What are you hoping to work on with the new HiFive unmatched board?

Hi Folks,
If you are on this forum, you’ve likely pre-ordered your HiFive unmatched board and are (patiently) waiting for it to arrive at your door.

Please share with us what projects you are hoping to do, collaborate on, or are hoping that others will do when this board arrives.

Been great to see folks thinking about the case/power supply/fans/graphics/sound setup for this board -thanks to those who have already started those threads and shared their ideas & got the conversations going.

For me, I am interested in “Oreboot” / open source firmware / boot - want to use the Unmatched to try to get GitHub - oreboot/oreboot: oreboot is a fork of coreboot, with C removed, written in Rust. up and going – as well as learn a lot in the process.

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definitely would like to try a hand at porting some os kernels, and maybe a few programming languages…

if it works out well enough, id like to see this perhaps be my personal work/play station ful time ^^

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Get Funtoo Linux (1.4) running on actual RISC-V hadware. I did get it running via qemu sifive-fu540 a while back, but that has obviously been terribly slow. I would then like to put some reasonable AMD graphics card in there and turn the thing into my as-open-as-possible-right-now hardware / open-source software workstation.

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So far i’ve got RISC-V Gentoo running inside qemu, and it would be great to have it running on real hardware, hopefully being able to fix some issues i might (or will :slight_smile: ) come across. My experiments in qemu have been limited by it’s lack of performance, and so far i’m amazed by how much things just work.

I’m also curious about the S7 CPU core and how it can be used within a Linux environment.

My current desktop isn’t that fast (it’s a 2016 celeron J1900), so when everything works it might actually be able to replace and outperform my desktop.

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None of us outside SiFive really know yet how the Unmatched will perform – we don’t even know the clock speed! If it can manage 1.5 GHz like the Unleashed then my guess is the single core CPU performance will be similar to a 1 GHz Pentium III or PowerPC G4 from around 2001.

However with 4 cores, modern RAM, modern SSD, modern GPU in the PCIe slot I’m guessing the everyday performance might be more like an early Core 2 Duo/Quad.

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I’ll go with debian and I’ll try to make it my main developing environment.

I aim to make everything work for debugging embedded and usb logic analyser with pulseview and things like that.

I also will try to port some abandoned or orphan libraries on debian in order to test and play a little bit.

I heard in a youtube conference that there’s no browser able to run yet, so looking into Firefox is also interesting.

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I’m working on a small arm64/riscv64 kernel (GitHub - kivikakk/daintree: ARMv8-A/RISC-V kernel (with UEFI bootloader)), so the Unmatched will be my dev board for the latter! Still working on bringing it up on RISC-V, but so far the bootloader works on qemu at least.

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That’s a cool project!
Grub recently integrated UEFI booting for RISC-V, would this mean your kernel could be the FSBL and load Grub?

Ah, not quite — it depends on UEFI firmware already existing. In my case, I’m using U-Boot to provide that on qemu, ROCKPro64, Kendryte K210, and Unmatched some day. It won’t be loading other kernels or bootloaders.

I plan to use an AMD WX7100 GPU and look forward to building VTK on the RISC-V architecture to see how visualization and data analysis type applications perform. Maybe also something like OpenFOAM or other open source CFD code will perform computationally intensive tasks. In addition I want to see how it handles multimedia like decoding high bitrate high resolution H.264/H.265 video content. Exciting times we live in after decades of boring stagnant x86 evolution.

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