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Data Center KnowledgeApr 7, 2018

RISC-V Silicon Startup Raises $50.6 Million and Inks Western Digital Deal

This week saw another indication that open source hardware is ready to seriously vie for a slice of the enterprise IT pie. On Monday the major company behind the open source RISC-V processor, SiFive, reported it had raised $50.6 million in a Series C funding round, bringing total funding to $64.1 million.

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Electronic DesignApr 5, 2018

SiFive Raises $50.6 Million to Recreate Chip Prototyping

The RISC-V architecture is making an impression. That was reflected Monday in the announcement of $50.6 million raised by SiFive, a semiconductor startup that has been leveraging the free and open source architecture to reduce the cost and manpower required for chip development.

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TechCrunchApr 2, 2018

SiFive gets $50.6M to help companies get their custom chip designs out the door

With the race to next-generation silicon in full swing, the waterfall of venture money flowing into custom silicon startups is already showing an enormous amount of potential for some more flexible hardware for an increasingly changing technology landscape — and Naveed Sherwani hopes to tap that for everyone else.

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Media Inquiries

Leslie Clavin
SHIFT Communications for SiFive
(415) 591-8440
lclavin@shiftcomm.com

VentureBeatApr 2, 2018

SiFive raises $50.6 million for licensable custom microprocessors

SiFive has raised $50.6 million in a third round of funding to further its ambition to create a new licensing model for the semiconductor industry. San Francisco-based SiFive wants to democratize access to custom silicon chip designs. The company’s founders invented RISC-V, a free and open instruction set architecture for modern microprocessors. SiFive is taking that architecture and making it easy to design the custom variants that companies need.

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Sensors OnlineFeb 27, 2018

Moore’s Law is Dead: So, Let’s Talk About the Future of SoCs

By now, you’ve likely heard someone tell you: Moore’s Law is dead. To be sure, it is worthwhile to point out that the design aspect of Moore’s Law is – in most circumstances – very much alive. There are still techniques to be discovered to make the transistors smaller, for them to work faster, and to still put more of them in the same footprint. Rather, it is the economics behind Moore’s Law that has clearly reached its endpoint. Chips might continue to get smaller and faster. But if the economics mean that almost no one can afford to buy them, where exactly are we headed?

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Design NewsFeb 15, 2018

First Open-Source RISC-V SoC for Linux Released

Only months after debuting the Freedom U540, the world's first Linux-compatible processor based on the open-source RISC-V chip architecture, RISC-V chipmaker SiFive has surprised the open-source community again by unveiling a full development board built around the ISA.

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Data Center KnowledgeFeb 13, 2018

Is Open Source RISC-V Ready to Take on Intel, AMD, and ARM in the Data Center?

While software is eating the world, open source hardware might soon be eating the data center. Definitely not tomorrow or next month, and probably not even next year, but sooner than you think, there might be as much open source hardware as the old-fashioned proprietary kind running data centers. Need proof? Take a look at RISC-V, an open processor architecture.

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Tech RepublicFeb 5, 2018

Hi-Five Unleashed: The first Linux-capable RISC-V single board computer is here

For low-power and embedded purposes RISC-V, an ISA developed principally by researchers at UC Berkeley with significant outside contributions, is gaining popularity. While early RISC-V devices have been intended for embedded applications and IoT devices, SiFive has released the first RISC-V SoC (Freedom U540) and SBC (Hi-Five Unleashed) which are powerful enough to run Linux distributions.

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FOSDEM 2018Feb 3, 2018

Interview with Palmer Dabbelt: Igniting the Open Hardware Ecosystem with RISC-V. SiFive's Freedom U500 is the World's First Linux-capable Open Source SoC Platform

Palmer Dabbelt will give a talk about Igniting the Open Hardware Ecosystem with RISC-V. SiFive's Freedom U500 is the World's First Linux-capable Open Source SoC Platform at FOSDEM 2018.

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EE JournalJan 16, 2018

The Bisquick Alternative

“Our vision is to enable two guys in a garage to build a custom chip.” Thus spake Jack Kang, Vice President of SiFive, the 40-person startup making RISC-V chips. SiFive isn’t just another company pulling the RISC-V bandwagon. They’re trying to change the way we create SoCs. The au courant open-source processor design is just a means to that end.

