FriendlyARM and Hiteg

Pankaj C

I always thought FriendlyARM and Hiteg are same and make same mini2440. But
recently Hiteg launched a V2 of the mini2440 but I dont see the same
available at FriendlyARM. Can somebody shed light on how the two are


All the announcement on their site tells me is that it is the 256M version
of the standard board.

mindee is a official distributor of which is the
original designer and manufacture, you can see the latest NEWs on

Hiteg is not an official distributor of, but they announce
themself is the original manufature, in fact, it is not true. 

The Chinese FriendlyARM( is in guangzhou city. The pre-install
is Linux+qtopia-2.2.0, many apps is signed with "Designed by FriendlyARM"
as the YouTube video shows.

Pankaj C
Ok, I got it. So it seems both are independent but happen to manufacture
the same board with the same name mini2440 :-) and both claim to be the
original designer and manufacturer. Now are FriendlyARM and the
same company or FriendlyARM is the Chinese distributor for Whats
the official name of the company? Who all are the distributors for mini2440 across the world? I am looking to OEM mini2440 but teh
confusion between who is the distributor and who is the original
manufacturer is causing a lot of confusion.


So Hiteg/ is just full of crap? This from their

--How to identify boards which are intended for the chinese market.
Ask the sales person, if the board will ship with an English manual. If you
bought via EBAY, return the package immediately and inform the EBAY team
about the fraud. Only boards sold by Hiteg Ltd. via
are genuine and ship with an English Manual, warranty and a technical help
center in English and German Language. 

--My Mini2440 shipped with a Chinese User's manual
You bought your board from an unauthorized dealer in China, which sold you
a copied ( fake ) version of the Mini2440. We will not provide those user's
with an english documentation. customers however can
ask any time for updated or missing manuals. please provide your invoice
number and your email address to our support stuff, we will handle all
issues prompt and unbureaucratic. 

They sell in euro, but their bank is in China... Very weird lot...


i do think hiteg have good sales service, and the quality of mini2440
development board is very good. 

and i would like purchase euro, and i know that it is foreign invest
company, and for us is convient. better use Dollar .

and i am willing to buy more board ,like sky2440, i am considering have
long term business with this company

Hi, Evan

since as you said, just here ( provide a very
good platform to talk about the mini2440 board, and it is JUST HERE to sale
mini2440 with DOLLAR too. we (the real manufacture in China guangzhou) will
release mini6410 (based samsung's S3C6410 arm11 chip) in next month. and We
will print "Designed by FriendlyARM in Guangzhou" on the back of PCB to
avoid the crustily fake.

now, the real mini2440 has provided the 64M/128M/256M/1GB nand flash
version, but how the if they continue buying on the
sly quiet, and saling on their website, we'll make some sign on the
mini2440 PCB. 

the is unscrupulous!



What bothers me the most about Hiteg is that they claim THEY are the only
real seller and every one else sells fakes.

in fact, mini2440/micro2440 is sold in several cnountry, but there is only
one authorized point in Europe,  it's or , for others, you can see the list at

for, it has two persion only, a German and his Chinese
girl friend, it's in the China Hainan Province. we have their
guarantee(with their sign) for forbidding the mini2440 board, but they dont
comply with it.


So bad that I read that post now!
I spent many time in 2009 waiting for Hiteg v2 to come out thinking they
were the original manufacturers. why did I thought such ? because they told
me !!! I also asked why Hiteg <-> FriendlyArm to got a clear point about it
and never got a real answer.

So bad, because like te poster here, I bought the Hiteg board and got some
problems now to compile, no assistance at all(Leon seems to have disaspear
from mails and his forum's posts answers too) ; the english doc seems to be
incomplete and old, I had to get examples and the GCC (2.95 & 3.3.1) from
here instead from the provided DVD.

In addition, I was happy to buy the Hiteg Megadisplay (more exepensive )
that let you have more fonctionnalities and don't have any doc to use it.

Now what ? like pankaj I'm ennoyed to compile my code for I2C and SPI

Digital Design Engineer (US)
By accident I thought the Friendly ARM device was made by Hiteg
(  I contacted them by email to ask for
documentation in English and for support.  I indicated to them that my
company was interested to purchase in volume.  Instead of offering help and
encouraging me to purchase from their company, they were very rude and
insinuated that my company (biomed) was a group of hobbyists.  Their
unprofessional response gives the impression that they would not be a good
company to do business with (legit or not!).  This is also obvious from
their FAQ on their website.  It seems to them that the only "Frequently
Asked Question" is whether the boards purchased on eBay are legitimate.  If
they had any REAL customers, I am sure they would have generated some REAL
FAQs.  Also, their website has many misspelled words which also indicates
that they are not legit.  By the way, the name of the contact person was
Evan (the only person on this site who seems to thinks that Hiteg is legit-

Digital Design Engineer (US)
Here is an example of a company who seems to be a real company.  Check out
their FAQ page:

They also have a good section on how to display the Linux icons in English
rather than in Chinese.  I think this is a real company- not Hiteg.  I
would recommend people stay away from  As a
representative of my company, I would never buy from a vendor who claims to
be a single source.  If you work for purchasing, you know you can only
safely buy products which can be sourced from multiple vendors.

