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ESP32-based New Arduino Board

Shanghai, China
Jul 3, 2017

The new Arduino Cinque board comprises SiFive’s Freedom E310 customizable SoC, which runs off the E31 CPU Coreplex (32-bit RV32IMAC Core), while also having built-in WiFi-and-Bluetooth capabilities with Espressif’s flagship SoC, ESP32.

Brian Benchoff of hackaday.com has said about the new board: “From what we’ve seen so far, the Cinque is an impressively powerful board”. A quick look at the specifications of each component ascertains Benchoff’s claim: 

 

ESP32 Specifications

    • 240 MHz dual core Tensilica LX6 microcontroller with 600 DMIPS
    • 520 KB SRAM
    • 802.11 BGN HT40 Wi-Fi transceiver, baseband, stack, and lwIP
    • Classic and BLE integrated dual-mode Bluetooth
    • 16 MB flash memory mapped onto the CPU code space
    • On-board PCB antenna
    • IPEX connector for use with external antenna
    • Ultra-low noise analog amplifier
    • Hall sensor
    • 10 × capacitive touch interfaces
    • 32 KHz crystal oscillator
    • 34 × GPIOs for UART, SPI, I2S, ADC, DAC, and PWM
    • OpenOCD debug interface with 32 KB TRAX buffer
    • SDIO master/slave 50 MHz
    • SD-card interface support

 

Freedom E310 Specifications

    • E310 CPU Coreplex (32-bit RV32IMAC core)
    • 320 MHz operating speed
    • 16 KB L1 Instruction Cache
    • 16 KB Data SRAM Scratchpad
    • Hardware multiply/divide
    • Debugging module
    • One-time programmable non-volatile memory (OTP)
    • On-chip oscillators and PLLS
    • UART, QSPI, PWM, and timer peripherals
    • Low-power standby mode

  

RV32IMAC Specifications

    • RV32I Base Integer Instruction Set, Version 2.0
    • “M” Standard Extension for Integer Multiplication and Division, Version 2.0
    • “A” Standard Extension for Atomic Instructions, Version 2.0
    • “C” Standard Extension for Compressed Instructions, Version 1.9
    • RISC-V Privileged ISA Specification, Version 1.9.1
    • RISC-V External Debug Support, Version 0.11

  

Mr. Jack Kang, vice president of product and business development at SiFive, said: “By partnering with a pioneer in open-source hardware, SiFive can further advance the progress of open custom silicon among makers, system designers and everyone else in between. We continue to be blown away by the support and attention the open-source silicon movement has gained in the past year alone. We look forward to seeing the community’s reaction to the Arduino Cinque board, and believe that the Arduino concepts of openness and distribution mean that more people than ever will be exposed to RISC-V.”

On this note, the founder and executive chairman of Maker Media, Dale Dougherty, said about the new board: “The availability of the Arduino Cinque provides the many dreamers, tinkerers, professional makers and aspiring entrepreneurs access to state-of-the-art silicon on one of the world’s most popular development architectures.” Mr Dougherty, then, went on to comment that: “using an open-source chip built on top of RISC-V is the natural evolution of open-source hardware, and the Arduino Cinque has the ability to put powerful SiFive silicon into the hands of makers around the world.”

There is currently no pricing or other technical information about the new Arduino board. As Jack Kang himself has put it: “All I can say right now is we’re still working with the Arduino team on the details of the final stuffing options […] but ultimately the goal is to maximize the distribution of RISC-V and open-source silicon everywhere, and to make it accessible to as many people as possible, which is why the Arduino Cinque is such exciting news for us!”

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