DevBoards Program Meeting March 21, 2024

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Jeff Scheel

Mar 20, 2024, 8:22:54 AMMar 20
to RISC-V Development Board Program

Our next meeting will be tomorrow, Thursday, March 21, 2024 at the following time:
  • 3:00 PM UTC,  
  • 4:00 PM Central Europe time,
  • 8:30 PM India Standard Time,
  • 11:00 PM China Standard Time
  • 11:00 AM Eastern U.S. Standard Time,  
  • 8:00 AM Pacific U.S. Standard Time.
With Daylight Saving Time season upon us, please note that your meeting time will only change with DST.  To quote Daniel, "Trust your calendar!"

Here's the meeting link (which can be copied to your calendar):

The agenda will be:
  • Board and Project updates
  • Program updates from RISC-V
  • Board purchase discussion for 1H
  • What's cool?
As always, any topics, updates, or information can be added to our agenda document, Dev Board Group Minutes or raised at the beginning of the meeting.

Jeff Scheel (he/him/his)
Director of Technical Programs, RISC-V International

Jeff Scheel

Mar 22, 2024, 1:09:47 PMMar 22
to RISC-V Development Board Program

A great discussion yesterday, especially around the topic of GPUs and enablement on RISC-V.  Let's continue to discuss this topic in the coming weeks, learning from Carl's work and sharing additional insight as we go.

Per convention, the official minutes are in our Meeting Document.  I'm attaching a copy here for your convenience.  Please question, correct, and extend the information in the document or to the email list as you deem appropriate.

Attendees: Jeff, Greg, Carl, Lance, Heinrich, Felix, Han Gao, Wei Fu, Yubo, Isaac, Axel, Daniel 

Board Updates:

  • None

Program Updates:

  • Arch Linux

  • Debian

    •  Prepared 5 additional Unmatched for debci team as backup

  • Fedora

    • Fedora 39 distrepo has 98.59% srpm with LiveCD

      • Only 322  srpm left

      • We are focusing on upstream riscv support to Fedora srpms

    • Fedora 40 koji repo 90.10% srpm

    • Fedora on Banana Pi BPI-F3

    • Fedora 64ilp32 on k230  [PLCT]
  • Canonical

    • Looked into MILK-V boards.  Minimal patches for devtree and uboot.

    • Been running NvME on Milk-V with a special adapter.

  • Sel4

    • Working on multi-core support for RISC-V

  • R9

    • 😴

  • oreboot

  • Firmware

  • RISC-V

    • Lichee Pi4A (10) shiplist sent to vendor for shipping

    • Pioneer Boxes (35) shiplist sent to vendor for shipping.  Outlook for shipping is mid-April due to inventory constraints.

    • Approval received for first “backlog” buy – 10x Lichee Pi4As, 10x VisionFive V2s

      • Will consume most, all of these boards and request approval for more

    • Greg presently working on Kendryte projects (2 weeks), then Huashan Pi

    • Greg getting up to speed by handling shipments and project evaluation

      • Looking at new channels to ship

      • Analyzing, organizing, and improving data on past projects

    • Jeff will get ROMA laptops out in coming weeks

    • Jeff will restart status reports with March

    • Does anyone have experience with Lichee Cluster?

      • $1599 from Amazon for 7x nodes, each with 16 GB memory and 128 GB eMMC, in a chassis (link)

      • BMC appears to have some stability issues with console connections and resets

      • Network among boards is quite limited (100 MB?)

      • Only one Ethernet port is wired to each board

      • Compute throughput should be roughly equivalent to VF2 board

What’s cool?:

Miscellaneous notes:

  • GPU Discussion

    • The Imagination (IMG) open source drivers for “Rogue Architecture” are the same common core used for almost every RISC-V Board. The firmware varies, but the code that has been upstreamed to mainline Linux should work on every existing implementation. 

      • The only missing parts are the firmware. There were patches recently to the linux-firmware repo for some GPUs (AXE-1-16M) and I believe more are staged.

      • Carl is going to try testing what happens when you use a mainline kernel with the BSP firmware files to try and get some of the GPUs on the FV2 and LPI4A working (details to follow in coming weeks)

    • There is a massive IMG driver set in Mesa 24 but it is feature flagged off by default. Rebuilding Mesa 24 with the “imagination-experimental“ flag should enable the drivers for Vulkan support.

    • All the Rouge Architecture GPUs are Vulkan only by default, so using Zink in Mesa 24 should allow for legacy gl/gles/glx applications to get at least some amount of acceleration

    • The following “blocks” are what are know on some shipping SoCs:

      • TH1520 (Lichee Pi 4A): IMG BXM-4-64

      • JH7110 (VisionFive 2): IMG BXE-4-32

      • Spacemit K1 (BPI-F3) : IMG BXE-2-32

    • Jeff will keep this topic on the agenda for continued learning by all.  Thanks, Carl!

  • OpenHW is going to propose to RISE building a vendor-neutral, open-source, processor for use on industry standard FPGAs (e.g. AWS F1) as a platform for testing.  This was discussed in Red Beards “Distro” meeting.  More information will be shared here as it becomes public.


Jeff Scheel (he/him/his)
Director of Technical Programs, RISC-V International

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