Basically I want to have a computer to experiment with that is 100% free and open source and that doesn’t break the bank. My current idea is to use a RISCV board like the mango pi and use FreeBSD on it. I only use terminal applications expect for the browser so I’m not too worried about performance. But also I have never done anything like this before, this is really just to mess around and learn. But I’m looking for some advice what are the best RISCV boards and is it even worth it? Plus is it even possible to build a 100% free and open source computer with a RISCV board? I am currently doing research into this and this is part of my research lol, thank you.

    1 year ago

    Open-source chips is probably the difficult part about it. There’s RISCV CPUs with open-source high-level description - but the physical devices are not open-source (for example the physical layout). There’s some people running soft-CPUs on FPGAs. This way the circuit of the CPU is open-source but the FPGA fabric is not. I believe (and/or hope) that the situation might improve in the next decades. There’s some chip fabs which start to allow creating fully open-source chips (Skywater in the US, IHP in EU). Yes, most chip fabs are actually forbidding to create open-source chips.

    This might be inspiring: