GreenWaves Technologies introduced the GAP8 low-power RISC-V IoT processor optimized for artificial intelligence applications in 2018. The multi-core (8+1) RISC-V processor is especially suitable for image and audio algorithms including convolutional neural network (CNN) inference.
The same year, the company launched the GAPUINO development kit that sold and (still sells) for $229 with QVGA camera and a multisensor board with four microphones, an STMicro VL53 Time of flight sensor, an IR sensor, a pressure sensor, a light sensor, a temperature & humidity sensor, and a 6-axis accelerometer/gyroscope. But there’s now a much more affordable solution to evaluate GAP8 multi-core RISC-V MCU with PerfXLab Perf-V Beetle board.
Perf-V Beetle board specifications:
- MCU – GAP8 IoT Application Processor with 8x RISC-V compute cores, 1x RISC-V fabric controller core delivering up to 200 MOPS at 1mW and >8 GOPS at a few tens of mW
- System Memory – 64 Mbit SPI SRAM (LY68L6400SLIT)
- Storage – 128 Mbit SPI flash (WS25Q128FVSIG)
- Audio – 4x PDM microphone (MP34DT01-M)
- Display interface
- Camera I/F – CPI? interface
- 1x GPIO expansion header
- 1x SPI header
- 1x Serial port (used for the wireless module)
- Debugging – 10-pin JTAG header
- Misc – Power LED, Red LED, Reset button, 32.768 kHz Crystal
- Power Supply – 5V/3A! via MicroUSB port
- Dimensions – 47 x 33 mm
There’s no mention about software, but I’d assume Perf-V Beetle board relies on the same GAP SDK as the GAPuino board. The board ships with a camera, a display, a USB adapter to flash the firmware, as well as an optional WiFI and Bluetooth module.
The board can be used for face detection, pedestrian detection, object recognition using the camera and display, while sound recognition and beamforming are made possible with the 4-mic array. In our earlier article, we noted GAP8 was over ten times faster than STM32H7 for about the same power consumption, or consume around 16 times less at the same performance level.
Perf-V Beetle board is sold for $59 including shipping with the display, camera, and “burner” board (Bundle 1), and $65 with an extra WiFi & Bluetooth module (Bundle 2).