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Meet ‘Hi-Five Unleashed’: First Linux-based RISC-V Dev Board

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SiFive is opening doors to a brand new era of RISC-V with ‘Hi-Five Unleashed’, the first RISC-V-based Linux development board. Using the royalty-free RISC-V ISA, this single-board computer suits applications such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, networking, gateways and smart IoT devices. The HiFive Unleashed development board brings together Linux and RISC-V for the first time.

The board features the company’s Linux-capable RISC-V based processor SoC, Freedom U540.

The Hi-Five Unleashed features the company’s own Freedom U540 RISC-V SoC, along with 8GB DDR4 ECC RAM, 32MB Quad SPI Flash, a microSD card slot for external storage, a Gigabit Ethernet port, and an FMC connector for future expansion cards.

During the FOSDEM open source developer conference, SiFive also demoed the first real-world use of the board.

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Specifications of the HiFive Unleashed board include:

  • SiFive Freedom U540 SoC
  • 8 GB DDR4 with ECC
  • Gigabit Ethernet port
  • 32 MB quad SPI flash from ISSI
  • microSD card for removable storage
  • FMC connector for future expansion

Here are Freedom U540 processor specs:

  • 4+1 Multi-Core Coherent Configuration, up to 1.5 GHz
  • 4x U54 RV64GC Application Cores with Sv39 Virtual Memory Support
  • 1x E51 RV64IMAC Management Core
  • Coherent 2MB L2 Cache
  • 64-bit DDR4 with ECC
  • 1x Gigabit Ethernet
  • Built in 28nm process technology
“This is truly a historic moment and a major milestone for RISC-V,” said Yunsup Lee, co-founder and CTO, SiFive. “From the first days of inventing RISC-V, Andrew, Krste, and I have been anticipating this moment. As the leading champions of the RISC-V ISA, we’re proud to debut the HiFive Unleashed board to inspire new innovations and experience this record achievement for the RISC-V community.”

“With the Freedom U540, the first RISC-V based, 64-bit 4+1 multicore SoC with support for full featured operating systems such as Linux, the HiFive Unleashed development board will greatly spur open-source software development”, the company noted.

Developers can purchase the HiFive Unleashed development board here. A limited batch of early access boards will ship in late March 2018, with a wider release in June.

For more information, visit

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