The Sipeed Lichee RV is an inexpensive computer-on-a-module featuring an Allwinner D1 RISC-V processor, 512MB of RAM, and a microSD card reader for storage. First announced in November, it’s a module that you could theoretically use as a standalone computer thanks to an onboard USB-OTG port, it’s missing a few features like a display output.
But now Sipeed is selling a tiny, affordable dock that gives the little computer HDMI and USB Type-A ports, among other things.
The Sipeed Lichee RV module sells for $17 and you can pick up a dock for $5 (or $8 if you want a model with built-in WiFi and Bluetooth support). You can also save a buck by purchasing a $21 bundle that includes a LicheeRV + dock.
Sipeed’s Lichee RV module measures 46.2 x 25mm (1.82″ x 0.98″) and looks a bit like a stick of RAM.
At 65 x 40mm (2.56″ x 1.57″), the dock isn’t much larger, but it expands the module’s useable interfaces by providing an HDMI port with support for up to 4K@30fps output, a 40-pin header with GPIO and power switches, among other things, plus headers and connectors that you can use for speakers, microphones, and more. There’s also an RGB LED light and a reset button.
The $8 version of the board has a Realtek RTL8723DS wireless chip with support for dual-band 802.11b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.2.
Sipeed says the Lichee RV has at least some support for Debian, Ubuntu, OpenSUSE, Tina Linux, RustSBI, and OpenWRT, but the only operating system that supports keyboard input so far is Debian, suggesting that some of the others are still very much works in progress.
You can find documentation (in Chinese) for the Lichee RV at the Sipeed wiki.