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Allwinner D1 RISC-V SoC shows up on new Nezha STU dev kit and DevTerm handheld

Mar 25, 2022 — by Eric Brown 1,529 views

DongshanPI has revealed a “Dongshan Nezha STU Core” board that runs Linux on the RISC-V based Allwinner D1 and offers HDMI, GbE, Type-C, and a GPIO carrier. Meanwhile, Clockwork Pi has launched a D1 option for its DevTerm retro handheld.

The Allwinner D1 continues to expand its claim on the low-end Linux RISC-V market. A new project has appeared on GitHub detailing an upcoming, open-spec Dongshan Nezha STU Core board featuring the D1, which is built around a single 1GHz XuanTie C906 RISC-V core from Alibaba’s T-Head subsidiary. The module plugs into a small carrier board via a SODIMM connection but can also operate on its own as an SBC. In related news from last week, Clockwork Pi has introduced an Allwinner D1 equipped DevTerm Kit R-01 version of its open-spec DevTerm retro handheld device selling for $239 (see farther below).

Dongshan Nezha STU Core with carrier board (left) and Clockwork Pi DevTerm Kit R-01
Source: image from left via CNXSoft
(click images to enlarge)

The Dongshan Nezha STU Core follows other compact boards based on the D1 including Sipeed’s Nezha SBC and similar RVBoards-Nezha board from RVBoards, as well as Sipeed’s smaller LicheeRV-Nezha CM. Like the Nezha STU, the LicheeRV is an SBC-like compute module that plugs into a carrier, but it offers even fewer SBC-like ports. (We covered updated pricing for the LicheeRV and its Lichee RV Dock and Lichee 86 Panel carrier options in our recent catalog of 136 Linux hacker boards.)

Earlier this month, MangoPi launched a MangoPi-Nezha MQ SBC with an Allwinner F133-A, a spin-down of the D1 that adds 64MB DDR2. MangoPi also revealed an upcoming Nezha MQ Pro SBC based on the D1.


The CNXSoft post that alerted us to the Dongshan Nezha STU Core did not list the vendor, but it appears to be Shenzhen-based DongshanPI, which also has embedded Linux boards built around the dual -A7 SigmaStar SSD201 (DongshanPIOne) and STM32MP157 (DongshanPISeven). The specs and a developer’s guide are posted on a Chinese language product page titled “Awesome RISCV Allwinner D1” (Google translated version posted farther below) and images and schematics are located on GitHub. The product page also supplies specs for Sipeed’s Nezha and MangoPi’s Nezha MQ Pro.

Dongshan Nezha STU Core, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

The specs are preliminary and a bit sketchy. Like the other Allwinner D1 based boards, the Nezha STU is available with TinaLinux. Note that the D1 lacks a 3D GPU, but offers a a G2D 2D accelerator, HiFi4 DSP, and video decode/encode.

The Dongshan Nezha STU Core ships with 512MB DDR3, with potential options of up to 2GB. There is a microSD slot and an option for 256MB NAND flash.

The Nezha STU is further equipped with a low-profile GbE port, an HDMI port for up to 1080p60, and 2x USB Type C ports: an OTG with 5V input and a debug port. There are also a few LEDs and buttons.

The Nezha STU plugs into an optional carrier board that is only slightly larger than the compact module via a 260-pin SODIMM edge connector. The 5V carrier/daughtercard is equipped with 3x 40-pin GPIO headers and is powered by the SBC.

DevTerm handheld offers D1 option

If you didn’t see the news last week, revealed first by Liliputing, Clockwork Pi has launched an Allwinner D1 option for its DevTerm handheld computer. The DevTerm Kit R-01 model with the D1 RISC-V SoC is available for $239 and is labeled “highly experimental” and for experienced developers only.

ClockworkPi DevTerm Kit R-01 (left) and ClockworkPi Core R-01
(click images to enlarge)

Alternatively, you can buy the ClockworkPi Core R-01 SODIMM module with the D1 SoC for $29 with 1GB RAM and plug it into your existing DevTerm device. The module has the same Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 SODIMM form factor as the other ClockworkPi modules. Both products have a two-month lead time.

The modular, open-spec DevTerm launched last summer with a handheld form factor with keyboard and display. The old-school terminal devices is reminiscent of the RadioShack/Tandy TRS80 Model 100 from the 1980s, affectionately dubbed the Trash-80. CPU options include the Raspberry Pi CM3+ Lite via a currently out of stock DevTerm Kit RPI-CM3. Alternatively, you can buy a $39 carrier board version of the DevTerm’s mainboard called the ClockworkPi v3.14. It’s designed for a BYO Raspberry Pi CM3+ (if you can find one) and also supports the other Clockwork Pi modules.

Other options include a $259 (2GB RAM) DevTerm Kit A04 powered by an Allwinner H6, which is also available in the $49 ClockworkPi Core A-04 module. There is also a $339 (4GB RAM) DevTerm Kit A06 with a Rockchip RK3399 delivered via a ClockworkPi Core A-06 module, which is also available separately for $129.

DevTerm Kit R-01 side views
(click images to enlarge)

The DevTerm Kit R-01 uses the same DevTerm case and mainboard as the other models. The device includes a microSD slot preloaded with a 32GB card holding ClockworkOS, which is available in various flavors including Raspberry Pi OS, as well as Armbian for the Allwinner H6 and RK3399 models. There were no details about any preliminary image for the Allwinner D1 or whether Tina Linux would even begin to work.

The DevTerm integrates a 6.86-inch, 1280 x 480 IPS screen with a 16:6 screen ratio, accompanied by scrolling knobs. A “65%” QWERTY keyboard powered by a Cortex-M3 features an integrated mini-trackball, gamepad with arrow-key buttons, 4x gamepad buttons, and a micro-USB port. Other features include dual speakers, a 58mm 200dpi thermal printer, a “shells and bracket system,” and a connector for dual, BYO 18650 batteries.

DevTerm Kit R-01 mainboard (ClockworkPi v3.14) detail (left) and extension board detail
(click images to enlarge)

The mainboard (AKA the ClockworkPi v3.14) integrates the compute module and offers USB 2.0 host, USB Type-C for charging, and a micro-HDMI port. The board includes WiFi/802.11ac with Bluetooth 5.0, and an antenna. There is also an audio I/O jack, a stereo amp, a 40-pin GPIO connector, and a MIPI-DSI connector for the screen.

The mainboard is linked via mini-PCIe to an extension board that includes 2x USB host ports, a micro-USB debug port, and a MIPI-CSI camera interface. The extension board also provides the thermal printer interface and a mini booster fan.

Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the Dongshan Nezha STU Core and its carrier. More information may be found on this Awesome RISCV Allwinner D1 documentation page (translated) and on DongshanPI’s Nezha STU GitHub page.

ClockworkPi’s “highly experimental” DevTerm Kit R-01 sells for $239 with the Allwinner D1-equipped ClockworkPi Core R-01 SODIMM, which is separately available for $29, both with up to 60-day lead time. More information on these and other DevTerm and ClockworkPi Core products may be found on the ClockworkPi shopping page, and more on ClockworkOS may be found on the wiki.

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