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SiFive readies the HiFive Unmatched, world's first RISC-V-based desktop PC platform

Mini-ITX form-factor for increased ease of use (Image Source: SiFive)
Mini-ITX form-factor for increased ease of use (Image Source: SiFive)
SiFive's HiFive Unmatched mini-ITX platform is designed for DiY developers. It comes with a 5-core RISC-V processor complemented by 8 GB of onboard DDR4 RAM. Users can add an NVMe SSD, a wireless card and a dGPU or any other PCIe Gen 3 X8 expansion card. The platform is compatible with many popular Linux distributions and will soon be up for pre-orders at US$665.

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SiFive and its RISC-V processors are currently getting some good publicity especially now that many market analysts are concerned with what is to become of ARM under the Nvidia leadership. While the current SiFive endeavors are mostly focused on providing good alternatives in the server-oriented sector, the company is also considering entering the desktop PC market. ARM had a similar plan with the Windows-on-ARM initiative, but that was geared towards laptop PCs rather, and it did not really take off. Apple might have more luck with its plans to develop in-house ARM-based laptop CPUs, however, the Nvidia acquisition might cast a shroud of uncertainty on that whole project. There are quite a few ARM customers that are now considering switching to RISC-V, so SiFive is releasing all sorts of new products, including a new desktop PC platform called HiFive Unmatched.

This new platform is based around the SiFive FU740 64-bit processor that integrates 4x U74 cores plus an S7 core, and is marketed as a professional development solution. SiFive is making things easier for DIY developers, as the platform motherboard comes in a mini-ITX form-factor with ATX 24-pin PSU connector. The small motherboard also features 8 GB of onboard DDR4 RAM + 32 MB QSPI flash memory, and also comes with a microsSD card reader. Users can add a PCIe Gen 3 X4 NVMe SSD in the included M.2 2280 slot, and there is also a PCIe Gen 3 X8 slot for dGPUs or other expansion cards. Port selection includes 4x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 + microUSB connectors, along with a GbE jack. Additionally, the included M.2 Key E slot offers support for a wireless NIC.

The SiFive HiFive Unmatched platform will soon be available for preorder on the official site with a US$665 MSRP and it will be shipped with a bootable SD card that includes a Linux distro plus popular system developer packages. Updates will also be available for download at regular intervals and users can also install their preferred GNU distros like Yocto, Debian or Fedora.

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Bogdan Solca
Bogdan Solca - Senior Tech Writer - 1506 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2017
I first stepped into the wondrous IT&C world when I was around seven years old. I was instantly fascinated by computerized graphics, whether they were from games or 3D applications like 3D Max. I'm also an avid reader of science fiction, an astrophysics aficionado, and a crypto geek. I started writing PC-related articles for Softpedia and a few blogs back in 2006. I joined the Notebookcheck team in the summer of 2017 and am currently a senior tech writer mostly covering processor, GPU, and laptop news.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 10 > SiFive readies the HiFive Unmatched, world's first RISC-V-based desktop PC platform
Bogdan Solca, 2020-10-30 (Update: 2020-10-30)