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Author Topic: RISC V possible in TERES? or any Olimex board?  (Read 2108 times)

starkwether

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RISC V possible in TERES? or any Olimex board?
« on: February 18, 2018, 07:02:46 PM »
So I know this is a little ways off, and I'm not one to make demands of anybody....but I would buy a RISC V mainboard for the TERES today if it were available. Maybe a TERES II?  :)

For those who aren't familiar, RISC V is a Free and Open CPU Instruction Set. There have definitely been FLOSS CPUs before, such as OpenSPARC and OpenRISC however I don't think any has really made it off of an FPGA and onto a cheap and consumer-available ASIC until RISC V.

RISC V seems to be a shot at genuinely open silicon as an arduino compatible and a bare bones quad core development board capable of running Linux are available as of last month or so.

Thoughts?

JohnS

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Re: RISC V possible in TERES? or any Olimex board?
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2018, 10:16:37 AM »
Probably Olimex would need plenty of orders to justify the costs.  Maybe if you could buy 1000 or 10000 they'd be interested?

John

LubOlimex

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Re: RISC V possible in TERES? or any Olimex board?
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2018, 11:34:52 AM »
I'll be honest: forget about it for now. It has nothing to do with money or interest. Just there is not such a chip that we can purchase. It is not commercially available. Even if there was such chip, it wouldn't be suitable for a laptop-like experience. What is the state of the open software support? Are there video drivers available?

Edit: moved the topic to a more fitting sub-forum.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2018, 11:37:32 AM by LubOlimex »
Technical support and documentation manager at Olimex

SK

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Re: RISC V possible in TERES? or any Olimex board?
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2018, 12:36:42 PM »
Definitely a limited (MCU-like) version of RISCV is possible in the Olimex FPGA boards:
https://twitter.com/mad_archer_/status/965137144695152640

Developing Linux support for the RISC-V though is just getting started:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzUVu07xX_s

starkwether

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Re: RISC V possible in TERES? or any Olimex board?
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2018, 08:46:18 PM »
Quote
Probably Olimex would need plenty of orders to justify the costs.  Maybe if you could buy 1000 or 10000 they'd be interested?

Did someone say mega cluster? Yeah, no I gotcha. Olimex isn't a fabless manufacturer or silicon foundry and they need volume. Anecdotally, I think people are interested though, just juding by Hackaday comments and Reddit.

Quote
I'll be honest: forget about it for now. It has nothing to do with money or interest. Just there is not such a chip that we can purchase. It is not commercially available. Even if there was such chip, it wouldn't be suitable for a laptop-like experience. What is the state of the open software support? Are there video drivers available?

Yeah, I understand, thanks. Just saw that dev board by SiFive and got excited. They have chip licensing and stuff but yeah, a chip needs software support.

Quote
Definitely a limited (MCU-like) version of RISCV is possible in the Olimex FPGA boards

YES. Describing hardware with code is so cool. I have the ICE40 from Olimex just for this.


Agreed, R V is a ways off but it looks like it could be for Processors what the Linux Kernel was for operating systems. Say goodbye to Mangement Engine and Platform Secure Processor. Add the fact that RISC V is immune to Spectre and Meltdown while matching the speeds of x86 and it's hard for me personally not to get a little hyped  8)




lambda

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Re: RISC V possible in TERES? or any Olimex board?
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2018, 02:09:23 AM »
Just saw that debian got as RISC-V port recently: https://wiki.debian.org/RISC-V and they are currently in the process of compiling the whole archive natively (on emulated HW).

Looks like in this case software support is ready before HW is available ... obviously announcing a free processor does help to motivate people. :)

JC

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Re: RISC V possible in TERES? or any Olimex board?
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2018, 12:18:22 AM »
I recently attended the Embedded Linux Conference in Portland, OR.  I met numerous employees at SiFive (developer of the HiFive Unleashed, etc, boards incorporating RISC-V CPUs) during a 3-day hackathon.

