$13 RPI_AC108 Audio Board Ships with a 4-Mic Array for Raspberry Pi

X-Powers is a subsidiary of Allwinner, better known for its PMIC chips for Allwinner Cortex-A processors., but we also discovered X-Powers AC108 quad-channel ADC chip for microphone arrays in 2017.

Soon after, Seeed Studio launched ReSpeaker 4-Mic Array for Raspberry Pi, but I had completely forgotten about the audio chip since then. That’s until this morning when I came across RPI_AC108 audio board also coming with four microphones and several LEDs.

RPI_AC108 4-mic array for Raspberry Pi
Click to Enlarge

RPI_AC108 specifications:

  • Audio
    • X-Powers AC108 quad-channel ADC with I2S/TDM output transition
    • 4x MEMS microphones
  • Expansion
    • 2x Grove interfaces (1x I2C, 1x GPIO port using pins 12 & 13)
    • 40-pin Raspberry Pi compatible header working with Raspberry Pi Zero / Zero W / 2B / 3B / 3B + / 4 and other compatible development boards
  • Misc – 12x LEDs (APA102) connected over SPI, GPIO5 enables power
  • Dimensions – 65mm x 65mm x 9mm
ReSpeaker 4-Mic Array Clone
Click to Enlarge

The board gets its power (3.3V and 5V) from the 40-pin header, and communicate with Broadcom BCM2xxx processor using I2C (control) and I2S (audio). The board allows you to create DIY smart speakers based on Raspberry Pi and using voice services such as Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Tmall Genie, etc…

The website of the company that made the board is lctech.cc, but somehow I find the board and specifications to be familiar… Oh! That’s a clone of Seeed Studio ReSpeaker 4-Mic Array for Raspberry Pi we just mentioned in the introduction, and pictured below.

ReSpeaker-4-Mic-Raspberry-Pi
ReSpeaker 4-Mic Array for Raspberry-Pi

That means instructions for ReSpeaker 4-Mic board should also work on RPI_AC108 board. I also got confirmation from Seeed Studio that this is an unauthorized copy of their board.

RPI_AC108 is sold for $12.99 on Banggood against $25 for the original ReSpeaker 4-Mic board. When you don’t need to work on software and documentation, costs do come down…

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2 Comments
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Jon Smirl
1 month ago

Respeaker not going anywhere because all of the key bits are closed source. I plugged it in, played with for a day and now it lives in a box somewhere. What’s the point of a closed source hobbyist product? You can’t adapt it to do anything except what Respeaker pre-planned for you.

Jerry
Jerry
1 month ago

You don’t need full access to source code when learning things. RPi is probably the most successful SBC ever built, yet the GPU firmware has been closed.

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