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Upcoming RISC-V laptop promises free silicon upgrade

The world’s first laptop to use the RISC-V open source instruction set architecture (ISA) will start shipping in September.

The Roma laptop is available for pre-order on Xcalibyte’s website, but the site only takes information from interested parties without providing further details or any pricing. According to a report in The Register on Friday, shipping of the laptop will begin in September, according to spokespersons for Xcalibyte, which did system tuning for the laptop; a company called DeepComputing, which manufactured laptops; and RISC-V International.

According to the announcement from DeepComputing (which shares the same CEO with Excalibyte, The Register reported), the Roma will be powered by an unspecified quad-core processor with a 12 nm node in a system-on for 28 nm or “Pro” version. uses. -module (SOM) package. There is also an Arm SecureCore SC300 Security Enclave processor, an unnamed GPU and neural processing unit, and a convenience accelerator.

The system-on-chip’s motherboard is also supposed to be user-upgradable. The announcement from DeepComputing states that Roma owners will have free SoC and SOM upgrades.

Mark Himmelstein, CTO of RISC-V International, said at RISC, “The Roma platform will benefit developers who want to test their software running natively on RISC-V, and transfer code developed on this platform to embedded systems.” It should be easy to do.” -V International’s blog post on Friday.

RISC-V processors are generally less powerful than the more common x86-64 or Arm chips, but they have more open intellectual property, so it is easier for anyone to build a RISC-V CPU. We have adopted RISC-V for products such as Beagleboard V single-board computers, embedded processors and development kits, as well as for enterprise workloads such as high-performance computing. But the Roma is the first RISC-V product announced as a laptop.

“This design is an important bridge between development boards and RISC-V-based business laptops that will be used for day-to-day work,” said Calista Redmond, CEO of RISC-V International, on the nonprofit’s blog.

Beyond its RISC-V heritage, the Roma comes with up to 16GB of LPDDR4x memory and 256GB of storage. It also supports “most” versions of Linux, according to DeepComputing.

The laptops also have a questionable focus on NFTs, with 100 of them promised for first pre-order, claimed to be “Web3-friendly”, and according to the blog of RISC-V International, companies such as LatticeX. partners with. Foundation for NFT and Proof-of-Stake Blockchain.

While PCs based on RISC-V ISAs are far from mainstream, Roma represents a small step toward alternatives beyond just x86 and Arm. SiFive, which licenses RISC-V-based CPU designs, has shown off microcontrollers that could lead to auxiliary phones and laptops. And in March, the company told The Register that its customers could release RISC-V SoCs for PCs by 2025.

This article was updated to include information about Roma’s NFT ties.

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