Milk-V's Jupiter Is a Mini-ITX Desktop-Class RISC-V System with Expandability, AI Smarts, and More

The latest in Milk-V's range of RISC-V single-board computers, the Jupiter is a desktop-class eight-core system with NPU acceleration.

Single-board computer specialist Milk-V is preparing to open orders for Jupiter, its mini-ITX system based on the SpacemIT K1 or M1 eight-core RISC-V processor — complete with a dedicated neural processing unit (NPU) delivering two tera-operations per second (TOPS) of compute for on-device machine learning and artificial intelligence.

"Milk-V Jupiter, powered by the SpacemIT K1/M1 SoC [System-on-Chip] is the world's first mini-ITX device to support both RVA22 and RVV1.0," Milk-V explains of its latest design. "This device integrates a standard PCIe [PCI Express] connector supporting common PCIe devices such as graphics cards, PCIe to SATA adapters, and network cards. It features dual gigabit Ethernet interfaces, onboard Wi-Fi 6/BT [Bluetooth] 5.2, and supports NVMe [Non-Volatile Memory Express] SSDs, making it an ideal choice for an entry-level RISC-V desktop."

Designed as a desktop-class system, the Jupiter's system-on-chip includes eight 64-bit processor cores based on the RISC-V architecture — though, at the time of writing, the company had not confirmed clock speed, though SpacemIT rates the K1 up to 2GHz with the M1 offering improved performance. As Milk-V says, what makes the chip particularly interesting is its support for both the RVA22 extension profile and the fully-ratified RVV 1.0 vector extensions — the latter offering a performance boost for on-device ML and AI.

Those workloads can be further accelerated by SpacemIT's inclusion of a dedicated neural coprocessor, offering a claimed two TOPS of compute at minimum precision. There's an Imagination BXE-2-32 graphics processor with OpenGL ES 1.1/3.2, EGL 1.5, OpenCL 3.0, and Vulkan 1.3 support, hardware H.265/H.264/VP8/VP9/MPEG4/MPEG2 decoders good to 4k60 and H.265/H.264/VP8/VP9 good to 4k30, and a choice of 4GB, 8GB, or 16GB of LPDDR4X memory.

While technically functional as a single-board computer, the Jupiter is also expandable: there's a connector for an optional eMMC module as well as a microSD Card slot for storage, an M.2 M-key connector with two PCI Express Gen. 2 lanes for an optional NVMe SSD, and an eight-lane mechanical two-lane-electrical PCIe Gen. 2 slot for add-in boards. There are two gigabit Ethernet ports supporting optional Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) and two USB 3.0 Type-A, two USB 2.0 Type-A, and one USB 2.0 On-The-Go Type-C ports, plus two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports available via a front header connector. There's two SATA ports, a UART bus, and analog audio jacks too.

In short, the Jupiter includes everything you'd expect to see in a desktop-class machine — including the promise of support for Canonical's Ubuntu Linux distribution, which is rapidly becoming a popular choice for RISC-V machines thanks to the company's first-party support for several popular devices. Milk-V also promises support for Casa OS, a Linux distribution tailored for network-attached storage (NAS) devices.

More information on the Milk-V Jupiter is available on the official product page; pricing has not yet been disclosed, and at the time of writing the retail partners listed were exclusively shipping to China.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire:
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