SiFive moves into high-end RISC-V processors with P650 design

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SiFive, a pioneer of processors based on RISC-V computing, unveiled its SiFive Performance P650 processor at the high-end of the processor market.

The design for the P650 processor, which other companies will take and turn into working products, is the highest-performing member of the SiFive Performance family, which the company said is expected to be the fastest licensable RISC-V processor IP core. It’s another step in the ongoing quest to show that the open source hardware movement can keep pace with rivals such as Arm and Intel.

The SiFive Performance P650 will enable RISC-V designs for performance-sensitive application processor markets from data center to edge,
automotive, mobile and more.

“SiFive’s mission is to answer the semiconductor industry’s call for more choices in high- performance processors, and SiFive is singularly focused on bringing innovative processor technology to market,” said Yunsup Lee, chief technology officer of SiFive, in a statement. “Since the
announcement of the Performance Series of RISC-V cores earlier this year, SiFive has continued to push the limits of what was previously thought possible with RISC-V. The SiFive Performance P650 represents our commitment towards relentless execution, delivering significant performance improvements in record time, and the next step towards our long-term vision of bringing RISC-V processors to all performance-hungry applications.”

The SiFive Performance P650 processor builds upon the SiFive Performance P550, maintaining the highly-efficient 13-stage out-of-order core pipeline while expanding the processor issue width to deliver a 40% performance increase. Further architecture enhancements allow for improved maximum frequency, bringing the overall realized performance gain to 50% above SiFive’s previous fastest processor.

With a projected score of 11.x SPECInt/GHz, the P650 will compare favorably to the Arm Cortex-A77 across a variety of workloads, SiFive claimed. The SiFive Performance P650 will deliver performance for a wide variety of applications with scalability up to sixteen cores in a coherent multicore complex, and support for the new RISC-V H-extension for virtualization. SiFive will offer an “Architecture Preview”, allowing select lead customers to benchmark and evaluate the SiFive Performance P650 ahead of general availability.

The SiFive Performance P650 Architecture Preview will be offered to lead customers in the first quarter of 2022 with general availability coming mid-year. Dr. Lee will discuss future product direction and the SiFive Performance P650 during a keynote presentation at the upcoming RISC-V Summit 2021, held December 6 to December 8 in-person at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, and online.

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Source: VentureBeat

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