HomeWinBuzzer NewsFramework and DeepComputing Unveil RISC-V Laptop Mainboard

Framework and DeepComputing Unveil RISC-V Laptop Mainboard

The open-source RISC-V mainboard processor allows customization and moves away the Framework Laptop 13 from proprietary chips.

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Framework has joined forces with DeepComputing to incorporate RISC-V technology into its Laptop 13 model, signaling a move toward open-source architecture in the realm of consumer laptops. This initiative has led to the creation of a new mainboard specifically for the Framework Laptop 13.

RISC-V (pronounced “risk-five”) is an open-source instruction set architecture (ISA) for processors. Unlike most ISA designs, RISC-V is freely available for anyone to use and modify. This fosters collaboration and innovation.

Launching the DC-ROMA RISC-V Mainboard

Dubbed the “DC-ROMA RISC-V Modular Mini Mainboard,” this new component can easily fit into the 13-inch Framework Laptop chassis. It offers an alternative to Intel and AMD processors, aligning with Framework’s open ecosystem ethos. Additionally, this mainboard can be placed in a $39 case from Cooler Master, transforming it into a compact desktop.

The DC-ROMA mainboard is equipped with StarFive’s JH7110 processor, featuring four U74 RISC-V cores by SiFive. Framework has indicated that this RISC-V mainboard’s performance doesn’t yet match Intel or AMD processors. This version targets developers, hobbyists, and tech enthusiasts. It has soldered memory and employs MicroSD cards and eMMC for storage, indicative of some constraints linked to the RISC-V architecture.

Market Implications and Industry Trends

Integrating RISC-V into the Framework Laptop 13 marks a stride toward diversifying the chip sector. Though not yet rivaling the performance of Intel’s and AMD’s x86 chips, the RISC-V mainboard represents a shift away from proprietary architectures. RISC-V’s open nature, allowing processor creation without licensing fees, sets it apart from Intel’s x86 ISA and ARM’s licensed architecture. This movement mirrors a broader exploration of alternatives, as seen with devices like the Steam Deck.

DeepComputing is collaborating with Canonical and Red Hat to ensure comprehensive Linux support for the new mainboard through Ubuntu and Fedora. This aims to furnish a stable and adaptable operating environment for users exploring RISC-V technology.

No release date or pricing for the RISC-V mainboard has been announced yet. Those interested can sign up for updates on Framework’s website to receive the latest information on its progress and availability.

Additional Enhancements for Framework Laptop 13

Framework has also disclosed additional upgrades for its Laptop 13, such as a 120Hz screen and Core Ultra chip. The Framework Laptop 13 (AMD) has received favorable reviews, with recommendations for purchase if available. These enhancements, along with the RISC-V mainboard, underline Framework’s dedication to offering customizable computing solutions.

Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke has been writing about all things tech for more than five years. He is following Microsoft closely to bring you the latest news about Windows, Office, Azure, Skype, HoloLens and all the rest of their products.