$55+ Orange Pi 4 LTS SBC features YT8531C Ethernet PHY, CDW 20U5622-00 wireless module

Orange Pi 4 LTS is a cost-optimized (and availability-optimized) variant of the Rockchip RK3399 powered Orange Pi 4 single board computer that was introduced in 2019 with 4GB RAM for $49.90 and up.

Shenzhen Xunlong Software mainly kept the same design with the cost savings involving a choice of 3GB or 4GB RAM, and the replacement of Realtek Ethernet PHY and Ampak wireless module with the equivalent MotorComm YT8531C Ethernet chip and CdTech wireless module with WiFi and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity.

Orange Pi 4G LTSOrange Pi 4 LTS specifications with changes highlighted in bold:

  • SoC – Rockchip K3399 hexa-core big.LITTLE processor with two Arm Cortex A72 cores @ up to 1.8 GHz, four Cortex A53 cores, and an ARM Mali-T860 MP4 GPU
  • System Memory – 3GB or 4GB LPDDR4
  • Storage – MicroSD card socket, optional 16 GB eMMC flash
  • Video Output/Display Interface
    • HDMI 2.0 up to 4K @ 60 Hz
    • LCD connector for MIPI DSI display
    • USB-C port with DisplayPort Alt. mode
  • Video Decode – 4K VP9 and 10-bit H.265 video codec support up to 60 fps
  • Camera – 2x camera connectors
  • Audio – 3.5mm audio jack for headphones; HDMI digital audio output; built-in microphone; ALC5651 ES8316 codec
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet port via RTL8211E YT8531C transceiver), dual-band 802.11ac 2×2 MIMO WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 5.0 (Ampak AP6256 module CdTech CDW 20U5622-00 module); Note: That’s apparently the same as Allwinner AW859A module found in Orange Pi 3 LTS
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0 port, 2x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x USB 3.0 Type-C port
  • Misc – Recovery and Reset button
  • Debugging – 3-pin serial header
  • Expansion
    • 40-pin 26-pin GPIO 2.54mm pitch female header with 2x I2C, 1x SPI/UART (multiplexed), 1x PWM, up to 17x GPIO, 5V output, 3.3V output, GND
    • 24-pin connector for PCIe signals
  • Power Supply
    • 5V/3A via DC jack
    • 5V via type C port
    • RK808 PMU
  • Dimensions – 91 x 56 mm

Orange Pi 4 LTS specificationsRockchip RK3399 SBC LCD connectorAs we can see from the specifications, there were also other less noticeable changes, with the Realtek ALC5651 audio codec replaced by an ESS ES8316 codec (everything made by Realtek seems out of stock these days), and the 40-pin GPIO header has been shortened to a 26-pin header apparently because the board is now using two RAM chips instead of just one, and extra space was needed.

Orange Pi 4 LTS pinout
Orange Pi 4 LTS pinout

The company will provide Android, Ubuntu, and Debian images that should be available on the Download page together with some PDF documentation (datasheet, getting started guide…), but I’m not sure if it’s already available since the website won’t load for me today…

The original Orange Pi 4 SBC is supported by Armbian with a Debian 11 “Bullseye” headless image and a Ubuntu 20.04 “Focal” image with XFCE desktop environment. I’d expect the Armbian images to boot on the new board, but Ethernet, WiFi, and the audio jack should be checked since they may rely on drivers that are not present in the image or supported in Linux 5.10.

The company is now taking orders for four models:

  • $54.9 Orange Pi 4 LTS with 3GB RAM without eMMC flash
  • $62.9 Orange Pi 4 LTS with 3GB RAM, 16GB eMMC flash
  • $64.9 Orange Pi 4 LTS with 4GB RAM without eMMC flash
  • $72.9 Orange Pi 4 LTS with 4GB RAM, 16GB eMMC flash

You can purchase those on Amazon or Aliexpress. With the shortage and high price of Raspberry Pi 4 SBC, Orange Pi 4 LTS could make an interesting replacement, with Rockchip RK3399 a mature platform mostly supported in mainline Linux, as well as performance roughly equivalent, except for some specific tasks, where RK3399 may be significantly faster (e.g. AES encryption). The downsides are that, depending on your application, you may need to change the software quite a bit, and the board is not fully mechanically and electrically compatible with Raspberry Pi 4.

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