Allwinner, AWOL, WhyCan Prepare to Launch a V853 Dual-Camera Computer Vision Development Board

Currently available exclusively in China, the V853 Dev Board is to launch internationally — bringing with it some handy edge AI features.

Allwinner subsidiaries AWOL and WhyCan Technology are preparing to launch an open source dual-camera computer vision development kit built around their parent company's V853 system-on-chip — dubbed, imaginatively, the V853 Dev Board.

"In order to facilitate customers and developers to conduct pre-research and development based on V853, Allwinner provides a official V853 Dev Board," the three companies explain of their joint creation. "[The] V853 Dev Board realizes the full potential of Allwinner’s powerful V853 SoC, which includes a 1GHz Arm Cortex-A7 core, a 600MHz RISC-V E907 core, and a 1 TOPS NPU [Neural Processing Unit]."

On top of the specifications of the core SoC itself, WhyCan has added 512MB of DDR3 memory, 8GB of eMMC storage with SD Card expansion, 2.4GHz Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0 radio connectivity, 100Base-T Ethernet, and a seven-inch display for standalone operation. As input devices for computer vision projects, the board includes two Galaxycore Microelectronics GC2063 two-megapixel CMOS sensors and a pair of analog microphones.

Elsewhere on the board, which is designed to mount just below the screen on a bundled acrylic base, is a USB Type-C port for power and data, five user-addressable buttons plus power, reset, and boot selection, a "g-sensor" accelerometer for rotation support, JTAG debugging, and I2S and UART buses plus a real-time clock with optional battery backup. On the software front, WhyCan offers a Tina Linux image — based, unfortunately, on an outdated OpenWRT fork with Linux 4.9 and Uboot 2018.

The companies are currently selling the board exclusively in China through Taobao, but have telegraphed preparations to launch the device internationally via Crowd Supply at an as-yet unconfirmed price.

Those interested in more details, meanwhile, can visit AWOL's product page, which includes a link to the board schematics under an unspecified open source license — though registration on a Chinese language download portable is required to access the files.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire:
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