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MicrosemiDec 6, 2017

SiFive Joins Microsemi's New Mi-V Ecosystem to Accelerate Adoption of RISC-V Open Instruction Set Architecture

Microsemi Corporation (Nasdaq: MSCC), a leading provider of semiconductor solutions differentiated by power, security, reliability and performance, today announced SiFive, the first fabless provider of customized, open-source-enabled semiconductors, has joined Microsemi's new Mi-V™ RISC-V ecosystem, further building out the growing ecosystem and expanding the number of RISC-V designs users can consider. Microsemi will leverage its strategic relationship with SiFive and other ecosystem participants to increase adoption of RISC-V open instruction set architecture (ISA) central processing units (CPUs) and maximize their leadership positions with this expanding design technology.

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ForbesDec 5, 2017

Western Digital Gives A Billion Unit Boost To Open Source RISC-V CPU

Western Digital is known for its storage products. What many do not realize is that the company ships over 1 billion processor cores within its products each year and is moving toward 2 billion per year. At the workshop, Western Digital CTO Martin Fink announced that over the next few years those billion plus processors will be transitioned over to RISC-V.

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SemiWikiNov 7, 2017

DesignShare is all About Enabling Design Wins!

One of the barriers to silicon success has always been design costs, especially if you are an emerging company or targeting an emerging market such as IoT. Today design start costs are dominated by IP which is paid at the start of the project and that is after costly IP evaluations and other IP verification and integration challenges. Given that, reducing design costs and enabling design starts has always been a major industry focus starting with the fabless semiconductor transformation that began 30 years ago, which brings us to the DesignShare announcement made by SiFive and Flex Logix last week.

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SemiAccurateNov 1, 2017

FlexLogix joins SiFive’s DesignShare program

SiFive and FlexLogix have teamed up to offer embedded FPGAs in the DesignShare development program. This is the third IP vendor that SemiAccurate knows of to join that program and it is an interesting idea. SiFive’s DesignShare program is unique in it’s aim to lower the barriers of entry for companies interested in making silicon.

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Electronics WeeklyOct 9, 2017

64bit quad-core RISC-V for Linux

RISC-V is a free and open instruction set architecture [ISA] designed to enable chips across the full spectrum of computing devices, from embedded devices to the data centre,” said the firm. “The release of the U54-MC Coreplex marks the architecture’s expansion into the application processor space – opening entirely new use cases for RISC-V. It is ideal for applications which need full operating system support such as AI, machine learning, networking, gateways and smart IoT devices.

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eeNews EuropeOct 9, 2017

SiFive launches Linux-ready RISC-V quad-core processor

The Coreplex U54-MC contains four U54 CPUs and a single E51 CPU and is the first Coreplex processor core to offer multicore support and support for cache coherence. The U54 cores support the RV64GC ISA with a five-stage, in-order pipeline ALU. The 64bit E51 CPU serves as a management core and is fully coherent with the U54 cores. The U54-MC Coreplex is ideal for applications which need full operating system support such as AI, machine learning, networking, gateways, and smart IoT devices.

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FudzillaOct 8, 2017

2018 will be the year of the RISC V Linux processors

Linux fanboys tend to announce a lot of “year of” events. There is the year of the desktop which appears to be every year and still never happens and now there is the year of RISC V Linux processor. SiFive has declared that 2018 will be the year of RISC V Linux processor, so mark your penguin diaries accordingly. In the UK there will be all sorts of events planned, including guess the weight of Linus Torvalds competitions, there will be penguin tossing at Slough.

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FossbytesOct 8, 2017

Linux Gets Its First Multi-Core, RISC-V Based Open Source Processor

Last year, Silicon Valley Startup SiFive released the first open source SoC (system on a chip), which was named Freeform Everywhere 310. Now, going one step ahead from the embedded systems, the company has released U54-MC Coreplex IP, which is the world’s first RISC-V based 64-bit quad-core CPU that supports fully featured operating systems like Linux.

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Design NewsOct 5, 2017

Linux Now Has its First Open Source RISC-V Processor

When it released its first open-source system on a chip, the Freeform Everywhere 310, last year, Silicon Valley startup SiFive was aiming to push the RISC-V ("risk five") architecture to transform the hardware industry in the way that Linux transformed the software industry. Now the company has delivered further on that promise with the release of the U54-MC Coreplex , the first RISC-V-based chip that supports Linux, Unix, and FreeBSD.