I am interested also in buying quantity of the Mini2440 and have noticed
that the cost of the unit from Germany is 50 euros more than what I can get
it for in the U.S. So I checked the website (which is in
Chinese only) and found that all the contact emails are hotmail accounts.

If this is truly a professional company and are the true
manufacturers why don't they have normal company email addresses? Are they
truly the manufacturer of FriendlyARM?

Who is the best person to get in contact with to get large quantities of
the Mini2440?

Bret You point out the same problem that I wanted to show :
everything around the FriendlyArm production is fuzzy :
- ThaiEasyelec
- microArm
- Hiteg
- embest ?
- etc....

So I'm also interested by that question

Here is the latest email I got from microARM:

Hi Bret,

Thank you very much for your interest in our products. Yes we do ship
to Europe. However unfortunately all our products are out of stock now
and we are manufacturing and will get back to you with our quotes as
soon as we get our new shipement.

By the way since we are maintaining our website our company's emails
may not work you can email us at which is always

Thank you very much

MicroArm Systems

I own an internet company and having website maintenance doesn't prevent
the mail server from actually working.

Any one here actually got one of these boards? Where did you get it from,
and how have you found it?

Ok, I think I have found the manufacturer and am in negotiations with them
about supply. I will keep you all posted about what I have found once I get
some documentation and confirm their credentials.

Meanwhile my email address is if you wish to
contact me.

Bret, your website is very professional! (FriendlyARM from Guangzhou) is the original manufacturer.

Just my two cents.

Thanks Rob, but SMEBizIT is a holding company not a trading one.

Additionally, considering I am in negotiations with the manufacturer (I
have already contacted arm9) then your two cents has been worth a lot.

Maybe I can help a little here without getting into who designed what and
when. is FriendlyARM, and operates under a corporate name in
Guangzhou, China, which is upstream a ways from Shenzhen City/Hong Kong.
They do not have a controlled distribution system though ARMWorks
( web site) is listed for the US and Watterott for Europe.
Others are able to buy from FA and caused a price war last spring but they
don't provide support. They are either hobby businesses or have added
Mini2440's as a sideline to the main business, like car stereo and video.
The eBay sellers are all in China, mostly Shanghai, and can operate on
razor thin margins that will not support product development. Zhou Weidong,
AKA Esky-sh on eBay is in Shanghai and does a good job at finding or
designing useful add-ons. FA sold the QQ2440V3 before the Mini2440 was

Hiteg is run by some German engineers who are based in China in Haikou on
Hainan Island and they sold almost entirely to OEMs until recently (roughly
the time of the Mini2440). The Mini2440V2 is newer and was probably
intended to have 128M RAM but the chips needed for an S3C2440 were produced
only briefly before the memory industry jumped ahead. I think one company
still makes them but you can't promise a long life product with a single
source for memory. The V2 also has I2C on an unused line of the FFC to the
LCD module. Thus the MegaLCD with backlight control and some extra user
space I/O.

Are there other differences? Hiteg's boards are black and FriendlyARM's are
blue. The FA 3.5 is a Toppoly 240x320. Hiteg's 3.5 is 320x240, or naturally
landscape mode.

Another significant difference for some users is that Hiteg is certified
RoHS and ISO9000 and uses ALL industrial temp range components. Also, the
power supply from Hiteg is UL and CE and fused. The one from FA is about
1/4 the cost but has fake cert stamps and is subject to confiscation by US
Customs and no fuse inside.

Both FA and Hiteg can be bought in volume from ARMWorks where some OEM
customers are buying 2000 a month. There is also a good stock of spares and

I must say that FA's boards have been extremely reliable with the 7" LCD
being the weakest element and even there with only about 5 returns to
ARMWorks in 18 months.

Both companies have small staffs and can be hard to reach when everyone is
busy. A solid knowledge of Mandarin is pretty much essential for working
with FA. No one building Linux distros has beat their boot time and the 
graphics speed of the Qtopia that FA ships.

It looks like both boards are going to get a workout on a large project in
a region with typical day time temperatures of 120F. My bet is with the 
Hiteg parts chain (all from sources outside China) quality control.

FA says they can do customizations but they are too busy to do much but
keep up with demand. Hiteg is also busy but is much more pro-active about
custom work or changes and finding ancillary suppliers for injection
molding or graphics, etc. 

That is the basics without getting into NDA territory. ARMWorks will have
Hiteg boards on the web site soon.

Thanks Charlie for these indications.

What I can only say is about what I saw : Hiteg is reachable only
from China even if, as you said, some of them are Germans nothing is 
possible in Europe.My project is pro,not for hobby or personal use, so I'm
concerned about OEM and reliability company. Tough it's not so easy.

About the V2 that have many told interesting features, I bought it but
never had any doc how to use it. 

