Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by bit-tech, 5 Feb 2018.
It's running softwareGL?
EDIT: Yes, must be. Looked at the high level core arch on their site and no GPU listed. 1.7DMIPs/MHz is at least competitive, and no extra cost for real-time makes it quite attractive for some embedded applications. They need to compare it to Cortex-R too. If they could fab it on a hardened 40/28 it'll find the industrial/automotive vote.
For that specific chip.. I'm not actually sure what you'd use it for. Storage (NAS)?
Take another look. I don't see any video connectors.
I'd like to see this take off, though. Something with video connectors and a lower price point would be nice. ARM vs x86 is boring.
That's what the FMC connector's for: the demos used an FMC with USB and PCIe gateware to provide additional connectivity, including video output. If you don't have an FMC to go with it, you're using the Ethernet port as your primary IO.
This specific chip will, I'll wager, see most use as a testbed and development platform - but a few generations down the line...
RISC-V in general, meanwhile, is on an absolute rocketship ride: Western Digital's switching to RISC-V with plans to ship billion cores within the next couple of years; Nvidia's replacing its in-house Falcon RISC ISA with RISC-V (PDF warning) having picked it over Arm, MIPS, ARC, and Tensilica; you've got COTS stuff landing from people like SiFive, mainline Linux support, proper toolchains; Samsung's already built a RISC-V MCU which it's likely to use in its consumer electronics products to save itself the Arm licence fee; and the RISC-V Foundation boasts Google, Micron, Microsemi, NXP, Qualcomm, and Rambus as Platinum Members with GlobalFoundries, Huawei, IBM, Lattice Semi, MediaTek, Mentor, Seagate, and Seimens among the Gold Member (oh, behave!) names you'll recognise. Exciting times!
I saw FPGA and sort of glossed over it as "developer hardware". Which, well, it is, but not in that sense. My bad.
Mate of mine's put his hard-earned up for the $1K HiFive Unleashed board, but drew the line at the $4K-ish the Xilinx FMC used in the demos would cost. Apparently Microsemi's working on a cheaper alternative, though I fear that in this instance "cheaper" is entirely relative.
He's lending me the board when it arrives, though, so expect benchies by the dozen (including the usual lazy comparison to a Raspberry Pi 3, 'cos it's just so easy to do - and I'm not expecting the Pi to lose on any of the categories bar possibly network throughput, but the interesting thing will be just how close what is effectively a first-generation chip on an entirely novel ISA built by a scrappy little startup that only built its first chip in November 2016 can get to a well-established Nth-generation implementation of Arm's ISA built by industry giant Broadcom.)
I guess they are just feeling out the market then will engage with whoever buys one to see what they want. ARM is going to hurt bigly over RISC-V and it might put MIPS in the ground for good, unless the Chinese fully integrate it under its wing, but Tsinghua already has Centaur
it's own x86-64 chip.
$1k is a drop in the ocean for businesses. It's not really a maker product.
No, that's the SiFive HiFive1. Looks like an Arduino, walks like an Arduino, quacks like an Arduino, but it's actually an (up to) 320MHz RISC-V board. Shiny!
I keep thinking these need NB-IoT modems (or SigFox/unlicensed) to truly unleash their potential from personal area device to everywhere device.
LoRaWAN, man, LoRAWAN.
Apart from high core frequency, that soc is abysmal - couple limited UARTs/QSPIs/PWMs and thats it, are you supposed to bit-bang everything else? If so, you might get more things done on a 32mhz AVR. And to top it off - it uses a lot of power (0.53W+ @ 320MHz, not counting flash).
Still hoping that NXP will someday release RISCV powered LPC, but with broadcom shenanigans, it might be just a dream.
Now I'm looking and finding GPS/Lora 'hats' for Pi on Taobao ha
EDIT: lol it uses our (well, now subsidiary) MT3339 for GPS.
That chip was literally SiFive's first commercial silicon, and it's designed purely for experimentation and RISC-V development. The focus is less on Developing A Thing, and more Developing on RISC-V at as Low a Cost as Possible. If you want more functionality, you can license the IP block and design your own SoC with whatever added features you like through SiFive's DesignShare platform.
Not sure about the power draw figure there, either: running at 256MHz ('cos the 320MHz mode wasn't available at the time) I had it drawing 63.4mA under sustained load compared to a 16MHz Arduino Uno at 47mA, an Arduino 101 at 61.6mA, and an Intel Edison at 76.3mA - in other words, it's entirely competitive to products from rivals that have been in the market way longer and are dozens of generations down the line.
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