The Sipeed Lichee Pad 4A is a tablet with a 10.1 inch, 1920 x 1200 pixel LCD display, 16GB of LPDDR4X RAM, and 128GB of eMMC storage.

It’s also one of a very few tablets announced so far that’s powered by a RISC-V processor. Sipeed hasn’t announced pricing yet, but the company is taking reservations now from folks willing to put down a $10 (or ¥50) deposit for a $20 (¥100) discount when the tablet goes on sale.

The tablet is part of Sipeed’s growing ecosystem of products that can be powered by a LM4A compute module. That’s a little card that looks like a stick of RAM, but which has its own processor, memory, storage, and other components.

Slide that module into a carrier board and it can become the brains of a tablet like the Lichee Pad 4A, a tiny PC like the Lichee Pi 4A, or a mini-laptop like the Lichee Console 4A.

The compute module features an Alibaba TH1520 chip with:

  • 4 x Xuantie C910 CPU cores @ 2.5 GHz
  • Imagination BXM-4-64 GPU
  • NPU with up to 4 TOPS AI performance

Sipeed says the Lichee Pad 4A will support Android 13 and Debian Linux, but keep in mind that it’s still early days when it comes to Android and Linux development for RISC-V architecture, so some apps or features may not work perfectly at launch, and it’s unclear what kind of performance you should expect, but Sipeed has released a short video showing that it can already run some simple Android apps and games.

Like most of Sipeed’s RISC-V products at this point, the Lichee Pad 4A is probably best thought of as a device for developers, hackers, and enthusiasts. If you want something that “just works,” you’re probably going to be better served by a tablet with an ARM or x86_64 processor. But getting devices like the Lichee Pad 4A and PineTab-V into the hands of developers could be an important step in making RISC-V tablets viable alternatives in the future.

And the fact that the Lichee Pad 4A is basically a shell for the LM4A compute module means that it’s at least theoretically possible that if Sipeed offers higher-performance compute modules in the future, you may be able to upgrade the tablet’s processor, memory, and storage without buying a new display, case, and other components.

While the LM4A module and its TH1520 processor are probably the most interesting thing about this tablet, other specs include:

  • 1 x USB Type-C port
  • 2 x USB 3.0 Type-A ports
  • 1 x microSD card raeder
  • 1 x mini HDMI port
  • 1 x 3.5mm audio jack
  • 1 x M.2 slot for solid state storage
  • 1 x SIM card slot (optional support for a 4G LTE module)
  • 8,000 mAh battery
  • 5MP front and rear cameras
  • WiFi 6 and Bluetooth support
  • Aluminum alloy case

The Lichee Pad 4A measures 240 x 150 x 10mm (9.4″ x 5.9″ x 0.4″).

via @SipeedIO (1)(2)(3)

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  1. will naturally displace arm. Still only open bios for motherboards and it will be perfect.

  2. If it support Debian, can be posted pictures or videos about it? Maybe installing Phosh as desktop environment after installing debian for a better experience

  3. Consumer-grade RISC-V already!

    Sipeed shows leadership here – Chinese companies on the US Entity list will surely be taking note. There’s not much stopping Huawei et al following suit.

    What then the value of Arm?

    1. Ha! How right you are. That is why Arm is trying to IPO as soon as possible so they can grab the cash and run, because most non-tech investers have no clue about the oncoming RISC-V sunami. Once the software stack for Linux (and by extension Android) is fine-tuned to run at native speeds, the first items to be dumped will be all the Arm-based phones, tablets, handhelds, and boards currently in the market place for the much cheaper and non-dictatorial alternative.

  4. mega super idea multi port, normal keyboard, mouse, rtl-sdr, modems, irda, solar panels etc.
    Yes this is good idea! (meybe add swith for turn off this port because power is important)
    question is about blobs, power (how many weeks 😉 ) and softweare for camera etc.