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

  1. “<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.

    1. I’m not sure exactly, but we can get some clues from the left side of the photo with Allwinner, Metax, and other partners.

      1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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?

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