Seeed Studio's Wio Lite RISC-V Dev Board Brings the Bumblebee Core to the Feather Form Factor

Seeed Studio is continuing its push into the world of free and open source silicon with yet another RISC-V product launch — this time borrowing Adafruit's popular Feather form factor to create the Wio Lite RISC-V development board.

Joining the Wio Lite W600, which itself launched as the first Lite variant in the previously more bulky Wio range which included the Wio LTE Cat M1/NB1 board, the Wio Lite keeps with the Feather form factor but places a GigaDevice GD32VF103 32-bit microcontroller at its heart. Built on the 32-bit RV32IMAC RISC-V instruction set architecture (ISA), specifically Nuclei's Bumblebee core, the part is claimed to offer performance roughly equivalent to that of an Arm Cortex-M3 but in a third the power envelope - and with all the benefits of an open and increasingly-popular ISA.

The Feather side of the board is extended somewhat to accommodate an ESP8266 microcontroller, which provides Wi-Fi connectivity. A Lithium-Polymer (LiPo) charging circuit allows for the board's USB Type-C connector to charge a connected battery, while a microSD slot on the underside of the board - which, thankfully, shouldn't get in the way of the headers when used with a breadboard - provides additional storage over the 128kB flash storage and 32kB static RAM (SRAM) on the GD32V.

If those core specifications sound familiar, there's a good reason: Seeed has previously announced it will be selling the Sipeed Longan Nano RISC-V development board, which is based on the same GD32V RISC-V microcontroller but features a more compact design and on-board 0.96" colour LCD panel - but which lacks the Wi-Fi connectivity of the Wio Lite RISC-V.

The Wio Lite RISC-V, in fact, is only the latest in a string of RISC-V-based products launched by Seeed Studio so far this year, the rest of which - including the Sipeed MAIX-I AI Module, Sipeed Maixduino Kit, and the Perf-V FPGA board - are detailed on the company's blog.

Seeed is taking pre-orders for the Wio Lite RISC-V now on its official product page, with prices starting at $6.90 in single-unit quantities and late-November estimated availability. The pricing makes the Wio Lite RISC-V the cheapest in the Wio Lite family, too: The earlier ATSAMD21-based Wio Lite W600 Wi-Fi and Wio Lite MG126 Bluetooth development boards are both priced at $9.95 each in single-unit quantities.

internet of thingsdevelopment boardwireless communication
Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin.
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