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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.

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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