Open Source SoC Debuts Startup releases RTL, Arduino board

2016-12-01 11:11:00 来源: 互联网

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – Startup SiFive started selling today a $59 Arduino board running its first RISC-V-based SoC and made open source RTL code available online for the chip. The news marks a milestone for a still nascent open source hardware movement.

Open source cores have been available previously but they tended to be academic efforts or lacked broad commercial support. The HiFive board is intended to drive demand for custom SoCs SiFive will design and comes with a growing pool of open source Linux variants and tools fed by an expanding foundationthat maintains the RISC-V instruction set.

Demand for open-source chips and the performance metrics for RISC-V SoCs specifically are uncertain, said analysts when SiFive launched in July. The HiFive board will give the market its best chance to date to put both questions to the test.

“RISC-V is really here, anyone can buy and test it,” said Yunsup Lee, co-founder and CTO of SiFive and one of the early leaders in the RISC-V effort.

The startup claims HiFive is the fastest Arduino-compatible board in the market. Its FE310 SoC is a 320 MHz, 32-bit core made in an 180nm TSMC process that is 10x faster and 9x more power efficient than the Intel Curie, also available on an Arduino board.

The SiFive chip delivers 1.61 DMIPs/MHz and 2.73 Coremark/MHz. Compared to other ARM M0 microcontrollers, the FE310 has twice the performance per watt as the average M0 controller, SiFive claims. In raw performance it offers 11x the Drystone MIPS as the Atmel MCU on the Arduino Zero card.

SiFive chose Arduino as its first development board “to enable makers and hackers to work on custom silicon…this is enabling access, it’s a base platform to see what’s possible,” said Jack Kang, vice president of product and business development at SiFive.

The HiFive board includes the open source FE310 SoC. (Image: SiFive)

The HiFive board includes the open source FE310 SoC. (Image: SiFive)