The Nezha single-board computer is about the size of a Raspberry Pi, but instead of an ARM-based processor, this little computer is powered by a chip that uses RISC-V architecture.
It’s not a very powerful chip, but with a $99 price tag and support for Linux, the Nezha is one of the most affordable options for developers and hobbyists who want to begin working with RISC-V.
We actually got an early look at this little computer in April, when images and details started making the rounds. But pricing hadn’t been revealed at that point, and neither had the official name.
Now we know that the Nezha’s feature set includes:
- Allwinner D1 XuanTie C906 1 GHz single-core RISC-V 64-bit processor
- HiFi 4 DSP
- G2D 2D graphics accelerator
- 1GB DDR3 memory
- 256MB SPI NAND flash storage
- microSD card reader
- HDMI 1.4 (4K @ 30 Hz or 1080p @ 60 Hz)
- 3.5mm audio jackk
- Gigabit Ethernet
- WiFi 4
- Bluetooth 4.2
- 1 x USB 2.0 port
- 1 x USB Type-C OTG port
- 1 x USB Type-C 5V/2A power input
- 40-pin GPIO header
- MIPI DSI display & touch panel connector
The board measures 85mm x 56mm (3.34″ x 2.2″), making it about the same size as a Raspberry Pi Model B, but it’s pricier and less powerful. The key reason to buy something like the Nezha board isn’t because you’re looking for a higher-performance device or a better value, but because you want to begin dabbling in RISC-V architecture.
The $99 starting price for the Nezha board includes a microSD card with Debian 11 Linux image pre-installed, but the system can also support Tina, an embedded Linux distribution designed for IoT devices and forked from the OpenWRT project.
Allwinner says it’s working on bringing mainline Linux support, and developers are also working to port other operating systems including Fedora, Gentoo, and Ubuntu to work with Nezha.
You can also pick up a bundle featuring a Nezha board plus accessories during the Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign:
- $109 Nezha Vision Suite comes with a 720p USB camera
- $116 Nezha Audio Suite comes with a microphone array featuring 6 digital mics, 12 serial RGB LED lights, and five buttons
- $149 Nezha Panel Suite comes with an 8 inch, 1280 x 800 pixel IPS LCD touchscreen display panel
- $170 Nezha Full Suite has all of the accessories mentioned above
If you order from AliExpres, you have a choice of picking up a $99 basic package that includes a 32GB SD card, power adapter, heat sink, acrylic case, and cables, or a $115 upgrade pack that also includes a USB camera, light sensor, and atmospheric intensity sensor.
Clearly the Nezha is positioned as a development platform for IoT projects.
via CNX Software