Industry leaders continue to meet growing interest and vertical market demands for RISC-V instruction set architecture
SAN JOSE, Calif. – Nov. 28, 2017 – SiFive, the first fabless provider of customized, open-source-enabled semiconductors, and Microsemi Corporation (Nasdaq: MSCC), a leading provider of semiconductor solutions differentiated by power, security, reliability and performance, at the 7th RISC-V Workshop today announced the companies have formed a strategic relationship to meet the growing interest and demand in the RISC-V instruction set architecture. The companies have previously collaborated to provide RISC-V soft CPU cores for Microsemi’s PolarFire® FPGAs, IGLOO™2 FPGAs, SmartFusion™2 system-on-chip (SoC) FPGAs and RTG4™ FPGAs, currently available as part of the Microsemi Mi-V RISC-V ecosystem.
The expanded relationship includes roadmap alignment on future CPU features to facilitate additional end markets and applications, and expand adoption of the free and open RISC-V instruction set architecture in areas such as machine learning, storage, networking, gateways and smart IoT devices. The collaboration between the two RISC-V leaders will enable clear targets and roadmaps for ecosystem software and tools vendors.
The companies also announced the HiFive Unleashed, a development board based on SiFive’s RISC-V-based Freedom Unleashed platform and Microsemi’s PolarFire® FPGAs, to be available in the first quarter of 2018 for software developers worldwide.
“Our strategic relationship with SiFive is the latest demonstration of Microsemi’s continued leadership in driving the advancement of the RISC-V ecosystem,” said Jim Aralis, chief technology officer and vice president of advanced development at Microsemi. “The powerful combination of PolarFire and Freedom Unleashed will further enable the development of RISC-V-based designs and, ultimately, extend the reach of custom silicon.”
The HiFive Unleashed development board will enable firmware, kernel and driver development, enabling RISC-V designs with full operating systems such as Linux, Unix or FreeBSD. Engineers will be able to develop custom RISC-V designs by prototyping with the combination of the Freedom U500 SoC and PolarFire FPGA. Running at over 1.5GHz, the Freedom U500 is the first Linux-capable, RISC-V based SoC in the market. The Freedom U500, designed in 28nm, features the recently announced SiFive U54-MC RISC-V core complex, which includes five cache-coherent 64-bit CPU cores and a coherent 2MB L2 cache subsystem. The HiFive Unleashed development board enables easy software development with a wide variety of peripherals including DDR4, Gigabit Ethernet, PCIe, USB and ChipLink.
Microsemi’s PolarFire FPGAs are cost-optimized, lowest power, mid-range density devices making them ideal for developing a wide variety of RISC-V-based applications. The PolarFire FPGA will interface to the SiFive Freedom U500 via a ChipLink interconnect and a variety of additional peripherals will be supported.
“SiFive is excited to expand our work with Microsemi, which will allow both companies to continue to reduce the risk and ease the path to develop custom silicon,” said Naveed Sherwani, CEO, SiFive. “By combining SiFive’s industry-leading, RISC-V-based Freedom Unleashed platform with Microsemi’s cost-optimized PolarFire family of FPGAs, we are continuing to expand the resources available to the growing RISC-V community of developers and system designers. We can’t wait to see the innovations that will be made possible through HiFive Unleashed.”
The HiFive Unleashed will be commercially available in the first quarter of 2018.
SiFive is the first fabless provider of customized semiconductors based on the free and open RISC-V instruction set architecture. Founded by RISC-V inventors Andrew Waterman, Yunsup Lee and Krste Asanovic, SiFive democratizes access to custom silicon by helping system designers reduce time-to-market and realize cost savings with customized RISC-V based semiconductors. SiFive is located in Silicon Valley and has venture backing from Sutter Hill Ventures, Spark Capital and Osage University Partners. For more information, visit www.sifive.com.
Microsemi Corporation (Nasdaq: MSCC) offers a comprehensive portfolio of semiconductor and system solutions for aerospace & defense, communications, data center and industrial markets. Products include high-performance and radiation-hardened analog mixed-signal integrated circuits, FPGAs, SoCs and ASICs; power management products; timing and synchronization devices and precise time solutions, setting the world’s standard for time; voice processing devices; RF solutions; discrete components; enterprise storage and communication solutions, security technologies and scalable anti-tamper products; Ethernet solutions; Power-over-Ethernet ICs and midspans; as well as custom design capabilities and services. Microsemi is headquartered in Aliso Viejo, California, and has approximately 4,800 employees globally. Learn more at www.microsemi.com.