Raspberry Pi CM4 compatible RISC-V SoM features StarFive JH7110 SoC

We’ve seen many Arm-based system-on-modules following the Raspberry Pi CM4 form factor, but we’ve now got a RISC-V one courtesy of the Milk-V Mars CM CPU module powered by a StarFive JH7110 quad-core RISC-V SoC.

The RISC-V module comes with up to 8GB RAM, a 16MB SPI flash, an optional eMMC flash, onboard GbE PHY, and a wireless module with WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 5.2 plus the two 100-pin board-to-board connectors offering (partial) compatibility with carrier boards made for the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4.

Raspberry Pi CM4 RISC-V CPU module

Specifications:

  • SoC – StarFive JH7110
    • CPU – Quad-core RISC-V processor (RV64GC) at up to 1.5GHz
    • GPU – Imagination BXE-4-32 GPU with support for OpenCL 1.2, OpenGL ES 3.2, Vulkan 1.2
    • VPU
      • H.264 & H.265 4Kp60 decoding
      • H.265 1080p30 encoding
      • JPEG encoder / decoder
  • System Memory – 2GB, 4GB, or 8GB LPDDR4
  • Storage
    • SDIO 2.0 (options to eMMC)
    • 16MB NOR flash
  • Networking
    • Gigabit Ethernet PHY (YT8513C)
    • WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 5.2 via AP6256 module
  • 2x 100-pin board-to-board connector
    • Video Output – HDMI 2.0, 4-lane MIPI DSI
    • Audio – 2-channel audio out (via GPIO), I2S
    • Camera I/F – MIPI CSI (2x 2-lane or 1x 4-lane)
    • USB – 1x USB 2.0
    • 1x PCIe 1-lane Host, Gen 2 (5Gbps)
    • Low-speed I/Os
      • Up to 28x GPIO, supporting 3.3V
      • 6x UART, 7x I2C, SPI
      • 8x PWM
  • Power Supply – 5V DC
  • Dimensions – 55 x 40mm
StarFive JH7110 Raspberry Pi CM4 system-on-module
Block diagram

Ubuntu, Fedora, openSUSE, and Debian operating systems are listed for the Mars Compute Module (Mars CM). I could not find documentation for the Mars CM, but it should be mostly software-compatible with the earlier Mars SBC that roughly follows the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B form factor, and whose wiki has plenty of details.

Note the Raspberry Pi CM4-compatible system-on-modules on the market are obviously not software-compatible with the CM4, but mechanically and partially electrically compatible with it. For instance, all alternatives I’ve seen so far lack the second HDMI port. The RISC-V Raspberry Pi CM4 alternative has been tested successfully on the official CM4 IO board.

Mars Compute Module board to board connectors
Mars CM RISC-V SoM with the two 100-pin board-to-board connectors found in the Raspberry Pi CM4

While a lot of software development work has been done since I tested Debian 12 on StarFive VisionFive 2 SBC, also based on JH7110,  earlier this year, RISC-V software support for Linux is still in work in progress, so depending on the target application it may not be production ready.

The Mars CM can be pre-ordered on Arace for $34 with 2GB RAM and 8GB eMMC flash, $49 in 4GB/16GB configuration, and $79 for the 8GB/32GB model. Those are without a wireless module which adds $5. Deliveries are expected to start at the end of September.

Via Liliputing

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12 Comments
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Upgrade pi-top [3]
Upgrade pi-top [3]
5 months ago

ExplainingComputers’ most recent video on using RISC-V day-to-day, including the StarFive VisionFive 2, is quite illuminating with regard to standard usability.

Upgrade pi-top [3]
Upgrade pi-top [3]
5 months ago

and reliability

I tried adding that at the end by editing my previous comment but when I went to save the edit a red banner appeared saying that I was commenting too quickly and telling me to slow down!

David Willmore
David Willmore
5 months ago

Yeah, I got that the other day as well. Wouldn’t let me post again for a while and by then it was too late to edit.

tkaiser
tkaiser
5 months ago

Known problem. Reported 2 weeks ago, forwarded to the plugin developers who are responsible for this site’s comments functionality by Jean-Luc. We’ll see when a fix will be available…

David Willmore
David Willmore
5 months ago

I know, I reported the issue to Jean-Luc on the 18th of August.

David Willmore
David Willmore
5 months ago

Still exists. Tried to edit a post just now and it told me to slow down. Uhh, I only have 5 minutes to edit it, I can’t slow down, dummy.

Upgrade pi-top [3]
Upgrade pi-top [3]
5 months ago

Also, where you state that the Milk-V Mars “roughly follows the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B form factor” – do you have any further details, such as dimensions for the location of IO components, e.g. HDMI and 3.5mm AV ports?

Mnt reform
Mnt reform
5 months ago

Finally! The whole MNT-Reform notebook community https://shop.mntre.com/products/mnt-reform is waiting for this cm4 form factor RISC-V board! The CEO of MNTRE did not liked to create an own PCB because he was expecting to see a product on the open market. And now its there!
Now there is the only openhardware RISC-V Notebook in existence available to build yourself together.

Upgrade pi-top [3]
Upgrade pi-top [3]
5 months ago

If pi-top hadn’t stopped manufacturing their laptops, it would be the second lol.

John Kelleher
5 months ago

What I like most about these alternatives Raspberry Pi CM4s is they have to be putting pressure on Raspberry Pi Corp. RISC V maybe not much but it is something. They know that their market is in the crosshairs of competitors.

Upgrade pi-top [3]
Upgrade pi-top [3]
5 months ago

Aren’t they an affiliate or something of RISC-V International?

It would be fantastic if they finally ditched the closed source blob-ridden Broadcom GPU—>CPU setup and went with a fully FOSSH RISC-V setup.

Upgrade pi-top [3]
Upgrade pi-top [3]
5 months ago

*FLOSSH

Khadas VIM4 SBC