Orange Pi R1 Plus LTS is a cheaper dual GbE SBC with YT8531C Ethernet transceiver

It’s been a while since Shenzhen Xunlong Software released a new Orange Pi board. But the wait is over… sort of, as Orange Pi R1 Plus LTS is a low-cost version of Orange Pi R1 Plus SBC that replaced the Realtek RTL8211E PHY with a YT8531C Ethernet PHY that offers the exact same features but at a lower price.

That means the new single board computer is still designed for headless operation, for example  a router or firewall, with a Rockchip RK3328 processor, 1GB RAM, dual Gigabit Ethernet, and a USB 2.0 port.

Orange Pi R1 Plus LTS specifications:

  • SoC – Rockchip RK3328 quad-core Cortex-A53 @ 1.5 GHz with Arm Mali-450MP2
  • System Memory – 1GB LPDDR3 RAM
  • Storage – MicroSD card slot, 16 MB SPI flash
  • Connectivity – 2x Gigabit Ethernet via YT8531C Ethernet PHY and RTL8153B USB 3.0 to Ethernet chip
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 port, 1x USB-C OTG port
  • Expansion  –  Unpopulated 13-pin header with earphone, 1x GPIO, TV out, UART, I2C, and IR receiver signals
  • Debugging – 3-pin header for serial console, fan header
  • Misc – Recovery key, WAN & LAN LEDs on board, “working status” LED.
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A via USB-C port or 2-pin header; RK805 PMU
  • Dimensions – 57 x 56 mm
  • Weight – 29.5 grams

While it’s basically the same board as Orange Pi R1 Plus minus the different Ethernet PHY and LPDDR3 RAM instead of DDR4, the YT8531C Ethernet transceiver requires a different driver and the company mentions the firmware images are different, and the Shenzhen Xunlong Software lists Android 9, Ubuntu, Debian, and OpenWrt as supported operating systems. If you’re going to use Armbian, you’ll have to wait a bit for them to produce new images which hopefully will be compatible with both Orange Pi R1 Plus and the new LTS version.

In some ways, Orange Pi followed the same path as FriendlyELEC out of necessity replacing Realtek parts with MotorComm chipsets, except that while NanoPi R2C relies on YT8521S, the new Orange Pi board went with YT8531C SKU. MotorComm seems to be enjoying the supply shortage with a full list of mostly Realtek SKU replacements, as well as Broadcom and Qualcomm Atheros, as listed in the table below.

Source: Taoic

Orange Pi R1 Plus LTS is currently available on Aliexpress for $27.99 plus shipping and listed on Amazon, but shown as “currently unavailable” on the latter. It’s more expensive than the $21.99 price from 2020 but cheaper than the $50+ price currently asked for Orange Pi R1 Plus by some Aliexpress sellers, since the board is out of stock on the official Orange Pi shop, most likely due to supply issues with the Realtek chip.

The company is also working on a metal case for Orange Pi R1 Plus (LTS) a bit similar to the one for NanoPi R2S SBC. Shenzhen Xunlong Software told CNX Software a kit with the board and metal enclosure should come out in a few weeks for $32.9 and up.

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8 Replies to “Orange Pi R1 Plus LTS is a cheaper dual GbE SBC with YT8531C Ethernet transceiver”

    1. That’s what I still see this morning: $27.99 + $5.18 shipping to the US.
      Maybe you are in Europe and they automatically add VAT? I’m not sure how it works with the new rules.

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