Linux 5.12 – Main Changes, Arm, MIPS and RISC-V Architectures

Linux 5.12

Linux 5.12 release was expected last Sunday, but Linus Torvalds decided to release one more release candidate, namely Linux 5.12-RC8, to “make sure things are all settled down“, so the latest Linux kernel is now expected this weekend.  Tihs should not yield any significant changes, so we can check what’s new in Linux 5.12, notably with regards to Arm, MIPS, and RISC-V architectures often used in SoC’s found in embedded systems. Around two months ago, the release of Linux 5.11 added support for Intel’s software guard extensions (SGX) and Platform Monitoring Technology (PMT), AMD “Van Gogh” and “Dimgrey cavefish” graphics processors, MIPI I3C host controller interfaces, and much more. Some interesting changes in Linux 5.12 include: Added support for ACRN hypervisor designed for IoT & embedded devices Added support for Playstation DualSense & Nintendo 64 game controllers, as well as Nintendo 64 data cartridges Dynamic thermal power management via a subsystem that allows the power usage of groups of devices […]

Perf-V Beetle board features GAP8 multi-core RISC-V AI MCU

Perf-V Beetle board

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 […]

A first look at Allwinner D1 Linux RISC-V SBC and Processor

Allwinner D1 RISC-V SBC

Last year, we reported that Allwinner was working on an Alibaba XuanTie C906 based RISC-V processor that would be found in low-cost Linux capable single board computers selling for as low as $12. The good news is that we won’t have to wait much longer as Allwinner D1 RISC-V processor is slated for an announcement next week, and a business card-sized SBC, also made by Allwinner, will become available in May. Some of the information is already available to developers in China, and CNX Software managed to obtain information about the Linux RISC-V SBC and Allwinner D1 processor. Allwinner D1 development board Let’s check out the board first which comes with the following specifications: SoC – Allwinner D1 single-core XuanTie C906 64-bit RISC-V processor @ 1.0 GHz with HiFi4 DSP, G2D 2D graphics accelerators Memory – 1GB DDR3 memory Storage – 256MB SPI NAND flash, MicroSD card slot Video Output – HDMI 1.4 port up to 4Kp30, MIPI DSI & […]

SiFive Core IP 21G1 release improves bit manipulation, floating-point unit, reduces code footprint

SiFive 21G1 Release RISC-V Cores

As SiFive has a portfolio of RISC-V cores ranging from low-power E2-series to high-performance U8-series cores with performance similar to Cortex-A7x cores, the company has not released new cores for a while, and instead focuses on improving their current RISC-V cores. We saw that last year with the SiFive 20G1 release that improved performance & efficiency, and lowered the silicon area for the same features set. SiFive further improved its cores and ecosystem with the latest SiFive 21G1 release. The main new  features brought by SiFive 21G1 release include: SiFive 2-Series and 7-Series processors are now available with the “Bit Manipulation” extension, RV32B, with Zba and Zbb extensions. This can accelerate Cryptographic Hash algorithms by up to 35% Support for FP16 half-precision floating-point computation in order to reduce memory size and power consumption, and for some AI workloads The memory map is now fully programmable SiFive RV64 processors support up to 48-bit virtual addressing and 47-bit hardware addressing through the […]

ESP32-C3-DevKitM-1 RISC-V WiFI & BLE board to launch for $8, modules for $1.8+

ESP32-C3-DevKitM-1 board

ESP32-C3 may be one of the most expected RISC-V processors in the IoT world, as it’s eventually expected to sell for the same price as ESP8266 and offers both WiFi and Bluetooth LE connectivity. Some engineering samples of the chip. modules and boards were distributed to developers shortly after the announcement at the end of the last year, but now it appears ESP32-C3-DevKitM-1 board will become available for $8 next month from distributors such as Mouser or DigiKey. Since I’ve never written about ESP32-C3-DevKitM-1 board let’s check out the specifications: Wireless module – ESP32­-C3­-MINI­-1 with ESP32-C3FH4 (105°C) or ESP32-C3FN4 (85°C) 32-bit RISC-V single-core processor, up to 160 MHz, 4 MB embedded flash,  384 KB ROM, 400 KB SRAM (16 KB for cache), 8 KB SRAM in RTC Connectivity – 2.4 GHz 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi 4 & Bluetooth LE 5.0 USB – 1x Micro USB port for power and programming via USB-UART bridge Expansion – 2x headers with GPIO, ADC, UART, SPI, […]

