MangoPi-MQ1 Is an Ultra-Compact, Soon-to-be-Open Source Allwinner D1 RISC-V Dev Board

Designed to compete with the Nezha D1, this space-saving board could sell for under $10 when mass production begins next month.

Single-board computer startup MangoPi has shown off prototypes of a low-cost development board based on the recently-open sourced XuanTie C906 RISC-V core — and promises that its own design will be released as open source once testing is complete.

Built around the same Allwinner D1 system-on-chip as the Nezha Linux-capable development board, the MangoPi-MQ1 — codenamed Sparrow — offers a single 1GHz 64-bit pre-ratification RISC-V core: The XuanTie C906, which Alibaba's T-Head division recently released under the permissive Apache 2.0 open source license.

MangoPi has confirmed board specifications as including 64MB (512Mb) of RAM, on-board Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4 with a connector for an external antenna, microSD storage, on-board microphone, a Camera Serial Interface (CSI) input, and Display Serial Interface (DSI) and RGB video outputs. Two USB Type-C connectors offer power and data inputs and USB host functionality.

The board is to enter in to mass production some time in November, and while formal pricing has yet to be confirmed the company has stated that "minimum allocation" will be around $9.90 — making it a tenth the price of the Nezha board, albeit with considerably less RAM and no HDMI output or wired Ethernet capabilities.

On the software front, MangoPi has promised to provide a port of Allwinner's Tina Linux - itself a port of a somewhat-outdated version of OpenWRT designed for resource-constrained environments. The company has also pledged that its design will be open sourced once testing has been completed, though stopped short of offering a firm timescale.

More information on the project is available on the MangoPi Twitter account; completed boards will be placed for sale on Seeed Studio and Taobao when mass production has begun.

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