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Allwinner H3-based Cherry Pi PC rolls as Orange Pi PC lookalike

Feb 23, 2021 — by Jeff Child 2,792 views

Shenzhen LC Technology’s Cherry Pi PC is a pseudo clone of the Raspberry Pi clone SBC Orange Pi PC.  It runs Linux on Allwinner’s quad-core H3 SoC, and has 1GB DDR3, 2x USB 2.0, MIPI-CSI, 40-pin Pi-compatible connector and optional WiFi and 8GB eMMC.

In 2015, Shenzhen Xunlong introduced its Orange Pi PC, an open-spec SBC based on Allwinner’s quad-core H3 SoC. The board measures within 1mm of the Raspberry Pi 2’s size and matches its features. Now another company, Shenzhen LC Technology, has released a clone of the Orange Pi PC called Cherry Pi PC. Like the Orange Pi PC, the Cherry Pi PC also runs Linux on Allwinner’s quad-core H3 SoC which is a 1.2GHz quad-core Arm Cortex-A7 device with Arm 600MHz Mali-400 MP2 GPU.

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Cherry Pi PC details: top (left) and bottom views
(click images to enlarge)

With the Orange Pi PC itself being a clone of the Raspberry Pi 2, Cherry Pi PC is essentially a clone of clone. But the word “clone” needs to be used loosely given that they don’t exactly match up feature for feature. Unlike the 85 x 55mm Orange Pi PC, the Cherry Pi PC does share the exact 85 x 56mm dimensions of the Raspberry Pi 2. At 55g the Cherry Pi PC is heavier than the 38g Orange Pi, which makes sense because it has more on-board features.

Both boards supply a maximum DRAM of 1GB DDR3, but the Cherry Pi PC comes in a $16.50 512MB version. Price is added for other options such as the optional RTL8189 2.4GHz 802.11b/g/n WiFi chip and iPEX WiFi antenna and/or the 8G eMMC. In comparison, when we checked today, the Orange Pi PC is now priced at $17.42 (plus shipping) from Aliexpress. No differences in Linux support with both supporting Android, Ubuntu and Debian. According to the CNXSoft report that alerted us about the Cherry Pi PC, a source of theirs confirmed that the Cherry Pi works fine with Orange Pi PC Plus images including Ubuntu 16.04 and Armbian.

Cherry Pi PC (left) comparison with Orange Pi PC
(click images to enlarge)

Multimedia features of the two boards appear to match up, including HDMI output, CSI camera interface, audio jack and mic input (see spec list below) — same 10/100Mbit Ethernet as well. The Cherry Pi PC has the same 40-pin Raspberry Pi B compatible header as the Orange Pi PC, but it’s I/O and power specs differ slightly. The Cherry Pi PC has one less USB 2.0 host port, but it does add a 5V USB-C port for power, whereas the Orange Pi PC has 5V/2A barrel jack power port. The two boards offer the same set of power buttons and status LEDs, but the Cherry Pi PC adds a reset button.

Specifications listed for the Cherry Pi PC include:

  • Processor — Allwinner H3 SoC (4x Cortex-A7 @ 1.2GHz); Arm Mali-400 MP2 GPU @600MHz; 256KB L1, 1MB L2 cache
  • Memory — 512MB – 1GB DDR3 SDRAM (shared with GPU)
  • Storage — microSD slot (up to 64GB), optional 8GB eMMC
  • Networking/wireless:
    • 10/100Mbit Ethernet (RJ45)
    • Optional RTL8189 2.4GHz 802.11b/g/n WiFi chip and iPEX WiFi antenna
  • Multimedia:
    • HDMI output — supports connecting LCD monitor/TV with HDMI/CVBS port
    • A/V output on 3.5 mm jack
    • Mic input
    • Camera interface — 24-pin CSI interface
  • Other I/O:
    • 2x USB 2.0 Host ports (Orange had 3x)
    • 1x Type-C USB power input
    • 28 GPIOs connector, compatible with Raspberry PI B
    • Debug 3-pin UART head
    • IR receiver
  • Expansion — 40-pin header compatible with Raspberry Pi B
  • Other features — power & status LEDs; power and reset button
  • Power — 5V Type-C USB power input (listed above)
  • Dimensions — 85x56mm
  • Weight — 55g
  • Supported OSes — Android, Ubuntu, Debian and other operating systems

Further Information

The Cherry Pi PC V7 is available now on Aliexpress for between $16.50 for a 512MB RAM version and $28.20 with WiFi, 8GB eMMC and 1GB RAM—plus shipping for each. More information is available on Shenzhen LC Technology’s Cherry Pi PC product page.

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PLEASE COMMENT BELOW

One response to “Allwinner H3-based Cherry Pi PC rolls as Orange Pi PC lookalike”

  1. A N says:

    Until one of these boards includes a dignified way of IO with an SSD (for example). In other words, storage that can be treated like proper storage without worrying whether the NAND flash will survive, I am no longer interested.

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