Microsemi is First FPGA Provider to Offer Open Architecture RISC-V IP Core and Comprehensive Software Solution for Embedded Designs
Company’s IGLOO2, SmartFusion2 and RTG4 Devices are the Ideal FPGAs to Build RISC-V CPU Subsystems, Offering Lower Power and Proven Security
Microsemi Corporation (Nasdaq: MSCC), a leading provider of semiconductor solutions differentiated by power, security, reliability and performance, today announced it is the first field programmable gate array (FPGA) provider to offer a comprehensive software tool chain and intellectual property (IP) core for RISC-V designs. The company’s RV32IM RISC-V core is available for Microsemi’s IGLOO™2 FPGAs, SmartFusion™2 system-on-chip (SoC) FPGAs or RTG4™ FPGAs, with an Eclipse-based SoftConsole integrated development environment (IDE) hosted on a Linux platform and the Libero SoC Design Suite providing full design support.
Microsemi’s new RV32IM RISC-V core, developed in collaboration with SiFive, enables customers to design with an open instruction set architecture (ISA), enabling complete portability and a more secure processor architecture governed by a permissive BSD license. RISC-V is a new ISA which is now a standard open architecture under the governance of the RISC-V Foundation. RISC-V offers a compelling soft processor solution for Microsemi’s low power, reliable, secure FPGAs. The RV32IM RISC-V core unleashes a new generation of innovation for embedded designers. Now engineers can rely on an open ISA, without being tied to a single vendor and leverage open source tools and hardware. Never before has a processor allowed designers to inspect, modify, adapt, collaborate and migrate their design to the best platform for their product. Microsemi’s low power FPGAs with proven security and embedded flash are a natural fit for this new paradigm.
“Our IGLOO2, SmartFusion2 and RTG4 devices are the ideal FPGAs to build RISC-V core onto, as we offer up to 50 percent lower power consumption with proven security for customers’ IP,” said Venki Narayanan, senior director of software and systems engineering for Microsemi’s SoC Products Group. “RISC-V is a great fit for implementing clean-slate processor capabilities for security, trust and reliability which are central to Microsemi’s solutions. We will continue our leadership position in this technology by further investing in this architecture to ensure customers have long-term roadmap support.”
Customers seeking to develop customized devices can now initiate their design into a Microsemi FPGA and bring their solution to market quicker. The combination of Microsemi’s IGLOO2 FPGA, SmartFusion2 SoC FPGA or RTG4 FPGA and its Libero SoC Design Suite create an ideal platform to target a RISC-V core for many embedded applications and is easy to implement with regard to size and power. The lower power and security of Microsemi’s FPGA families provides a sound architecture for customers seeking to protect their IP and ensure long-term support for their designs in the industrial, defense, security and medical markets. The Libero SoC Design Suite allows designers to implement their designs and efficiently pack the FPGA logic elements (LEs), yielding a cost-effective solution. The Eclipse-based SoftConsole IDE running on Linux allows users to compile and debug their source code. The IP core and software platforms are the first comprehensive RISC-V solution for FPGAs.
The new RV32IM RISC-V core is especially compelling for applications such as safety and security, as the register transfer level (RTL) source code is available for inspection. For example, customers can verify the security of the processor themselves, which is not possible with other processors, as they have closed architectures. In safety-critical applications, as customers can run multiple RISC-V cores to ensure if one fails there is a redundant core to take over.
“We are very excited Microsemi is releasing a RISC-V intellectual property core for its IGLOO2, SmartFusion2 and RTG4 FPGAs,” said Rick O’Connor, executive director of the RISC-V Foundation. “The complete Linux-based toolchain that the company is providing will enable a broad range of customers to develop RISC-V cores in Microsemi FPGAs. I applaud Microsemi’s leadership in introducing this comprehensive RISC-V platform and the foundation looks forward to working with the company to explore future advancements.”
Through Microsemi’s early involvement in the creation of the RISC-V Foundation, the company has an established leadership role in the emerging standard and ecosystem and is working closely with the nonprofit to ensure the ISA becomes an industry standard for a wide variety of computing devices. Ted Speers, head of product architecture and planning for Microsemi’s SoC business unit, was appointed to the inaugural board of directors of the RISC-V Foundation in July 2016, and Ted Marena, director of SoC FPGA marketing, was recently elected as vice-chair of the RISC-V Marketing Committee.
Microsemi’s comprehensive software and IP core for RISC-V designs is available now. For more information, visit http://www.microsemi.com/products/fpga-soc/soc-processors/risc-v or contact email@example.com.
About Microsemi’s IGLOO2 FPGAs and SmartFusion2 SoC FPGAs
Microsemi’s IGLOO2 FPGAs and SmartFusion2 SoC FPGAs deliver more resources in low density devices, with the lowest power, proven security and exceptional reliability. The devices offer 30-50 percent more power efficiency and are ideal for general purpose functions such as Gigabit Ethernet or dual PCI Express control planes, bridging functions, input/output (I/O) expansion and conversion, video/image processing, system management and secure connectivity. Microsemi FPGAs and SoC FPGAs are used by customers in in communications, industrial, medical, defense and aviation markets. PCIe Gen 2 connectivity starts at just 10K LEs. SmartFusion2 SoC FPGAs offer a 166MHz ARM Cortex-M3 processor with up to 512KB of embedded flash and a complete peripheral set. IGLOO2 FPGAs offer a high performance memory subsystem with up to 512KB embedded flash, 2 x 32 KB embedded static random-access memory (SRAM), two direct memory access (DMA) engines and two double date rate (DDR) controllers. Microsemi also offers a broad range of military, automotive and space grade FPGAs and SoC FPGAs. For more information visit: http://www.microsemi.com/products/fpga-soc/soc-fpga/smartfusion2 and http://www.microsemi.com/products/fpga-soc/fpga/igloo2-fpga.
About Microsemi’s RTG4 FPGAs
RTG4 FPGAs bring new capabilities to the market and combine a wealth of features with the highest quality and reliability to meet the increasing demands of modern satellite payloads. The devices feature reprogrammable flash configuration, making prototyping easier for customers. RTG4’s reprogrammable flash technology offers complete immunity to radiation-induced configuration upsets in the harshest radiation environments, without the configuration scrubbing required with SRAM FPGA technology. RTG4 supports space applications requiring up to 150,000 logic elements and up to 300 MHz of system performance. RTG4 is Microsemi’s latest development in a long history of radiation-tolerant FPGAs that are found in many NASA and international space programs. For more information, visit http://www.microsemi.com/products/fpga-soc/radtolerant-fpgas/rtg4.
Microsemi Corporation (Nasdaq: MSCC) offers a comprehensive portfolio of semiconductor and system solutions for aerospace & defense, communications, data center and industrial markets. Products include high-performance and radiation-hardened analog mixed-signal integrated circuits, FPGAs, SoCs and ASICs; power management products; timing and synchronization devices and precise time solutions, setting the world’s standard for time; voice processing devices; RF solutions; discrete components; enterprise storage and communication solutions, security technologies and scalable anti-tamper products; Ethernet solutions; Power-over-Ethernet ICs and midspans; as well as custom design capabilities and services. Microsemi is headquartered in Aliso Viejo, California and has approximately 4,800 employees globally. Learn more at www.microsemi.com.
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