We founded SiFive to bring the power of open source to the semiconductor industry. We do this not only by supporting the RISC-V specification, but also by implementing the specification and getting usable chips into the hands of developers as quickly as we can. We did exactly that just over a year ago when we introduced the open source, Arduino-compatible HiFive1 dev board based on our Freedom Everywhere line of 32-bit microcontrollers. Today, we’re proud to be doing the same thing with our Freedom Unleashed 64-bit, Linux-capable system-on-chip (SoC) platform. Meet the HiFive Unleashed, the world’s first RISC-V-based, Linux-capable development board.
Industry skeptics have previously dismissed RISC-V as an academic project, low performance, and only for microcontrollers. HiFive Unleashed, featuring the SiFive Freedom U540 SoC, ends all of that. Linux and RISC-V were meant for each other, and the HiFive Unleashed dev board brings them together for the first time.
Here’s what’s actually on the HiFive Unleashed board:
The board measures is 120 mm x 90 mm. If you include the power button, which sticks out from the board, the dimensions are 129 mm x 90 mm.
HiFive Unleashed board (top)
The foundation of the HiFive Unleashed board is the Freedom U540 SoC:
RISC-V has been described as the "Linux" of processors. RISC-V is a free, open, extensible instruction set architecture (ISA) invented by the co-founders of SiFive. The RISC-V specification is now maintained by the nonprofit RISC-V Foundation, whose membership has increased more than six-fold since 2015 and now consists of over 100 members, including some of the largest companies in the world.
We first publicly demonstrated this board on February 3, 2018 at FOSDEM. Similar to our previous board, the HiFive1, we’re building our initial batches locally and will test each board ourselves.
Crowd Supply will be handling all fulfillment and logistics. As such, all boards will be shipping from Portland, Oregon in the US. See The Crowd Supply Guide for more information on their ordering and shipping policies.
Our early boards are up and running! We are still characterizing and bringing up the board, so the final specs may change slightly. But the silicon and board are in great shape and we can’t wait to see it in the hands of developers!
"Aside from being open source and customizable, one of the main benefits of RISC-V is that it is fully modern, purpose built, and unburdened with legacy code."
"RISC-V free and open architecture has gained traction in the last couple of years. SiFive has been one of the most active companies with RISC-V architecture."
"The key selling point for the HiFive Unleashed: It's the first off-the-shelf RISC-V product to be able to boot operating systems running the Linux kernel, which recently received mainstream support for the RISC-V ISA."
"The Hi-Five Unleashed uses one Freedom U540 paired with 8GB DDR4 ECC RAM, as well as 32MB Quad SPI Flash, a microSD card slot for external storage, a Gigabit Ethernet port, and an FMC connector for future expansion cards."
"The 28nm fabricated U540 SoC that drives the SBC is not only the first multi-core and Linux-ready RISC-V processor, but the first to provide cache coherence."
"The processor is intended to run Linux for applications including AI, machine learning, networking, gateways and smart IoT devices."
"First unveiled back at FOSDEM, the SiFive HiFive Unleashed Linux-compatible RISC-V development board heralds an exciting time in the world of free and open source silicon..."
Produced by SiFive in San Mateo, CA.
Sold and shipped by Crowd Supply.
Join the revolution! Your early support will help tremendously and you'll be rewarded with the world's first and only Linux-capable, RISC-V-based development board.
Absolutely can't wait to get your hands on the world's first and only Linux-capable, RISC-V-based dev board? Then grab one of these limited-edition boards with delivery slated for the end of March. Only 75 early access boards available.
San Mateo, CA · sifive.com
SiFive is the leading provider of processor cores, accelerators, and SoC IP to create domain-specific architecture based on the free and open RISC-V instruction set architecture. SiFive offers scalable, configurable processor cores pre-integrated with security, trace, and debug features for workload-specific accelerator designs. Founded by the inventors of RISC-V, SiFive has 15 design centers worldwide and backing from Sutter Hill Ventures, SK Hynix, Qualcomm Ventures, Western Digital, Intel Capital, Spark Capital, Osage University Partners, and Prosperity7 Ventures.
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