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New RISC-V Raspberry Pi Alternative VisionFive V1 Coming Soon

The VisionFive board
(Image credit: StarFive)

A new single-board computer based on the RISC-V architecture has been revealed by StarFive, who previously announced, then cancelled the Beagle V in 2021. The $149 VisionFive V1 as reported by Liliputing looks set to be a rival for the Raspberry Pi (opens in new tab) .

Measuring 3.9 x 2.8 inch the board is slightly larger than a Raspberry Pi 4 and features a 1.5 GHz dual-core SiFive U74 RISC-V processor. The RISC-V CPU is backed by 8GB of LPDDR4 and a micro SD card slot, plus HDMI 1.4, gigabit Ethernet, 3.5mm audio out, 4 x USB 3.0 type-A ports and a type-C for power. There's Wi-Fi 4 and Bluetooth 4.2 onboard, and you get a 40-pin GPIO header which appears to be Raspberry Pi compatible, but the proof of this lies in software support. There are two MIPI connectors for use with compatible cameras and displays. 

The news follows the launch last week of the LycheeRV (opens in new tab) board from Sipeed, and the announcement from Canonical (opens in new tab) earlier this year that Ubuntu would support the open-source architecture. The VisionFive board will ship with support for a different flavor of Linux, Fedora (for which there's an image on GitHub) but we don’t know exactly when that will be yet. A set of slides (opens in new tab) for a talk due to be given at the RISC-V Summit on December 8 have leaked, and suggest a retail price of $149.

A second board, the VisionFive V2, is mentioned in the slide deck, and features a quad-core processor with GPU, plus support for HDMI 2.0 and PCIe 2.0 x2.

Ian Evenden
Ian Evenden

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.

  • Hooda Thunkett
    It's really hard to call any SBC a "Raspberry Pi alternative" when it costs almost 5 times as much, and likely doesn't give you 5 times the performance.
    It is nice that this has a Raspberry Pi compatible HAT interface though. So few "alternatives" do that.
    Reply
  • coolestcarl
    Just a minor correction, the Raspberry Pi 4 with 8 GB costs £74. So the Vision V is approximately twice as expensive. But the PI is still nearly twice as fast in multi threading due to 4 cores vs 2 cores, so your point is still valid - its hardly an alternative if it costs twice as much and still performs half as well as the PI. There is still one major upside however. RISC V is open source hardware vs ARM, so hopefully as it gets more widely adopted, open hardware can only be a good thing for the consumer in the long run.
    Reply
  • Findecanor
    The two SiFive U74 cores in this are RV64GBC with MMU.
    I think RISC-V will only really take off in performance once SIMD support (the vector extension) gets widespread — something which every 64-bit ARM chip already has.
    Reply