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Phoronix Article: RISC-V's Linux Kernel Support Is Getting In Better Shape, Maturing On HiFive Unleashed

By March 8, 2019May 12th, 2021No Comments

The Linux kernel’s RISC-V processor support is getting into good shape now since the support for the open-source processor ISA was originally introduced back for Linux 4.15. Moving forward, it’s now expected the support to be maintained and only improve for the HiFive Unleashed developer board.
Since Linux 4.15, the RISC-V support has continued improving with picking up new hardware support and various architectural additions. With the current Linux 5.1 kernel cycle there is now an HWCAP to indicate the CPU capabilities/extensions that the enabled processor(s) support, no longer spinning indefinitely during the boot process, various code clean-ups, and other changes.
The mainline kernel’s support for SiFive‘s HiFive Unleashed board appears to be largely usable now. HiFive Unleashed features the SiFive Freedom U540 SoC, 8GB DDR4, 32MB quad SPI, and micro-SD card. The Freedom U540 SoC features a 4+1 multi-core design clocked at 1.5GHz. While impressive for a first-cut developer board on a new, royalty-free CPU architecture, the price remains lofty for hobbyists/enthusiasts at $999 USD.
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