Imagination launches its first real-time embedded RISC-V CPU

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

UK processor designer Imagination Technologies has launched its first  real time embedded RISC-V CPU core.

The IMG RTXM-2200 follows the announcement of a series of RISC-V cores called the Catapult CPU family back in December.

The 32bit core is highly scalable and supports up to 128KB of tightly coupled memories (both instruction and data) for deterministic response and Level 1 cache sizes of up to 128KB for robust performance.

The design offers a range of floating-point formats including single-precision as well as the bfloat16 format for more compact AI frameworks. This enables manufacturers to deploy AI applications through this core without the need for an additional chip, reducing silicon area in AI cameras and smart metering applications.

It is intended to be integrated into complex SoCs for a range of applications including networking solutions, packet management, storage controllers, and sensor management for AI cameras and smart metering alongside GPU and AI accelerator IP. The CPU core was announced at the Embedded World show in Nuremberg, Germany, today.

Derivatives of the core are also being used in automotive applications, where Imagination has key design wins and already uses a RISC-V core to control its GPU blocks as well as its original META microcontroller core..

“As automakers look to take advantage of the potential innovation and time to market advantages of RISC-V, they need an IP partner with proven ability to deliver in the automotive market, meeting the stringent power and safety requirements of the vertical. With the launch of IMG RTXM-2200, Imagination lays the foundation for future automotive RISC-V CPUs for this market, rounding out its portfolio of GPU and AI acceleration IP,” said James Hodgson, Principal Analyst at ABI Research.

The real-time embedded cores come with a full software SDK and tools package at launch.

“We are excited to announce IMG RTXM-2200, our first real-time RISC-V CPU, which underpins our continued commitment to driving growth for the RISC-V ecosystem. Imagination now has a unique and broad portfolio of compute IP, including GPU, AI accelerators, and now CPU, designed for this innovative architecture,” said Chris Porthouse, Chief Product Officer at Imagination.

“RISC-V International is excited to witness Imagination maintaining its momentum by launching its first licensable 32-bit embedded real-time processor, since the announcement of its entry into the RISC-V CPU IP market,” said Calista Redmond, CEO, RISC-V International. “This underlines the expansion of the RISC-V architecture as developers take advantage of this flexible technology to address multiple market requirements. We are pleased to see Imagination’s commitment to drive ecosystem growth with the delivery of its SDK and the support of open-source operating systems”

Shreyas Derashri, VP of Compute, Imagination, says: “For more than 20 years Imagination has been creating market-leading GPU, AI accelerator, and CPU IP. This puts us in a unique position where we can offer our customers a robust and competitive choice when it comes to next-generation SoC development. The IMG RTXM-2200 RISC-V CPU brings together years of IP design experience and comprehensive software support to enable instant and easy access for developers, further enhancing our heterogeneous offering.”

The Catapult Studio Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is a modern, cutting-edge IDE based on Visual Studio code providing a familiar environment that is better to use for up-to-date developers and designers. The IDE runs on Windows, Ubuntu, CentOS, and macOS and offers full Linux support (including reference bootloaders, kernel, and filesystem). It is also compatible with gem5 software for simulation of power consumption and energy-efficiency.

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