Sipeed’s Longan Pi 3H Packs Full-Size Ports Into a Raspberry Pi Zero Footprint

Despite its tiny footprint, the Longan Pi 3H includes full-size HDMI, USB, and Ethernet ports — and a replaceable system-on-module, too.

Embedded electronics specialist Sipeed has unveiled a new, compact single-board computer (SBC) — borrowing the rough footprint of the popular Raspberry Pi Zero range but including wired gigabit Ethernet, full-size USB ports, and a replaceable system-on-module with up to 4GB of LPDDR4 memory.

“Sipeed’s latest Linux SBC product line is divided into Lichee (high-performance RISC-V) and Longan (cost-effective Arm) based on CPU cores. The Longan Pi 3H is the first cost-effective product in the Longan Arm product line,” the company explains of its launch. “The Longan Pi 3H design philosophy: at the size of the Raspberry Pi Zero, the LPi3H provides users with the same experience as the standard large-size Raspberry Pi.”

Sipeed’s statement, brought to our attention by CNX Software, is perhaps over-egging the pudding — but only a little. Despite its compact footprint, matching that of the Raspberry Pi Zero range, the Longan Pi 3H includes a full-size HDMI port, a wired gigabit Ethernet port, and two USB 2.0 Type-A ports — down from the two USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 ports available on modern full-size Raspberry Pi boards, but up from the single micro-USB On-The-Go (OTG) port of a Raspberry Pi Zero. There’s also a USB 2.0 Type-C On-The-Go port and microSD storage, the latter found on the underside of the board.

The underside also reveals a surprise: the Longan Pi 3H isn’t a true single-board computer at all, but a system-on-module (SOM) installed in a Raspberry Pi Zero-like carrier board. The current SOM offering is based around the Allwinner H618 system-on-chip, giving it a quad-core Arm Cortex-A53 processor running at up to 1.5GHz, an Arm Mali-G31 MP2 graphics processor, and a vision processing unit with VP9/VP10 decode up to 6k30, H.265 up to 6k30, and H.264 up to 4k30 — dropping to 1080p60 for H.264 MVC. That HDMI port, meanwhile, delivers 4k60 video and digital audio.

The carrier board also includes a dual-band Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.4 radio with a ceramic dual-frequency antenna, while there’s a populated 40-pin general-purpose input/output (GPIO) header which follows the common Raspberry Pi standard pinout. For storage, the microSD slot can be used — or a module with an integrated 32GB eMMC is also available. There’s even room for two user-addressable LEDs, along with physical reset and FEL buttons. For software, the board supports Debian Linux and Android 12, with mainline support planned for next year.

The Sipeed Pi 3H is available to order on the company’s AliExpress store ahead of planned mid-January shipping, priced at $23.90 for a version with 2GB of RAM and no eMMC, $29.90 for 4GB of RAM and no eMMC or $34.90 for 4GB of RAM and a 32GB eMMC; the SOM itself can also be ordered without the carrier for $17.90, but only in 2GB and no eMMC variant.

Source: Sipeed’s Longan Pi 3H Packs Full-Size Ports Into a Raspberry Pi Zero Footprint

About The Author

Ibrar Ayyub

I am an experienced technical writer holding a Master's degree in computer science from BZU Multan, Pakistan University. With a background spanning various industries, particularly in home automation and engineering, I have honed my skills in crafting clear and concise content. Proficient in leveraging infographics and diagrams, I strive to simplify complex concepts for readers. My strength lies in thorough research and presenting information in a structured and logical format.

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