Electronics > Microcontrollers

ch32v307, risc-v minicore with ethernet

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

See here

risc-v@144Mhz
64K RAM
256K flash
Ethernet
USB2.0
i2c
spi
uart (8 channels!!!)
adc
rtc
...

very nice!

anyone going to use one?  :D :D :D

evb149:
It looks like an interesting chip from the small amount I have read about it from the materials provided.

I didn't go to the developer's web site shown in the pdf files yet so I am unaware of the history / status of that chip, the designing company, what is the price and availability of the device and evaluation board, etc.

I noticed the instructions to use an IDE / compiler I have never heard of,
("Download MounRiver_Studio.") so I am also interested in what its features are and whether it would be simple to just use gcc / g++ or clang or whatever and another IDE like VSCode, Eclipse, Segger Studio or whatever with this device and have good functionality of programming / debugging.

So my next interest is to discover answers to such questions and see about perhaps procuring some chips to experiment with.

The integrated PHY is nice though it is only 10 Mb/s I think that is probably an upgrade to most MCU LAN communications capability which might be with RS-232/RS-485/RS-422/CAN or such interfaces or otherwise radio based.

Obviously it would have been nicer in some ways if this IC had 100 Mb/s or 1 Gb/s PHY support integrated but I imagine those might be too taxing for the MCU to support and also too complex of mixed-signal designs to integrate well so I see the utility and wisdom of supporting the 10 Mb/s option which I assume is very simple these days to design as a PHY.

It would have been nice if they might have added some portion of POE support into the chip or USB type C PD support into this or their other USB based chips to facilitate POE / PD applications without so much external IC support needed.

I didn't notice benchmark data for the core and the peripherals but I only started to read the repository files so maybe there is something.

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

evb149:
I found some other information about this chip:

https://www.cnx-software.com/2022/01/21/wch-ch32v307-risc-v-development-board-features-8-uart-ports-controlled-over-ethernet/

https://www.tindie.com/products/adz1122/wch-ch32v307-risc-v-development-board-8-uart-ports/

https://verimake.io/2022/01/07/ch32v307-chitu-development-board-tutorial-use-cmake-to-develop/

hans:
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.

mon2:

--- 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):

https://www.lcsc.com/product-detail/Development-Boards-Kits_WCH-Jiangsu-Qin-Heng-CH32V307V-EVT-R1_C2943980.html

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 ---

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