Seeed Studios – the creators of the Odyssey mini-computer we reviewed in August – teamed up with well-known SBC vendor BeagleBoard to create an affordable RISC-V system designed to run on Linux.
The new BeagleV system (pronounced “Beagle Five”) features a dual-core, 1GHz RISC-V processor made by StarFive, one of the RISC-V boot networks created by the well-known RISC-V SiFive provider. The processor is based on two of the standard SiFive U74 cores – and unlike the simpler microcontroller designs, it has the MMU and all the other trimmings needed to run full-fledged modern operating systems such as Linux distributions.
The design of the StarFive VIC7100 processor focuses on end-to-end artificial intelligence tasks as well as general-purpose calculations. In addition to the two cores of the RISC-V processor, it has a Tensilica Vision VP6 DSP for machine vision applications, a neural network mechanism and a single-core NVDLA (Nvidia Deep Learning Accelerator) engine.
The BeagleV isn’t the first RISC-V Linux general-purpose computer to come out of SiFive’s design, or even the second, but it’s significantly more cost-effective than earlier projects like HiFive Unmatched for $ 680. more attractive to fans, as well as ready-made support for Fedora Linux, with support for Debian Linux and the FreeRTOS microcontroller operating system, which will appear soon after.
In addition to the StarFive processor, the BeagleV includes 8GiB of LPDDR4 RAM, gigabit Ethernet, 802.11n Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 4.2 chipset and a special hardware video transcoder supporting H.264 and H.265 at 4K and 60fps. offers four USB 3.0 ports, a full-size HDMI output, a 3.5mm conventional audio jack and a 40-pin GPIO header. 5V / 3A power supply is supplied via USB Type-C port and the system is charged from a standard SD card.
We expect to have a sample review of BeagleV in Ars sometime in late March, with the community delivering the first hardware launched in April. Widespread total availability will take place in September 2021. Although the first hardware release will be entirely $ 140 / 8GiB systems, cheaper versions with less RAM are expected in future versions.
BeagleV’s initial pilot will use Vision DSP hardware as a GPU, allowing a full graphical desktop environment under Fedora. Subsequent hardware implementations will also include an unspecified Imagine GPU model.
Ars readers interested in purchasing one of the early “pilot” boards scheduled for delivery in April can apply for part of the initial program here.
Image of the ad by Seeed