Nezha RISC-V Linux SBC launched for $99 and up

Last month, we wrote about Allwinner D1 SBC & processor that promised to offer a relatively low-cost RISC-V Linux solution. We were not given a name at the time, but there was a logo of Nezha, a fictional character from Chinese literature.

The board is now known as the Nezha SBC and has been launched on Indiegogo for $99 and up as a board designed for IoT projects running Linux, but can also be purchased directly on Aliexpress for the same price. [Update: It can also be purchased on Taobao for 599 RMB]

Nezha SBCNezha SBC 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
  • Video
    • 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)

Allwinner D1 boardAs previously announced, Nezha board will support Tina, a fork of OpenWrt, officially supported by Allwinner, as well as Debian 11 with a desktop environment (LXDE) maintained by Sipeed & RVBoards (separately). Fedora, Gentoo, and Ubuntu are also being worked on. The company also says developers can create programs using C/C++, JS, WASM, Rust, GoLang, Python, etc… as those are already supported.

The standard version of the Nezha SBC ships with a 5V/2A power adapter, some cables, and a 16GB MicroSD card pre-loaded with Debian for $99. But there are also bundles with accessories based on the standard version of the kit:

  • $109 Nezha Vision Suit with a 720p USB camera board.
  • $115 Nezha Vision Suit with a 6-mic array also including 5 buttons
  • $149 Nezha Panel Suit with an 8-inch 1280×800 IPS LCD with a capacitive touch panel and acrylic bracket.
  • $170 Nezha Full Suit with the USB camera board, the 6-mic array, and the 8-inch display
Nezha Full Suit
Nezha Full Suit

The Indiegogo campaign has a flexible funding goal of around $10,000 with perks expected to ship in June 2021 right after the campaign ends. Shipping adds from around $2 to China and to about $14 to most of the rest of the world. It’s not faster to purchase the board on Aliexpress with shipping scheduled for June 23.

Note the board may not be for everybody, as there’s no 3D GPU, and performance will be on the low-side with a single-core 64-bit RISC-V core clocked at 1.0 GHz. The board is mostly suitable for people wanting to play around with Linux on RISC-V or develop IoT projects.

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