Electronics > Microcontrollers

ch32v307, risc-v minicore with ethernet

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Suggested here yesterday by a forum member, the ch32v307 looks very interesting (at least on the paper)

See here

256K flash
uart (8 channels!!!)

very nice!

anyone going to use one?  :D :D :D

Some STM32s also have 8 UARTs in 100QFP, I'm not that impressed by that single fact. However,  1Gbit ethernet Mac (on a MCU!) plus 480Mbit USB HS integrated phy, is quite interesting for a MCU. Both I haven't seen much before in a MCU, but perhaps that's also because they tend to be featured in way quicker chips. Those interfaces are quite overkill for a processor core at only 144MHz and 64K of RAM.
1Gbit ethernet can fill the complete RAM about 2000 times per second, and USB approx 940 times per second. It's absolutely crazy to think of any application that's so light on processing that it can work through 64K of data in 1ms (or 32K of data in 0.5ms etcetera). Perhaps fun to experiment with e.g. a A/D or D/A card that pumps data over ethernet. OTOH, it also depends a lot on the DMA controller and memory bus implementation: if that's done badly, it can make or break the utility quite a lot.

Integrated 10Mbit phy is quite nice to have. There was a recent discussion on the forum looking for such a device.

Some community sourced figures for Coremark (2.64/MHz) seems like this core is slower than a Cortex-m3/m4: https://gitee.com/elecb/ch32v307_core-mark
A Cortex-m3/m4 can reach 3.5 Coremark/MHz with a modern compiler.
It's actually more on par with a Cortex-m0.


--- Quote ---Has anyone here heard of this company and used their ICs like this or other MCU ones?
--- End quote ---

Yes, WCH is a major player in Asia and had their start in the UART markets. We are in the same business and am impressed with the pricing for some of their silicon. Their target audience, in our opinion, appears to be the Asian sector based on the strength of technical support received to date. However, note that they offer a PCI 1S UART  @ $ 0.85 USD (pre-covid pricing) is almost impossible to believe. From reading through assorted UART docs, we do believe that numerous improvements could have been made but again, the price cannot be beat.

On the post of this thread - LCSC has a competition ongoing for which we asked about this 'free' kit promotion. Their reply for the kit being out of stock - NO ETA and not available. We only wanted to purchase the kit @ $10 USD to evaluate the core.

Next, we contacted WCH and they replied immediately and asked only to cover the shipping to us - we shared our DHL account - they shipped us 2 kits without charge. We have not yet had the chance to test the toolchain but hope to do so soon. Just too many other fires to put out due to the semiconductor shortages and screaming demand from OEMS to keep them running.

Summary: WCH is real but not sure on how much support there is currently for the English speaking markets.

LCSC has their silicon and kits in stock (as of this writing):


Update - sharing a very responsible contact at the WCH factory:

--- Quote ---Marketing Department´╝ÜJiamin Wang
Address: N0.18,Ningshuang Road,Qinheng Technology Park,Nanjing
Telephone number: 18951773252
Email: wjm[at]wch.cn
Nanjing Qinheng Microelectronics Co., Ltd.
--- End quote ---

As I am a sucker for MCU dev boards, and had none with RISC-V, I've just ordered a couple from LCSC (they are in stock).
We'll see when they arrive.

As far as I could see, it should be possible to use GCC or clang, and the WCHlink on board can be bypassed to use some more supported probe (might it also be just a CMSIS-DAP with odd device and vendor Id?).


--- Quote ---64K RAM
256K flash
--- End quote ---
Seems a bit tiny to run 8uarts worth of any modern networking stack.
Maybe it could run LAT.   ;D >:D :o


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