RISC-V International, a non-profit association responsible for the development and adoption of the free and open source RISC-V instruction set architecture and related technologies, has a tempting offer: free RISC-V development boards, with up to 16GB of RAM, for any interested parties.
"We are at an incredible inflection point for RISC-V. We are making history and we want you to be a part of it," writes RISC-V International chief technology officer Mark Himelstein. "RISC-V is now being engineered into everything from soldering irons to supercomputers. One step along the way is facilitating the availability of development boards for testing and development. We are inviting RISC-V members to sign up for a RISC-V developer board sponsored by RISC-V and our RISC-V contributing members. We have boards available and we want you to have one!"
"The boards are provided by RISC-V vendor members and through an investment by RISC-V International. We plan to distribute over 1,000 boards for academia and early adopters by June 2022! What do we want you to do with the boards? Everything! Develop software, learn RISC-V, run tests, port software, look for ways we can improve, contribute — this is your opportunity to get your hands on RISC-V and engage in the RISC-V ecosystem!"
Targeting academic institutions and individual early adopters, the offer isn't specific to any particular RISC-V development board; instead, RISC-V International aims to pair the boards available with the requirements of requesting users, offering up models with 1GB, 2GB, 8GB, and 16GB of memory alongside their RISC-V processing cores.
"We have a simple request — we will be looking for your feedback," Himelstein explains of RISC-V's expectations from those applying to the program. "We’d also love to showcase your innovations, successes, and stories. Let us know so we can amplify on social media or perhaps a blog."
There is only one real catch to the offer: You must be a RISC-V International member to apply. Thankfully, individual membership at the "community" level is free on application via the official website; those who have signed up, or who are already members, can request a development board of their own by filling in the application form.