Sipeed LicheeRV – A $16.90 Allwinner D1 Linux RISC-V board

Finally! There’s now a much more affordable Allwinner D1 RISC-V Linux board thanks to Sipeed LicheeRV Nezha CM SBC sold for $16.90 and up on Aliexpress, that’s much cheaper than the $100 asked for Nezha SBC, although still not incredibly cheap as we’ll see from the specifications below.

Sipeed LicheeRV is actually both a board and a system-on-on-module with an edge connector, and is equipped with 512MB DDR3, a USB-C OTG port, a MicroSD card socket, and an SPI display interface. The dual M.2 edge connector can be plugged into a carrier board, and they will be a “86 Box” (86x86mm) for HMI display that can be used for home automation.

Sipeed Lichee RV specifications:

  • SoC – Allwinner D1 single-core XuanTie C906 64-bit RISC-V processor @ 1.0 GHz with HiFi4 DSP, G2D 2D graphics accelerators
  • Memory – 512MB DDR3 memory @ 792 MHz
  • Storage – MicroSD card slot
  • Video – SPI display interface for optional 1.14-inch magnetic display
  • USB – USB Type-C OTG port
  • Host connector – 2x M.2 B-key edge connector for I/Os such as HDMI, MIPI DSI, RGB, Ethernet, Audio, SDIO, GPIO, etc…
  • Debugging – 4-pin UART header, USB ADB debugging
  • Misc – Power LED, FEL button
  • Power Supply – 5V/0.5A via USB-C port
  • Dimensions – 43.2 x 25mm
Sipeed LicheeRV with SPI display aka “Sipeed LicheeRV Suit”

The board will support the OpenWrt-based Tina Linux as well as Debian Desktop. With no networking connectivity nor HDMI output or easy access to I/Os, it will have limited use, but Sipeed says carrier boards are coming in December. The Aliexpress page also shows the LicheeRV-86 an “86 Box” with an integrated 480×480 touchscreen display, an XR829 WiFi and Bluetooth module, Ethernet via a USB port, dual microphone, a 2.54mm GPIO header, and support for WAFT (WebAssembly Framework for Things).

I’m not sure why it’s on Aliexpress, since only LicheeRV and the Suit variant ($22) with the SPI display are for sale at this time. If you’d really like a RISC-V Linux board that’s more like a Raspberry Pi Zero W with HDMI, WiFi, and a GPIO header, Sipeed is also working on it.

It will not use one of Allwinner’s wireless chips, but instead the Ampak AP6210 module with WiFi 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0.

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22 Replies to “Sipeed LicheeRV – A $16.90 Allwinner D1 Linux RISC-V board”

  1. Very nice! The 512MB RAM means you can run a (headless) Linux distro.

    And ordering via Ali, so not the ususual Sipeed 20 – 30 USD shipping cost.

    1. Isn’t this thing more symbolic than useful?

      Wonder if this can even be par with the over 5 year old “orange pi one” (4core h3 + 512MB RAM) which cost $10 back in the days.

      1. Well, market is currently without *ANY* risc-v developer board. Both SiFive Unleashed and Polar ICICLE-KIT are unavailable till half of ’22 and later. Basically we’re back to running Qemu risc-v on as fast CPU as possible to purchase. So any board, meaningful only a bit, is counted here. Well, this one is more about embedded though…

          1. yeah but small ram means ESP32-C3 boards means GP PC software porting & dev are limited.

            512MB thou no much, can run more apps, like servers

          2. Agree, this is perfect form low-power home web server. Could even be solar powered with its only 500mA max input. Some do that with AllWinner A20 (2*Cortex A7), that use far more energy that this kind of RISC-V. This is also interesting this way for solar or small cell powered appliance, with the screen.

          3. > Some do that with AllWinner A20 (2*Cortex A7), that use far more energy that this kind of RISC-V

            Why do you think the ISA would be important for this type of comparison?

          4. GD32V are microcontrollers. with very small RAM. You will not be able to run linux system on it. Linux system integrators and users wait for a good and affordable for everyone RISC-V solution for this :).

      2. Very good news for anyone wanting to natively do RV64 stuff. There is nothing under 120USD on the market that can do native linux RISC-V gcc besides this. Insta buy for me!

    1. Everything was confirmed on Tuesday. Just waiting for manufacturing and assembly.
      I’m not convinced the boards will work. I just took the files from Xassette-Asterisk Github, generated the Gerber files and the pick and place file from KiCAD, and hoping for the best.

  2. The only drawback to this stuff I see is the Crap XRadio WiFi on some of the Carriers.

    WiFi’s going to be nerfed on this thing unless someone gets them to wise-up over at Allwinner and CO and gets better resources or rolls out a cleaner driver for these idiot things.

    1. That’s because you are a lucky European resident. Aliexpress has to include VAT in the price with the new laws.

      1. € can be used instead of $. This allow to not pay for money conversion (and them from $ to ¥). At least there are not on my account. This is currently 18,53€ + 4.26€. Looks like it vary day to day, probably due to RMB<=>Euro (or $+conversion?) parity.

      2. There is no law Ali must include that. But it’s (probably) better for the EU buyer, otherwise VAT *plus* VAT handling (10-25 euro per package) will be added by the courier on behalf of the customs

  3. This Supplier/Shipping Company does not deliver to your selected Country/Region.
    Fantastic…
    Any idea if he composite video output on these can be used as a high speed dac? Somehow bypassing sync and all that video stuff ?

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