The Star64 is a single-board computer with a quad-core RISC-V processor, support for up to 8GB of RAM and up to 128GB of storage (as well as a microSD card reader).
Developed by the folks at Pine64, it’s designed to be an affordable platform for developers and hobbyists looking to get started with RISC-V architecture. Pine64 first announced it was working on the Star64 last summer, and it will be available for purchase starting April 4, 2023.
The board is powered by a StarFive JH7110 processor, which features four 1.5 GHz SiFive FU740 64-bit RISC-V processor cores, Imagination BXE-4-32 graphics, and an embedded 32-bit RISC-V E24 CPU core.
According to Pine64, the chip should be capable of delivering performance that’s on par with the Rockchip RK3566 (a quad-core ARM Cortex-A55 processor). But there’s a lot more software designed for ARM processors than for RISC-V chips, so it’s likely that users won’t actually be able to do nearly as much with a Star64 out of the box as they can with ARM-based computers. This is very much a product designed for developers and early adopters.
The board supports WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 and has an HDMI port, two Gigabit Ethernet ports, one USB 3.0 port, and three USB 2.0 ports plus a 3.5mm audio jack and a DC power jack for a 12V/3A power adapter.
It also has a PCIe x1 slot, 4-lane MIPI-DSI display and 4-lane MIPI-CSI camera connectors, and GPIO pins including i2c, SPI, and UART.
Prices start at $70 for a model with 4GB of RAM, but there’s also an 8GB model priced at $90.
Pine64’s product page for the Star64 went live on April 1, but the board will be listed as out of stock until it goes on sale April 4.
You can find more details about the board at the Pine64 wiki.
I’m already reading (unconfirmed) comments that the units were sold out within 2 or 3 hours. Hopefully, they’ve gone to developers who will work on getting the software working better,
So… it would seem there’s demand for the platform.
Waveshare offers StarFive JH7110 boards with either 4GB or 8GB ram, and has a m.2 connector. A much nicer looking board in my opinion… but has to be ordered from China.
StarFive != SiFive
😀 2023 is The Year of the RISC-V SBC… Sipeed will have their Lichee PI 4A out in a couple of weeks too.
And you might be pleasantly surprised by the amount of software that is already working – at least to some extent – on RISC-V hardware. I was looking at Alpine Linux packages recently for the apps I use most often, and I was impressed to see how many were already available (with substitutes for others). And this is only going to improve with time.
What is still missing though, is ‘Productivity Apps’ – an Office Suite+. I’d say LibreOffice (or other) have probably got 2 years to get that sorted out : 2025 being the Year that RISC-V chips with the ratified Vector extension are likely to hit production.
Not only should the RaspberryPi Foundation (who aren’t bringing out a RaspberryPi 5 or V this year) be worried, but Arm, and Wintel ought to be too.