Shenzhen Xunlong Software’s Orange Pi RK3399 single board computer launched in early 2018 with 2GB RAM for $109, and earlier this year, the company launched an updated version with 4GB RAM and a lower $99.96 price tag.
But there are plenty Rockchip RK3399 SBC’s on the market, including FrienglyELEC NanoPi M4 going for $50 and up ($75 with 4GB RAM), and Pine64 RockPro64 board starting at $59.99 with 2GB RAM, and $79.99 with 4GB. So unless you need the extra features (HDMI Input, SATA port, mPCIe socket…) offered by Orange Pi RK3399, other boards may be more competitive.
So the company has been working on lowering the cost with a smaller board. Meet Orange Pi 4. They’ve also provided some extra features with a variant of the board called Orange Pi 4B that adds a Gyrfalcon Lightspeeur 2801S AI accelerator chip/NPU.
That says a lot that neither Rockchip RK3399Pro SoC nor Rockchip RK1808 NPU were used in Orange Pi 4B design, and instead, they went with a third-party solution. Apart from potential technical shortcomings of Rockchip AI solutions, Shenzhen Xunlong Software has an ongoing business relationship with Gyrfalcon as they sell Orange Pi Stick AI Lite ($20) USB Neural Computing stick based on the same 2801S NPU found in Orange Pi 4B.
Orange Pi 4/4B preliminary specifications:
- SoC – Rockchip K3399 hexa-core big.LITTLE processor with two Arm Cortex A72 cores, four Cortex A53 cores, and an ARM Mali-T860 MP4 GPU with support for OpenGL 1.1 to 3.1 support, OpenVG1.1, OpenCL and DX 11
- System Memory – 4 GB LPDDR4
- Storage – 16 GB eMMC flash, micro SD card
- NPU (Orange Pi 4B only) – Gyrfalcon Lightspeeur SPR2801S NPU delivering up to 2.8TOPS @ 300mW, 5.6 TOPS @ 100 MHz (peak performance)
- Video Output/Display Interface
- HDMI 2.0 up to 4K @ 60 Hz
- LCD connector for MIPI DSI display
- USB-C port with DisplayPort Alternate mode
- Video Decode – 4K VP9 and 10-bit H.265 video codec support up to 60 fps
- Audio – 3.5mm audio jack for headphones; HDMI digital audio output; built-in microphone; ALC5651 codec
- Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet port (via RTL8211E transceiver), dual-band 802.11ac 2×2 MIMO WiFi and Bluetooth 5.0 (Ampak AP6256 module)
- Orange Pi 4 – 1x USB 3.0 port, 2x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x USB 3.0 type C port
- Orange Pi 4B – 2x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x USB 3.0 type C port
- Camera – 2x camera headers
- Debugging – 3-pin serial header
- 40-pin GPIO 2.54mm pitch female header with 2x I2C, 1x SPI/UART, 8x GPIO, etc…
- 24-pin connector for PCIe signals
- Power Supply
- 5V/3A via DC jack
- 5V via type C portRK808 PMU
- Dimensions – 91 x 56 mm
The only difference between the two boards is really Lightspeeur 2801S AI accelerator, but since it connects to the Rockchip RK3399 processor via USB 3.0 through a Genesis GL3224E USB 3.1 Gen1 to eMMC controller chip, we do lose the only USB 3.0 Type-A port on Orange Pi 4B.
The boards are quite smaller than Orange Pi RK3399, and many less-used features are gone, so the price will be much more competitive once it launches in about two weeks. There’s no information about software at this stage, so we’ll cover OS support and AI tools at launch.