RISC-V hardware & software ecosystem highlights in 2020

RISC-V hardware software 2020

The RISC-V Summit 2020 is currently taking place virtually, and RISC-V International, a non-profit corporation aiming to drive the adoption and implementation of the RISC-V instruction set architecture (ISA), took the occasion to remind us of the growth of the ISA both in terms of commercial adaption, education, and other projects. Calista Redmond, CEO of RISC-V International, detailed the growth in memberships: This year, our technical community has grown 66 percent to more than 2,300 individuals in our more than 50 technical and special interest groups. We’re seeing increased market momentum of RISC-V cores, SoCs, developer boards, software and tools across computing from embedded to enterprise … We’re proud of our growing global membership, which has more than doubled in the last year to 1,000 total members, including 222 organizations.” RISC-V also launched the RISC-V Exchange now listing over 124 RISC-V cores, SoCs, and developer boards, as well as 129 RISC-V software applications and tools. RISC-V Cores launched in 2020 […]

PolarBerry is a Compact, Linux-capable RISC-V FPGA SBC and module (Crowdfunding)

PolarBerry RISC-V SBC & Module

SiFive may just have announced a mini-ITX motherboard for RISC-V PCs, but if you’d like a RISC-V Linux platform in a more compact form factor, Sundance PolarBerry may better fit your requirements, albeit the board will target different use cases. Powered by Microchip PolarFire RISC-V SoC FPGA, PolarBerry is both a single board computer with Gigabit Ethernet and 40-pin GPIO header, as well as a system-on-module thanks to three Samtec board-to-board connectors. PolarBerry specifications: SoC – Microsemi PolarFire FPGA MPFS250T-FCVG484 penta-core processor with 1x RV64IMAC monitor core, 4x RV64GC application cores, FPGA fabric with 254K x logic elements (4LUT + DFF), 784 x math blocks (18 x 18 MACC), and 16 x SERDES lanes at 12.5 Gbps; 12 W maximum power consumption System Memory –  4 GB of 32-bit wide DDR4 memory Storage – 4GB eMMC flash, 128 Mbit SPI Serial NOR flash for boot image Networking – Gigabit Ethernet port Serial – 6-pin header with 2x CAN 2.0 PHY […]

PolarFire SoC Icicle 64-bit RISC-V and FPGA Development Board Runs Linux or FreeBSD (Crowdfunding)

PolarFire SoC Icicle Kit

We got some more details about PolarFire RISC-V FPGA SoC late last year, and we were promised a Linux capable 64-bit RISC-V & FPGA development board with PolarFire SoC Icicle kit in Q3 of 2020. We are already in July 2020. So where is the board? Oh, look! It’s right here on Crowd Supply where it is offered for $499, and shipping is expected to start in mid-September. PolarFire SoC Icicle specifications: SoC FPGA – PolarFire SoC MPFS250T-FCVG484EES penta–core RISC-V CPU subsystem (1xRV64IMAC, 4xRV64GC) with 254K LE non-volatile fabric, 784 18 × 18 math blocks, secure boot, 4x 12.7 Gbps SERDES, FCVG484 package (19 × 19 mm, 0.8 mm pitch) System Memory – 2GB LPDDR4 x32 Storage – 1 GBit QSPI Flash, 8GB eMMC Flash or SD card slot (multiplexed) Video Output – HDMI 2.0 (removed from final board) Connectivity – 2x Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth USB – 1x micro USB 2.0 OTG port, micro USB port for debugging […]

Upcoming SAVVY-V Open Source RISC-V Cluster Board Supports 10GbE via Microsemi PolarFire 64-bit RISC-V SoC

SAVVY-V Open Source-PolarFire RISC-V SOC FPGA Board

RISC-V based PolarFire SoC FPGA by Microsemi may be coming up in the third quarter of this year, but Ali Uzel has been sharing a few details about SAVVY-V advanced open-source RISC-V cluster board made by FOSOH-V (Flexible Open SOurce Hardware for RISC-V) community of developers. It’s powered by Microsemi Polarfire RISC-V SoC MPFS250T with four 64-bit RISC-V cores, a smaller RV64IMAC monitor core, and FPGA fabric that allows 10GbE via SFP+ cages, and exposes six USB Type-C ports. The solution is called a cluster board since up to six SAVVY-V boards can be stacked via a PC/104+ connector and interfaced via the USB-C ports. SAVVY-V cluster board preliminary features and specifications: SoC – Microsemi Polarfire RISC-V SoC MPFS250T with a quad-core 64-bit RV64IMAFDC (RV64GC) processor @ up to 667 MHz, a RV64IMAC monitor core, and FPGA fabric with 250K logic elements; 3.0 CoreMarks/MHz, 2.0 DMIPs/MHz; Also compatible with MPFS160T, MPFS095T, andMPFS025T. System Memory Up to 4GB 32-bit 3200Mbps LPDDR4 […]

