SiFive claims fastest RISC-V processor core with P650

SiFive claims fastest RISC-V processor core with P650

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

SiFive has launched its highest performance processor design using the open source RISC-V instruction set, claiming the fastest licensable core in the market.

SiFive has also just hired Trefor Southwell as senior director of engineering, hardware in the UK, based in Bristol. Southwell was previously Senior Director of Hardware Engineering at Imagination Technologies working on RISC-V.

The Performance P650 processor is aimed at new markets for RISC-V such as the data centres as it is scalable to 16 cores per chip and 128 cores across multiple and supports the new RISC-V hypervisor extension for virtualization. The core is also aimed at mainstream chip designs in edge computing, automotive and mobile.

The P650 boosts the performance from the previous P550 core by issuing 40 percent more instructions per cycle, ie four, in the same thirteen-stage out-of-order pipeline. Additional architecture enhancements improve maximum clock frequency to 3.5GHz, achieving an overall 50 percent performance gain of over 11+ SPECInt2006/GHz compared to SiFive’s previous fastest processor.

SiFive will offer an ‘Architecture Preview’ to select lead customers for evaluation of the SiFive Performance P650 ahead of general availability.

“SiFive’s mission is to answer the semiconductor industry’s call for more processor IP choices. SiFive is singularly focused on bringing innovative processor technology based on the RISC-V architecture to market,” said Dr. Yunsup Lee, co-founder and CTO, SiFive.

“Since the announcement of the Performance Series of RISC-V cores earlier this year, SiFive has continued to push the limits of what was previously possible with RISC-V. The SiFive Performance P650 processor IP represents our commitment towards relentless execution, delivering significant performance improvements in record time. This announcement is the next step towards our long-term vision of bringing RISC-V processors to all performance-hungry applications.”

“With the new SiFive Performance P650 processor, SiFive’s engineering team has rapidly and successfully delivered a significant performance uplift for the SiFive processor family,” said Rohit Kumar, Senior Vice President of Engineering, SiFive. “SiFive’s rapid execution and expertise is on display as we build world-class products and serve high-performance markets. At SiFive, we’re determined to push the envelope of performance and demonstrate RISC-V has no limits, and the SiFive Performance P650 is the next step in a far-reaching product development roadmap.”

The SiFive Performance P650 Architecture Preview will be offered to lead customers in Q1 of 2022 with general availability coming mid-year.

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