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(Update) Sipeed to launch RISC-V based Lichee Cluster 4A

Aug 26, 2023 — by Giorgio Mendoza 1,509 views

This week, Sipeed announced that the Lichee Cluster 4A will go on sale starting next week. This cluster platform comes in a Mini-ITX form-factor and it’s compatible with the RISC-V-based Lichee Module 4A with support for up to 16GB RAM and up to 128GB eMMC storage.

The Lichee Cluster 4A can accommodate up to seven Lichee Module 4A modules for a total memory capacity of 128GB LPDDR4X and a storage capacity of 896GB. 

For reference, the LM4A is based on the Alibaba TH1520 System-on-Chip with RISC-V architecture:

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  • TH1520 — RISC-V 64GCV C910 x4 (up to 2.0GHz); 4TOPS@INT8 NPU (up to 1GHz)

 
TH1520 architecture
(click image to enlarge)

The cluster provides one Gigabit Ethernet port dedicated to the cluster and another  GbE port allocated for the Slot1. An additional Ethernet connection is set aside for BMC control for management.

         
Lichee Cluster 4A
(click images to enlarge)

Delivering a comprehensive array of interfaces, it includes seven USB3.0 ports for each module, seven MicroSD card slots to accommodate extra data storage, a USB2.0 port designed for BMC control, and an HDMI port allocated for Slot1.

             
Lichee Cluster 4A with enclosure
(click images to enlarge)

The product page specifies that the cluster can be powered through a 12V DC input or a compatible 1U power module. Sipeed also suggests that the minimum power for optimal performance is 90W.

Specifications listed for the Lichee Cluster 4A include:

  • Memory/Storage:
    • 7x 16GB (~112GB LPDDR4x)
    • 7x 128GB (~896GB eMMC)
    • 7x MicroSD card slots
  • Display:
    • 1x HDMI for Slot1
  • Expansion:
  • Connectivity:
    • 1x GbE for Cluster
    • 1x GbE for Slot1
    • 1x Ethernet for BMC control
  • USB:
    • 7x USB3.0 for Slots
    • 1x USB2.0 for BMC
  • Power:
    • 12V DC input or 1U Power Module
  • OS:
    • Debian OS
  • Mechanical:
    • 17 x 17 cm (Mini ITX)
    • 20 x 12 x 22 cm (Case size)

Further information

The Sipeed product page doesn’t reveal the price for the Lichee Cluster 4A. For reference, the Lichee Pi 4A variant with 16GB RAM and 128GB eMMC storage costs ~$179.00 on AliExpress.

Update (9/9/23): Sipeed is now offering four options for the Sipeed Lichee Cluster 4A on AliExpress. One variant includes 7x Lichee Module 4A modules with 8GB/32GB storage, along with the chassis, priced at $965.00.

Another option features 7x Lichee Module 4A modules with 16GB/32GB storage, also including the chassis, priced at $1288.00. The variants without the chassis are available at approximately $39.00 to $49.00 less than their counterparts.

 

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