When SiFive introduced its Performance P550 64-bit RISC-V processor in 2021, we were told that Intel would use it in the Horse Creek platform with “leading-edge interface IP such as DDR and PCIe” and manufactured with Intel’s 7nm process.
We now have more details about the Horse Creek platform, as a development board was showcased for the first time in public at the Intel Innovation 2022 Developer Conference, and according to a report by Wikichip, the Cortex-A75 class quad-core RISC-V processor runs at up to 2.2 GHz, supports DDR5-5600 memory and eight PCIe 5.0 lanes, and was taped out with Intel 4 process.
Horse Creek platform specifications:
- CPU – SiFive P500 quad-core RISC-V processor @ up to 2.2 GHz with a 13-stage, 3-issue, out-of-order (OoO) pipeline, private L2 cache, and common L3 cache
- Memory – DDR5-5600 interface
- PCIe – PCIe Gen5 through Intel’s PCIe PHY with 8 lanes, Synopsys PCIe Root Hub controller
- Other peripheral interfaces – I3C, Quad and Octal SPI, UART, peripheral DMA
- Package – 19×19 FBGA
- Process – Intel 4 technology
The Horse Creek platform currently supports Ubuntu 20.04 with Linux 5.17.4, and PCIe driver ported and enabled. Wikichip further says Intel demonstrated a video game (running on the CPUs), a media player, and a web browser on the development board.
The platform is part of Intel’s one billion investments into foundry innovation, and as I understand it, Intel won’t sell the chip, but it can be used as a platform to help their foundry customers design their own chips. So I’m pretty sure the Horse Creek development board shown above will never be available to the public, but it will serve as a base for commercial chips, albeit possibly with different interfaces, since I’m not sure it makes commercial sense to combine a P550 RISC-V processor with DDR5 and PCIe Gen5 beyond technology demonstration.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.