RISC-V based PolarFire SoC FPGA and Devkit Coming in Q3 2020

Microsemi unveiled PolarFire FPGA + RISC-V SoC about one year ago, but at the time, development was done on a $3,000 platform with SiFive U54 powered HiFive Unleashed board combined with an FPGA add-on board from Microsemi. I’ve now been informed that Microchip has announced its Linux-capable PolarFire FPGA+RISC-V SoC would start shipping in Q3 2020 at the RISC-V summit and that a development kit will be sold for a few hundred dollars. PolarFire SoC FPGA   PolarFire SoC FPGA key features and specifications: Mid-Range FPGA optimized for Low Power High-speed serial connectivity with built-in multi-gigabit/multi-protocol transceivers from 250 Mbps to 12.7 Gbps Up to 461k logic elements consisting of a 4-input Look-Up Table (LUT) with a fracture-able D-type flip-flop Up to 31.6 Mb of RAM Power optimized transceivers Up to 1420 18 × 18 multiply-accumulate blocks with hardened pre-adders Integrated dual PCIe for up to ×4 Gen 2 Endpoint (EP) and Root Port (RP) designs High-Speed I/O (HSIO) supporting […]

Pitaya Go is an IoT development board with multi-protocol wireless connectivity

One of the challenges in starting a new IoT project is the question of what connectivity to use. Depending on the nature of a project, there are several wired and wireless connectivity options that can be used to power a project and ensure it’s a success. We have WiFi, Bluetooth, Zigbee, Zwave, LoRa, ZigFox, Thread, NB-IoT, 3G/4G, and others. You can use from anyone, but which one to use is another thing because most development board only support 1 or 2 of those. Well, with the introduction of the Pitaya Go, you don’t have to worry so much about that decision. The Pitaya Go is an IoT development platform with multiprotocol wireless connectivity built-in. The Pitaya Go is based on the Nordic’s high-end multiprotocol SoC nRF52840 and the Microchip’s extremely low power Wi-Fi network controller ATWINC1500B. The nRF52840 SoC is the most advanced member of the nRF52 Series SoC family, and it is fully multiprotocol capable with full protocol concurrency. It has […]

ARIES M100PF PolarFire FPGA System-on-Module Targets Industrial Applications, RISC-V Development


MicroSemi unveiled PolarFire RISC-V FPGA SoC at the end of last year, bringing an alternative to Xilinx Zynq (Arm Cortex-A9 + FPGA) and UltraScale+ (Cortex A53 + FPGA) SoCs. The system-on-chip is expected to be mass produced later in 2019, so development is done on HiFive Unleashed RISC-V board and its FPGA expansion board. In the meantime, MicroSemi PolarFire FPGAs (without RISC-V hard core) are available now, and ARIES Embedded planning to showcase what they claim is the first PolarFire FPGA system-on-module at Embedded World 2019 with their M100PF SoM targeting industrial applications. ARIES Embedded M100PF key features and specifications: A choice of 3 PolarFire FPGAs MPF100T – 109KLE, 336 Math Blocks (18x18MACC) MPF200T – 192KLE, 588 Math Blocks (18x18MACC) MPF300T – 300KLE, 924 Math Blocks (18x18MACC) System Memory – 512 MiB / 1 GiB / 2 GiB DDR3 RAM Storage – 256 MiB configuration device, 4 GiB eMMC flash by default (Option up to 64GB) 2x Samtec QSH-090-01-F-D-A 180-pin […]

MicroSemi Introduces PolarFire FPGA & RISC-V SoC

Polaris FPGA + RISC-V SoC

In the past we’ve covered SoCs comprised of Arm cores and FPGA fabric via Xilinx Zynq-7000 series SoCs and Zynq UltraScale+ series MPSoCs, respectively featuring up to two Arm Cortex A9 cores, and up to four Cortex A53 cores. MicroSemi has now announced an alternative, not based on Arm cores, but instead based on SiFive U54-MC RISC-V cores combined with PolarFire FPGA fabric. PolarFire FPGA RISC-V SoC key features & specifications: FPGA – Microsemi PolarFire FPGA Processor Cores – Up to 4x SiFive U54-MC RISC-V cores clocked at up to 1.5GHz (performance similar to Cortex-A35 cores); 28nm process Deterministic Coherent Multi-core CPU Cluster Deterministic L2 Memory Subsystem System Memory I/F –  Integrated DDR4/LPDDR4 Controller and PHY Storage – Secure Boot, 128K Boot Flash Debug capability Rich I/Os Low Power – Low static power; power optimized transceivers, up to 50% lower power compared to SRAM based FPGAs So we don’t have the full picture just yet, and we’ll have to wait […]