VisionFive 2 RISC-V Board Available For Pre-Order

The StarFive VisionFive 2
(Image credit: StarFive)

With global stocks of Raspberry Pi not being so plentiful, Raspberry Pi alternatives are becoming more and more attractive to makers. StarFive’s VisionFive 2 RISC-V SBC that crowdfunded over the summer is finally available to preorder in several configurations depending on what your networking needs are, with plenty of Linux support.

The board (opens in new tab) is an upgrade from the VisionFive 1 (opens in new tab) . VisionFive2 is built around SiFive’s U74 quad-core 64bit RV64GC running at 1.5Ghz. It’s almost the same chip as in the VisionFive 1, but that was a dual-core version. There's a choice of RAM - 2, 4 or 8GB of LPDDR4 - and an Imagination Technologies (opens in new tab) GPU that supports OpenGL, OpenCL and Vulkan. The VisionFive 1 was fixed at 8GB of RAM, and didn’t have a GPU.

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Row 0 - Cell 0 VisionFive2VisionFiveRaspberry Pi 4
SoCStarFive JH7110 6-bit Soc with RV64GC Quad-Core @1.5 GHz SiFive U74 RISC-V 1.5 GHz Dual-CoreBroadcom BCM2711 Quad-Core Arm Cortex A72 @ 1.8 GHz
RAMLPDDR4 2/4/8GBLPDDR4 8GBLPDDR4 1/2/4/8GB
StorageMicro SDMicro SDMicro SD
Row 4 - Cell 0 eMMC socketRow 4 - Cell 2 Row 4 - Cell 3
GPIO40 pin40 pin40 pin
Connectivity2 x Gigabit Ethernet1 x Gigabit Ethernet1 x Gigabit Ethernet
Row 7 - Cell 0 2 x USB 2.0 2 x USB 3.04 x USB 3.02 x USB 2.0 2 x USB 3.0
Row 8 - Cell 0 M.2 M KeyRow 8 - Cell 2 Row 8 - Cell 3
PowerUSB-C PD 5V up to 30WUSB-CUSB-C
Dimensions100 x 72mm100 x 72mm85 x 56mm

Thanks to that video processor, VisionFive 2’s visual outputs are more useful than its predecessor, which was stuck at 1080p. The VisionFive 2 can output 4K over its HDMI port, and can decode video at the same resolution in either H264 or H265. There's a MIPI display output too, which can do 2K at 30FPS. Storage comes via an eMMC socket, or a micro SD card.

There's no built-in wireless networking on the VisionFive 2, but you can slot in a Wi-Fi / Bluetooth M.2 networking module. Ethernet fans can specify a board with either one or two ports, one gigabit, the other 10/100 - though a dual-gigabit version has also been promised. There's a pair of USB 3.0 ports for further expansion, plus some 2.0 sockets for a mouse and keyboard, and you can connect cameras via MIPI CSI. The board measures 100 x 72mm (3.9in x 2.8in) and comes with a 5V USB-C power adapter. A 40-pin GPIO header can be seen sprouting from the PCB too.

Linux support for RISC-V boards continues to expand. The original VisionFive launched with just Fedora support, but the VisionFive 2 has that and Debian at launch, with Ubuntu and openSUSE to come, according to the Kickstarter

The VisionFive 2 is available for pre-order now, starting at $65, from stores including AmeriDroid and Allnet China. Delivery is expected in December this year for some variants, and February 2023 for others.

Ian Evenden
Freelance News Writer

Ian Evenden is a UK-based news writer for Tom’s Hardware US. He’ll write about anything, but stories about Raspberry Pi and DIY robots seem to find their way to him.

  • bit_user
    Cool news, but I think Intel's Horse Creek is perhaps a little more exciting: https://fuse.wikichip.org/news/7277/intel-sifive-demo-high-performance-risc-v-horse-creek-dev-platform-on-intel-4-process/
    Perhaps not as cheap or practical, for people just looking for a simple Pi-alternative.
    Reply
  • drajitsh
    hi -- in case of Risc V could you compare the CPU to a raspberry PI?
    Reply
  • bit_user
    drajitsh said:
    hi -- in case of Risc V could you compare the CPU to a raspberry PI?
    Slower than a Pi v4. Especially this one. Perhaps almost as fast as a Pi v3?

    The chip used on that Horse Creek board I linked should be much better, but I think it might still lack SIMD/vector extensions.
    Reply
  • Findecanor
    bit_user said:
    The chip used on that Horse Creek board I linked should be much better, but I think it might still lack SIMD/vector extensions.
    Yep, and the RISC-V CPUs in the article too lack vector units.
    I'd think that's because the V-extension spec is still too new.
    The RISC-V cores I've seen with SIMD units so far have had some proprietary extension.
    Reply