AI/ML flow for PolarFire RISC-V FPGAs in edge designs

AI/ML flow for PolarFire RISC-V FPGAs in edge designs

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By Nick Flaherty

Microchip Technology has launched a mid-range industrial edge stack for its PolarFire RISC-V FPGAs with an AI/ML development flow.

PolarFire includes the only RISC-V SoC FPGA shipping in volume production, making it a popular platform for prototyping designs. Microchip now offers RISC-V development support with more than 60 companies in its Mi-V ecosystem.

The real-time, Linux-capable hardened RISC-V-based microprocessor subsystem in PolarFire SoC allows developers to create custom AI inside an FPGA fabric for power-sensitive intelligent edge designs.

The AI flow uses Microchip’s SmartHLS compiler software, VectorBlox accelerator software development kit (SDK) and neural-network IP along with a new PolarFire SoC development kit for the smart embedded vision stack to give industrial vision designers a head start in developing post-sensor processing.

There is also ready-to-customize cryptography and boot libraries of soft intellectual property (IP) and new tools to convert existing designs.

“The intelligent edge demands the very best in power efficiency, security, safety and reliability,” said Shakeel Peera, vice president of strategy for Microchip FPGA. “Our new mid-range industrial edge stack and related tools offer more than just automation IP and enable secure edge compute, analytics, machine learning and high-availability data interconnects for Industrial IoT end points.”

The seven new resources and conversion tools include a comprehensive industrial edge stack for Open Platform Communications/Unified Architecture (OPC/UA)-based IIOT applications as well as the cryptography and boot soft IP libraries that can be fully customized. These join more than 200 proven, optimized and easy-to-use processor soft cores and other Microchip FPGA IP elements and more than 120 third-party cores.

Each library element is optimized for the area and timing with PolarFire FPGAs and SoCs for fast designs and prototypes.

Microchip has also developed direct conversion scripts to move quickly from other vendors’ FPGAs, including step-by-step tutorials to switch from alternative FPGA families.

There is also a new power-consumption tutorial and tool to evaluate any design’s power efficiency and thermal management.

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