LicheePi 4A RISC-V SBC gets 16GB/128GB version, metal enclosure, 10.1-inch display, and more accessories

LicheePi 4A quad-core RISC-V SBC is now available with 16GB RAM and 128GB eMMC flash, and Sipeed has also introduced various accessories such as a metal enclosure, a 10.1-inch touchscreen display, a PoE module, and a camera module.

The Lichee Pi 4A board was first unveiled in December 2022, before the beta version launched in May 2023 with 8GB RAM and 8GB flash. Since then Sipeed also started selling an 8GB/32GB model, and now a new version of the T-Head TH1520-powered single board computer is now available with 16GB LPDDR4X and 128GB eMMC flash for $179 plus shipping.

LicheePi 4A metal enclosure
LicheePi 4A in its metal enclosure (aluminum)

LicheePi 4A SBC

While pricing is quite different, the LicheePi 4A was launched as a RISC-V alternative to the Raspberry Pi 4 SBC, so here are the specifications of the two boards side-by-side.

Lichee Pi 4A Raspberry Pi 4B
CPU T-Head TH1520, 12nm, 4x RISC-V C910 @ 2.0 GHzBroadcom BCM2711B0, 28nm, 4x Arm Cortex-A72 @ 1.5 GHz
Memory 8 or 16 GB 64-bit LPDDR4X-37331, 2, 4, 8 GB 32-bit LPDDR4-2400
Storage MicroSD card
8, 32, or 128 GB eMMC flash
MicroSD card
GPU Imagination BXM-4-64 GPU
OpenGL ES3.0/3.1/3.2
OpenCL 1.1/1.2/2.0
Vulkan 1.1/1.2
50.7GFLOPS, Fill 3168M pixels/s
Broadcom VideoCore VI
OpenGL ES3.1
Vulkan 1.0/1.2
32 GFLOPS
NPU 4 TOPS @ INT8 (1GHz)
Supports Tensorflow, ONNX, Caffe
N/A
Display 1x HDMI 2.0 up to 4Kp60
4-lane MIPI DSI up to 4Kp50
2x HDMI 2.0 up to 4Kp60
2-lane MIPI DSI
3.5mm AV port
Camera 1x 4-lane MIPI CSI
1x 2-lane MIPI CSI
2-lane MIPI CSI
Video H.265 & H.264 @ 4Kp75 decode
H.265 & H.264 @ 4Kp40 encode
H265 4Kp60fps decode
H264 1080p60 decode
H264 1080p30 encode
Audio Headphone jack
Stereo Speaker
PDM MIC
Headphone jack
Network 2x Gigabit Ethernet
WiFi 4 or 6 + Bluetooth 5.0
1x Gigabit Ethernet
WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 5.0
USB 4x USB 3.0 Type-A
1x USB 2.0 Type-C
2x USB 3.0 Type-A
2x USB 2.0 Type-A
I/Os header20-pin GPIO header40-pin GPIO header
Power 5V via 5.5mm DC jack or USB Type-C
External PoE
5V via USB type-C up to 3A
5V via GPIO header up to 3A
Power over Ethernet via PoE HAT

LicheePi 4A SBCT Head TH1520 RISC VSBC 16GB RAM Sipeed SBC MIPI DSI MIPI CSI

Sipeed currently provides a Debian image based on Linux 5.10 and built with Yocto, but Linux mainline support is being worked on. OpenWrt and Android images will also be released by the company, and a few third-party images are also offered by the community. You’ll find all images on the wiki, but note that as with other RISC-V platforms software is still a work in progress.

We’ve already discussed performance in our article about the Sipeed LM4A T-Head TH1520 RISC-V module found in the LicheePi 4A SBC and benchmarks like Dhrystone, Coremark, and GeekBench 5 show a performance very similar to the one of the Raspberry Pi 4, sometimes faster or slower depending on the workload. The 16GB RAM version of the LicheePi 4A brings a feature that’s impossible not available on the Raspberry Pi 4B even though the Broadcom BCM2711 SoC is limited to 8GB supports up to 16GB RAM.

Accessories

As noted in the introduction, the LicheePi 4A also got a metal enclosure and other accessories. so let’s have a look at some of those.

LicheePi 4A 10.1-inch display

 

The first one is a 10.1-inch display with a capacitive touchscreen and 1280×800 resolution, which should connect to the 4-lane MIPI DSI connector on the board via a small adapter board and a flat cable.

OV5693 camera module USB camera moduleNext, there are two 5MP camera modules. The first one is based on an Omnivision OV5693 CMOS sensor and connects to the board through its MIPI CSI 0 connector, but the second is also based on a 5MP sensor, but also comes with a microphone, and exposes a USB Type-C port for connection to the SBC.

RISC-V SBC PoE module

Lichee also offers a 37V-57V PoE module with an output of 5V/2.4A to power the board. It needs to be soldered to the board, and based on the photo above, it won’t fit into the metal enclosure. So you have to pick one: case or PoE module.

Other accessories like a 12V/2A power adapter and the RV Debugger Plus UART/JTAG debugging board are older items that were already available previously.  The aluminum enclosure sells for $10.80, the display can be purchased for $49.90, the MIPI CSI camera module for $7.90, the USB camera module for $12.50, and the PoE module for $6. You’ll find all these on Aliexpress along with the LicheePi 4A SBC.

Via Sipeed on Twitter

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9 Comments
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AR
10 months ago

Did any one see comparison/benchmarks of this lichee pi4 with vision five 2?

Willy
Willy
10 months ago

Ah this explains things. I received a visionfive2 a few days ago, I had never seen that bad memory timings, even worse than on a 396 MHz MIPS-based glinet: 1 microsecond to read 8 pointers! In fact I think my 8088 used to have better timings 35 years ago. And seeing the horrible memset/memcpy() timings just confims what I saw. Had I known for this one finally arriving, I would have waited a few more weeks to get a better model. That’s not dramatic, I wanted to have a look at RISC-V atomics, at least this board will magnify every… Read more »

julian
julian
10 months ago

A computer without an operating system is useless.

mark
mark
10 months ago

With it shipping with Debian pre-installed, and a fair number of useful packages already available, this is RISC-V entering the consumer market!

I wish Sipeed (and the TH1520 with it’s published C910 cores) a huge amount of success.

A board like this ought to have widespread uses…

Drew Green
10 months ago

I have the 8/8 version and have played with it a bit. Software support is still very limited but it’s constantly evolving. Haven’t seen a 6.x kernel yet but commits for support have been merged into mainline so I anticipate 6.x will be in the near future. I also have a Visionfive2 and this is definitely faster, though software is much more limited at the moment.

Anonymous
Anonymous
10 months ago

The 16GB RAM version of the LicheePi 4A brings a feature that’s impossible on the Raspberry Pi 4B since the Broadcom BCM2711 SoC is limited to 8GB.

Technically, the BCM2711 SoC supports 16GB:

raspberrypi.com/news/8gb-raspberry-pi-4-on-sale-now-at-75/

The BCM2711 chip that we use on Raspberry Pi 4 can address up to 16GB of LPDDR4 SDRAM, so the real barrier to our offering a larger-memory variant was the lack of an 8GB LPDDR4 package. These didn’t exist (at least in a form that we could address) in 2019, but happily our partners at Micron stepped up earlier this year with a suitable part.

10 months ago

With documentation for module not moving past “v0.1” itself, it seems it would be better to buy Beagle instead.

Khadas VIM4 SBC