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Move Over, ARM: BeagleV Is a $150 RISC-V Computer Designed to Run Linux

Jim Salter, Ars Technica:

Seeed Studios—the makers of the Odyssey mini-PC we reviewed back in August—have teamed up with well-known SBC vendor BeagleBoard to produce an affordable RISC-V system designed to run Linux.

The new BeagleV (pronounced "Beagle Five") system features a dual-core, 1GHz RISC-V CPU made by StarFive—one of a network of RISC-V startups created by better-known RISC-V vendor SiFive. The CPU is based on two of SiFive's U74 Standard Cores—and unlike simpler microcontroller-only designs, it features a MMU and all the other trimmings necessary to run full-fledged modern operating systems such as Linux distributions.

 

The BeagleV isn't the first general-purpose RISC-V Linux PC to come out of SiFive's designs, or even the second—but it's considerably more cost-effective than earlier designs such as the $680 HiFive Unmatched. The lower cost should make it far more attractive to hobbyists, as does the out-of-box support for Fedora Linux, with support for Debian Linux and the FreeRTOS microcontroller operating system to come shortly afterward.

In addition to the StarFive processor, BeagleV includes 8GiB of LPDDR4 RAM, gigabit Ethernet, an 802.11n Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 4.2 chipset, and a dedicated hardware video transcoder supporting H.264 and H.265 at 4K and 60fps.The system also offers four USB 3.0 ports, a full-size HDMI out, 3.5mm conventional audio jack, and a 40-pin GPIO header. 5V/3A power is delivered over a USB Type-C port, and the system boots from a standard SD card.

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