Introduction to Sipeed Longan Pi3H
Sipeed has introduced the Longan Pi3H, a compact single board computer (SBC) that resembles the size of a Raspberry Pi Zero. It is powered by the Allwinner H618 quad-core Cortex-A53 processor and is notable for its full-size connectors, including HDMI 2.0, USB 2.0 Type-A ports, and a gigabit Ethernet RJ45 jack.
Connectivity and Power Features
The Sipeed Longan Pi3H offers cutting-edge connectivity with WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.4, alongside a conventional 40-pin GPIO header typical of Pi Zero boards. It relies on a USB OTG Type-C port for power, showcasing an innovative design that includes a carrier board and a replaceable LM3H CPU module containing the SoC, RAM, and eMMC flash.
- SoC and Performance: The board features the Allwinner H618 SoC with a quad-core Arm Cortex-A53 processor, Arm Mali-G31 MP2 GPU, and a video processing unit supporting various codecs.
- Memory and Storage: Options for 2GB or 4GB LPDDR4 system memory, a MicroSD card slot, and optional 32GB eMMC flash.
- Video and Audio Output: HDMI 2.0a output supporting up to 4Kp60 resolution.
- Networking: Gigabit Ethernet, dual-band WiFi 6, and Bluetooth 5.4 with a ceramic antenna.
- USB Ports: Includes two USB 2.0 Type-A ports and one USB 2.0 OTG Type-C port.
- Expansion: A 40-pin Raspberry Pi-compatible GPIO header for various connections.
- Debugging and Miscellaneous Features: 4-pin debug UART, FEL and Reset buttons, and user LEDs.
- Power Supply: Options for 5V supply via USB Type-C port or 4-pin Debug UART header.
- Dimensions: The SBC measures 65 x 30.8 x 23.6 mm, with the LM3H module at 46.1 x 25 x 2.9mm.
Software Support and Documentation
Sipeed provides Debian and Android 12 images, with the SDK available on GitHub. Mainline Linux support for the board is expected in Q1 2024. Although the official documentation page is currently inaccessible, hardware documentation, including schematics and mechanical drawings, is available for download.
Design and Processor Choices
The Longan Pi3H stands out for its feature-rich design and easy-to-use ports in a small form factor. The modular design allows for potential multiple CPU modules in the future, indicating versatility and adaptability in its design philosophy.
Pricing and Availability
Sipeed has commenced pre-orders for the Longan Pi3H on Aliexpress, with prices ranging from $23.90 for the 2GB RAM variant without eMMC flash to $34.90 for the 4GB RAM and 32GB eMMC flash model. Shipping is expected to start on February 11. The LM3H module alone is also available, starting at $17.90.
Impact on the SBC Market
The Sipeed Longan Pi3H represents a significant step in the evolution of single board computers, offering advanced features and connectivity in a remarkably compact package. Its introduction is set to make waves in the SBC market, appealing to both hobbyists and professionals seeking powerful yet compact computing solutions.