RISC-V is a new processor instruction set architecture (ISA) developed by the University of California, Berkeley. ISA was originally designed for teaching purposes, has been released as an open source, license-free template, and is now used in millions or even billions of applications. However, as an ordinary PC user, how can you use a RISC-V processor?Well, according to this week’s announcement From StarFive (as Xiaorenguo), you will soon see a RISC-V driven PC.
This method has attracted the attention of many motherboard manufacturers. Today we showed us StarFive’s Single Board Computer (SBC), which is supported by RISC-V ISA technology. In the joint venture with Radxa, the two hardware developers announced that they will produce SBCs powered by RISC-V processors at the end of the third quarter of 2021.
The new board uses StarFive’s JH7100 processor based on the 28nm semiconductor node. It uses two SiFive U74 cores, which are powerful and can easily run many tasks. Although these cores are not the fastest on the market, they are roughly equivalent to Arm’s Cortex-A55 design. In addition to the CPU, there are other IPs, such as Nvidia’s NVDLA neural network accelerator, with the Vision DSP Tensilica-VP6 for computing vision.
We have introduced the implementation of StarFive’s JH7100 processor here. SBC is a joint cooperation between Seeed Studio and Beagleboard, but the product was later discontinued, and now the development work continues through the cooperation of StarFive and Radxa.
“Single-board computers will be officially released at the end of the third quarter of 2021, and the next-generation JH7110 chip supporting the new GPU functions will be mass-produced soon.” StarFive announced and continued to state that “work-related development platforms have been fully implemented.” This indicates that the updated JH7110 chip will be equipped with a GPU that can be used for 3D workloads, which is different from the JH7100 that is not equipped with a GPU.
RISC-V ISA is free. You don’t need a special license to use it, and the documentation is completely open to anyone. Even the development of ISA is done publicly with the help of open source contributors, which makes it a unique approach in a world dominated by closed source ISA.