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Primeur weekly 2016-07-18

Special

SoftBank Group to acquire ARM for about 29 billion euro (24 billion GBP) ...

Focus

Moore's Law is all about economics but there are alternative technologies on the way ...

CMOS is still here to stay but we need to think out of the box to reclaim efficiency ...

Why the hunt for killer applications to run on quantum computers is challenging ...

Quantum computing

Researchers at UCSB blur the line between classical and quantum physics by connecting chaos and entanglement ...

Soprano and quantum computer combine for world first performance ...

Focus on Europe

New data centre Amsterdam Science Park for SURFsara supercomputers is completed ...

Middleware

Mellanox simplifies RDMA deployments with enhanced RoCE software ...

Hardware

Researchers devise secure, efficient anonymity network ...

Berkeley Lab scientists grow atomically thin transistors and circuits ...

Final expansion stage of the high-performance computer at DKRZ starts operation ...

Huaxintong Semiconductor licenses ARMv8-A architecture ...

SiFive introduces industry's first open-source chip platforms ...

AMAX launches GPU solutions based on latest NVIDIA Tesla P100 GPU accelerators ...

Applications

Netherlands eScience Center initiates three new Path-Finding projects ...

Physicists couple distant nuclear spins using a single electron ...

Supercomputers fire lasers to shoot gamma ray beam ...

Physics researchers question calcium-52's magic ...

Jack Wells brings HPC expertise to seismology meeting ...

Bridges connects evolutionary biologists with genomes of wild species ...

The Cloud

IBM Cloud ranked second in worldwide Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) ...

SiFive introduces industry's first open-source chip platforms

11 Jul 2016 San Francisco - SiFive, the first fabless semiconductor company to build customized, open-source enabled semiconductors, has introduced its flagship Freedom family of system on a chip (SoC) platforms. Built around the free and open RISC-V instruction set architecture invented by the company's founders at the University of California, Berkeley, SiFive's Freedom U500 and Freedom E300 platforms represent a fundamentally new approach to designing and producing SoCs that redefines traditional silicon business models and reverses the industry's prohibitively rising licensing, design and implementation costs.

"The semiconductor industry is at an important crossroads. Moore's Law has ended, and the traditional economic model of chip building no longer works", stated Yunsup Lee, co-founder of SiFive and one of the original creators of RISC-V. "Unless you have tens - if not hundreds - of millions of dollars, it is simply impossible for smaller system designers to get a modern, high-performance chip, much less one customized to their unique requirements. The Freedom platforms unleash the flexibility and power of custom silicon to the smallest company, inventor or maker. And companies of all sizes are no longer held hostage to current semiconductor providers’ software deliveries and outdated business models."

RISC-V was born from the dire need to address the skyrocketing cost of designing and manufacturing increasingly complex new chip architectures, as a result of the economic demise of Moore's Law. SiFive's hardware designs leverage the body of software and tools available from the open-source community under the guidance of the RISC-V Foundation, dramatically reducing 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.

“RISC-V represents a bold new path for system designers in embedded and industrial markets", stated Ted Speers, head of product architecture and planning for Microsemi Corporation's SoC business unit. "We went to SiFive not only because its co-founders created RISC-V, but also due to its team's agile methodology which enabled the company to deliver a complete RISC-V sub-system and tool-chain targeting our secure, low power SmartFusion2 SoC FPGA platform on a very aggressive schedule."

The Freedom platforms comprise a complete 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 quickly incorporates and delivers to the customer at a much lower cost and faster time-to-market than traditional custom silicon designs.

The platforms also provide significant performance and power advantages over existing microcontrollers and FPGAs:

  • Freedom U500 Series: The Freedom Unleashed (U) family features a fully Linux-capable embedded application processor featuring the world's most advanced, multicore RISC-V CPUs, running at a speed of 1.6 GHz or higher with support for accelerators and cache coherency. Designed in TSMC 28nm, the Freedom U500 platform targets initial customers in diverse markets such as machine learning, storage and networking. The Freedom U500 platform also supports standard high-speed peripherals including PCIe 3.0, USB 3.0, Gigabit Ethernet, and DDR3/DDR4.
  • Freedom E300 Series: The Freedom Everywhere (E) family is designed for embedded microcontroller, IoT and wearables markets. Designed in TSMC 180nm and architected to have minimal area and power, the Freedom E300 platform features the world's most efficient RISC-V cores with support for RISC-V compressed instructions, which have been shown to reduce code size by up to 30 percent.

To give developers a head start on software development, full FPGA models of each SoC are available through SiFive today. Developers will also be able to prototype their customizations in the form of custom RISC-V instructions, accelerators and co-processors.

Source: SiFive

Back to Table of contents

Primeur weekly 2016-07-18

Special

SoftBank Group to acquire ARM for about 29 billion euro (24 billion GBP) ...

Focus

Moore's Law is all about economics but there are alternative technologies on the way ...

CMOS is still here to stay but we need to think out of the box to reclaim efficiency ...

Why the hunt for killer applications to run on quantum computers is challenging ...

Quantum computing

Researchers at UCSB blur the line between classical and quantum physics by connecting chaos and entanglement ...

Soprano and quantum computer combine for world first performance ...

Focus on Europe

New data centre Amsterdam Science Park for SURFsara supercomputers is completed ...

Middleware

Mellanox simplifies RDMA deployments with enhanced RoCE software ...

Hardware

Researchers devise secure, efficient anonymity network ...

Berkeley Lab scientists grow atomically thin transistors and circuits ...

Final expansion stage of the high-performance computer at DKRZ starts operation ...

Huaxintong Semiconductor licenses ARMv8-A architecture ...

SiFive introduces industry's first open-source chip platforms ...

AMAX launches GPU solutions based on latest NVIDIA Tesla P100 GPU accelerators ...

Applications

Netherlands eScience Center initiates three new Path-Finding projects ...

Physicists couple distant nuclear spins using a single electron ...

Supercomputers fire lasers to shoot gamma ray beam ...

Physics researchers question calcium-52's magic ...

Jack Wells brings HPC expertise to seismology meeting ...

Bridges connects evolutionary biologists with genomes of wild species ...

The Cloud

IBM Cloud ranked second in worldwide Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) ...