Enthusiasts dash for RISC-V computer with GPU

Want one? Too late


It seems computers without an Arm or x86 chip are in serious demand in the RISC-V community.

A Raspberry Pi-like small-board computer with an RISC-V chip and GPU went up for preorder on Alibaba two days ago, but is now listed as being no longer available.

Sipeed

No longer available. Source: Sipeeed. Click to enlarge

The system was announced by the Chinese hardware firm Sipeed on Twitter page on Oct. 12. A later tweet by the company noted that only 80 boards were available, and would ship in a month.

The board has a dual-core Alibaba XuanTie C910 64-bit processor – the CPU cores of which appear to be open source – and supports Android 10 or Debian 11. The board's calling card is a graphics processor capable of 2D and 3D image acceleration, but more importantly is compatible with a RISC-V chip. The RISC-V community is hard at work building an open-source GPU based on the architecture.

An image shows the development board hooked on to the back of a 7-inch touchscreen, indicating possible use for kiosk applications. The screen is included with the board.

Pricing for the board wasn't listed on the site. The small-board computer enthusiasts over at CNX Software noted a $399 price, though one Twitter user complained of the $500 listed price being too high.

The board supports DDR4 RAM, flash storage, Gigabit Ethernet, and USB-C. The chip has a neural processing unit for AI applications. Another support page notes the board has Wi-Fi and 16GB of eMMC storage. It also has regular I2C, SPI and GPIO interfaces found on single-board computers. ®

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