. Pre-release comments in Make wrote that the A64's closest analog was two to three times the A64's price, and that the A64 continued the Raspberry Pi's trend of breaking barriers for engineers. Production started in April 2017. The Pinebook can only be obtained via a build-to-order system, potential buyers have to wait weeks or even months for an order code which then has to be redeemed within 72 hours. The hardware is priced at 99 US-$, but due to a 30 US-$ shipping fee and country-dependent import duties and taxes the final price is higher.
The Pinebook was notably used by the KDE team to improve Plasma on ARM desktops. In a review of final hardware by Linux.com, the reviewer was surprised at his ability to have the full, albeit slow, Mate desktop environment at the A64's price. Phoronix's benchmarks indicated similar CPU performance to a Raspberry Pi 3.
In July 2019 the company announced the PineBook Pro, a netbook based around the Rockchip RK3399 SoC which is also used in the ROCKPro64. The preorder system went live on July 25, 2019. The device is priced at 199 US-$, though the final price after shipping and import duties/taxes is higher. On March 15, 2020, it was announced that the PineBook Pro will ship with Arch Linux based Manjaro Linux as the default operating system.
As of 2019[update], Pine64 is working on a Linux smartphone, PinePhone, using a quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 64-Bit System on a chip (SoC). The aim is for the phone to be compatible with any mainline Linux kernel and to "support existing and well established Linux-on-Phone projects", as a community developed smartphone. After a initial BraveHeart release for early adopters in February 2020, the company continued releasing Community Editions that incrementally improve the design. The community support has been very good, with 17 different OSes already released for the device.
In September 2019, Pine64 announced the PineTime smartwatch. It is meant as a community driven software development smartwatch platform and positioned as a complementary device to the PinePhone.
In May 2020, Pine64 announced the PineTab tablet, with optional detachable backlit keyboard. It is a 10" tablet based on the same technology as the PinePhone, but without the modem and kill switches of that model.
In July 2020, Pine64 announced the Pinecil soldering iron based on the TS100 Soldering iron.
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