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$55-and-up Orange Pi 4 LTS drops 40-pin GPIO, adds 3G RAM option

Jan 21, 2022 — by Eric Brown 2,310 views

Shenzhen Xunlong unveiled a $55 to $70 “Orange Pi 4 LTS” variant of the Orange Pi 4 SBC with the same RK3399 but a new 3G RAM option, 26- vs. 40-pin GPIO, and different WiFi, GbE, and audio chips.

The only new Orange Pi SBC Shenzhen Xunlong released last year was the Allwinner H6 based Orange Pi 3 LTS, which appears to have replaced the Orange Pi 3. Now, the company has released some detail views for an LTS version of the similarly configured, but RK3399-based Orange Pi 4. The Orange Pi 4 LTS will launch in mid-February at $55 to $70.

The LTS model appears to replace the original, which we removed from our recent 2022 SBC roundup due to lack of availability. Pricing appears to be similar, which considering that almost all the boards in our roundup rose significantly in price in 2021, can be considered a bargain.



Orange Pi 4 LTS detail view (left) and Orange Pi 4B detail view
(click images to enlarge)

The Orange Pi 4 LTS, which we saw on Liliputing, has the same 91 x 56mm footprint as the original, and almost the same feature set, with the notable exception of a switch from 40-pin to 24-pin GPIO. As a result, most of the Raspberry Pi add-on boards that worked on the Orange Pi 4 won’t work here. In addition, there is a new 3GB DDR4 SKU in addition to the 4GB SKU.

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Like the Orange Pi 3 LTS, the similarly configured Orange Pi 4 LTS makes several component changes designed to lower cost and/or ensure a more reliable supply. The Orange Pi 4 catalog saw the largest number of discontinuations and out-of-stock status of any of the major board vendors in our recent roundup. Price increases were modest, however, compared to most of its competitors.



Orange Pi 4 LTS rear detail view (left) and Orange Pi 4B rear detail view
(click images to enlarge)

Component changes include a switch from a Realtek RTL8211E GbE controller to a more affordable MotorComm YT8531C. The LTS version swaps out the Ampak AP6256 wireless controller with a similarly 802.11ac/BT 5.0 enabled Cdtech CDW-20U5622-02 (PDF). The Realtek ALC5651 audio codec has been replaced with an Everest Semi ES8316 (PDF).

Like the original, the LTS model offers HDMI 2.0a, USB 3.0 Type-C, and 2x USB 2.0 host ports. (It is unclear of the Type-C still offers DP support.) Like the standard Orange Pi 4, but not the 4B model, which added a 2.8-TOPS GTI Lightspeeur 2801S NPU, there is also a USB 3.0 host port.

Other similar features include dual LCD/MIPI-DSI, dual MIPI-CSI, serial debug, a mic, and an audio I/O jack. Once again, there is a 5V jack in addition to the Type-C input and an RK808 PMU. The board also provides a mini-PCIe slot. The Orange Pi 4 shipped with a 24-pin PCIe interface with a $3.90 mini-PCIe expansion board, which supported an optional 4G LTE card.

There were several layout changes. For example, the RAM has been split into two separate banks and the 16GB eMMC has moved to where the RAM used to be. Once again, Android, Ubuntu, and Debian will be available. Like other Orange Pi SBCs this should be an open-spec, community backed product.

 
Further information

The Orange Pi 4 LTS will go on sale in mid-February for $55 to $70 at AliExpress and Amazon. More information may be found in Shenzhen Xunlong’s announcement on Twitter.
 

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