California Dreaming: DIY, open-source SoCs with RISC-V

July 19, 2016 | 00:00
California Dreaming: DIY, open-source SoCs with RISC-V
California Dreaming: DIY, open-source SoCs with RISC-V
With its customizable, open-source SoCs built on the free and open RISC-V instruction set architecture, SiFive, a San Francisco start-up, is poised to reverse the industry’s rising licensing, design and implementation costs.

With on the one hand Moore’s Law ended or approaching the end and on the other, vast investments required for  to develop a modern, high-performance chip, it looks impossible for smaller system designers to join the traditional economic model of chip building. However, the body of software and tools available from the open-source community under the guidance of the RISC-V Foundation, can substantially cut the cost of developing custom silicon. System designers can use the SiFive Freedom platforms to focus on their own differentiated processor without having the overhead of developing a modern SoC, fabric or software infrastructure.

The Freedom platforms comprise software specification, board OS support packages (BSPs), development boards and base silicon. The platforms provide customers the ability to create their own silicon enhancements and customizations which SiFive then incorporates and delivers to the customer.

SiFive offers two Platforms: the E300 and E500. As an example, the latter is characterized by: U5 Coreplex at 1.6GHz+ ;RV64GC Architecture; Multicore, Cache Coherency Support; High Speed Peripherals: PCIe 3.0, USB3.0, GbE, DDR3/4; TSMC 28nm; an Ecosystem Device Kit, and a “Platform Guide” :-)

Famous last words from SiFive VP Jack Kang: “We want to democratize access to silicon”.
Loading comments...
related items