Open hardware company Pine64 has made a name for itself in recent years by offering low-cost, hacker-friendly hardware including smartphones, laptops, and single-board computers sporting ARM-based processors.
But Pine64 has also dabbled in RISC-V architecture. The Pinecil line of smart soldering irons have a RISC-V chip. So does the Pinecone IoT dev board. Now the company is preparing to launch its first single-board computer (SBC) that will be its most powerful RISC-V device to date. Meet the Star64.
At the heart of the upcoming SBC is a StarFive JH7110 64-bit RISC-V processor with four 1.5 GHz SiFi FU740 CPU cores and Imagination BXE-2-32 graphics. According to Pine64, the chip should deliver performance that’s comparable to the Rockchip RK3566 quad-core ARM Cortex-A55 chip at the heart of the company’s Quartz64 board.
RISC-V is a royalty-free, open instruction set architecture that’s been gaining steam over the past few years and there are a growing number of products featuring RISC-V processors (not to mention, a growing number of chip makers introducing new processors based on the architecture).
Pine64 plans to offer two configurations of the Star64, one with 4GB of RAM and another with 8GB. They’re expected to sell for around $60 and $80, respectively.
Both models are expected to feature a PCIe connector, two Gigabit Ethernet ports, USB 3.0 and GPIO headers. The company plans to offer models with just one Ethernet port in the future for about $5 less than the dual Ethernet versions.
Pine64 says the board will follow the “Model A” form factor, meaning it’ll measure around 133 x 80 x 19mm (5.24″ x 3.15″ x 0.75″). That makes it a bit larger than a Raspberry Pi Model B, but the extra space means there’s room for that PCIe slot and other I/O connectors.
It’s still unclear when you’ll actually be able to get your hands on the board.
This article was first published June 28, 2022 and most recently updated July 28, 2022.