One precision :

"Are there other differences? Hiteg's boards are black and FriendlyARM's a
re blue. The FA 3.5 is a Toppoly 240x320. Hiteg's 3.5 is 320x240, or
naturally landscape mode" 
Not sure about it. If I could I'd post a Hiteg's board picture to let you
see that under a serial number sticker you could read "FriendlyArm".

Concerning busy things, it seems that Hiteg are really busy since the V2
came out : Leon don't answer you anymore (as its messages; cf. upper my
post) . 

"No one building Linux distros has beat their boot time and the 
graphics speed of the Qtopia that FA ships."

If it seems that I complain for everything : I'm not, I'm just disapointed
that I have to come here to have informations to get that board working.
Nevertheless, Hiteg give additional modules, cool HowTos.

Mine all say Mini2440 Mark II, which was the original name for the V2
design. No indication of FriendlyARM. However, it is my understanding that
FriendlyARM did some manufacturing for Hiteg before they went their
separate ways.

I will be testing, but I believe the FA LCDs will work just fine on the
Hiteg Mini2440V2 board. The Hiteg 3.5 and 7" MegaLCD's may or may not work
on the FA Mini2440. I'll have to see if the I2C line is held low or high,
the LCD defaults to normal behavior.

I didn't mention that Hiteg also offers some Sharp LCDs and extended
temperature LCDs.

Also, there are a few FriendlyARM 8" 640x480 LCDs appearing on eBay. This
was a short lived project and is not a commercial product. Fine for one-off
things perhaps, but don't expect to be able to get more. It is too bad it
didn't work out. It would have been nice.

Welcome to China guys........

I live and work very close to the GZ   operator, I also did a bit of work
with a company down in Shenzhen called  "UCdragon".

They have the YL-P2440 which is  a different board a but has similar
functionality, also has IDE interface, they DO design their own boards.
(dig about in the friendly arm you will find references to UCdragon), also
they were doing this range  >4 years ago.

Anyway I digress.

It is always very difficult to get to the bottom of these arguments,

Chinese like hotmail.  Just because they do not have their own email
address  does not mean they are 'always' unprofessional.
In China  it is VERY difficult for a company to register its own website
and email server, it is a real pain in the ass, plus there are  fines of
about 15,000-20,000 RMB if the security is breached or unacceptable content
is found.

Generally China suppliers do anything that makes money.
 Support is second because in China people are used to  buying products
then having to service themselves, it is part of the culture.
They are not a 'service orientated' culture yet, but it is changing. (the
way round this is via personal connections) Mandarin/ Cantonese is normally
a pre-requisite in South China.

Who made what:
Basically you will be told anything to part you from your money, that is
NOT to say Friendly are are the problem

What the law says:

1. Intellectual rights ARE protected in China if you can be bothered to
plow through the red tape.
2. ALL companies have to be LEGALLY registered in China. (but are not)
3. it is ILLEGAL for a foreigner to  have a business in China , UNLESS it
is a JV with a mainlander.
4. ALL money transactions are supposed to be to a COMPANY account, it is
highly illegal to issue cash to a company  to a private account.

You can tell the difference:
A. If it is 2-3 chinese characters , it is a personal account.(anything
B. If it is more it is usually a company account (expect to pay tax)

As for RoHS and  ISO9000 ,  it is a lot of bollocks,  generally everything
is OK for the inspection then components are substituted in later, also 
the fastest way to get the certs. is to use a manufacturing subcontractor
that complies----- then switch subcontractors later.

I'm in China too and what Bob says is true.
The main problem with Chinese companies and FA are very typical is that
they have little or no after sales service. But the customers in Europe and
the US want the products really cheap, so you get exactly what you pay for.
As for "who copied who" the FA boards are based on the Samsung Development
If you want to buy in volume make sure you understand Chinese business
practices before you commit yourself, or my advice is use ARMworks or
I buy all my FA boards from a local distributor here in China rather than
direct from FA, because at least I get good after sales service.


what you say is understandable.

Nevertheless, we are not tourists visiting China, much more like customers.
Therefore, we shouldn't have to be aware of each country habits, it's about
a mini2440 not a pizza.

Too bad only found out about this forum today. Bought some mini2440 board
from Hiteg recently but found that it was preloaded with WinCE6.0 . When I
asked for WinCE5.0, was told that CE6.0 is better and they cannot keep
supporting all OS version and blaaa bla bla.....also they want to charge me
to provide WinCE5.0 image and support..... What the Heck!!!! their website
mention WinCE5.0/6.0 and Linux.

You searched for <mini2440> before buying the board?  And did not find this

The only people who do not charge for support for a BSP(board support
product) for the mini2440 is Pengutronix.  Go to their site and download
the latest board support package for Linux and you'll be off and running in
no time.

Good luck if you want to run WindowsCE5.0 try

Thanks davef, but is the Hiteg mini2440 and friendlyARM mini2440 board the

A quick read of this thread suggests that there are physical manufacturing
differences.  As far as actually running Linux or WinCE on it I have heard
nothing that suggests that they behave differently.