Virgo

Hi, I’m Jacob Gadikian from virgo.org We are working on open hardware, with the eventual “holy Grail” goal of an open source computing ecosystem, including an open source mobile phone.

We want it to be easy for our users to make modifications to the design of devices, and easy for those modified designs to be shared and manufactured. Basically, the application of open source software techniques to hardware. Think of the manufacturer as the compiler.

We are of the opinion that closed systems aren’t truly capable of being secure, because they can’t be verified or audited.

We had to choose a place to start, and it seemed to us that a RISC-V core capable of running Keystone Enclave would be a good starting point.

We are also interested in building a lower spec device (think: RTOS) that doesn’t need to be capable of running linux.

We have identified two promising CPUs:

  • SiFive u54
  • Core-V

We will be designing and open sourcing a PCB design that implements one of these two processors. We are collaborating with pcbviet.com on the board design.

We are very interested in learning more about what’s available in terms of open source RISC-V designs, and open hardware generally.

We have a public chat where we’re discussing all this, and we would love it if you’d join. Anyone interested in open hardware development is welcome in our chat (see the channel #hardware)

PS:

I’m new here and could only post two links in the post, so here are the others I wanted to post:

We have a roadmap, which will be updated this week to reflect our latest research.

You can learn more about Keystone Enclave here:

You can find a list of risc-v cores at https://riscv.org/risc-v-cores/ but it doesn’t list everything, it only lists entries when people contribute an entry. You might be interested in Black Parrot and Open-Piton which are DARPA funded university projects. Open-Piton is on the list, Black Parrot is not. Note that SiFive u54 is our proprietary core based on the open source rocket project, but there is Freedom u540 which all of the open source parts of the SiFive u54.

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Hi Jim,

It’s the u540 that’s used in the HiFive Unleashed, correct?

What’s the arrangement for buying the u540 or u54?

Is it possible to set up a call? I think I’m not 100% clear on a few things.

Thank you!

Yes, the fu540 is used in the HiFive Unleashed. We don’t sell it separately from the board, and we aren’t manufacturing it or the board anymore. We will eventually have a follow on board available. We do sell the fe310 separately but that isn’t a linux capable chip. You can see some of our consumer products at crowdsupply.com and search for sifive. These are not produced in high volume.

Most of our business is custom asics for corporate customers. If you want to buy a thousand asics then you can talk to sales about that.

I guess I said freedom u540 was open source. I meant freedom is open source. fu540 is freedom plus some licensed bits.

I’m a compiler guy. I’m not really the right person to talk to about hardware questions.

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