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MentionOct 5, 2017

The Week In Review: Design

SiFive launched U54-MC Coreplex IP, a RISC-V based, 64-bit, quadcore real-time capable application processor with support for full featured operating systems such as Linux. The cores utilize a five-stage in-order pipeline, support the RV64GC ISA and cache coherence. It is targeted at AI, machine learning, networking, gateways and smart IoT devices.

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HackadayOct 3, 2017

SiFive Announces RISC-V SoC

At the Linley Processor Conference today, SiFive, the semiconductor company building chips around the Open RISC-V instruction set has announced the availability of a quadcore processor that runs Linux. We’ve seen RISC-V implementations before, and SiFive has already released silicon-based on the RISC-V ISA. These implementations are rather small, though, and this is the first implementation designed for more than simple embedded devices.

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EE TimesOct 3, 2017

RISC-V Boots Linux at SiFive

SiFive has taped out and started licensing its U54-MC Coreplex, its first RISC-V IP designed to run Linux. The design lags the performance of a comparable ARM Cortex-A53 but shows progress creating a commercial market for the open-source instruction set architecture.

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Electronic DesignOct 3, 2017

SiFive's RISC-V Goes Multicore

The RISC-V universe just got a little bigger with SiFive’s 1.5 GHz U54-MC Coreplex (Fig. 1). The four U54 cores implement RV64GC that includes support for hardware multiple and divide, atomic instructions, 16-bit compressed instructions, and single and double precision floating point support.

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LinuxGizmos.comOct 3, 2017

SiFive Unleashes the First Linux-Ready, 64-Bit RISC-V SoC

SiFive has taped out the first multi-core RISC-V based processor design, and the first to run Linux, featuring 4x 1.5GHz "U54" cores and a management core. SiFive announced "early access" availability of the 64-bit, quad-core U54-MC Coreplex – the first Linux-ready application processor built around the open source RISC-V architecture.

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CPU Shack MuseumJun 4, 2017

SiFive FE310: Setting The RISC Free

It is out of this that SiFive began. SiFive was founded by the creators of the first commercially successful open RISC architecture, known as RISC-V. RISC-V was developed at Berkeley, fittingly, in 2010 and was designed to be a truly useful, general purpose RISC processor, easy to design with, easy to code for, and with enough features to be commercially useful, not limited to the classroom. It is called the RISC-V because it is the fifth RISC design developed at Berkeley, RISC I and RISC II being designed in 1981, followed by SOAR (Smalltalk On A RISC) in 1984 and SPUR (Symbolic Processing Using RISC) in 1988. RISC-V has already proved to be a success, it is licensed freely, and in a way (BSD license) that allows products that use it to be either open, or proprietary. One of the more well known users is Nvidia, which announced they are replacing their own proprietary FALCON processors (used in their GPUs and Tegra processors) with RISC-V. Samsung, Qualcomm, and others are already using RISC-V. These cores are often so deeply embedded that their existence goes without mention, but they are there, working in the background to make whatever tech needs to work, work.

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EEFocusMay 17, 2017

SiFive让RISC-V商业化之路不再难行

开源是当今最热门的话题之一,也是未来的趋势,就像1998年时任微软CEO的鲍尔默痛斥Linux是癌症,而如今的CEO 却称“Microsoft love Linux”,因为开源“以人为本”,然而开源的商业化是一条必行却又难行的路。

如今的处理器、SoC基本被x86与ARM 这样封闭的指令集架构(ISA)所统治。所以谁能成为微处理器中的 Linux ,成为业界探讨与期待的事情。而目前RISC-V成为最受关注的对象。

5月8日,第六届RISC-V技术研讨会在上海交通大学举行,这是RISC-V在华首度亮相。参会的国内外顶尖学者和企业人员超过200名,RISC-V发明者创建的SiFive公司分享了RISC-V指令集和其相关前景应用。

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EEWorldMay 9, 2017

SiFive携全新产品和商业模式让RISC-V触手可及

由免费开源RISC-V指令集架构发明者创建的企业SiFive于今日在上海参加RISC-V基金会主办,NVIDIA和上海交通大学联合承办的第六届RISC-V技术研讨会,首次在中国与到会的200余名国内外顶尖学者和企业共同分享RISC-V指令集和其相关前景应用。作为首家基于免费开源RISC-V指令集架构的定制半导体公司,SiFive还在研讨会上分享了公司的最新进展 – SiFive即将推出目前访问RISC-V内核最快捷也最简单的方式 – Coreplex IP产品。随着RISC-V生态系统的快速发展,SiFive Coreplex IP设计已成为RISC-V内核的实际领导者,拥有比任何其他RISC-V架构厂商更多的客户群、硅产品和开发板。另外,SiFive还提供了简易的“调研-评估-购买”(Study – Evaluate – Buy)的采购流程,帮助工程师们迅速获得实用的Coreplex IP RTL源代码。

