We have been following the rise of RISC-V since ISA came out about a decade ago. While high-performance RISC-V CPUs are still lagging behind their x86 or ARM counterparts, the absolute performance of the RISC-V core is rapidly increasing. Best of all, the cost is declining, especially for those who like to experiment with new architecture.
RISC-V boards have been purchased before, but the options are limited, especially for the money you spend. We discussed the expensive SiFive option last year – a quad-core chip, in that case – but now there is a much cheaper BIG board option.
The CPU is a dual-core U 74 built by StarFive – you can see the label below – but the U74 is a SiFive CPU core. Starfaff and Sifov use the same logo, indicating the relationship between the two. The company may operate in both names or may have been disbanded by a chip development team. In any case, the U74 core is common to both the $ 119 BeagleV and the most expensive hive disproportionate platform it covers back in 2020.
- VIC-7100 RISC-V Dual Core at 1.5 MB with 2 MB L2 cache.
- Vision DSP Tensilica-VP6
- NVDLA motor (2048 MACs @ 800MHz)
- Nerve Network Engine (1048 MACs @ 500MHz)
The board will cost $ 149 for 8 GB. 1080p @ 30Hz resolution on both HDMI supports both H.264 and H.265 diodes. There are 4x USB 3.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet port and 802.11b / g / n wireless. There is also a 40-pin GPU header, as you can see
There are two versions on the road. First of all, it only installs 8GB of RAM because it does not have its own video hardware that can be sent quickly to fans. The second GPU is expected to display GPU with open source drivers in PowerVR. It comes in two flavors – $ 119 4GB variant and 8GB variant, at $ 149. It is expected that these backboards will sell the VIC-7100 to VIC-7110 and convert it to a new SoC. This will be a quad-core socket with the special video hardware mentioned above.
It’s nice to see RISC-V prices go down and we look forward to seeing if the opening ISA starts taking fans in the consumer space. The Raspberry Pi is an 800-pound, $ 35 gorilla in the classroom, but the right number of companies have launched the same DI products from RBP and a relatively large set of features.
The U74 is said to have a performance similar to that of the Cortex-A55, so don’t expect miracles from the chip, but the high-performance on the RISC-V is getting better every year. If any ISA without ARM or x86 is going to set itself up as a high-performance (widely developed) option, it looks like RISC-V.