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The StarFive VisionFive 2 – 2022’s RISC-V SBC

Well it’s been a whole year without the ‘VisionFive 3’, but I cannot say that StarFive have not been doing great things! The SD card image used in this video is 3.9.3, based on JH7110 SDK 5.9.3, and was released 11 hours before I recorded it. This release included some great changes, such as;

  • Support for Kernel 5.15 and 6.1.31
  • Support for libcamera
  • Some new example applications (for libcamera)
  • Other fixes

And that is building on the back of 3.8.2 which I was about to test which includes;

  • Fix for USB flash drive booting
  • 1080p video decoding improvements
  • Support for Vulkan 1.3.1
  • Support for AIC8800 USB wifi/BT dongles
  • A few little code fixes

But I did not get the time to test it as thoroughly as I would have liked, else the video would go forever. Some notable things;

  1. 4K output now works apparently, at 24FPS it says
  2. All USB ports work
  3. If you update the EEPROM with the latest OpenSBI and U-Boot you apparently don’t need to use the DIP switch settings
  4. The image does not auto-expand but you can do so with growpart /dev/mmcblk1 4 then resize2fs /dev/mmcblk1p4. Just install ‘cloud-guest-utils’ if you do not have ‘growpart’ on your system.
  5. Ethernet worked perfectly out of the box
  6. 1080p YouTube playback was not possible, but 144p worked fine. I did not yet test inbetween.

And the Geekbench test results are about what you would expect for the JH7110 – it’s certainly not up to par with Arm yet, but then again, 10-15 years ago Arm was not up to par with CISC options like x86. Anyone recall what the original Raspberry Pi was like around 2010? (At least that’s when my memory has it framed). Test results;

And I think that 2 points of difference in the multi-core test was just random luck. And in the video where it crashes, I think that must have been from me handling it!

Anyway, I am going to do a 2nd part for sure. Here is what I have planned:

  1. How to update the EEPROM
  2. Running a Linux 6.1 kernel
  3. How fast it goes with NVMe storage instead
  4. What the Pi-2 header voltages are when it’s using 12V input
  5. How it performs with the latest kernel and faster storage




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