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SiFive's RISC-V HiFive Unmatched Upgraded To Ship With 16GB Of RAM

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  • SiFive's RISC-V HiFive Unmatched Upgraded To Ship With 16GB Of RAM

    Phoronix: SiFive's RISC-V HiFive Unmatched Upgraded To Ship With 16GB Of RAM

    Back in October RISC-V minded startup SiFive announced the HiFive Unmatched development board as the best RISC-V development board we've seen to date. But only having 8GB of RAM was one of the few critiques which the company is now addressing...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...Unmatched-16GB

  • #2
    Interesting. Would be nicer to just have 2 SO-DIMM slots instead, but 16GB would work ok for many use cases. 8GB definitively is limiting for a lot of developers.

    Also shame it doesn't have DB9 (or two) for RS-232 directly on the back IO shield, with integrated level shifters and such. That would be nice. As would be BMC with own Ethernet port, so the board can be rebooted or recovered remotely. This is useful feature for automated testing.

    Still, it looks interesting. Performance of course is going to be really low, but still capable system for development and testing.

    I wonder if it supports UEFI? Product Brief only says U-SDK "OpenSBI / U-Boot / Linux Kernel", and E-SDK (bare metal). If it requires device tree files, then I hate it already.

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    • #3
      I hope that means the unit I preordered half a month ago on mouser will also come with 16GB.

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      • #4
        4 cores is very little. All the modern ARM boards have 8 cores.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by uid313 View Post
          4 cores is very little. All the modern ARM boards have 8 cores.
          They also have branch prediction and other fancy stuff. But thats not the point with such a small series silicon by a tiny company.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by baryluk View Post
            . If it requires device tree files, then I hate it already.
            Catch-22 ... since things like ACPI on x86 require massive amount of quirks patches since they are almost always wrong. It's very pointless to burn that data into the board if you are just going to get it wrong.

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            • #7
              This works out well for me. I won't be able to order one until March anyway so the delay doesn't hurt me at all and the 8GB of extra RAM is fantastic.

              Originally posted by uid313 View Post
              4 cores is very little. All the modern ARM boards have 8 cores.
              They also aren't open source and blob free. While I would love to have 8 cores over 4 for me being open source/blob free is a bigger priority.
              Last edited by PublicNuisance; 08 December 2020, 02:16 PM. Reason: spelling

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              • #8
                Wow, that makes a world of difference, especially in making it useful for native buildservers for projects like OpenBSD.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by baryluk View Post
                  I wonder if it supports UEFI? Product Brief only says U-SDK "OpenSBI / U-Boot / Linux Kernel", and E-SDK (bare metal). If it requires device tree files, then I hate it already.
                  I mean, supporting UEFI on it shouldn't be that hard. RISC-V UEFI firmwares have been around for a while now and the generic ones aren't that far from the product-specific ones on a relatively simple device like this.

                  Device trees don't have to be files either, there is a binary representation that can just be left in memory by the loader/base firmware.

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                  • #10
                    I imagine having the performance of a Raspberry Pi 3 or so is the bigger deal killer than a mere 8 GB of RAM. Though I second the call for SO-DIMM slots, which would be nice to have for more ARM systems.

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