Milk-V Pioneer

A 64-core, RISC-V motherboard and workstation for native development

Dec 13, 2023

Project update 5 of 5

Current Status of Production

by Wei Mi, Neko, Yiran Ke

Hey,

We have completed one round of high volume production, enough for us to deliver all of our orders! We expect to ship to Crowd Supply this month. I know you all can’t wait to get your hands on the Milk-V Pioneer!

The Linus Tech Tips channel did a review of it and I thought it would give you guys better insight about the current state of the Milk-V Pioneer.

Linus Tech Tips Review: Pioneer Box and RISC-V

Pioneer Box and RISC-V Progress

According to Linus Sebastian, Pioneer Box has made significant strides compared to the 2018 evaluation of RISC-V hardware, Hifive Unleashed. However, at the time of the review, the conventional BIOS or UEFI did not support Milk-V Pioneer’s boot process. Notably, with the rapid development of the RISC-V ecosystem, the first UEFI boot solution for a RISC-V server has been successfully integrated into the EDK2 main repository. The SG2042 project has achieved a comprehensive "EDK2 – GRUB2 – Linux kernel" boot solution, enhancing its startup support.

Performance Testing on Fedora 38

Subsequently, Linus tested the stability and performance of applications like Firefox, LibreOffice, and OpenArena (a shooting game) on the Fedora 38 operating system. In OpenArena, the workstation maintained smooth operation at 40-50fps with a power consumption of 90W. Linus further replaced the R5 230 with an RX580, achieving superior gaming experiences in high-precision, large-scale games.

Hardware Analysis and Collaboration Highlights

Linus conducted a thorough analysis and teardown of the Pioneer Box, describing it as a "half-PC, half-development kit" workstation with rich interfaces.

Optimism for RISC-V’s Future

Expressing optimism about RISC-V’s future, Linus pointed out its rapid growth, with Qualcomm and Google planning next-gen wearable devices based on RISC-V architecture. He noted that Huawei and Imagination have also entered this field. Drawing parallels with Apple’s M1 success, Linus anticipates RISC-V’s approaching "M1 Moment." He underscored the need for extensive research in the RISC-V domain, especially in binary translation and cross-architecture compatibility, to replicate similar success at the translation layer.


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