Andy Frame, Director, Product MarketingDecember 10, 2021

When You Reach The Summit, Keep Climbing

The RISC-V Summit 2021 highlighted to the world that the future of RISC-V has no limits!

2021 has been an outstanding year for SiFive, and the biggest in its history, starting with the introduction of the AI/ML focused SiFive Intelligence™ and high performance SiFive Performance™ series of processors and culminating with the announcement of the SiFive Performance P650 and latest SiFive 21G3 release as part of the RISC-V Summit 2021.

Specifications
In parallel, RISC-V International has ratified an impressive fifteen new specifications. The new RISC-V Vector extension, as seen in the SiFive Intelligence X280 and SiFive Performance P270 products, and the RISC-V Hypervisor specification, now available in the SiFive Performance family of processors, are key technology enablers that will drive the continued growth of SiFive adoption further into an ever broadening range of applications and market segments.

Performance
After a sneak peek at The Linley Group Fall Processor Conference back in October, SiFive recently took the wraps off our latest high performance processor, the SiFive Performance P650, SiFive's flagship product for 2022. The SiFive Performance P650 highlights SiFive’s commitment to continuously innovate and deliver a high-performance roadmap of RISC-V processors, and achieves a leap in performance overall of over 50% in just one year when compared to the SiFive Performance P550. The SiFive Performance P650 further extends its reach into the ultra high end market with a best in class 11+ SPECint2k6/GHz benchmark score, making the SiFive Performance P650 the highest performance licensable RISC-V processor. The SiFive Performance P650 will offer scalable performance with multi-core, multi-cluster processor configurations initially up to 16 cores, and includes the recently ratified Hypervisor extension. Our roadmap will, over time, extend to many-cluster capabilities that deliver 128-cores, or more, in an SoC.

Relentless Innovation
The SiFive 21G3 release includes the launch of the mid-range SiFive Essential™ 6-series processor family along with a stack of further enhancements, including multi-cluster capability for the SiFive Performance family and SiFive Intelligence family.

The SiFive Essential 6-series is an eight-stage, single issue, in-order pipeline processor family targeting mid-range performance markets. The SiFive Essential 6-Series continues to deliver on SiFives’s commitment and investment in best in class performance processors with advanced features and configurability options including; RISC-V ISA B Extension for improved performance and code-density, and an optional half-precision FPU unit for area constrained applications, along with separate instruction tightly integrated memory (ITIM) and Instruction Cache (with an option for removing the i$ for specific market requirements).

SiFive Essential Family

The SiFive Performance P550 has gained a 10% increase in maximum frequency improvement and 10% dynamic power reduction as part of the latest release, achieving a 8.7+ SpecINT2k6/GHz benchmark, the market leading highest single thread performance metric.

In AI/ML markets, the SiFive Intelligence X280, launched earlier this year, is already being designed into a multitude of machine learning products. To further extend its market applicability, BFLOAT16 matrix multiplication compute and quantization acceleration have been added to the SiFive Intelligence Extensions, delivering significant performance improvements across a wide range of machine learning workloads.

Reach The Summit
For SiFive, RISC-V, and the whole IP industry, 2021 was an inflection point with the expansion from great achievements in embedded control type applications to the opening up of the markets with ultra high-end processors like the SiFive Performance P550 & SiFive Performance P650, and AI/ML compute with advanced vector computation covered by the SiFive Performance P270 and SiFive Intelligence X280. The SiFive Performance P650 has raised the bar for high-performance and sets the stage for a phenomenal 2022 - stay tuned for more innovation announcements next year.

SiFive Presentations at the 2021 RISC-V Summit
SiFive delivered presentations and keynotes at the 2021 RISC-V Summit event highlighting the impressive progress and unlimited promise of RISC-V. You can view a representative few without a login required:

Keep Climbing
I joined SiFive this year after spending more than twenty years’ in the IP industry, and I am wildly excited about the technology, growth opportunities, and direction SiFive is taking. As the first UK employee, I’m thrilled to see more people eager to join and the team expanding; if you’re interested in joining me and embracing the challenge here in the UK, USA, or further afield, check out the career opportunities at SiFive.com/Careers.