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谁是目标 (via 百家号)May 8, 2017

SiFive让RISC-V商业化之路不再难行

在你购买一个PC或者服务器的时候,在做主芯片选择的时候,你会想到X86架构,或者至少时候ARM架构的芯片。

但是像软件里的LINUX一样,一个开源的架构项目准备打破这个由Intel、AMD和ARM主导的芯片市场,那就是Risc-V。

这个由加州大学伯克利分校研究院在2010年打造的芯片架构是免费向所有人开放的。而据介绍,开发者可以基于这个架构开发应用于PC、服务器、智能手机、可穿戴和其他设备的芯片。

初创企业SiFive是首个基于Risc-V架构开拓业务的公司,这个公司也是首个将Risc-V指令转为硅片的企业。日前,该公司宣布,他们已经开发出了两款芯片设计,并能够将其授权给客户。

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Electronic DesignMay 8, 2017

A Patient Disciple of RISC-V, SiFive Starts Selling Cores

Last year, SiFive went fishing for engineers willing to test out chips based on the RISC-V instruction set, releasing a basic core called Rocket that anyone could download and modify. But now the company, whose founders invented RISC-V, is using richer bait for more ambitious customers.

Last week, SiFive started selling two embedded cores under the brand Coreplex, with applications ranging from wearables to servers. The company is aiming to lower the bar for engineers trained on Intel or ARM instruction sets to take RISC-V for a spin, when few companies appear to be turned off by the inflexibility or licensing fees of rival technology.

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VentureBeatMay 7, 2017

SiFive raises $8.5 million for licensable custom microprocessors

SiFive is pioneering a new model in the semiconductor business and to do so has raised $8.5 million in a second round of funding, led by Spark Capital.

San Francisco-based SiFive is on a mission to democratize access to custom silicon chip designs. The company’s founders invented RISC-V, a free and open instruction set architecture for modern microprocessors. It consists of all of the software instructions needed to program a microprocessor based on the RISC-V architecture. And SiFive is taking that architecture and making it easy to design the custom variants that companies need.

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LinuxGizmosMay 7, 2017

Design your own RISC-V SoC with SiFive’s new “hassle-free” process

This week, SiFive announced a new “study-evaluate-buy” purchase process, that lets developers “get their hands on Coreplex IP RTL in a matter of minutes.” The immediately downloadable E31 Coreplex and E51 Coreplex IP RTL is described as “fully synthesizable and verified soft IP implementations that scale across multiple design nodes, making them ideal for your next SoC design.” On its Coreplex IP evaluation web page, SiFive describes the IP evaluation and purchase as being fast, NDA-free, and with a pricing model that is not based on royalties.

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Electronics WeeklyMay 7, 2017

SiFive raises $8.5m

SiFive, the company set up to provide customised silicon using RISC-V cores, has raised $8.5 million in a Series B round.

This Series B round brings the total investment in SiFive to $13.5 million.

In its first six months of availability, more than 1,000 HiFive1 software development boards have been purchased and delivered to developers in over 40 countries.

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SiliconAngleMay 7, 2017

SiFive raises $8.5M to build low-cost custom chips

SiFive Inc. wants to give businesses access to custom-designed silicon chips at an affordable price, and today the San Francisco-based semiconductor startup announced that ii has closed an $8.5 million Series B funding round.

The round was led by Spark Capital, and it also included participation from Osage University Partners and existing investor Sutter Hill Ventures. SiFive’s Series B round brings the startup’s total investments to date to $13.5 million.

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CIOMay 3, 2017

Open-source chip mimics Linux's path to take on closed x86, ARM CPUs

A startup called SiFive is the first to make a business out of the RISC-V architecture. The company is also the first to convert the RISC-V instruction set architecture into actual silicon. The company on Thursday announced it has created two new chip designs that can be licensed.

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MakeMay 2, 2017

SiFive Is Bringing Open Source to the Chip Level

There has been an upswell of interest in custom, open hardware among makers, in which community-developed and shared designs abound. The availability of low-cost development boards such as Arduino and Raspberry Pi, together with open source software, has made it easier to get started with making innovative, new hardware designs.

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HackadayApr 13, 2017

Open Source Chip Design Hack Chat Transcript

Come hang out for 30 or so minutes and talk to Jack Kang, VP of Product and Business Development at SiFive. Join this chat to learn about RISC-V, the free and open Instruction Set. Ask questions about what it means to have open-source chips, and how SiFive plans to help everybody—from the smallest company, inventor, and maker, get access to custom silicon.

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SidenseMar 8, 2017

Customer Corner: SiFive's Freedom Everywhere 310 (FE310) SoC Alternative

SiFive is the first fabless provider of customized, open-source-enabled semiconductors. The RISC-V ISA has been central to our vision of enabling a whole new range of applications for everyone. In November 2016, we announced the availability of the Freedom Everywhere 310 (FE310) SoC, the industry's first commercially available chip based on RISC-V. Bringing the first commercially available SoC based on the RISC-V ISA is a huge milestone for the open-source hardware community.

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CadenceJan 22, 2017

RISC-V "The thing that you learn and the thing that you use are the same"

The SiFive business model is that lots of people are locked out of silicon. SiFive can do custom design and deliver chips. "We believe we can do it cheaper, quicker and more predictably than anyone else.” They have also been getting lots of calls to help with designs. Growing the RISC-V ecosystem is a big opportunity.

The traditional semiconductor business models take a lot of resources, so you have to pick the winners. But there aren't any $1B sockets anymore, so you can't easily pick the winners. The market is fragmented. SiFive wants to give everyone a chance. In a bit more detail, they will do a customer microcontroller platform and deliver 100 or so chips for under $100K.

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Micro-Electronics (Taiwanese Publication)Jan 11, 2017

專訪SiFive產品暨業務開發總監剛至堅 開源處理器生態系統邁開大步

源自柏克萊大學的開放原始碼指令集架構(ISA)處理器RISC-V,目前已陸續獲得多家科技大廠支持,開始應用在自家產品中。為進一步推動RISC-V處理器的商業應用,由柏克萊教授與研究生共同創辦了一家名為SiFive的新創晶片設計服務公司,並獲得台積電大力奧援。目前SiFive已推出基於台積電0.18微米與28奈米製程的微控制器(MCU)與微處理器SoC平台。

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InfoWorldJan 4, 2017

SiFive rolls out fully open source chip for IoT devices

In an interview, Jack Kang, VP of Product and Business Development at SiFive, discusses the FE310 chip, which will allow IoT vendors to build their own custom SoC on top of it

SiFive is a relatively new fabless chip manufacturing startup that is developing fully open source chips. Its new FE310 chip is its first chip (and apparently the first open source chip) targeted at IoT devices.

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HackadayJan 4, 2017

Hands On With The First Open Source Microcontroller

2016 was a great year for Open Hardware. The Open Source Hardware Association released their certification program, and late in the year, a few silicon wizards met in Mountain View to show off the latest happenings in the RISC-V instruction set architecture.

We’ve seen a lot of RISC-V stuff in recent months, from OnChip’s Open-V, and now the HiFive 1 from SiFive. The folks at SiFive offered to give me a look at the HiFive 1, so here it is, the first hands-on with the first Open Hardware microcontroller.

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SemiEngineeringJan 3, 2017

SiFive: Low-Cost Custom Silicon

One of the lessons learned years ago in the open-source Linux world is that free software isn’t always good enough. Consequently, being able to add commercial value around freeware can turn into a lucrative business.

Enter SiFive, a startup that has been building customized platforms based on the RISC-V CPU. Started by the creators of the RISC V instruction set architecture (ISA), the company’s stated goal is to shake up the economics of the chip industry.

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Design NewsDec 15, 2016

SiFive Is Setting Silicon Free with Open-Source Chips

Moore's Law is dead...just not in the way everyone thinks. Technological advances keep allowing chips to scale, but the economics are another story – particularly for smaller companies that can't afford chips in the volumes that the big chipmakers would like from their customers.

The solution, according to San Francisco-based startup, SiFive, is open-source hardware, specifically an architecture developed by the company's founders called RISC-V (pronounced “risk-five”). Done right SiFive, which was awarded Startup of the Year at the 2016 Creativity in Electronics (ACE) Awards, believes that RISC-V will do for the hardware industry what Linux has done for software.

