The RISC-V Platform Specification aims to ensure RISC-V hardware and software compatibility

RISC-V platform specification

The RISC-V platform specification aims to define a set of rules to make sure operating systems like Linux or the Zephyr Project can boot properly on all RISC-V hardware compliant with the specs. If you’ve ever worked with the Arm Linux kernel over ten years ago, you may remember board files, which were replaced by device tree bindings, and eventually, Arm defined several standards culminating with Arm SystemReady certifications allowing compliant Arm platforms to boot off-the-shelf OS images like in the x86 world. While we are probably a long way from a “RISC-V SystemReady” platform certification program, the RISC-V platform specification is currently being worked on to define requirements for two types of platforms with optional extensions: OS-A Platform: This specifies a rich-OS platform for Linux/FreeBSD/Windows…​flavors that run on enterprise and embedded class application processors. Current extension: Server Extension M Platform – This specifies an RTOS platform for bare-metal applications […]

Sparkfun Thing Plus – Quicklogic EOS S3 Arm eFPGA board launched in Crowd Supply

Sparkfun Thing Plus Quicklogic EOS S3

SparkFun Electronics is a well-known electronics retailer that usually sells its in-house developed or third-party boards through its own online store. But this time around, the company decided to launch “Sparkfun Thing Plus – Quicklogic EOS S3” through Crowd Supply crowdfunding platform. The board is based on QuickFeather board designed with the same Quicklogic EOS S3 Arm Cortex-M4 plus embedded FPGA SoC, but follows Sparkfun’s Thing Plus form factor with a Qwiic connector and a different mix of sensors. Sparkfun Thing Plus – Quicklogic EOS S3 (QTPLUS-1.0) board specifications: SoC – QuickLogic EOS S3 MCU + eFPGA SoC with Arm Cortex-M4F Microcontroller up to 80 MHz, up to 512 Kb SRAM, and an embedded FPGA (eFPGA) with 2400 effective logic cells, 64 Kb RAM Storage – 16 Mbit SPI NOR flash (GigaDevice GD25Q16CEIGR) Sensors STMicro LIS2DH12TR accelerometer Digital pulse density modulation (PDM) microphone with Wake-on-Sound (WoS) feature: Vesper VM3011-U1 Expansion […]

LoRa & LoRaWAN support in Zephyr OS

What is LoRaWAN

The story of LoRa began in 2009 when Cycleo, a French company, invented LoRa. LoRa (Long Range) support for Zephyr OS goes back to December 2019. Since then, there has been a huge interest among the community to extend their support for it. More recently, LoRaWAN (low-power wide-area network) support was added to Zephyr OS. This will provide true networking support to Zephyr OS over LoRa. It operates in licensed free Sub Gigahertz frequencies (865 MHz-India, 868 MHz-Europe, etc…). It makes the perfect choice for low data rates and long-range applications. What is LoRaWAN? LoRaWAN is a MAC layer that sits on top of the LoRa. According to the OSI model, LoRaWAN is the MAC (media access control) layer while LoRa is the PHY (physical) layer. LoRa protocol is closed, meaning it is proprietary to Semtech, while LoRaWAN specifications are open to the public. The reference implementation is available at […]

nRF9160 Feather LTE IoT and GPS Board Launched for $99

nRF9160 Feather

Nordic Semi nRF9160 is a system-in-package part of nRF91 series offering NB-IoT and eMTC (LTE-M) IoT connectivity, as well as assisted GPS. The package is now accessible on a board following Adafruit Feather form factor. Made by Circuit Dojo (Jared Wolff), nRF9160 Feather board supports both CAT M1 LTE and NB-IoT, can be powered by a USB power adapter or a LiPo battery and runs Zephyr OS via the nRF Connect SDK. nRF9160 Feather specifications: SiP – Nordic Semiconductor nRF9160-SICA LTE-M/NB-IoT/GPS SIP with Arm Cortex-M33 MCU, 1024 KB flash, 256 KB SRAM Storage – Onboard 4MB NOR flash (note: upgraded from initial 2MB) Cellular Connectivity – LTE Cat-M1 (eMTC) and LTE NB1/NB2 (NB-IoT) plus 4FF SIM card slot, and u.FL connector for an external antenna GNSS – Built-in assisted GPS support plus u.FL connector for an external antenna Expansion – Feather I/Os (12+16 through holes) with digital and analog I/Os, […]

