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SOPHON’s SOPHGO SG2000 and SG2002 chips are cheap, low-power solutions that leverage a bunch of different processor cores to provide a platform for running AI tasks and other applications. The chip supports a mix of RISC-V and ARM application processors as well as a microcontroller for managing input from cameras and other devices and an AI accelerator for on-device computer vision and other AI applications.
CNX-Software shared details about the chips recently, as well as information about some of the first single-board computers powered by the SG2002 processor, including the Sipeed LicheeRV Nano and Milk-V Duo 256M, both of which have starting prices under $10.
Both the SG2000 and SG2002 feature an unusual CPU design that packs three CPU cores on the chip, but only lets you use two at a time:
- Primary CPU core: 1 GHz C906 RISC-V or 1 GHz ARM Cortex-A53
- Secondary CPU core: 700 MHz C906 RISC-V core
Basically you can select whether to use a RISC-V or ARM CPU core as the primary processor at startup. The RISC-V core supports Linux, while the ARM core works with Linux or Android.
Each processor also has an 8051 8-bit microcontroller and a neural processing unit (NPU). There’s no GPU, but there is a VPU (vision processing unit) and ISP (image signal processor) for handling H.264 or H.265 video encoding and decoding.
The SG2000 chip has an NPU capable of up to 0.5 TOPS of AI performance, while the SG2002 supports up to 1 TOPS.
Both the Sipeed LicheeRV Nano and Milk-V DUO 256M use the SG2002 chip.
The Milk-V Duo sells for $8 at ARACE and features a microSD card reader for storage, a USB-C port for power and data, a set of GPIO pins for I/O (including support for 10/100Mbps Ethernet), a built-in mic, and a 4-lane MIPI-CSI camera connector.
The LicheeRV Nano starts at $9 and also features a microSD card reader and USB-C port as well as GPIO pins and a 2-lane MIPI DSI display connector and 4-lane MIPI-CSI camera connector.
But Sipeed offers a bunch of optional snap-on modules including a WiFi 6 or Ethernet modules, a CMOS camera module, or touch or non-touch displays.