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Design NewsDec 7, 2016

UBM Announces 2016 ACE Award Winners

The best and brightest were on display last night as UBM announced the 2016 Annual Creativity in Electronics (ACE) Awards winners during a ceremony held in conjunction with ESC Silicon Valley and BIOMEDevice San Jose. The awards, presented in partnership with EETimes and EDN, showcase the best in today’s electronics industry, including the hottest new products, start-ups, design teams, executives, and more.

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All About CircuitsDec 6, 2016

Open Source RISC-V Architecture Makes Strides Towards Customizable SoCs

The RISC-V footprint is expanding with the commercial availability of open-source chips and related development boards from silicon startups like SiFive and OnChip.

The open-source hardware movement's journey from academia to the commercial realm is finally gaining some momentum. This is in large part thanks to free RISC-V instruction set architecture (ISA), which was developed at the University of California, Berkeley a few years ago.

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CadenceDec 5, 2016

RISC-V Available in Silicon

One of the announcements at the recent RISC-V workshop was by SiFive. This is the company started by the creators of the RISC-V instruction set architecture (Krste, Andrew, and Yunsup) to commercialize silicon implementations.

Four months ago, at the previous RISC-V workshop, they announced FPGA implementations of the two flavors, Freedom Everywhere (16-bit microcontroller) and Freedom Unleashed (64-bit multi-core, high performance). They also announced that silicon would be coming "soon."

Well, it is now "soon."

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Electronic DesignDec 4, 2016

Will RISC-V Rescue the Internet of Things?

In a nutshell, RISC-V is an instruction set architecture (ISA) that scales from 16-bit to 128-bit register platforms. The E310 is targets the Cortex-M0 space, but it can run at 320 MHz while sipping power—making it an interesting solution for the Internet of Things (IoT). The chip is available on the HiFive1 board ... that has an Arduino form factor.

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EE TimesNov 28, 2016

Open Source SoC Debuts

Startup SiFive started selling today a $59 Arduino board running its first RISC-V-based SoC and made open source RTL code available online for the chip. The news marks a milestone for a still nascent open source hardware movement.

Open source cores have been available previously but they tended to be academic efforts or lacked broad commercial support. The HiFive board is intended to drive demand for custom SoCs SiFive will design and comes with a growing pool of open source Linux variants and tools fed by an expanding foundation that maintains the RISC-V instruction set.

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HackadayNov 28, 2016

HiFive1: RISC-V In An Arduino Form Factor

The RISC-V ISA has seen an uptick in popularity as of late — almost as if there’s a conference going on right now — thanks to the fact that this instruction set is big-O Open. This openness allows anyone to build their own software and hardware. Of course, getting your hands on a RISC-V chip has until now, been a bit difficult. You could always go over to opencores, grab some VHDL, and run a RISC-V chip on an FPGA. Last week, OnChip released the RISC-V Open-V in real, tangible silicon.

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VentureBeatNov 28, 2016

SiFive Launches Open Source RISC-V Custom Chip

SiFive wants to democratize the custom chip business, and so today it is launching the industry’s first open-source RISC-V system-on-chip processor. The Freedom Everywhere 310 SoC and HiFive1 development board will enable a wide variety of system architects, embedded designers, and Internet of Things providers — people who normally have to rely on chip engineers for the detailed engineering work — to create their own products.

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PR NewswireNov 15, 2016

Microsemi is First FPGA Provider to Offer Open Architecture RISC‑V IP Core and Comprehensive Software Solution for Embedded Designs

Microsemi's new RV32IM RISC-V core, developed in collaboration with SiFive, enables customers to design with an open instruction set architecture (ISA), enabling complete portability and a more secure processor architecture governed by a permissive BSD license. RISC-V is a new ISA which is now a standard open architecture under the governance of the RISC-V Foundation. RISC-V offers a compelling soft processor solution for Microsemi's low power, reliable, secure FPGAs.

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SemiWikiOct 2, 2016

SiFive execs share ideas on their RISC-V strategy

Since its formation just last year, SiFive has been riding the RISC-V rocket from purely academic interest to first commercialization. In an exclusive discussion, I talked with CEO Stefan Dyckerhoff and VP of Product and Business Development Jack Kang about their progress so far and what may be coming next.

