New PicoRio SBC To Feature RISC-V Open-Source Processor

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Imagination Technologies has paired up with RIOS Laboratory to develop a new SBC called PicoRio. According to the press release, the new board will feature an open-source RISC-V processor.

Talk of a new SBC almost always draws comparison to the popular Raspberry Pi board, which features an ARM-based processor. So far no details have been made about the exact size of the PicoRio. Whether or not this board is a comparable competitor remains unclear.

The PicoRio board is designed with Linux developers in mind who want to create software for RISC-V systems.

The RIOS Laboratory team hopes to open-source as much CPU hardware as they can. This includes things like the CPU itself, the main SoC design, chip packages, drivers and firmware.

The primary storage method has not yet been disclosed, as well as any supported video input/output ports.

The first edition of the PicoRio is expected to drop in Q4 of 2020. This version will not include a GPU. However, a new version is planned to release in 2021 with a PowerVR GPU.

Ash Hill
Freelance News and Features Writer

Ash Hill is a Freelance News and Features Writer at Tom's Hardware US. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting.

  • Findecanor
    Interesting, but awaiting more info on specs and price.

    I would really like some small board with a general-purpose class CPU for starting to hack RISC-V with Linux or FreeBSD.
  • bit_user
    No matter what GPU they decide to use, it will certainly run circles around the Pi's paltry VideoCore GPU, which is even quite weak in the Pi 4.

    CPU-wise is less clear. A72 is pretty respectable and Pi 4 managed to include 4 of them.
  • GetSmart
    Some early RISC-V-based SiFive HiFive benchmarks here

    Can Imagination Technologies make a better RISC-V processor than SiFive's effort? Currently the results doesn't look that encouraging, still a big gap in performance...:unsure: