In recent years, people have discussed the need to have Arm-based PCs or workstations for developers to work directly on the target hardware, and there are now several options including SynQuacer E-Series 24-Core Arm PC, Ampere eMAG 64bit Arm Workstation, and HoneyComb LX2K 16-core Arm Workstation.
Now it appears we’ll soon get something similar for RISC-V architecture with SiFive to debut the first RISC-V PC for developers at the Linley Fall Processor Conference 2020 taking place on October 20-22 and October 27-29. The PC will be powered by Freedom U740 next-generation RISC-V processor that will also be introduced at the event.
We have very few details about this point in time, but the company points the SiFive Freedom U740 (FU740) SoC will enable professional developers to create RISC-V applications from bare-metal to Linux-based. The processor is said to combines a heterogeneous mix+match core complex with modern PC expansion capabilities, which probably means PCIe, SATA etc.., and the company will provide tools to ease professional software development.
We’ll find out more next month, as Dr. Yunsup Lee, CTO of SiFiv, will showcase the “world’s first RISC-V PC” at the Linley Conference. That does not necessarily mean it will be launched at that time, but at least there will be a working demo. Technically, it’s not the first RISC-V PC, as some people previously made a PC with HiFive Unleashed RISC-V Linux board, but SiFive PC should be the first one that’s usable and commercially available.
You may find a few more details on the press release, but the best way to find more details is to register for free to the Linley Group Fall Virtual Processor Conference 2020 that is intended for chip designers, system designers, equipment vendors, OEM/ODMs, service providers, press, and the financial community.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.
15 Replies to “SiFive to Debut RISC-V PC for Developers based on Freedom U740 next-gen SoC”
U540 was 4 cores, so I’ll guess 8 cores for U740.
The company announced the U74 processor before, so if U740 is similar it may be a quad-core RISC-V processor (Cortex-A55 performance level) with one S7 monitor core.
“Given the mention of mix+match and the intention to demonstrate the FU740 on a PC, the FU740 may well be based on new octa-core capable U7-series variants. The only multi-core U7 core — the U74-MC — offers four identical mainstream cores along with the S7 companion core, so there is nothing to mix and match.
SiFive may intend to launch two new octa-core capable U7 core variants with different clock speeds. In introducing the U8-series, SiFive posted a block diagram for a hypothetical octa-core SoC that uses mix+match to combine four, up to 2.6GHz U84 cores with four U74-MC cores and an S2 companion core.”
Possible, but SiFive may also consider 4x U7 + 1x S7 to be “mix+match”.
U74 is just an IP core like “Arm Cortex-A55”
Fredoon U740 is an actual processor likely to be based on U74 core. We’ll find out soon enough.
Maybe had better use U84. According to press info = cortex A72. But they dont have GPU…. nobody is working on it… maybe Imagination ???? it will cost a fortune
yes, I am afraid about the same. So far RISC-V dev boards capable of running Linux like HiFive Unleashed have been quite expensive. If the prices drop to match ARM it is going to become a very interesting market 🙂
If ARM prices don’t raise up to meet it. 🙁
yes, you are right. This is also an option.
Let’s hope antitrust will stop Nvidia madness…
Imho risc-v doesn’t need wifi, bluetooth etc. Having pcie slots and dimm memory would blow off most of arm sbc.
Can we place bets about the price?
My guess: 1500+ euro.
Once development pc meant cheap hardware, no frills, where the manufacturer most of the time sold it below price so that it could be adopted and tested by as many people as possible.
Now it’s completely the opposite: this hardware is sold at crazy prices and bought most of the time by people who will keep it in a museum.
Did you say 1500 euros? I say at least 3000 for a pc.
at least 3000 for a pc … Ouch!