During an engineering discussion with a couple engineers with SiFive, we discussed the importance of a RISC-V powered laptop in order to expand adoption and interest of the chips that they are wishing to mass-produce.  SiFive is gaining much momentum in this regard, recently receiving a $50M contract in a "multi-year license to its Freedom Platform with Western Digital, which has pledged to produce 1 billion RISC-V cores. [1]"

Since the conference, I have been gathering people to collaborate on a RISC-V powered laptop design, regardless of host platform, to include SiFive personnel.  You may find it here: https://www.loomio.org/d/H0rPozfn


[1] Source: https://www.sifive.com/posts/2018/04/02/sifive-secures-50-million-funding-to-advance-risc-v-based-semiconductors/

olimex

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Re: RISC V possible in TERES? or any Olimex board?
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2018, 10:51:42 AM »
I confirm, we can easily re-design TERES main board to use any chip.
What we need is chip which is powerful enough to run Linux and address decent amount of RAM like 2-4GB.
Has Linux Kernel support and can be purchased in sane quantities.
Unless the above conditions are met we can't do much about it. Otherwise it's matter of 2-3 months PCB work.

JC

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Re: RISC V possible in TERES? or any Olimex board?
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2018, 09:04:59 AM »
@olimex, that would be fantastic. Also, for what it's worth, I have an electrical engineering/computer science background, and I'm currently job hunting... which means I have some spare time. I've only helped construct one cubesat power distribution board using KiCad; my PCB design skills probably aren't impressive, but I can do what I can. I just need a dose of guidance and direction.

If not, I'm told I am a great technical writer. I could help document the effort. In fact I have an active (minor) documentation PR in an OLIMEX GitHub repo right now.

palmer

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Re: RISC V possible in TERES? or any Olimex board?
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2018, 09:51:51 PM »
Hi, I'm Palmer from SiFive.

The FU540-C000 is capable of running standard Linux graphics stacks.  We regularly give demos of it running X via an AMD graphics card attached over PCIe, you can see one at FOSDEM where I gave the whole presentation off a HiFive Unleashed.  The RISC-V Linux port is upstream, and while all the drivers necessary for a full system aren't upstream yet we're working on it.

Micro Semi has a board available that's more tightly integrated than the setup we've demonstrated <https://www.crowdsupply.com/microsemi/hifive-unleashed-expansion-board>.  In theory you could build a single board that integrates the FU540-C000 with some low power FPGA that would fit into a laptop form factor, but nobody has demonstrated this yet.

Quantities are a bit of a sticking point, and unfortunately it's difficult to discuss these things in a public forum.  If you're seriously interested in doing a RISC-V laptop then I'd love to chat so we can figure out how to move forwards.  Feel free to send me an email, or if you're going to the RISC-V workshop we can chat there.

olimex

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Re: RISC V possible in TERES? or any Olimex board?
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2018, 09:31:14 AM »
Hi Palmer,

I check the manual https://static.dev.sifive.com/FU540-C000-v1.0.pdf and seems that this chip does not have any graphics neither audio. Also I cant see data about power consumption.

Tsvetan

Fantastic4

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Re: RISC V possible in TERES? or any Olimex board?
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2018, 09:56:05 PM »
Hi, I'm Palmer from SiFive.

The FU540-C000 is capable of running standard Linux graphics stacks.  We regularly give demos of it running X via an AMD graphics card attached over PCIe, you can see one at FOSDEM where I gave the whole presentation off a HiFive Unleashed.  The RISC-V Linux port is upstream, and while all the drivers necessary for a full system aren't upstream yet we're working on it.

Micro Semi has a board available that's more tightly integrated than the setup we've demonstrated <https://www.crowdsupply.com/microsemi/hifive-unleashed-expansion-board> https://topicmixbd.com/2016/07/18/side-effects-of-phen375-and-what-to-do-to-avoid-them/ In theory you could build a single board that integrates the FU540-C000 with some low power FPGA that would fit into a laptop form factor, but nobody has demonstrated this yet. Quantities are a bit of a sticking point, and unfortunately it's difficult to discuss these things in a public forum.  If you're seriously interested in doing a RISC-V laptop then I'd love to chat so we can figure out how to move forwards.  Feel free to send me an email, or if you're going to the RISC-V workshop we can chat there.
The cheap really doesn't have any graphics.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2018, 12:02:09 PM by Fantastic4 »

JC

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Re: RISC V possible in TERES? or any Olimex board?
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2018, 07:32:40 AM »
I've been chatting with a few CEOs, and the next step they are envisioning is a RISC-V headless computer, such as a SBC or router.