Made in Thailand CorgiDude RISC-V AI board aims to teach machine learning

CorgiDude AI Learning Kit

There’s a relatively small but active maker community in Thailand, and we’ve covered or even reviewed some made in Thailand boards including ESP8266 and ESP32 boards, a 3G Raspberry Pi HAT, and KidBright education platform among others. MakerAsia has developed CorgiDude, a board based on the version of Sipeed M1 RISC-V AI module with built-in WiFi, and part as a kit with a camera and a display used to teach machine learning and artificial intelligence with MicroPython or C/C++ programming. CorgiDude board specifications: AI Wireless Module – Sipeed M1W Module with Kendryte K210  dual-core 64-bit RISC-V RV64IMAFDC CPU @ 400Mhz with FPU, various AI accelerators (KPU, FFT accelerator…),  8MiB on-chip SRAM Espressif ESP8285 single-core 2.4 GHz WiFi 4 SoC plus IPEX antenna connector Storage – MicroSD card slot Camera I/F for 2MP OV2640 sensor up to 1280 × 1024 (SXGA) @ 30 fosm SVGA @ 30 fps, or CIF @ 60 fps Display I/F for 1.3-inch RGB IPS display with […]

Bluetrum AB32VG1 board features AB5301A Bluetooth RISC-V MCU, runs RT-Thread RTOS

Blueturm RISC-V board description

Bluetrum, a Shenzhen-based fabless company focusing on audio chips, has designed the AB32VG1 board based on its AB5301A Bluetooth RISC-V MCU for general-purpose and audio applications. The board comes with a MicroSD card, a USB port, a 3.5mm audio jack, and Arduino UNO compatible headers for easy prototyping. Bluetrum AB32VG1 board preliminary specifications: MCU – Bluetrum AB5301A RISC-V MCU @ 120 MHz (overclockable to 192 MHz) with 192KB RAM, 1MB flash, Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity and FM radio;  LQFP48 package Storage – MicroSD card slot Audio – 3.5mm audio jack, 3-pin microphone header Connectivity – Bluetooth 5.0 with PCB antenna USB – USB 2.0 host port, USB Type-C port for power and programming Expansion – Arduino UNO header with 1x I2C, 6x ADC, 6x PWM Misc – IR receiver, 3x user buttons, 1x reset button, RGB LED, power LED,  status LEDs, various configuration jumper Power Supply – 5V via USB Type-C or Vin pin on the expansion header Dimensions – 9×6 […]

ZiHintPause is the first RISC-V extension ratified under the Fast Track Architecture Extension Process

RISC-V ZiHintPause

RISC-V open architecture allows designers to implement their own instructions, and some of those may become an official RISC-V extension. But the process to approve a new extension may have been suboptimal, so RISC-V International has just unveiled the Fast Track Architecture Extension Process, or Fast Track for short,  that streamlines the ratification of small architecture extensions, as well as ZiHintPause, the first extension to be ratified under the new Fast Track process. The process is designed for simpler extensions that are uncontentious and offer value to the RISC-V community at large, so it’s not suitable for more complex extensions. An extension that has been submitted for consideration will undergo an internal review before entering a 45-day public review process. You can read detailed rules for the new extension ratified process here. The ZiHintPause extension went through this 45-day review process on Google Group, and was very recently ratified. The ZiHintPause extension is meant to reduce the energy consumption of […]