Huawei and OrangePi launch new dev board with mystery CPU and AI processor — Huawei again hides chip specs from prying eyes

The OrangePi Kunpeng Pro
(Image credit: OrangePi)

Huawei and OrangePi have announced a joint venture in the OrangePi Kunpeng Pro development board. The Raspberry Pi alternative runs not only a quad-core 64-bit Arm processor but also an AI processor that's integrated into the same package, but Huawei and OrangePi aren't releasing the specifics of the processor. In fact, the name of the chip has been hidden in the official renders, a practice that we've seen from Huawei in the past as it seeks to avoid prying Western eyes. However, we dug into the documentation to confirm that the chip is based on a custom Huawei Kunpeng CPU design. It features new tech that we haven't seen from Kunpeng processors before, showing that Huawei's Kunpeng line of chips is advancing into the AI realm.

The single-board computer includes tools and capabilities suitable for consumers, developers, and students. It comes with the openEuler OS preinstalled, along with the openGauss database and a suite of internet, productivity, and software development packages.

The OrangePi Kunpeng Pro development board

The OrangePi Kunpeng Pro development board (Image credit: OrangePi)

The Kunpeng Pro development board uses a custom Huawei Kunpeng CPU that's paired with an AI FPGA processor. Huawei has been under severe sanctions from the U.S. government, limiting its access to certain chips and chip-making technologies. Therefore, OrangePi and Huawei aren't revealing the specific model number of the Kunpeng CPU, but we do know that it is a quad-core ARM model.

Both the CPU and FPGA are placed in the same chip package, but it isn't clear if the CPU and FPGA are separate chiplets under the same heatspreader or if they are integrated onto the same die. Regardless of whether the FPGA and CPU reside on chiplets or the same die, this represents a new capability for Huawei's custom Kunpeng chip designs.

The AI processor provides 8 TOPS of AI computing power. For the sake of comparison, the Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite and Apple M4 neural engines are rated for 45 TOPS and 38 TOPS, respectively. OrangePi and Huawei have equipped the Kunpeng Pro development board with two HDMI ports supporting 4K displays, a Type-C power interface, Wi-Fi 5, and Gigabit Ethernet.

The full specifications are:

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CPU4-core 64-bit Kunpeng Pro processor + AI processor
GPUIntegrated graphics processor
AI computing power8 TOPS computing power
MemoryLPDDR4X: 8GB/16GB (optional), rate: 3200Mbps
StorageSPI FLASH: 32MB
Row 5 - Cell 0 SATA/NVME SSD (M.2 interface 2280)
Row 6 - Cell 0 eMMC slot: 32GB/64GB/128GB/256GB (optional), eMMC5.1 HS400
Row 7 - Cell 0 TF slot
Wi-Fi + BluetoothWi-Fi 5 dual-band 2.4G and 5G
Row 9 - Cell 0 BT4.2/BLE
Ethernet10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet
Display2xHDMI2.0 Type-A TX 4K@60FPS
Row 12 - Cell 0 • 1x2 lane MIPI DSI via FPC connector
Camera2x2-lane MIPI CSI camera interface, compatible with Raspberry Pi camera
Row 15 - Cell 0 USB Type-C 3.0 HOST x1
Row 16 - Cell 0 Micro USB x1 Serial port printing function
Audio3.5mm headphone jack audio input/output
Buttons1x shutdown button, 1xRESET button, 2x startup mode toggle button, 1x burning button
40-pin GPIO header40PIN function expansion interface, supports the following interface types: GPIO, UART, I2C, SPI, I2S, PWM
FanFan interface x1
Reserved port2PIN battery interface
Power supplyType-C PD 20V IN, standard 65W
Supported operating systemsopenEuler

OrangePi Kunpeng Pro is available only through Chinese retailers at this time. Pricing starts at 1,076 yuan (approximately $148.92 USD.) IT Home lists four available packages of the OrangePi Kunpeng Pro.

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OPi Kunpeng Pro 8GB motherboard, cooling fan, 64GB eMMC module, plastic case, power supply1076 yuan
OPi Kunpeng Pro 16GB motherboard, cooling fan, 64GB eMMC module, plastic case, power supply1326 yuan
OPi Kunpeng Pro 8GB motherboard, cooling fan, 64GB eMMC module, metal case, power supply1205 yuan
OPi Kunpeng Pro 16GB motherboard, cooling fan, 64GB eMMC module, metal case, power supply1455 yuan
Freelance News Writer