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SiFive launches its Performance P550 RISC-V Processors IP, and Intel Plans to Manufacture it

Could a RISC-V processor be Intel's first 7nm product?

SiFive launches its Performance P550 RISC-V Processors IP, and Intel Plans to Manufacture it

SiFive launches its Performance P550 RISC-V Processors IP, and Intel Plans to Manufacture it

SiFive has just revealed their new Performance P550 RISC-V processor IP, their "highest performance processor to date". These processors are designed to be fully Linux compatible and to deliver full support of RISC-V vector extensions v1.0 rc. Additionally, SiFive's cores are designed to deliver SPECInt 2006 scores of 8.65/GHz, making it the highest performance RISC-V processor available today. 

Intel has confirmed that they plan to use SiFive cores on their 7nm Horse Creek platform in conjunction with their DDR and PCIe IP, a platform that is due to be ready in 2022. Intel's Horse Creek appears to be a simpler launch platform for their 7nm process technology, as Horse Creek is due to be smaller and less complex than Intel's planned Meteor Lake processor compute titles. 

Additionally, SiFive's Performance P550 RISC-V cores will support TSMC's 5nm node and be used by Samsung as an SoC development platform. This ensures that SiFive's IP can be used by a broad range of customers using various next-generation lithography nodes. Intel's support for this IP highlights how the company plans to market its foundry services, supporting non-Intel IP while also offering solutions that merge internal and external IP. 

While RISC-V processors are not widely used within the PC industry, ARM's planned acquisition by Nvidia will force some ARM licensees to explore alternative options. RISC-V is a viable alternative to ARM, and SiFive currently has some of the strongest RISC-V IP. Should they create powerful enough RISC-V processors, some manufacturers may move their devices to RISC-V processors, should they see Nvidia as poor custodians of the ARM ISA. 

What follows is SiFive's Performance P550 Press Release. 


 SiFive, Inc., the industry leader in RISC-V processors and silicon solutions, today announced launched the new SiFive Performance family of processors. The SiFive Performance family debuts with two new processor cores, the P270, SiFive's first Linux capable processor with full support for the RISC-V vector extension v1.0 rc, and the SiFive Performance P550 core, SiFive's highest performance processor to date. The new SiFive Performance P550 delivers a SPECInt 2006 score of 8.65/GHz, making it the highest performance RISC-V processor available today, and comparable to existing proprietary solutions in the application processor space.

"SiFive Performance is a significant milestone in our commitment to deliver a complete, scalable portfolio of RISC-V cores to customers in all markets who are at the vanguard of SOC design and are dissatisfied with the status quo," said Dr. Yunsup Lee, Co-Founder and CTO of SiFive. "These two new products cover new performance points and a wide range of application areas, from efficient vector processors that easily displace yesterday's SIMD architectures, to the bleeding edge that the P550 represents. SiFive is proud to set the standard for RISC-V processing and is ready to deliver these products to customers today."

 

SiFive launches its Performance P550 RISC-V Processors IP, and Intel Plans to Manufacture it  

"We are pleased to be a lead development partner with SiFive to showcase to mutual customers the impressive performance of their P550 on our 7nm Horse Creek platform," said Amber Huffman, Intel Fellow and CTO of IP engineering group at Intel. "By combining Intel's leading-edge interface IP such as DDR and PCIe with SiFive's highest performance processor, Horse Creek will provide a valuable and expandable development vehicle for cutting-edge RISC-V applications."

"Growing from its initial success in embedded processors to tackle the application processor market requires the performance, efficiency, and features demonstrated in the new SiFive Performance P550 core," said Kevin Krewell, Principal Analyst, TIRIAS Research. "Combined with the maturing and growing open-source software ecosystem for RISC-V developed by leading technology industry companies, chip designers have a real choice for their next SoC application processor core."



SiFive launches its Performance P550 RISC-V Processors IP, and Intel Plans to Manufacture it  

The SiFive Performance P550 features a thirteen-stage, triple-issue, out-of-order pipeline compatible with the RISC-V RV64GC ISA. Evolved from the previously announced SiFive U84 microarchitecture, Performance P550 scales up to four-core complex configurations that use a similar amount of area as a single Arm Cortex-A75 while delivering a significant performance-per-area advantage.

The SiFive Performance P270 is an 8-stage, dual-issue, highly efficient in-order pipeline compatible with the RISC-V RV64GCV ISA. With full support for the RISC-V Vector Extension v 1.0RC, and combined with SiFive Recode, which translates existing SIMD software from popular legacy architectures to RISC-V Vector assembly code, the SiFive Performance P270 is an ideal replacement for dated SIMD architectures.


SiFive launches its Performance P550 RISC-V Processors IP, and Intel Plans to Manufacture it  

The new SiFive Performance family joins the recently announced SiFive Intelligence family that is focused on AI & ML applications, and the broadly adopted SiFive Essential family of configurable cores that includes the U/S/E-Series of 64-bit and 32-bit processors.

For more on the complete SiFive processor portfolio, see CEO Patrick Little's blog here. Both products in the SiFive Performance family are available now. SiFive will conduct a webinar with details about the SiFive Performance, Intelligence, and Essential product families on July 14th with registration available here.

You can join the discussion on SiFive's Performance P550 RISC-V Processor IP on the OC3D Forums

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