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New ElectronicsSep 26, 2016

Back to the future for RISC

In their 2014 technical report for the University of California at Berkeley, Krste Asanovic and Professor David Patterson – who developed the concepts behind the SPARC architecture in the 1980s – argued that, while there are good commercial reasons for processor makers to maintain proprietary instruction sets, there is no good technical reason for users to adopt them. Their proposal was for an instruction set architecture (ISA) offered on a similar basis to open source software that could stimulate an ecosystem similar to that built around Linux.

As their proposal represented the fifth generation of RISC processor design, it was called RISC-V.

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Linux Pro MagazineSep 20, 2016

Creating the free-licensed semiconductor market

As many would-be open hardware manufacturers have discovered, free-licensed computer chips are nearly non-existent. However, SiFive, a recently announced startup in San Francisco, is hoping to change that with its custom chip designs. SiFive has its origins in the RISC-V instruction set architecture (ISA) developed in the Computer Science Division of the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department at the University of California, Berkeley.

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EE TimesSep 18, 2016

EE Times Silicon 60: 2016’s Emerging Companies to Watch

It has been a year since EE Times produced a version16.1 of the Silicon 60. Over that time while the global economic situation can — at best — be said to have stabilized the semiconductor and electronics industries are on the edge of "great expectations.” There seems no doubt that the Internet of Things will have a revolutionary impact on how people can live their lives, but exactly how that will manifest itself in terms of components, software, platforms, legal and business models, is not yet clear nor is the next big thing.

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XilinxSep 7, 2016

Itching to Play With the Open-Source RISC-V Processor? Here Are Three Xilinx-Based Kits to Start With

RISC-V (pronounced “risk five”) is an open, 32/64-bit RISC microprocessor architecture first developed at the Computer Science Division of the EECS Department at the U. of California, Berkeley. Now it’s managed by the RISC-V Foundation. If you are an aficionado of processor architectures and you’re looking to get your feet wet with the RISC-V architecture, SiFive has released three Freedom FPGA Platforms based on Xilinx All Programmable devices that allow you to start working with the RISC-V ISA immediately.

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CadenceSep 6, 2016

SiFive: A RISC-V Fabless Semiconductor Company

A couple of weeks ago I talked to Krste Asanović and Jack Kang of SiFive. One of their motivations is to bring the cost reduction that goes along with open-source software (and instruction sets!) to the hardware world. There is an increasing move in this direction as companies like Facebook, IBM, and Google put parts of their server infrastructure into the public domain. This is especially important in semiconductors since Moore's law has run into a wall, at least economically, even though we have a couple more process generations coming at us.

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CadenceSep 1, 2016

RISC-V Gathering Momentum

A week or so ago I talked to Krste Asanović, who is the UC Berkeley professor who led the project to define RISC-V, chairman of the RISC-V foundation, and in July co-founded a fabless semiconductor company, SiFive, to produce silicon implementations (and IP). I'll talk about SiFive in Breakfast Bytes one day next week. RISC-V has taken off strongly in academic circles due to its unrestricted availability compared to other instruction sets, which are often not really ideal for academic work, and/or come with legal encumbrance.

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Pinestream Consulting GroupAug 15, 2016

SiFive – Freedom Family of RISC-V ISA-Based SoC Platforms

SiFive recently unveiled its flagship Freedom family of SoC platforms. Built around the RISC-V ISA invented by the company’s founders at the University of California, Berkeley, the Freedom U500 and Freedom E300 platforms represent a new approach to designing and producing SoCs that redefines traditional silicon business models and reverses prohibitively rising licensing, design and implementation costs.

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EE JournalAug 10, 2016

Custom Silicon for Makers

Makers are the epitome of what big chip vendors used to consider a waste of time for their valuable salesfolk. “Fred in the shed,” as they said. No volume, no ROI. “Stick with Tier 1s.”

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CIOAug 2, 2016

Why the Time Is Right for Open Source to Meet Hardware

SiFive is a San Francisco-based fabless chip manufacturing startup that is developing the first fully open source chips. The company, which launched earlier this month, announced two chips of their flagship platform: Freedom U500 and Freedom E300, each targeting different audience.

