SiFive Helping To Teach Kids Programming With RISC-V HiFive Inventor Coding Kit
Written by Michael Larabel in Computers on 18 January 2021. Page 1 of 1. 23 Comments

SiFive in cooperation with Tynker and BBC Learning have launched a Doctor Who themed HiFive Inventor Coding Kit. This Initial HiFive Inventor Coding Kit is intended to help kids as young as seven years of age get involved with computer programming through a variety of fun exercises and challenges involving the RISC-V powered mini computer and related peripherals like LED lighting and speaker control.

The BBC Doctor Who HiFive Inventor Coding Kit launched in December and is now widely available at just $75 USD from the likes of Amazon.com (affliiate link) for helping those seven and older get involved with computer programming.

On the hardware side of the HiFive Inventor Coding Kit is the mini computer featuring various onboard sensors, Bluetooth / WiFi, etc. Included with that IoT mini-computer are various accessories like an external speaker, LED lighting cable, alligator clips, and external battery pack. The onboard sensors include an accelerometer, compass, temperature, and ambient light sensors.

On the software side the programming lessons are themed around Doctor Who and range from basic message receiving/sending to other exercises. The programming is done through the Tynker platform that is designed to teach kids coding from within a web browser (yes, it works in modern Linux based browsers as well). The lessons are basic enough that it's aiming at introductory programming with no prior experience needed.

For those curious about the RISC-V processor powering this learning computer, it's the SiFive FE310. The FE310 is a IoT/microcontroller processor clocked at 150MHz for its single core. The SiFive FE310 doesn't provide much oomph but is merely to get the job done for getting kids involved with coding. The FE310 is also found in the likes of the SparkFun RED_V RedBoard. Along with the FE310 RISC-V processor is 64KB of onboard SRAM memory, 512KB of flash memory, and 6x8 RGB LED display lights.

In addition to the main kit is also a HiFive Inventor Expansion Board that is basically the same motherboard but not within an enclosure and lacking any extras.

So for those looking to get their kids involved with computer programming and looking for an IoT-type device with some fun sensors and various themed exercises to get them experimenting, the HiFive Inventor Coding Kit is worth looking into further. More details on the programming platform can be found via Tynker.com and on the hardware at HiFiveInventor.com. The HiFive Inventor Kit is available from Amazon.com and other Internet retailers for $75 USD.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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