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Sipeed Lichee Book 4A: Affordable RISC-V Laptop with Upgradeable Computer Module

Jun 18, 2024 — by Giorgio Mendoza 333 views

The Sipeed Lichee Book 4A is a cost-effective laptop utilizing RISC-V architecture, designed primarily for developers interested in exploring this platform. It merges standard laptop features with functionalities tailored to RISC-V, offering a practical tool for both software development and general use.

According to recent updates on the company’s social media, the Sipeed Lichee Book 4A is compatible with a range of modular options:

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  • LM3A Module: Utilizes the K1 chipset with an octa-core configuration similar to the Arm A55, offering modest processing capabilities. It includes a version 1.0 2TOPS NPU for neural network tasks and supports 4GB, 8GB, or 16GB of DDR memory. The module features PCIe 2.0 with multiple lanes (x2+x2+x1) for expanded connectivity.
  • LM4A Module: Equipped with the TH1520 chipset, featuring a quad-core setup comparable to the Arm A72. This module supports a 4TOPS NPU and is compatible with mainline Linux, making it suitable for developers seeking robust performance with open-source support.
  • LM5A Module: Features the EIC7700 chipset with four cores also similar to the Arm A75, optimized for high-performance computing tasks. It includes a NPU capable of 13.3 to 19.98 TOPS for advanced machine learning applications. This module also supports PCIe 3.0 x4, providing substantial bandwidth for high-speed peripherals.

Lichee Book 4A System Architecture
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The LM4A Module specifically is powered by a quad-core RISC-V RV64GCV C910 processor clocked at 1.85 GHz and features an IMG B-Series BXM-4-64 GPU. It offers a neural processing unit with 4 TOPS@INT8 performance, with memory configurations of 8GB or 16GB LPDDR4X and storage options of 32GB or 128GB eMMC, expandable via an NGFF 2280 SATA SSD.

Lichee Book 4A Interfaces
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The Lichee Book 4A features a 14″ high-definition display and a full-size silent keyboard with round-cap keys. It offers a wide range of connectivity options, including one USB 3.0 Type-A port, one USB 2.0 Type-A port, one USB 3.0 Type-C port, and a mini HDMI port.

Additional connectivity and multimedia features include Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.4, a microSD card slot, a 3.5mm headphone jack, MEMS microphone, stereo speakers, and a 0.3MP front camera.

The device is powered by a 4500 mAh battery at 7.6V and is housed in a chassis weighing 1.3 kg, with dimensions of 314 x 217 x 17 mm.

Lichee Book 4A Unbox
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The Lichee Book 4A, designed for users proficient in Linux and involved in RISC-V development, supports Debian Linux as its operating system. This setup enables a variety of development and media applications, including browsers, IDEs like VSCode, and PCB design software such as KiCAD.

Its modular design also allows for easy upgrades by simply swapping out the SoM module. See the Sipeed Wiki pages for more technical information.

Lichee Book 4A
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Further Information

The Sipeed Lichee Book 4A is available at early bird prices in various configurations. The base model, without a pre-installed Sipeed module, is priced at $188.80. A version equipped with the LM4 module, featuring 8GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, is available for $298.40.

Additionally, a higher-end variant, which includes the LM4 module with 16GB of RAM and 128GB of eMMC storage, is priced at $348.80.

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