Last year, we reported that Allwinner was working on an Alibaba XuanTie C906 based RISC-V processor that would be found in low-cost Linux capable single board computers selling for as low as $12.
The good news is that we won’t have to wait much longer as Allwinner D1 RISC-V processor is slated for an announcement next week, and a business card-sized SBC, also made by Allwinner, will become available in May. Some of the information is already available to developers in China, and CNX Software managed to obtain information about the Linux RISC-V SBC and Allwinner D1 processor.
Allwinner D1 development board
Let’s check out the board first which comes with the following specifications:
- SoC – Allwinner D1 single-core XuanTie C906 64-bit RISC-V processor @ 1.0 GHz with HiFi4 DSP, G2D 2D graphics accelerators
- Memory – 1GB DDR3 memory
- Storage – 256MB SPI NAND flash, MicroSD card slot
- Output – HDMI 1.4 port up to 4Kp30, MIPI DSI & touch panel interface up to 1080p60
- Decoding – H.265 up to 1080p60 or 4Kp30, H.264 up to 1080p60 or 4Kp24, MPEG-1/2/4, JPEG, VC1 up to 1080p60
- Encoding – JPEG/MJPEG up to 1080p60
- Audio – 3.5mm audio jack, digital audio output via HDMI, a connector for microphone board
- Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet via RTL8211F PHY, 2.4GHz WiFi 4 & Bluetooth module via XR829 module
- USB – 1x USB 2.0 host port, 1x USB Type-C OTG portport
- Expansion – 40-pin GPIO connector
- Debugging – 4-pin UART header, USB ADB debugging supported
- Misc – Power LED, tri-color user LED, OK & FEL buttons
- Power Supply – 5V/2A via one of the two USB-C ports
- Dimensions – 85 x 56 mm (6-layer PCB)
That’s a pretty interesting board for smart displays, IP cameras, smart speakers, and other applications that do not require fast I/Os nor 3D graphics accelerators.
Allwinner should provide support for Debian
-based Tina OS distribution, but usually, it’s using an ancient Linux kernel, so companies like Sipeed plan to send boards to developers, and I’ve also been told linux-sunxi community would get a board to get started with evaluation and development.
At this stage, it appears Allwinner does not offer the Allwinner D1 chips to third parties but sells them the board directly, possibly because of the lack of supplies. This may change in a few months.
Allwinner D1 RISC-V processor
We also have more details about the processor itself.
Allwinner D1 specifications:
- CPU – Alibaba XuanTie C906 64bit RISC-V core with 32 KB I-cache + 32 KB D-cache
- DSP – HiFi4 DSP 600MH with 32 KB I-cache + 32 KB D-cache, 64 KB I-ram + 64 KB D-ram
- Memory I/F – Up to 2GB DDR2/DDR3
- Storage I/F – SD3.0, eMMC 5.0, SPI Nor/Nand Flash
- Video Engine
- Video decoding
- H.265 up to [email protected], or [email protected]
- H.264 up to [email protected], or [email protected]
- MPEG-1/2/4, JPEG, VC1 up to [email protected]
- Video encoding – JPEG/MJPEG up to [email protected]
- Supports input picture scaler up/down
- Video decoding
- Video OUT
- RGB LCD output interface up to 1920 x [email protected]
- Dual link LVDS interface up to 1920 x [email protected]
- 4-lane MIPI DSI interface up to 1920 x [email protected]
- HDMI V1.4 output interface up to [email protected]
- CVBS OUT interface, supporting NTSC and PAL format
- Video IN
- 8-bit parallel CSI interface
- CVBS IN interface, supporting NTSC and PAL format
- 2x DAC’s and 3x ADC’s
- Analog audio interfaces – MICIN1P/N, MICIN2P/N, MICIN3P/N, FMINL/R, LINEINL/R, LINEOUTLP/N, LINEOUTRP/N, HPOUTL/R
- Digital audio interfaces – I2S/PCM, DMIC, OWA IN/OUT
- Networking – 10/100/1000M EMAC with RMII and RGMII interfaces
- USB – USB2.0 OTG, USB2.0 Host
- Other peripherals
- SDIO 3.0, SPI x 2, UART x 6, TWI x 4
- PWM (8-ch), GPADC (2-ch), LRADC (1-ch), TPADC (4-ch), IR TX&RX
- Package – LFBGA BGA13*13/0.35/0.65mm,337 PINS
- Manufacturing process – 22nm
Right, but what about the logo?
You might say “Right, CNXSoft, the information about the processor and SBC is cool and all that, but what I really want to know is what about the logo on Allwinner D1 board?”
The good news is that I’ve got an answer for that too!
It comes from 哪吒 (Nezha) which, as explained by Fandom, is:
the main protagonist in Investiture of the Gods and one of the supporting characters in the 16th-century Chinese classic novel Journey to the West by the late Wu Cheng’en, and its multiple adaptations. He is a protection deity and the son of Li Jing and Lady Yin.
There were also movie adaptations, including a recent 2019 animated film whose character is shown in the photo above.
Anyway, we may learn more next week with an official announcement and some information about pricing as well. This promises to be an interesting year for affordable Linux RISC-V SBC’s as the BeagleV development board is also slated to become available very soon.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.