Framework announces RISC-V Motherboard option for Framework Laptop 13

Framework Computer announced this week something really exciting for all you hardware addicts out there. Framework has been working with DeepComputing on a partner-developed RISC-V motherboard for the Framework Laptop 13.

This is very early stages of the possibility so we dont have have any pricing information just yet and the motherboard is still in development, but DeepComputing is working on bringing this RISC-V motherboard for Framework Laptop 13 as an alternative to the Intel and AMD options.

The DeepComputing RISC-V motherboard will use a StarFive JH7110 with 4 U74 RISC-V cores. The JH7710 SoC does have upstream kernel support and is used by other RISC-V single board computers like the StarFive VisionFive 2. But this is not going to be a workload powerhouse. Phoronix shared benchmarks that the Raspberry Pi 4 is more performant than this particular RISC-V chip. In my opinion, that’s okay because you gotta start somewhere right?

For those unfamiliar, RISC-V is an open standard instruction set architecture that has potential to be a game changer in the computer hardware space. ARM has been making waves for years and while that is also RISC based the open standard aspect of RISC-V is much more interesting to me than ARM.

Here’s a quote from the Framework announcement about this new option.

“This Mainboard is extremely compelling, but we want to be clear that in this generation, it is focused primarily on enabling developers, tinkerers, and hobbyists to start testing and creating on RISC-V. The peripheral set and performance aren’t yet competitive with our Intel and AMD-powered Framework Laptop Mainboards. This board also has soldered memory and uses MicroSD cards and eMMC for storage, both of which are limitations of the processor. It is a great way to start playing with RISC-V though inside of a thin, light, refined laptop. The Mainboard will be able to drop into any Framework Laptop 13 chassis or into the Cooler Master Mainboard Case. DeepComputing is also working closely with the teams at Canonical and Red Hat to ensure Linux support is solid through Ubuntu and Fedora.”

For those thinking DeepComputing sounds familiar well they are the company that announced a RISC-V laptop back in 2022 and recently DeepComputing is working on the DC-ROMA RISC-V Laptop II as their newest RISC-V laptop with Ubuntu support.

Are you as excited about this RISC-V Framework laptop as I am? Are you new to the RISC-V space? What are your thoughts on this whole RISC-V vs ARM thing? Let me know in the comments or on the Forum thread.

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