LicheePi has already made some interested little development board in the past with products such as LicheePi Zero, and the recently-announced SD card sized LicheePi Nano board, but their latest development board may ever be more intriguing.
LicheeTang features Anlogic EG4S20 FPGA – unrelated to Amlogic – which run a RISC-V softcore, and all is packaged in a small small form factor as we’ve come to expect with LicheePi boards.
- FPGA – Anlogic EG4S20BG256 with 20K logic unit (LUT4/LUT5 hybrid architecture), about 130KB SRAM, 64MBit SDRAM
- Storage – 8Mbit flash, micro SD card slot, optional SPI NOR flash
- Expansion Connectors
- FPC40P socket for RGB LCD, VGA adapter board, or high speed (12-bit 1MSPS) DAC module
- FPC24P socket for DVP camera, or high speed ADC module
- Through holes and castellated holes exposing over 130 I/Os
- Debugging – FPGA JTAG chip connected over micro USB port
- Misc – RGB LED
- Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port; 3-channel DCDC power supply chip,
- Dimensions – Small, and breadboard friendly
The FPGA can emulate “Hummingbird E200/E203 RISC-V core” to help people get familiar with the open source MCU. There are more details in LicheePi github account with FPGA example, and more details about the RISC-V softcore:
The Hummingbird E200 core is a two-stages pipeline based ultra-low power/area implementation, which has both performance and areas benchmark better than ARM Cortex-M0+ core, makes the Hummingbird E200 as a perfect replacement for legacy 8051 core or ARM Cortex-M cores in the IoT or other ultra-low power applications.
To boost the RISC-V popularity and to speed up the IoT development in China, we are very proud to make it open-source. It is the first open-source processor core from China mainland with industry level quality and state-of-art CPU design skills to support RISC-V instruction set.
Our ambition is to make “Hummingbird E200” become next 8051 in China, please go with us to make it happen.
The ultimate goals are to replace legacy 8051 core for better performance, and/or replace Cortex-M core for lower cost. So that promises to be interesting, and potentially not only for LicheeTang, if Hummingbird E200 gets traction, and ends up in Chinese made micro-controllers.
More details can be found in the official website (in Chinese), and further documents have also been uploaded in Baidu. LicheeTang is also listed in Taobao, but I’m unclear about the price since there are multiple options, and none of them are selectable on my side. One person in LicheePi Telegram group informed me the price was 89 CNY ($13).
Thanks to Iliya for the tip.