RISC-V silicon available, and pcbs


SiFive FE310 G000 block diagram

Called the Freedom E301 or FE310, alongside the RISC-V core are a whole bunch of peripherals (see diagram).

The core runs at 320MHz, so this is a powerful beas, and it supports the following RISC-V specifications:

  • RV32I base integer instruction Set v2.0
  • ‘M’ standard extension for integer multiplication and division v2.0
  • ‘A’ standard extension for atomic instructions v2.0
  • ‘C’ standard extension for compressed instructions v1.9
  • RISC-V privileged ISA specification v1.9.1
  • RISC-V external debug support v0.11

SiFive HiFiveThe development board is called HiFive, and includes the FE310 running at full speed.

Combined, the chip and board specs are:

  • 1.61 DMIPs/MHz
  • 2.73 Coremark/MHz
  • 16kbyte instruction cache
  • 16kbyte data scratchpad
  • 3.3 and 1.8V operation
  • 5V over USB or 7-12V  jack board power
  • 3.3 or 5V I/O
  • 19 digital I/O pins
  • 9 PWM pins
  • 19 external interrupt pins
  • 1 external wake pin
  • 128 Mbit off-chip flash
  • Micro USN host interface for programming, debug and comms
  • 68 x 51mm 22g

The firm, which appears to have been started by the fellows who started work on the RISC-V instruction set at Berkley, is also working on intellectual property to implement 32 (‘E3’) and 64bit (‘U5’ 1.6GHz at 28nm) versions of RISC-V cores on SoCs.

As far as I can make out, the RISC-V instruction set (supported by the RISC-V Foundation, which includes Google and IBM) is available for anyone to use for free under an open source license, while, I am guessing (do please correct me if necessary), the cores will be licensable.

I also guess that the silicon is there to build confidence in the architecture – which could be a free competitor to MIPS and the mighty ARM for anyone who wants to do the implementation leg-work.


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