Lichee RV-86 RISC-V Linux 4-inch panel targets home automation, HMI applications

When Sipeed first introduced the Lichee RV module with Allwinner D1 RISC-V SoC last November, they also teased the Lichee RV-86, an “86 Box” with a 4-inch 480×480 touchscreen display, an XR829 WiFi and Bluetooth module, Ethernet (via USB), two microphones, a GPIO header, and support for WAFT (WebAssembly Framework for Things).

I’ve just noticed the Lichee RV-86 has been for sale for several months, so it may be interesting to have a closer look, and now there’s also an option to get a 720×720 touchscreen display.

Lichee RV-86 PanelLichee RV-86 specifications:

  • SoM – Sipeed Lichee RV Nezha compute module with Allwinner D1 RISC-V processor @ 1 GHz, 512MB or 1GB DDR3, microSD card slot, and USB Type-C OTG port
  • Display
    • 4-inch 480×480 IPS capacitive touch screen OR
    • 4-inch 720×720 IPS capacitive touch screen
    • It is also possible to connect an 8-inch 1280*800 IPS capacitive touch screen to the board
  • Audio – Onboard 1W mini speaker, dual digital microphone
  • Connectivity
    • 10/100M Ethernet via RTL8201F PHY and RJ45 plus power cable similar to the one found in IP cameras.
    • WiFi 4 and Bluetooth 4.2 via Allwinner XR829 wireless module + IPEX antenna
  • USB
    • USB Type-C OTG interface on the module
    • 1x USB Type-C host interface, 1x USB-UART Type-C interface
  • Expansion – 2x 16-pin headers with 2.54mm pitch for GPIOs
  • Misc- Power and Ethernet LEDs, reset button
  • Power Supply – 5V or 12V power supply (The diagram shows 5V+UART connector and 9 to 12V power connector)
  • Dimensions – 86×86 mm (optional 3D printed enclosure)

RISC-V 86 panel for home automation

The Lichee RV-86 panel supports Tina Linux (based on OpenWrt 14.4) and Debian, and Sipeed offers a docker development image with an “original SDK”. Documentation is a bit all over the place with the documentation website, OS and tools downloads on MEGA, and datasheets, 3D files, schematics, and other documents in a separate location on Sipeed website. The system would typically be used as a Smart Home control unit, but it can also be used for Alibaba’s WAFT (WebAssembly Framework For Things) evaluation.

I initially found the Lichee RV-86 for $64.90 on Seeed Studio (512MB RAM, 480×480 display, and enclosure), but you’ll get more options on Aliexpress with prices ranging from $55.00 to $98.80 depending on options. The cheapest module comes with 512MB RAM and a 480×480 display, but no 3D printed case, while the most expensive model includes 1GB RAM, a 720×720 display, a 3D printed enclosure, and a 32GB microSD card presumably preloaded with Tina Linux or Debian.

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