Sipeed is continuing to expand its system of devices powered by a removable LM4A system-on-a-module with a RISC-V processor.

One of the latest additions to the Sipeed Lichee family is the Lichee Pocket 4A, a handheld gaming PC with a 7 inch display and integrated game controllers. There’s no word on how much it will cost or when you’ll be able to buy one, but you can reserve a chance to pre-order by putting down a $10 deposit through the Sipeed Lichee Pi 4A website.

At the heart of the computer is a Sipeed LM4A module with a T-Head TH1520 processor featuring four XuanTie C910 CPU cores based on RISC-V architecture, 8GB or 16GB of LPDDR4x memory and 32GB or 128GB of eMMC storage.

The chip features an Imagination Technologies BXM-4-64 GPU, and an NPU with up to 4 TOPS of AI performance.

It’s not exactly a CPU or graphics powerhouse, which makes it an odd choice for a game system, but a device with a Lichee Pocket 4A-style form factor could be interesting for developers looking to bring games and emulators to RISC-V architecture.

The handheld has a 7 inch, 1280 x 800 pixel LCD touchscreen display, a 6,000 mAh battery, detachable Joy-con style controllers, and a plastic and aluminum body. The device itself weighs about 490 grams (1.1 pounds), but when you add the controllers it can be as heavy as 630 grams (1.4 pounds).

Networking features include support for WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.4, and Gigabit Ethernet, and the handheld has two USB 3.0 Type-A ports, a USB 2.0 Type-C port, and a microSD card reader. It also has a 5MP Omnivision OV5693 camera, stereo speakers, and a microphone.

With controllers attached, the system measures 250 x 110 x 30mm (9.8″ x 4.3″ x 1.2″), but that drops to 180 x 110 x 15mm (7.1″ x 4.3″ x 0.6″) if you detach the controllers.

Sipeed says the Lichee Pocket 4A will support Android and Debian Linux operating systems.

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  1. There’s a
    BXM-4-64 MC1
    BXM-4-64 MC2
    BXM-4-64 MC3
    BXM-4-64 MC4

    So witch one is that?

    And GPU render configurations need to be listed as Shaders:TMUs:ROPs in addition to whatever Ray Tracing Core/Units or Matrix Math/Tensor Cores/Units are included. And that’s so comparisons to other GPUs are somewhat possible. Anandtech has an article on the Imagination Technologies B series GPUs dated Oct 13 2020 titled:

    “Imagination Announces B-Series GPU IP: Scaling up with Multi-GPU
    by Andrei Frumusanu”

    But I’m not sure that I can post the direct link here so that’s omitted! That article has nice tabular listings for the GPU variants feature sets but omits the Raster info on the tables but they include the Texels/Clock info as well as FP/Clock and Other info on a per SKU/Variant basis.

  2. Neat idea, but who is going to work on the emulators for RISC-V, and how far behind are they going to be compared to ARM projects?

    The emulator situation on ARM devices is already fragmented between Linux and Android. Lots of people would like to see more work being done on Linux emulators (because the frontend experience is superior), but naturally Android emulators get far more attention because the Play store generates revenue for those projects.

    1. Neat idea, but who is going to work on the emulators for RISC-V, and how far behind are they going to be compared to ARM projects?

      There’s surprisingly little explicit architecture optimizations in contemporary emulators. Instead, they heavily rely on the compilers and template libraries for vectorization (via SIMD). Of course, this just moves the goal post over the rvv 0.7.1 issue… Still, seeing how the XuanTie family (C920, C907 and R910) was recently updated to rvv 1.0, it could be assumed that T-Head will have a pin-compatible updated SoC mid-2024, leaving this console as a development “reference” model of sorts.

      So, the answer to “who is going to work on the emulators” is, you 😀