Pine64, the only board computer manufacturer known for their range of open-source-supporting phones, laptops, smartwatches, and, of course, SBCs, recently revealed that they are working on the new RISC-V powered computer .
This isn’t the first time Pine64 has dabbled in the RISC-V realm; the Pinecil soldering iron and the Pinecone IoT board are both powered by RISC-V. However, this offering promises to be different, with desktop -class performance.
What to Expect?
As Pine64 pointed out in their announcement, some details are yet to be finalized, and they have not yet revealed everything. However, this is what we know now:
- Similar performance to Quartz64
- 133mm x 80mm footprint
- 4 or 8 GB of RAM
- USB 3.0
- Open the PCIe slot
- One or two Gigabit Ethernet ports
- Volcano 1.2 and OpenGL 1.1/2.0/3.x support
As you may have noticed, the “same performance as Quartz64” is a bit vague. However, it at least gives us a hint of performance.
Well, they mean it’s a cheap option and a decent strong one.
However, all this power is useless if there is no IO to deal with it. Fortunately, the board should have the same layout as other Pine64 boards, so at least have a general idea of I / O.
If it’s something like the Quartz 64, I expect three to four USB ports, one or two of which are USB 3.0. In addition, there must be an HDMI connector, as well as a MIPI-DSI interface. In PCIe terms, there is an open slot on the board. Consistent with previous boards, this is likely to be a PCIe 2.0 1x slot, opening up possibilities for NVMe SSDs and other PC expansion cards.
Overall, I expect this board to be strong for an SBC, and especially one powered by RISC-V. This should be an interesting one for sure!
How Much Does It Cost?
With most new and niche technologies, there is usually a higher price tag. Fortunately, this doesn’t appear to be the case with the new SBC, as Pine64 has confirmed an overall price range.
The board will precede our signature model — A form factor, features CPU performance that falls somewhere in the Quartz64 neighborhood, offers plenty of IO, and sports a price tag similar to Quartz64 .
Considering that Quartz64 has a price tag of 60 USD for the 4 GB model, I would expect a price somewhere in the range of $ 70 – $ 80 for the 4 GB, and $ 90 – $ 100 for the 8 GB model.
It’s around the same price as the Raspberry Pi equivalent, while offering more features and an exciting new architecture.
A Myth for the Name
With the signature Pine64 style, we still don’t know what to call it. However, they leave us with a myth:
Victoria Line Station
I sing, move and dance
they all celebrated
I never climbed on my stage
but sometimes I fall
At sea I live
and in every book of magic
adding 64 is all that is needed
On my stage I shine
and when I feel real blue
This is the last sign
Even if I don’t yet know what this means, there are some clues. First, they are likely to continue naming their SBCs after some natural material. Think refined64, stone64, Quartz64. When combined with the information provided in the riddle, I am sure someone can guess it correctly. And, that guy was promised to get the first board off the production line for free!
If you want to have a crack, all you have to do is post your prediction in the comments on the Pine64 notice page.
Overall, I’m really excited to see what this board is like, and I’m optimistic about its performance. I’m sure I’ll get one when it’s available!