RISC-V (riscv64)
#1
Since I am interested in the RISC-V architecture and the everyday use of open technologies, it would be nice to use a more open technology in my desktop (at the moment my desktop is RockPro64, about two years, if I'm not mistaken), so I want to know there are no plans to release boards with riscv64 processor?
So far there is one board for a good price and performance (at least according to the description).
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#2
If the EOMA86 (sp?) guy is to believed, then RISC-V are not really as "open" as they like to market themselves, but rather just another group who are riding the current wave of "open source" popularity.

I have no reason to doubt EOMA86 guy (sorry, his name is not coming to me this moment) because he seems to have dedicated a large part of his life towards F/LOSS, and now /H with the libre-soc project.  In fact, that project used to be called libre-RISC, but they changed it somewhat recently...  Guess why?  Wink
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#3
RISC-V is open. But, any company that makes modifications and sells the results, does not have to share the results upstream. That is one of the main differences that GPL people point to as non-open source. However, this allows a company to embed a RISC-V processor in a device, (Western Digital and nVidia comes to mind), and not have to disclose the design modifications to their competitors.

As for the BeagleV, it's not completely suitable as a replacement desktop. Here are what I think it's missing;
  • The HDMI is 1080P@30FPS but some computer monitors support 50 to 76hz, so it would not work on those
  • Storage via SD card only is a bit limiting. A single SATA DOM port or eMMC connector would have been a good improvement
  • Using a combo slot of UFS/SD would have better than just a SD slot
It would have been nice to also have >1Gbps Ethernet. Like use a 2.5Gbps or 5Gbps chip. Having higher speed wired network would allow faster network share access. Or even booting off network share. At 5Gbps, that's about 500MBytes per second, so assuming your NAS can do that, makes this anywhere from 10 to 100 times faster than a SD card. Plus, MUCH longer endurance.

I do have to give it props for using;
  • USB 3.x for all ports
  • 8GB of RAM
  • Having both WiFi & Ethernet
  • And of course using USB-C for power

Now we have to wait til end of summer for general availability. (The April 2021 release is a limited pilot run for the community.)

PS UFS, (Universal Flash Storage), is one replacement for eMMCs inside smaller devices, like phones & tablets. Their is a "card" version that can be used in a UFS/SD combo slot.
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Arwen Evenstar
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#4
(02-05-2021, 04:39 PM)Arwen Wrote: RISC-V is open. But, any company that makes modifications and sells the results, does not have to share the results upstream. That is one of the main differences that GPL people point to as non-open source. However, this allows a company to embed a RISC-V processor in a device, (Western Digital and nVidia comes to mind), and not have to disclose the design modifications to their competitors.

As for the BeagleV, it's not completely suitable as a replacement desktop. Here are what I think it's missing;
  • The HDMI is 1080P@30FPS but some computer monitors support 50 to 76hz, so it would not work on those
  • Storage via SD card only is a bit limiting. A single SATA DOM port or eMMC connector would have been a good improvement
  • Using a combo slot of UFS/SD would have better than just a SD slot
It would have been nice to also have >1Gbps Ethernet. Like use a 2.5Gbps or 5Gbps chip. Having higher speed wired network would allow faster network share access. Or even booting off network share. At 5Gbps, that's about 500MBytes per second, so assuming your NAS can do that, makes this anywhere from 10 to 100 times faster than a SD card. Plus, MUCH longer endurance.

I do have to give it props for using;
  • USB 3.x for all ports
  • 8GB of RAM
  • Having both WiFi & Ethernet
  • And of course using USB-C for power

Now we have to wait til end of summer for general availability. (The April 2021 release is a limited pilot run for the community.)

PS UFS, (Universal Flash Storage), is one replacement for eMMCs inside smaller devices, like phones & tablets. Their is a "card" version that can be used in a UFS/SD combo slot.

Yes, but for a start, too, not bad, there is another solution, but it is much more expensive, and the ITX form factor is not interesting to me)). the numb is closer to open than closed.

(02-05-2021, 03:10 PM)TRS-80 Wrote: If the EOMA86 (sp?) guy is to believed, then RISC-V are not really as "open" as they like to market themselves, but rather just another group who are riding the current wave of "open source" popularity.

I have no reason to doubt EOMA86 guy (sorry, his name is not coming to me this moment) because he seems to have dedicated a large part of his life towards F/LOSS, and now /H with the libre-soc project.  In fact, that project used to be called libre-RISC, but they changed it somewhat recently...  Guess why?  Wink

That's right, commerce, but still it's better than ARM / x86 / x64 with their policy and even ARM Nvidia has taken over.
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#5
@mara Yes, I agree, the BeagleV is a GREAT start. Even the SiFive Unmatched is a great board, (for what it is, Mini-ITX). Much better than the Unleashed board from 2 years ago.

My hope is that later boards will have a bit more completeness. As I said for the BeagleV, little better storage, video & network. Nothing earth shattering. But I would pay $50 US more for those "improvements".

As for the Unmatched, it kind of needs a pair of SATA or SAS ports, at least 2 DIMM sockets, (instead of, or in addition to soldered memory chips), and a little bit better wired network. (Again, 2.5/5Gbps wired network, or even 100M, 1/2.5/5/10Gbps wired network.) Without those, (at least the SATA/SAS & DIMMs), it is more of a niche market board, (in my opinion). For those that don't know, the Unmatched does have a 16x, (8x electrical), PCIe slot. But, since the board does not otherwise have graphics, it's is expected that slot would be for a graphics card.
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Arwen Evenstar
Princess of Rivendale
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#6
I did get clarification on the BeagleV board's HDMI, it does seem to support 1080p@60fps. See this thread;

https://groups.google.com/g/beaglev/c/3etv3OmE-Sc

However, in that same thread it may mean that the HDMI connector is an input for capturing video. Not output. So we will have to see whence they update the specifications.
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Arwen Evenstar
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#7
started porting slackware to riscv64, a little (very slow), gcc 10 compiled on rock64 for 5 days.
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#8
(02-08-2021, 04:04 PM)Arwen Wrote: I did get clarification on the BeagleV board's HDMI, it does seem to support 1080p@60fps. See this thread;

https://groups.google.com/g/beaglev/c/3etv3OmE-Sc

However, in that same thread it may mean that the HDMI connector is an input for capturing video. Not output. So we will have to see whence they update the specifications.
Have to update this, someone researched the issue, and the HDMI output IS 1080p@30fps.

See the linked thread's answer from Jason Kridner on Feb 11, 2021, 11:22:01 AM.
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Arwen Evenstar
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#9
The advantage of RISC-V is its elegantly simple open ISA:  that's not "riding the wave of open-source popularity":  it's a new open instruction set architecture that any cpu factory can play with, without licensing deals!   NVidia (who bought ARM) cannot make that claim.  Removing the licensing aspect lowers cost of experimentation, leading to more innovation: already MicroMagic played with it and created a 5Ghz cpu!.  Assembly programming will be simpler on RISC-V.  Not that I plan on learning RISC-V to that extent; but every dollar I spend is an endorsement on reality, and I want to back the horses that are best for humanity over horses that just look like they're winning the race.
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#10
there is a ready slarm64-riscv64-current-riscv64-rootfs-20210314.tar.xz ChangeLog.txt
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