StarFive has opened crowdfunding for its second hobbyist-focused RISC-V single-board pc (SBC), the VisionFive 2 — promising a quicker gadget with twice the cores, a GPU, and twin gigabit Ethernet ports.
The unique VisionFive, unveiled late final yr and bought solely in 8GB kind from March this yr, was a robust preliminary design however not with out its troubles: as our testing confirmed, design flaws within the silicon hampered efficiency whereas reliance on an outdated end-of-life working system — a scenario now resolved by Canonical’s current launch of an official Ubuntu Server 22.04.1 picture for the board — introduced its personal difficulties.
The VisionFive 2, although, relies on StarFive’s next-generation JH7110 system-on-chip (SoC) — not solely fixing the identified flaws within the authentic JH7100 chip however doubling the variety of usable processors from two to 4 and growing the clock pace from 1GHz to 1.5GHz.
The most important change, although: the introduction of a graphics processing unit (GPU), the Creativeness Applied sciences IMG BXE-32-4, which unlocks new workload prospects for the board and may drastically enhance the desktop expertise.
The board has an analogous format to the unique, and goals to repair its varied shortcomings. (📷: StarFive)
“As RISC-V growth accelerates, we’re thrilled to proceed our collaboration with StarFive,” says Creativeness’s James Liu of the launch. “Collectively we recognise this structure’s significance, and we share a standard purpose of driving ecosystem progress. We’re happy to see StarFive leveraging our GPU’s compatibility with RISC-V to unlock a variety of SBC implementations throughout main markets, accelerating innovation and supporting open-source growth.”
Different adjustments within the design embody the addition of a second gigabit Ethernet port, official help for each Fedora and Debian Linux distributions, help for 4k30 video from the HDMI port, and a four-lane DSI port with 2k30 output alongside the prevailing two-lane DSI port. Not all of the adjustments will likely be welcomed, nonetheless: the brand new board drops the unique’s on-board Wi-Fi and Bluetooth radios, although in favor of a extra versatile M.2 M-key slot on the board’s underside, and the 2 CSI digital camera ports have been trimmed right down to a single two-lane port.
The board loses on-board Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, however positive aspects an M.2 slot on the underside. (📷: StarFive)
In contrast to its predecessor, the VisionFive 2 is to get pleasure from a full manufacturing run — which means it is going to be obtainable in 2GB, 4GB, and 8GB variants. The 2GB and 8GB fashions will ship in February subsequent yr, StarFive has promised, whereas a pre-production model of the 4GB mannequin will likely be obtainable in November this yr for early adopters — however could have one gigabit Ethernet and one 10/100 Ethernet port, instead of the 2 gigabit ports within the closing design.
StarFive is funding the boards’ manufacturing through Kickstarter, with bodily rewards starting at $49 for the early fowl 2GB fashions — an enormous discount from the $179 retail worth of the unique VisionFive.