The new BeagleV system uses a dual-core, 1GHz RISC-V CPU made by StarFive -- one of a network of RISC-V startups created by better-known RISC-V vendor SiFive.
The CPU is based on two of SiFive's U74 Standard Cores and actually has an MMU and all the other bits necessary to run full-fledged modern operating systems such as Linux distributions.
StarFive's VIC7100 processor design is aimed at edge AI tasks as well as general-purpose computing. In addition to the two RISC-V CPU cores, it features a Tensilica Vision VP6 DSP for machine-vision applications, a Neural Network Engine, and a single-core NVDLA (Nvidia Deep Learning Accelerator) engine.
Arstechnica said that it is expecting to see review samples in late March, with community delivery of the first hardware run following in April. Widespread general availability will come to pass in September 2021. Although the first hardware run will be entirely $140 / 8GiB systems, lower-cost variants with less RAM are expected in following releases.