SiFive launched an upgraded Freedom Everywhere SoC and corresponding development kit, the HiFive1 Rev B, powered by SiFive’s E31 CPU, the FE310-G002. A small yet mighty 68 mm x 51 mm, the HiFive1 Rev B can connect to Arduino-compatible accessories and is a great platform for real-time embedded applications.
In the chip, the FE310-G002, SiFive added:
One hardware I2C
An additional UART for a total of 2 UARTs
An upgrade to RISC-V Debug Specification 0.13
Always-on domain at 3.3V
The ability to power-off the core power (1.8V) during sleep mode.
On the board, the HiFive1 Rev B, SiFive:
Added a Wi-Fi/Bluetooth module to enable more connected applications for FE310
Upgraded the USB debug to a Segger J-Link
Enabled USB drag-and-drop flash programming
Removed the bidirectional level shifters, enabling the FE310 to drive the I/O pins (3.3V only) directly
Changed to a 4 MB QSPI NOR from ISSI
Optimisation and power savings at the edge for IoT devices also necessitate that developers not be unnecessarily frustrated by walled-off gardens. Critically, The FE310 is the first open source, commercially available RISC-V SoC.
On the HiFive1 Rev B there is a Wi-Fi / Bluetooth module from Espressif to enable the community to use the FE310 as a truly connected IoT device.
Drag-and-drop flash programming
Another new feature, enabled in partnership with Segger is the drag-and-drop flash programming. When the HiFive1 Rev B is plugged into a PC, it appears as a mass storage device and you can copy your compiled binary (hex) directly to the board. This dramatically simplifies the re-programming of the HiFive1 Rev B.
Zephyr RTOS is enabled to run on the FE310 and HiFive1 Rev B. All HiFive1 Zephyr apps are forward-compatible. With Zephyr RTOS, you get a complete execution environment with portable peripheral drivers for all hardware on the board. Zephyr’s SDK removes the pain points of toolchain management, as all the tools needed for porting are provided.
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