SparkFun's Avra Saslow has published a video showcasing the installation and use of FreeRTOS, the free-software real-time operating system, on the SparkFun RED-V RISC-V development board family.
"The RISC-V ISA completely changes the computing business model," claims Saslow. "Instead of traditionally having to buy a specific vendor’s ISA (which is locked under licenses, royalties and NDAs), the RISC-V architecture allows users to extend the core to fit their specific needs. No need to wait for a vendor to mitigate security flaws or for you to get support — you can customize, mitigate, and scale the core exactly how you want to.
"We explore how to utilize this open source hardware with open source software — specifically with the resources and documentation from FreeRTOS, a Real-Time Operating System that provides kernels and libraries specifically ported for MCUs like the RED-V board. Hopefully, this opens your eyes to dozens of new possibilities that can be accomplished with this kind of open source hardware!"
While there are more powerful RISC-V-based development boards around — Microchip has just launched the Linux-capable and FreeRTOS-compatible PolarFire SoC Icicle at $499 — SparkFun's RED-V boards have a key advantage: Affordability, with the Arduino Uno form factor RED-V RedBoard costing just $39.95 and the smaller RED-V Thing Plus a mere $29.95. Both include SiFive's Freedom E310 RISC-V microcontroller core, one of the first mass-produced RISC-V ICs.
The full video, and links to purchase the boards, can be found on the SparkFun blog.