Here comes the most formidable rival to the Raspberry Pi yet

render of Allwinner module based on XuanTie C906
(Image credit: Allwinner)

A new Linux-running single-board computer (SBC) built atop a RISC-V-based processor is set to take on the Raspberry Pi within the next few months.

The SBC is the result of collaboration between T-Head, the chip subsidiary of Alibaba, often thought of as China’s Amazon, with Allwinner Technology that specializes in fabricating systems-on-a-chip (SoC).

Reports have now confirmed that the two companies have produced a single-core, RISC-V-based SoC that will be used to power a SBC that’ll cost less than $13 when it launches in two months.

Powered by clout

Earlier this year, T-Head and Allwinner decided to collaborate to create a whole line of RISC-V-based open source processors, to power everything from low-power microcontrollers to server SoCs.

The new 1GHz XuanTie C906 RISC-V processor designed to run Debian Linux is their latest release. The processor will now power the upcoming SBC.

According to a tweet from Sipeed, it’ll soon launch a dev kit that incorporates an Allwinner compute module built around the XuanTie C906 for under $13.

The price tag makes this the cheapest RISC-V Linux board that’s equipped with a Memory Management Unit (MMU). Though like other RISC-V processors to date, it lacks a 3D GPU. 

The specs for the SBC haven’t yet been released, but from Sipeed’s Twitter thread it seems the board will offer between 256MB and 1GB DDR3 RAM via a single slot.

This makes it more comparable to the Raspberry Pi A+, rather than the more popular Raspberry Pi B Models. 

T-Head however has the financial clout of Alibaba behind it and together with Allwinner has already announced plans to ship 50 million units of the Xuantie-series CPUs in three years, targeting industrial control, smart home, and consumer electronics.

Via: CNX Software

Mayank Sharma

With almost two decades of writing and reporting on Linux, Mayank Sharma would like everyone to think he’s TechRadar Pro’s expert on the topic. Of course, he’s just as interested in other computing topics, particularly cybersecurity, cloud, containers, and coding.