Framework adds a RISC-V motherboard to its laptops

From PC World: Framework has quickly become the darling of tech media and power users alike thanks to its completely modular and upgradeable laptop systems. And, with motherboard options from Intel and AMD, to say nothing of compatibility with Windows, Linux, and Chrome, it’s also multi-platform. Add one more to the list: the company is now offering a RISC-V motherboard for the Framework 13.

If RISC-V isn’t ringing any bells, that’s probably because it’s not all that relevant to standard PCs. Reduced Instruction Set Computer Five is an open-source architecture for both basic hardware, including the CPU, and the software that runs on it. It’s a popular option for a lot of integrated electronics like the internals of your new washing machine or your car’s computer. But thanks to no licensing fees and extreme flexibility, it’s increasingly showing up in more conventional consumer electronics like smartwatches and fitness trackers.

The RISC-V motherboard for the Framework 13 was developed in conjunction with DeepComputing, with a quad-core Starfive JH7110 processor. Unlike Framework’s consumer-focused motherboards, this one has memory soldered in place and thus is not upgradeable, though you can still use a MicroSD card for swappable storage. The initial, pre-production design will be shown off at the RISC-V summit in Munich starting on June 24th.

Though the hardware is at the prototype stage, it should be available to “developers, tinkerers, and hobbyists” through Framework’s Marketplace store at some point, along with all the necessary components for Linux support.

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