SiFive starts delivering Mini-ITX development board with RISC-V-soc

System builder SiFive announces that it has delivered its first shipments of HiFive Unmatched PCs with RISC-V-soc to its distributors. The first deliveries were supposed to take place last year, but this was delayed due to supply chain issues.

SiFive reports on its forum that the company was initially affected by covid-19 related issues. According to the company, these problems have now been resolved. The first batch of HiFive Unmatched boards is now on its way to distributors. By mid-June, enough systems will be shipped to fulfill all pre-orders, the company expects.

SiFive already announced its HiFive Unmatched last year. It is a mini-itx development board with a FU740-RISC-V-soc designed by SiFive. According to the maker, this is the ‘first RISC-V PC’. The product is intended for developers, and not so much for regular consumers. Due to its size, the system must fit into any standard Mini-ITX enclosure. The development board also works with regular ATX power supplies. The system supports Linux distributions such as Debian, Fedora and Yocto.

The HiFive Unmatched thus has four SiFive U74 cores and a SiFive S7 core. The system also has 16GB DDR4 memory, a PCIe 3.0 connector, and two M.2 connections, respectively for SSDs and Wi-Fi cards. Furthermore, the development board has four USB 3.2 Gen 1 connections, a microSD card reader and an RJ45 connector for gigabit ethernet. The HiFive Unmatched has a suggested retail price of USD 665, which when converted and with VAT amounts to about 660.55 euros.

RISC-V is one instruction set architecture, originally developed by the Computer Science Division of the University of California. This isa is open source, so chip designers can integrate it into their chips free of charge. Others RISC-like architectures, such as Arm’s, are licensed for a fee only. Several companies are working on RISC-V chips, including Western Digital and Samsung. Western Digital does this for its storage products, Samsung works with SiFive on chips for IoT, automotive and 5G applications.

Update, 19:46: Initially, this article stated that the HiFive Unmatched has 8GB DDR4 memory. SiFive has increased this to 16GB for the release of the system. Thanks to a response from VoDkA12.