Allwinner's RISC-V D1 Chip, Single-Board Computer Leak Ahead of Next Week's Launch Announcement

64-bit XuanTie C906-based chip will drive a Raspberry Pi-alike single-board computer, with availability expected this May.

Gareth Halfacree
7 months agoInternet of Things

Low-power processor specialist Allwinner is preparing to launch a new chip based on the free and open-source RISC-V instruction set architecture (ISA), along with a low-cost single-board computer powered by it — and details have been leaked by CNX Software ahead of its official announcement, expected next week.

RISC-V, a free and open-source instruction set architecture designed to compete with the like of Arm and x86, is enjoying an explosion of interest. From its origins as an academic effort, RISC-V is now seeing take-up in commercial products - including Espressif's latest ESP32-C6 system-on-chip, Microchip's PolarFire SoC Icicle Kit, a Doctor Who-themed embedded programming education platform, TinyML acceleration hardware, and single-board computers designed to offer an alternative to the ubiquitous Arm-based Raspberry Pi range.

Allwinner, previously best known for mobile- and embedded-focused systems-on-chips based on the Arm architecture, is looking to jump on the RISC-V bandwagon too — and while the company isn't expected to make an official announcement about its upcoming products until next week, details have begun to leak from developers with early access.

According to details published by CNX Software, Allwinner's D1 RISC-V chip will feature a single-core XuanTie C906 RISC-V processor running at 1GHz, a 2D graphics accelerator with video decode up to 4K30 and MJPEG encode up to 1080p60, and a HiFi4 digital signal processor (DSP), alongside parallel Camera Serial Interface (CSI) and CVBS video inputs and Display Serial Interface (DSI), RGB, dual-link LVDS, HDMI, and CVBS video outputs.

The chip will debut in a low-cost development board, currently unnamed, which will include 1GB of DDR3 memory, 256MB of SPI NAND flash plus microSD storage, HDMI video and audio, 3.5mm analog audio, a gigabit Ethernet port, 2.4GHz Wi-FI 4 and Bluetooth, a single USB 2.0 port and a USB Type-C On The Go (OTG) port, a 40-pin Raspberry Pi-style GPIO header, and a four-pin dedicated debug UART.

The leaks do not, however, detail the price — though a board from Sipeed based on the same XuanTie C906 core targets a $12.50 price point. With an announcement expected next week ahead of hardware availability in May, it is for the moment a waiting game for anyone interested in the board or the chip which drives it.

Main article image courtesy of CNX Software.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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