The BeagleV®-Fire: Unleashing the Power of RISC-V with FPGA Capabilities

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If you’re a developer, hobbyist, or researcher looking to explore the exciting world of RISC-V architecture, the BeagleV®-Fire Single-Board Computer (SBC) from BeagleBoard.org might just be your next game-changer. This groundbreaking open-source SBC, powered by Microchip’s PolarFire® FCVG484E SoC with FPGA fabric, packs a punch with its impressive performance and an array of connectivity options. In this detailed product review, we’ll dive deep into what makes the BeagleV®-Fire a revolutionary addition to the single-board computing landscape.

Introduction

BeagleBoard.org has long been a pioneer in open-source SBCs, and their BeagleV®-Fire is no exception. This compact, versatile board is designed to bring the power of RISC-V architecture to a broader audience, making it a game-changer for developers, hobbyists, and researchers.

Key Benefits and Specifications

Let’s take a closer look at the key features and specifications that set the BeagleV®-Fire apart:

1. RISC-V CPU: The BeagleV®-Fire is equipped with a powerful 5-core RISC-V System on Chip (SoC), consisting of 4x 64-bit RV64GC application cores and 1x 64-bit RV64IMAC monitor/boot core. It boasts an impressive performance score of 3.125 CoreMarks/MHz and 1.714 DMIPS/MHz, making it a workhorse for various applications.

2. FPGA Capabilities: The FPGA fabric on the BeagleV®-Fire is a standout feature, with 23K logic elements, 68 Math blocks (18×18 MACC), and 4 SerDes lanes of 12.7 Gbps. This opens the door to hardware acceleration and customization, making it perfect for AI, robotics, and IoT applications.

3. Memory: With 16GB of Kingston eMMC, 2GB of LPDDR4 RAM, and a microSD card socket, the BeagleV®-Fire offers ample storage and memory for your projects.

4. Networking: The board features Gigabit Ethernet and an M.2 Key E slot, which supports 2.4GHz/5GHz WiFi modules. This connectivity versatility ensures your project stays connected.

5. Connectivity: It includes USB Type-C and Serial debug ports for convenient communication with your device.

6. Add-On Board Expansion: The BeagleV®-Fire is designed for expandability, featuring a high-speed SYZYGY interface, a 22-pin CSI connector, and BeagleBone-compatible 92-pin cape header pins, allowing for a wide range of customizations.

7. Open-Source Design: As with all BeagleBoard.org products, the BeagleV®-Fire adheres to the principles of open-source hardware. This means you have access to the board’s design and firmware, fostering collaboration and innovation.

8. Linux-Compatible: The board comes pre-installed with Ubuntu, providing a familiar and robust development environment for Linux enthusiasts.

Unleashing RISC-V Potential

The BeagleV®-Fire is a significant step towards democratizing RISC-V architecture and empowering innovators to explore new possibilities. With powerful computing capabilities and FPGA customization options, it’s well-suited for a wide range of applications, from IoT devices to AI and robotics. BeagleBoard.org, known for its dedication to open-source hardware, continues to lead the way in fostering innovation, collaboration, and the proliferation of RISC-V’s open source ISA.

Price and Availability

One of the most compelling aspects of the BeagleV®-Fire is its affordability, coming in at just $150. This significantly undercuts the price of comparable solutions, making it accessible to a broader audience. The BeagleV®-Fire is available through multiple distributors, ensuring that you can get your hands on this powerful SBC without breaking the bank.

In conclusion, the BeagleV®-Fire is a game-changing addition to the single-board computing world. It’s a testament to the commitment of BeagleBoard.org to open-source hardware and RISC-V architecture. With its impressive performance, FPGA capabilities, and affordability, it’s a must-have for anyone looking to explore the limitless potential of RISC-V technology. Whether you’re a developer, hobbyist, or researcher, the BeagleV®-Fire has something to offer, and it’s ready to be a part of your next innovative project.

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