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Lenovo goes open source with RK3399 and AM5708 SBCs

Nov 26, 2019 — by Eric Brown — 1752 views

Lenovo’s open-spec, $141 “Leez P710” SBC runs Ubuntu or Android 9.0 on an RK3399 with 4GB LPDDR4, 16GB eMMC, 40-pin GPIO, M.2, HDMI 2.0, and 4x USB ports. Up next is a Leez P515 board with a TI AM5708.

Lenovo has followed fellow PC vendor Asus into the community-backed SBC market and is similarly debuting with a Rockchip-based board. Its flagship Leez P710 jumps to a more powerful, hexa-core Cortex-A72 and -A53 Rockchip RK3399 instead of the Asus Tinker Board’s RK3288. (An Asus Tinker Edge R SBC with an RK3399Pro is also on the way.)



Leez P710
(click images to enlarge)

Lenovo’s Leez unit announced the Leez P710 at last February’s Mobile World Congress and has launched it since then on AliExpress for $141. As reported by JQKNews during MWC, Lenovo’s launch also included an upcoming Leez P515 SBC based on the Sitara AM5708 and a Lenovo LeapIOT platform for industrial IoT management (see farther below).

The Leez P710 was spotted by CNXSoft while looking at the board support changelog for the recently released Linux 5.4 kernel. Linux 5.4 brings new features such as a Linux Kernel Lockdown feature and native exFAT support.

 
Leez P710

The 85 x 85 x 15mm Leez P710, referred to as the Smartfly Leez SBC P710 on AliExpress, is priced like the early wave of Rockchip RK3399 development boards such as the $149 and up Firefly-RK3399 as opposed to the more affordable recent boards such as the $75 Rock Pi 4C or $70 NanoPi-M4. An upcoming, RK3399 based Orange Pi 4 could be even cheaper.

The $141 price gives you 4GB LPDDR4, 16GB eMMC, WiFi/BT, and a heatsink. A $149 package adds a 5V/3A power adapter and USB Type-C and USB/serial cables. For $169 or $173, you also get a camera, and a $177 package instead gives you a 4G M.2 module. The $258 bundle provides a 10.1-inch touchscreen instead of the camera or 4G.



Leez P710 and detail view
(click images to enlarge)

The spec list also shows a 2GB RAM option, but this does not appear to be currently available. There’s a microSD slot in addition to the 16GB eMMC, as well as a GbE port and a wireless module with 802.11ac and Bluetooth 5.0. The M.2 B-key 3042 slot supports the optional 4G module, and there’s a micro-SIM slot and an IPX connector.

Triple simultaneous displays are available via an HDMI 2.0a port and a USB 3.0 Type-C port with DisplayPort 1.2 support, both with [email protected] video. The third display interface is 4-lane MIPI-DSI. You also get 2- and 4-lane MIPI-CSI, as well as a headphone jack and a mic interface.

In addition to the USB 3.0 Type-C port with DP, there’s a second Type-C for power input and a pair of USB 2.0 host ports. Other features include 40- and 8-pin GPIO connectors, a debug header, an RTC with battery connector, and power and recovery keys.



Leez P710 coastline view
(click image to enlarge)

Lenovo has posted pinouts and other details, as well as schematics and images for Ubuntu and Android 7.1 and 9.0. The SBC is aimed at applications including digital billboards, new retail, face recognition, and service robots.

 
Leez P515

Lenovo has fewer details on the Leez P515, a similarly open hardware board with a more industrial focus. However, a KKNews post from Mar. 7 fills in the gaps.

The 92 x 65mm Leez P515 features the Sitara AM5708, one of the newer and more affordable of Texas Instruments’ Cortex-A15 based Sitara AM57x SoCs. The AM5708 began sampling in Mar. 2017 along with a similarly low-cost AM5706 chip.



Leez P515 and detail view
(click images to enlarge)
Source: P515 photo reproduced from KKNews

Both SoCs have single, 32-bit Cortex-A15 cores that top out at 1GHz plus a 750MHz C66x DSP and 213MHz dual Cortex-M4 cores. The AM5706 lacks the PowerVR SGX544 GPU and VeriSilicon GC320 video-compositor core of the Leez P515’s AM5708, which itself is limited to dual LCD outputs compared to three for the other AM57x processors.

Both SoCs also lack the SATA and camera interfaces of other AM57x processors such as the widely deployed dual -A15 AM5728 and the newer, AI-enhanced dual -A15 TI AM5729 found on the BeagleBone AI. On the other hand, the AM5708 and AM5706 are up to 25 percent more power efficient than the other AM57x SoCs, sipping 1.5W to 3.0W power.

Lenovo posted a limited detail view showing GbE, HDMI, USB Type-C PD, and 2x USB 3.0 ports. There’s also a MIPI-CSI2 camera connector, 80-pin GPIO, and a connector for a WiFi/Bluetooth module. KKNews posted a Leez P515 spec list that reveals more details, including 1GB DDR3L-1333, 8GB eMMC, and a microSD slot.

The Leez P515 has an optional 10/100 Ethernet port in addition to the native GbE. The optional wireless module has 802.11ac and Bluetooth 5.0 and the HDMI 1.4a port is limited to [email protected] resolution. The 5V/3A powered board has a -35 to 75°C operating range. No OS support is listed, but Linux is likely, and Android is possible. The JQKNews report from MWC mentioned Ubuntu Core support, but it was unclear which board it was referring to.

 
LeapIOT

Lenovo’s LeapIOT platform is designed to provide quick deployment of industrial IoT solutions with features such as equipment connection, system coordination, and data analysis. The cloud-based Internet of Things aggregation and management platform includes more than 100 industrial and Big Data modules including field data acquisition, industrial system connectivity, Big Data storage and computing engine, public and private cloud resource scheduling, script execution engine, and visualization of data analysis. LeapIOT works with a separate, “enterprise level” LeapAI platform for analytics.



Lenovo LeapIOT architecture
(click image to enlarge)

The LeapIOT platform includes a LeapIOT Edge client component to run on gateways and other devices like the Leez SBCs. This lightweight edge framework provides interfaces to industrial protocols and sensors via TCP/MQTT and RS485/232. Together with the cloud platform, it supports features such as message queueing, real-time streaming, and digital twins.

 
Further information

The Leez P710 is available on AliExpress starting at $141 with 4GB RAM. No pricing or availability information was provided for the Leez P515, which has a currently empty wiki on GitHub. More information on both may be found on Lenovo’s MWC teaser page, but you will find much more on the P710 on the AliExpress page and the GitHub page. More on LeapIOT may be found on Lenovo’s LeapIOT page.

 

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2 responses to “Lenovo goes open source with RK3399 and AM5708 SBCs”

  1. Chris says:

    That’s a pic of a Raspberry PI, not whatever

  2. Jeff Child says:

    Thanks Chis.
    We’ve corrected the photo.

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