SiSpeed Lichee Console 4A portable RISC-V cyberdeck $395

If you enjoy portable devices and anything equipped with the RISC-V architecture you’re sure to in joy this introduction to the first RISC-V Cyberdeck, marking a significant milestone in the world of processor architecture. This innovative device, powered by a RISC-V CPU, challenges the long-standing dominance of Intel’s x86 and ARM’s chips.

As a developer or enthusiast, you may be curious about what this cyberdeck has to offer and how it can fit into your existing toolkit. As well as exploring the ability to have a powerful development terminal with you that you can carry in your pocket to run applications such as Visual Studio Code. If you are you will be pleased to know that Jeff Geerling has been able to get his hands on the SiSpeed Lichee Console 4A for a closer look at its performance, unique features, and the potential impact it could have on the tech landscape.

RISC-V, which stands for “Reduced Instruction Set Computing – Fifth Generation,” is an open-source instruction set architecture (ISA) that has been gaining traction in recent years. The open-source nature of RISC-V allows for greater flexibility and experimentation compared to proprietary architectures like x86 and ARM. This aspect alone could be a major draw for developers who are eager to explore the possibilities of RISC-V development.

RISC-V cyberdeck

When it comes to raw performance, it’s important to note that the RISC-V Cyberdeck currently falls short compared to devices powered by Intel or ARM processors. The RISC-V CPU in this cyberdeck operates at a slower pace, with a clock speed limited to 1.5 GHz. This puts its performance on par with a Raspberry Pi 3, rather than the more powerful Raspberry Pi 4.

Here are some other systems you may find of interest featuring RISC-V :

However, it’s crucial to consider the broader ecosystem surrounding RISC-V. While the software support for RISC-V is still evolving, there is a growing community of developers and enthusiasts working to expand the range of compatible applications and tools. As more developers embrace RISC-V, we can expect to see significant improvements in performance and software support over time.

Connectivity and Expandability

One area where the RISC-V Cyberdeck shines is in its connectivity options. The device comes equipped with a gigabit Ethernet jack for fast wired internet, a USB 3.0 port for quick data transfers, and a Micro SD card slot for expandable storage. Additionally, it features a USB-C port and a mini HDMI output, allowing you to connect external displays for enhanced productivity.

The cyberdeck also offers the possibility to add a 1TB NVMe SSD, although this comes at an additional cost. This expandability option is particularly appealing for developers who require ample storage space for their projects and data.

Design and Usability

The compact design of the RISC-V Cyberdeck is a notable advantage, with the device weighing just 600 grams. This lightweight form factor enhances its portability, making it easy to carry around and use on the go. However, there are some drawbacks to consider in terms of usability.

The touchscreen display, while functional, may prove cumbersome for daily use. The built-in camera and microphone also offer subpar quality, which could be a limitation for developers who rely on these features for communication or testing purposes. It’s important to weigh these factors against your specific needs and preferences before making a decision.


Lichee Console 4A specifications

In terms of graphics performance, the cyberdeck is equipped with an Imagination PowerVR GPU, which delivers performance similar to a Raspberry Pi 4. While this is sufficient for most development tasks, it may not be ideal for resource-intensive applications or gaming. At a price point of around $400 depending on exchange rates and your chosen online store, the value proposition of the RISC-V Cyberdeck is debatable for general use. However, for developers who are specifically interested in exploring RISC-V and its potential, the investment may be worthwhile.

The SiSpeed Lichee Console 4A RISC-V Cyberdeck represents an exciting step forward in the world of processor architecture. While it may not be ready to replace your primary device just yet, it offers a unique opportunity to delve into the possibilities of RISC-V development. As the ecosystem continues to grow and mature, we can expect to see more powerful and feature-rich RISC-V devices in the future.

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