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Libre Computer showcases low-cost SBC with PoE support

Sep 5, 2023 — by Giorgio Mendoza 2,127 views

Yesterday, Libre Computer unveiled a new variant of the Le Potato Single Board Computer launched a few years ago. The new Sweet Potato board is also based on the Amlogic S905X SoC as its predecessor, but targets commercial and consumer applications instead.

The product announcement specifies that this updated AML-S905X-CC-V2 board is also built around the Amlogic S905X System-on-Chip with the following architecture:

  • S905X — 4x Arm Cortex-A53 (up to 1.512GHz); 2G + 3P ARM Mali-450 (up to 750MHz) w/ support for OpenGL ES 1.1 / 2.0, OpenVG 1.1

One of the key differences in the Sweet Potato is the upgrade from DDR3 to DDR4 memory and a 16MB SPI boot ROM with a Boot Select Switch. However, the SBC is available in a single configuration with 2GB system memory for now.

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Sweet Potato retains the familiar 40-pin header, making it compatible with a wide range of HATs (Hardware Attached on Top). However, it diverges from the Le Potato with the removal of the CVBS/Stereo Analog Audio Jack.

LoveRPi PoE HAT
(click image to enlarge)

For connectivity, the SBC provides a RJ45 with support for fast ethernet (100Mbps). Libre Computer indicates that the 5-pin USB header “enables the use of USB Video Class (UVC) cameras in embedded designs” and can also be used for “for attaching custom RF solutions such as WiFi, Bluetooth, Zigbee, Matter, and even software-defined-radios (SDR).”

There is also a PoE HAT with PWM fan controller which is compatible with this specific SBC. Sweet Potato adopts the USB Type C Power In, offering 5V/3A compared to the 5V/2.5A MicroUSB of its predecessor.

AML-S905X-CC-V2 Sweet Potato
(click image to enlarge)

When it comes to software, the company highlights the following:

“Standardized boot with UEFI support is finally here. We were the first SBC vendor to offer UEFI support in 2018. All of our product designs since 2018 feature support for onboard firmware. Sweet Potato supports booting standard ARM64 EBBR/SystemReady images. We continue this proud tradition of standardization by creating the first complete product-line standardization of our bootloaders.”

Specifications listed for the AML-S905X-CC-V2 Sweet Potato include:

  • Memory/Storage:
    • Up to 2GB DDR4
    • 16MB SPI boot ROM
    • 1x MicroSD card slot
    • eMMC 5S Module (Mounting Standoff)
  • Display:
    • 1x HDMI 2.0
  • Audio:
    • 8-pin Audio Header
  • Connectivity:
    • PoE Header
  • I/O Interfaces:
    • 40-pin GPIO expansion header
    • 3-pin UART Debug Header
    • 3-pin CEC/GPIO Jumper Header
    • IR Sensor
  • USB:
    • 4x USB Type-A ports
    • USB Header
  • Power:
    • 5V/3A (via USB Type-C)
  • Other Features:
    • Boot select switch

Further information

“The standard price of the Sweet Potato is $35.00, but as of the publication date (excluding shipping), it is being sold for a discounted price of $30.00 on the LoveRPi website. Additionally, the compatible PoE HAT is available for $20.00. For further information and details, refer to the Libre Computer announcement.

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