Alibaba open sources four RISC-V cores: XuanTie E902, E906, C906 and C910

Alibaba introduces a range of RISC-V processors in the last few years with the Xuantie family ranging from the E902 micro-controller class core to the C910 core for servers in data centers. This also includes the XuanTie C906 core found in the Allwinner D1 single-core RISC-V processor.

While RISC-V is an open standard and there’s a fair share of open-source RISC-V cores available, many commercial RISC-V cores are closed source, but Zhang Jianfeng, President of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence speaking at the 2021 Apsara Conference, announced that T-Head had open-sourced four RISC-V-based Xuantie series processor cores, namely Xuantie E902, E906, C906, and C910, as well as related software and tools.

Alibaba open source RISC-V cores

Those are not empty words as we can find the RTL for the four cores released on T-Head Semiconductor’s Github account with the first commits having taken place yesterday.

T-Head Semiconductor Github-Open Source RISC-VEach repository contains the code and instructions to get started, all under an Apache 2.0 license. For example, the openc906 repo comes with the following directory structure:


That means Verilog code, demo code, toolchain, scripts, and documentation are all available.  Some part of the documentation such as the instructions set is only in Chinese.

As a side note, Alibaba also highlighted software support for their RISC-V cores with AliOS, RT-Thread, FreeRTOS, Linux, and Android, and claims to have shipped over 2.5 billion XuanTie cores so far.

Via Panda Daily

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7 Comments
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Sander
Sander
1 month ago

“<Alibaba> claims to have shipped over 2.5 billion XuanTie cores so far.”?! So 2.5 billion RISC-V cores shipped? In which products? Microcontrollers? Does Alibaba make those? For whom? Harddisk makers?

If true, that is quite an achievement, and missed revenue for ARM.

Arnd Bergmann
Arnd Bergmann
1 month ago

Maybe the number includes the older 32-bit C-Sky cores prior to the acquisition? The company has been around for 20 years now, producing small embedded CPU cores.

Maciek
Maciek
1 month ago

as Panda Daily wrote: “The company has gained more than 150 customers and over 500 licenses, making the series processors the most widely used domestic chips in China”
I personaly waiting for multicore (16 core minimum) cheap risc-v sbc with 16GB RAM minimum and nvme/pcie support.

David Willmore
David Willmore
1 month ago

If only I had the skillset to take one of thse and design my own SoC. There are a bunch of cheap fab options of the hobbiest nowdays. How cool would it be to have your own chip running Linux?

Theguyuk
Theguyuk
1 month ago

The Russian 16nm Elbrus-16s would be more fun for SBC but Unicorn chance of getting them

capcoding
capcoding
27 days ago

what’s the motivation behind releasing all these RTL code?

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