SiFive Introduces Industry’s First Open-Source Chip Platforms

Freedom family of SoC platforms leverages the free and open RISC-V architecture and ecosystem to democratize access to custom, state-of-the-art semiconductors

SAN FRANCISCO – July 11, 2016 –  SiFive, the first fabless semiconductor company to build customized, open-source enabled semiconductors, today announced 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,” said 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 And companies of all sizes are no longer held hostage to current semiconductor providers’ software deliveries and outdated business models.”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,” said 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 SmartFusion™2 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.

For Developers

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. For more information, including how to purchase development boards with the Microsemi  SmartFusion™2 SoC FPGA, please visit  dev.sifive.com.

SiFive will showcase the Freedom family of SoC platforms during the  RISC-V 4th Workshop in Boston on Tuesday, July 12.

About SiFive

SiFive is the first fabless semiconductor company to build customized silicon based on the free and open RISC-V instruction set architecture. Founded by RISC-V inventors Krste Asanovic, Yunsup Lee and Andrew Waterman, 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 San Francisco and has venture backing from Sutter Hill Ventures. For more information visit  www.sifive.com.




Review Article Be the first to review this article

EMA:

Featured Video
Editorial
Peggy AycinenaWhat Would Joe Do?
by Peggy Aycinena
Retail Therapy: Jump starting Black Friday
Peggy AycinenaIP Showcase
by Peggy Aycinena
REUSE 2016: Addressing the Four Freedoms
More Editorial  
Jobs
ACCOUNT MANAGER MUNICH GERMANY EU for EDA Careers at MUNICH, Germany
FAE FIELD APPLICATIONS SAN DIEGO for EDA Careers at San Diego, CA
Development Engineer-WEB SKILLS +++ for EDA Careers at North Valley, CA
Principal Circuit Design Engineer for Rambus at Sunnyvale, CA
AE-APPS SUPPORT/TMM for EDA Careers at San Jose-SOCAL-AZ, CA
Manager, Field Applications Engineering for Real Intent at Sunnyvale, CA
Upcoming Events
Zuken Innovation World 2017, April 24 - 26, 2017, Hilton Head Marriott Resort & Spa in Hilton Head Island, SC at Hilton Head Marriott Resort & Spa Hilton Head Island NC - Apr 24 - 26, 2017
CST Webinar Series



Internet Business Systems © 2016 Internet Business Systems, Inc.
595 Millich Dr., Suite 216, Campbell, CA 95008
+1 (408)-337-6870 — Contact Us, or visit our other sites:
AECCafe - Architectural Design and Engineering TechJobsCafe - Technical Jobs and Resumes GISCafe - Geographical Information Services  MCADCafe - Mechanical Design and Engineering ShareCG - Share Computer Graphic (CG) Animation, 3D Art and 3D Models
  Privacy Policy