If you’re a RISC-V architecture’s enthusiast or represent a company working on products with the new ISA, you may have spent $999 or more on Hifive Unleashed RISC-V Linux development board a few months ago.
You now have the opportunity to spend an extra $1,999 for HiFive Unleashed Expansion Board powered by a MicroSemi PolarFire FPGA programmed with a PCIe root port bridge, and allowing you to test all sorts of peripherals such as HDD’s & SSD’s, HDMI output, and audio cards, network adapters, graphics cards, and so on.
- FPGA – Microsemi Low Power PolarFire FPGA with 300K Logic Element
- 4 Gbit DDR4 x16
- SPI Flash for remote FPGA updates, QSPI Flash connected to GPIO
- 24 lane PCIe Switch
- x1 PCI Express card connector
- x16 PCI Express card connector with 4 lanes of PCIe gen2 connected
- SSD M.2 connector
- SATA connector
- HDMI connector
- eMMC Nand Flash
- uSD Card Slot
- USB to UART bridges
- 2 CAN transceivers
- FMC connection to HFU540-4A00 kit
- Dimensions – 27.2 x 11.7 cm
The board comes with a power supply, USB cable, and a FlashPro4 FPGA programmer. It is currently pre-programmed with a Chiplink to PCIe Root Port bridge enabling easy connectivity to PCIe add in cards, but a 1-year Libero GOLD license ($995 value) is also offered with the kit, which can be used to modify the bitstream in the FPGA. One potential application for the board is to build a complete RISC-V Linux PC with graphics card, HDD, USB ports, Gigabit Ethernet, and so on.
SiFive went to Crowdsupply again to sell the expansion board, and so far one backer went ahead. Shipping is free to the US, $40 to the rest of the world, and the expansion board is expected to ship at the end of May 2018.