The BeagleV-Fire is a new single-board computer from BeagleBoard, the company behind the BeagleBone and BeaglePlay line of boards, among others.

What makes this $150 board stand out is that it’s powered by a quad-core RISC-V processor that also features FPGA fabric, making it a reasonably affordable solution for folks looking to get their feet wet with RISC-V hardware and/or programmable chips.

The board measures 86.4 x 53.4mm (3.4″ x 2.1″), making it similar in size to a Raspberry Pi. But instead of an ARM-based processor, the BeagleV features a Microchip PolarFire MPFS025T FCVG484E 5-core RISC-V chip with FPGA fabric.

That chip features:

  • 4 x 64-bit RV64IMAFDC CPU cores up to 667 MHz
  • 1 x 64-bit RV64IMAC monitor core
  • FPGA fabric with 23,000 logic elements, 68 math blocks, and 4 SerDes lanes of 12.7 Gbps

The board also features 2GB of LPDDR4 memory, 16GB of eMMC flash storage, 128Mbit of SPI flash, and a set of ports and expansion headers that includes:

  • 1 x USB 2.0 Type-C
  • 1 x Gigabit Ethernet
  • 1 x M.2 E-Key socket for wireless or other PCIe/SDIO modules
  • 1 x microSD card reader
  • 1 x MIPI-CSI 22-pin camera connectors
  • 1 x SYZYGY high-speed connectors
  • 2 x 46-pin BeagleBone Cape add-on headers with on-board ADC
  • 1 x 6-pin 3.3V UART header
  • 1 x JTAG TAG-CONNECT footprint
  • 1 x Screw terminal for a 5V power input

The board ships with Ubuntu Linux pre-installed.

You can find purchase links for the BeagleV at the website, along with links to the initial documentation for the board, a Linux repo, and a hardware design repository and bug tracker.

via BeagleBoard forum, LinuxGizmos, and CNX Software

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  1. For those who don’t know, SerDes lanes are equivalent to PCIe lanes in ARM server world, and can be broken into PCIe lanes. This is actually a really powerful development board!

  2. Microchip’s interfaces for their FPGA looks pretty legit. PIPE is based on an Intel standard for PCIe, SATA and USB3.1 (ModPHY). Most of my FPGA projects are about creating custom timing, not data throughput… so I am not very interested.
    It would be interesting to see advanced their tool-chain and simulation tools are (compared to Xilinx).

    1. Looks like free licenses are available, but probably have an expiration date. At least GoWIN has an educational version of their tools with no expiration date. The $150 entry price is a bit steep too. Microchip should have subsidized these boards to keep them under $100.

  3. I’m interested in this because it ships with Ubuntu. It’s a real pity that SiFive decided to pull out. 🙁

    I may give this a try when I get some extra money. Being a college student and all, even though I’m working, means I have less money. But I may consider this.

    I’d really like to try Risc-V for real. Thanks Brad for posting this. I’m bookmarking this page to keep in mind.

    1. If you’re pushed for cash, I’d take a look at the maix m1 dock:

      It has an RV64 core which can run Linux, rv32 core for the wifi/bluetooth/zigbee, and low power rv32 mcu, along with an npu and 64mb ram. The 64mb is accessible by all cores which is unique- an mcu normally has 512k ram or less. There’s an ok sdk but worth a punt for $4