GigaDevice has been busy pushing their RISC-V GD32V MCUs capable of surpassing Arm’s Cortex-M3 in both power and performance. While there are a pair of development boards and starter kits that use the GD32V, they’re not exactly easy to get a hold of unless you can read Chinese, as they are listed on Tmall’s website and Google Translate sorely lacks in this area. There is good news, though, as Shenzhen-based Sipeed has released a development board that uses the GD32V MCU and has it listed on Seeed for a mere $4.90.
On the hardware end, the Longan Nano is built around GigaDevice’s GD32VF103CBT6 32-bit RISC-V (rv32imac) microcontroller with 32Kb of SRAM, 128Kb of Flash, and micro SD slot for extra storage. It also packs a 0.96-inch 160×80 IPS RGB LCD display (connected via SPI), USB Type-C port for power and programming, fourr general-purpose 16-bit timer, two basic 16-bit timer, an advanced 16-bit timer, and an 8MHz passive high-speed crystal +32.768KHz low-speed RTC crystal. Expansion features include a pair of 16 through-hole headers with 3x USART, 2x I2C, 3x SPI, 2x I2S, 2x CAN, 1x USBFS (OTG), 2x ADC (10 channel), and 2x DAC.
Rounding out the specs are two 4-pin JTAG interfaces for debugging, a watchdog, RTC, Systick, boot and reset buttons. On the software side, the Longan Nano can run RT-Thread and LiteOS operating systems, while software development can be handled using PlatformIO IDE, GCC, OpenOCD, and eventually the Arduino IDE.
There are three options for loading firmware onto the development board as well — USB DFU download, UART ISP download, and JTAG download, although they will require a USB Type-C cable, USB-UART debug board, and J-Link, respectively. Sipeed’s Longan Nano is now available on Seeed store.
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Author: Cabe Atwell