By Pradeep Chakraborty
SiFive recently presented the RISC-V product overview. Krste Asanovic, co-founder and chief architect, said: “Have you ever heard of a $1 billion hardware company with 13 employees? Instagram turned into a $1 billion acquisition with only 13 employees.
“SiFive provides RISC-V core IP. SiFive RISC-V core IP product offering includes E Cores and U Cores. E Cores are the industry leading 32- and 64-bit embedded cores. U Cores are the high performance 64-bit application cores.”
The Core Series offer unique design points which can be customized for application-specific requirements. Standard Cores are pre-configured implementations of Core Series, free RTL and FPGA evaluations.
E2 Series RISC-V Core IP
SiFive E2 Series RISC-V Core IP is SiFive’s smallest, lowest power core series. It provides clean-sheet design from the inventors of RISC-V. It has a new interrupt controller enabling fast interrupt handling. It also has support for coherent heterogenous MP with other SiFive cores. The E20 and E21 are Standard Cores within the E2 series.
E2 Series is the smallest, most efficient RISC-V MCU family. It is:
– RV32IMAFC capable core
– 2-3 stage, optional, Harvard Pipeline
It is configurable to meet application specific needs. It is the first RISC-V core with support for for the RISC-V Core local interrupt controller (CLIC). Drop In Cortex-M0+ and Cortex-M3/M4 replacement.
E21 is 12 percent higher performance per MHz vs Cortex-M4 in CoreMark, when using equivalent GCC Compilers. E20 is 28 percent higher performance per MHz vs Cortex-M0+ in CoreMark, when using equivalent GCC Compilers.
SiFiveE3 and E5 Series RISC-V Core IP are high performance 32-bit and 64-bit RISC-V MCUs. Features include pipelined multiapplication unit, multicore support, fast interrupts and memory protection.
U5 Series RISC-V Core IP
SiFive U5 Series RISC-V Core IP is 64-bit RISC-V Multicore Linux-capable. The U5-MC allows for instantiation of up to 9 U5 and/or E5 cores as well a configurable Level 2 cache. Flexible memory system allows for application-specific resource partitioning.
It has broad market applications – general-purpose embedded, industrial, IoT, high-performance real -time embedded, automotive.
The U54 -MC4 Standard Core is also 64-bit RISC-V multicore Linux capable.
“RISC -V delivers a platform for innovation, unshackled from the proprietary interface of the past. This freedom allows us to bring compute closer to data to optimize special-purpose compute capabilities targeted at Big Data and Fast Data applications,” according to Martin Fink, CTO, Western Digital.