Home > Hardware, SiFive > LoFive is a Tiny Open Source Hardware Board based on SiFive FE310 RISC-V Open SoC

LoFive is a Tiny Open Source Hardware Board based on SiFive FE310 RISC-V Open SoC

Do you remember HiFive1? It’s an Arduino compatible board based on the SiFive FE310 open source RISC-V SoC. Michael Welling has now started working on LoFive board using the same processor, but in a much smaller & breadboard friendly form factor.

LoFive board specifications:

  • MCU – SiFive Freedom E310 (FE310) 32-bit RV32IMAC processor @ up to 320+ MHz (1.61 DMIPS/MHz)
  • Storage – 128-Mbit SPI flash (ISSI IS25LP128)
  • Expansion – 2x 14-pin headers with JTAG, GPIO, PWM, SPI, UART, 5V, 3.3V and GND
  • Misc – 1x reset button, 16 MHz crystal
  • Power Supply – 5V via pin 1 on header; Operating Voltage: 3.3 V and 1.8 V
  • Dimensions – 38 x 18 mm (estimated)

The board will be programmable with Arduino IDE + Cinco just like HiFive1 board.

Click to Enlarge

The board is also open source hardware, so beside the aforelinked info on Hackster,io, you’ll also find the KiCAD schematics, PCB layout, and 3D renders, released under CERN Open Hardware License v1.2, on Github.

  1. August 31st, 2017 at 15:22 | #1

    There is also a Hackaday project page with some more informations: https://hackaday.io/project/26909-lofive

    Unfortunately and according to Michael Welling, FE310 MCUs are available as engineering samples only for now.

  2. blu
    August 31st, 2017 at 15:47 | #2

    But how do they manage to sell the HiFive1? They can’t be going off engineering samples, can they?

  3. crashoverride
    August 31st, 2017 at 17:46 | #3

    I looked at the product page for the FE310. Its not very competitive in this day and age: high cost/low features.

    The ESP32 is far more compelling as the “Swiss Army Knife” of products in this category. It even has floating point hardware that the FE310 lacks.

    My advice for “RISC V” would be to focus on “massive scale” complexes. This is where the lack of license cost will offer them an advantage. They should be making 1024 core chips with SIMD (which is not yet available) for use in the emerging AI / Neural Network / Skynet industry.

  4. gizmoduck
    September 1st, 2017 at 20:35 | #4

    From a user perspective, what’re the benefits of RISC-V over other ISAs.

  5. crashoverride
    September 2nd, 2017 at 16:06 | #5

    From an architectural point of view, I saw nothing noteworthy or novel about RISC-V. Its a run-of-the-mill RISC architecture (load/store).

    Its *potential* impact is the same a Linux. Whether it translates to benefits to the end user is highly dependent on the user just as it is with Linux. Right now, its appeal is mostly academic. Whether it reaches the “critical mass” to be disruptive or not remains to be seen.

    My hope is that it that encourages others to grab a FPGA and experiment, learn, and expand upon it. Its an incredible time to be alive for anyone interested in tech. The world is there for the taking.

  6. theguyuk
    September 2nd, 2017 at 18:20 | #6

    For FAQ. Frequently Asked Questions about RISC-V


  7. gizmoduck
    September 4th, 2017 at 09:43 | #7

    Thank you for the response. It sounds like RISC-V mostly benefits chip makers and academics and not so much end-users who buy complete boards or even people choosing an SoC to integrate into custom boards. Unless it’s somehow easier to bring up custom boards with RISC-V than say ARM/x86 or other benefits I’m not familiar with.

  8. September 7th, 2017 at 16:14 | #8

    The board can be purchased for $25 + shipping on GroupGets https://groupgets.com/campaigns/353-lofive-risc-v
    The sale will only go ahead if 100 boards are pre-ordered.

  9. September 19th, 2017 at 05:27 | #9

    A five-pack of FE310 chips is now available on https://www.crowdsupply.com/sifive/hifive1 for $25.

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