Andes launches AX45MPV RISC-V CPU core with Vector Extension 1.0

Andes Technology has recently announced the general availability of the AndesCore AX45MPV RISC-V CPU which builds upon the AX45MP multicore processor and adds RISC-V Vector Extension 1.0.

Equipped with RISC-V vector processing and parallel execution capability, the new RISC-V CPU core targets SoCs processing large amounts of data for applications such as ADAS, AI inference and training, AR/VR, multimedia, robotics, and signal processing.

AX45MPV RISC core vector extension
CPU Functional Blocks (left) and Multicore Functional Block
Diagram (right)

AX45MPV key features and specifications:

  • 64-bit in-order dual-issue 8-stage CPU core with up to 1024-bit Vector Processing Unit (VPU) – compliant with RISC-V V-extension (RVV) 1.0 + custom extensions
  • Supports clusters of up to 8 cores
  • L2 cache and coherence support
  • High bandwidth vector local memory (HVM)
  • AndeStar V5 Instruction Set Architecture (ISA)
    • Compliant with RISC-V GCBPV extensions
    • Andes performance extension
    • Andes CoDense extension for further compaction of code size
  • Separately licensable Andes Custom Extension (ACE) for customized scalar and vector instruction
  • 64-bit architecture for memory space over 4GB
  • Branch predication to speed up control code
  • Memory Management Unit (MMU), Physical Memory Protection (PMP), and programmable Physical Memory Attribute (PMA)
  • Andes-enhanced Platform-Level Interrupt Controller (PLIC) for system events and real-time performance
  • Platform-level Interrupt Controller (PLIC) support with an arrangement of preemptive interrupts
  • ECC or Parity for SRAM error protection
  • Configurable VPU vector length (VLEN) and datapath length (DLEN)
  • StackSafe hardware to help measure the stack size and detect runtime overflow/underflow
  • Versatile configurations to trade off between core size and performance requirements
  • PowerBrake and WFI (Wait For Interrupt) for different power-saving occasions

Andes will provide several development tools for the AX45MPV cores including the Eclipse-based AndeSight IDE, AndeShape FPGA development boards, COPILOT automation tool for Andes Custom Extension, AndesClarity processor pipeline analyzer and visualizer, and the AndeSoft NN library optimized for RISC-V DSP/SIMD and Vector extensions.

Several customers from Asia and North America have already licensed the AX45MPV, and while we are not told which ones, the Linux-capable Renesas RZ/Five RISC-V microprocessor makes use of the earlier AX45MP core, and I would not be surprised to see a follow-up with the AX45MPV leveraging the RISC-V Extension for AI workloads.

Andes says the AX45MPV standard product package is available immediately., but the more advanced product package with Linux support will only be available in Q4 2023. In any case, we should start seeing AX45MPV SoCs sometime in 2024 at the earliest. More details may be found on the product page and the press release.

Thanks to TLS for the tip.

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