PolarFire SoC Icicle 64-bit RISC-V and FPGA Development Board Runs Linux or FreeBSD (Crowdfunding)

PolarFire SoC Icicle Kit

We got some more details about PolarFire RISC-V FPGA SoC late last year, and we were promised a Linux capable 64-bit RISC-V & FPGA development board with PolarFire SoC Icicle kit in Q3 of 2020. We are already in July 2020. So where is the board? Oh, look! It’s right here on Crowd Supply where it is offered for $499, and shipping is expected to start in mid-September. PolarFire SoC Icicle specifications: SoC FPGA – PolarFire SoC MPFS250T-FCVG484EES penta–core RISC-V CPU subsystem (1xRV64IMAC, 4xRV64GC) with 254K LE non-volatile fabric, 784 18 × 18 math blocks, secure boot, 4x 12.7 Gbps SERDES, FCVG484 package (19 × 19 mm, 0.8 mm pitch) System Memory – 2GB LPDDR4 x32 Storage – 1 GBit QSPI Flash, 8GB eMMC Flash or SD card slot (multiplexed) Video Output – HDMI 2.0 (removed from final board) Connectivity – 2x Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth USB – 1x […]

QuickFeather Board is Powered by QuickLogic EOS S3 Cortex-M4F MCU with embedded FPGA (Crowdfunding)

QuickLogic EOS S3 Development Board

Yesterday, I wrote about what I felt what a pretty unique board: Evo M51 board following Adafruit Feather form factor, and equipped with an Atmel SAMD51 Cortex-M4F MCU and an Intel MAX 10 FPGA. But less than 24 hours later, I’ve come across another Adafruit Feather-sized Cortex-M4F board with FPGA fabric. But instead of using a two-chip solution, QuickLogic QuickFeather board leverages the company’s EOS S3 SoC with a low-power Cortex-M4F core and embedded FPGA fabric. QuickFeather board QuickFeather specifications: SoC – QuickLogic EOS S3 with Arm Cortex-M4F Microcontroller @ up to 80 MHz and 512 Kb SRAM, plus an embedded FPGA (eFPGA) with 2400 effective logic cells and 64Kb RAM Storage – 16Mbit SPI NOR flash USB – Micro USB  port with data signals tied to eFPGA programmable logic Sensors – Accelerometer, pressure sensor, built-in PDM microphone Expansion I/Os – Breadboard-compatible 0.1″ (2.54 mm) pitch headers including 20 Feather-defined […]

PineTime Smartwatch Specifications Released, Availability Scheduled for H1 2020

PineTime Charging Cradle & Heart Monitor

A couple of weeks ago, we covered PineTime smartwatch for PinePhone Linux smartphone that should be launched next year for around $25. At the time we had limited information from a Tweet as well as information provided by TL Lim, founder of Pine64 community, such as the watch would be based on Nordic Semi nRF52832 or nRF52840 multi-protocol WiSoC.  But we now have much more details about specs and other details can be found in the Wiki. PineTime specifications: SoC (undecided, one or the other. See differences between nRF52832 and nRF52840 for details) Nordic Semiconductor nRF52832 Arm Cortex-M4F MCU @ 64 MHz with 512KB Flash, 64KB SRAM, Bluetooth 5 (no long range) Nordic Semiconductor nRF52840 Arm Cortex-M4F MCU with 1MB flash, 256KB flash, Bluetooth 5 (long range), 802.15.4 (e.g. for Zigbee), Arm Trustzone, etc… Storage – 8MB SPI NOR Flash (final product may use 16MB flash instead) Display – 1.3″ […]

Linaro Connect San Diego 2019 Schedule – IoT, AI, Optimizations, Compilers and More

Linaro Connect San Diego 2019

Linaro has recently released the full schedule of Linaro Connect San Diego 2019 that will take place on  September 23-27. Even if you can’t attend, it’s always interested to check out the schedule to find out what interesting work is done on Arm Linux, Zephyr OS, and so on. So I’ve created my own virtual schedule with some of the most relevant and interesting sessions of the five-day event. Monday, September 23 14:00 – 14:25 – SAN19-101 Thermal Governors: How to pick the right one by Keerthy Jagadeesh, Software Engineer, Texas Instruments With higher Gigahertz and multiple cores packed in a SoC the need for thermal management for Arm based SoCs gets more and more critical. Thermal governors that define the policy for thermal management play a pivotal role in ensuring thermal safety of the device. Choosing the right one ensures the device performs optimally with in the thermal budget. […]