RISC-V SoCs are slowly but surely starting to make their mark. An open-source alternative to ARM’s proprietary RISC-based chips, they have caught the eye of Intel which is developing its own RISC-V SoC as well as Chinese companies keen to avoid any bans that have seen the likes of Huawei indirectly barred from using Arm-based chips by the US government. Unsurprisingly, StarFive is a Chinese company and has announced the VisionFive V1 RISC-V single-board computer, among the first full-featured models to hit the market.
The VisionFive V1 is situated on a 3.9-inch x 2.8-inch PCB which includes a 1.5 GHz dual-core SiFive U74 SoC. It won’t set the world on fire in terms of its performance, but it will be an ideal platform for enthusiasts and those interested in coding and exploring the chips’ AI capabilities. It also supports hardware-accelerated video decoding for 4K/60 Hz video or two 4K videos running at 30 Hz. It also comes with a generous 8 GB of LPDDR4 RAM, which suggests it is clearly targeted at the Raspberry Pi audience.