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Booting RISC-V Linux on Star64 JH7110 SBC (codeberg.page)
34 points by lupyuen 10 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 10 comments

Boot from UART ? that's gonna take some time...

Anyway it's wild that so many of those boards went thru so much effort to develop and produce it yet software is at best provided in alpha state.

You'd think compared to developing SBC that should be small part of it and done and ready before chips/boards are made but even now even the most popular rPi still doesn't have fully upstreamed support and need patches.

Makes me miss the "bloated" BIOS and x86 architecture...

JH7110's upstreaming effort is actually doing well[0].

They've come this far since the first boards shipped in January.

>but even now even the most popular rPi still doesn't have fully upstreamed support and need patches.

Because they don't seem to care. the rPi also got a deeply bespoke boot process.

This is in stark contrast to VisionFive2 / Star64, which has been working to get code upstreamed from the start.

0. https://rvspace.org/en/project/JH7110_Upstream_Plan

So +/- a year and there is a chance for one that "just works" without fuckery? Nice, I might pick up one for some home automation.

Specs wise it looks pretty interesting as it could be used as pretty much all in one (2x ethernet for router, PCIe for storage, even work as WiFi AP I'd assume) for what I currently have router and NAS for.

Considering we already have EFI fw builds, I'd say it'll be all good out of the box with mainline kernels by fall.

GPU acceleration would of course depend on Imatech. They have an ongoing mesa3d effort, but these things go slowly. Proprietary driver a shit.

Of course, HDMI (outputting an unaccelerated fb) already got patches for Linux and u-boot, and will at some point have EFI driver too.

This Star64 board looks like a nice contender to the RPi4. Unfortunately, they don't ship to my country. It would be nice if future iterations of these boards came with at least one mini PCIe socket, so that you can add a 4G modem. The PineCube looks interesting as well.

Star64 *has* a PCIe socket. Look at the centre of the bottom edge in the first photo:


It's probably more commonly used with a discrete graphics card or SSD.

Yeah, if I were attaching a modem to a star64 (or rPi) I would use USB and save the PCI-e slot for storage. NVME is a huge upgrade to these devices.

I think the pcie is a 1x of Gen2, which might not give quite as much perf as someone may expect from nvme

Still a lot better than eMMC

Theoretical 400 MB/s, and people are reporting an actual 375 on the VisionFive 2, which uses the same JH7110 SoC and brings that PCIe lane out to an M.2 socket.

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