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Electronics LabAug 2, 2016

An Open-Source SoCs with RISC-V From SiFive

SiFive, a startup from San Francisco, is trying to democratize the access to the world of SoC designing and manufacturing by giving the ability of customizing silicon to the smallest company, inventor, or maker, and taking “the hard parts of building chips working with 3rd part IP, EDA tools and foundries. SiFive is a fabless semiconductor company building customizable SoCs. SiFive takes benefits from using RISC-V in their SoC design. Some of inventors of the open source ISA RISC-V are behind SiFive.

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IOT-DEV.netJul 25, 2016

SiFive More News

As many of you may already know, SiFive is the first company that will make open source ISA Risc-V SoCs. What will be open and what not ? This was main question that people ask. In this video they answered that they will open as much as they can.PCI-E 3 controllers and some other 3-d party stuff will remain closed. They said time to develop some controllers and other 3d party tools and all to be open sourced will take ~ another 2 years of work.

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Electronics ProductsJul 21, 2016

SiFive Introduces E300 & U500 Open-Source Chip Platforms

SiFive has introduced the Freedom family of open-source SoC-platform intellectual property based on the RISC-V instruction set architecture. The company offers the Freedom U500 and Freedom E300 processing platforms that are a new approach to designing and producing SoCs in that they are based on open-source and extensible architecture with no licensing fees.

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ModernLife NetworkJul 18, 2016

SiFive, STEM and Apple Reality TV

SiFive, a new Silicon Valley startup, is teaming up with RISC-V Foundation and the infrastructure set to develop open source chip products. Two chips are in development – Freedom Unleashed (designed for machine learning, storage and networking) and Freedom Everywhere (designed for low-power devices in the “Internet of Things” market). SiFive is trying to drive down the cost of chip manufacturing, open the industry up to designers and engineers, and squeeze into an industry that has several barriers of entry.

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Elektor MagazineJul 18, 2016

California Dreaming: DIY, Open-Source SoCs With RISC-V

With its customizable, open-source SoCs built on the free and open RISC-V instruction set architecture, SiFive, a San Francisco start-up, is poised to reverse the industry’s rising licensing, design and implementation costs. System designers can use the SiFive Freedom platforms to focus on their own differentiated processor without having the overhead of developing a modern SoC, fabric or software infrastructure.

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AnandTechJul 17, 2016

SiFive Unveils Freedom Platforms for RISC-V-Based Semi-Custom Chips

SiFive, a company established by researchers who invented the RISC-V instruction set architecture in the University of California Berkeley several years ago, has this week announced two platforms which could be used to design semi-custom SoCs based on RISC-V cores.

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HPCwireJul 12, 2016

RISC-V Startup Aims to Democratize Silicon

Momentum for open source hardware made a significant step this week with the launch of startup SiFive and its open source chip platforms based on the RISC-V instruction set architecture. The founders of the fabless semiconductor company — Krste Asanovic, Andrew Waterman, and Yunsup Lee — invented the free and open RISC-V ISA at the University of California, Berkeley, six years ago.

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Linux InsiderJul 12, 2016

SiFive Launches Freedom FOSS SoC Platforms

SiFive on Monday announced its flagship Freedom family of system on a chip platforms. The platforms are based on the free and open source RISC-V instruction set architecture that several of the company's founders created at the University of California at Berkeley. SiFive's Freedom U500 and E300 platforms take a new approach to SoCs, redefining traditional silicon business models and reversing the industry's increasingly high licensing, design and implementation costs.

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CNXSoftJul 11, 2016

SiFive Introduces Freedom U500 and E500 Open Source RISC-V SoCs

SiFive, a startup founded by the creators of the free and open RISC-V architecture, has announced two open source SoCs with Freedom U500 processor and Freedom E300 micro-controller. Three real-time operating systems, including FreeRTOS, have already been ported to Freedom E300 for embedded micro-controllers, IoT, and wearable markets.

CNXSoft

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Electronics WeeklyJul 11, 2016

SiFive brings open-source SoCs

It has developed customizable, open-source SoCs built on the free and open RISC-V instruction set architecture. “The semiconductor industry is at an important crossroads. Moore’s Law has ended, and the traditional economic model of chip building no longer works,” said Yunsup Lee, co-founder of SiFive and one of the original creators of RISC-V at UC Berkeley.

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HackerBoardsJul 11, 2016

First SoCs Based on Open Source RISC-V Run Linux

SiFive unveiled the first embedded SoCs based on the open source RISC-V platform: A Linux-ready octa-core Freedom U500 and a FreeRTOS-based Freedom E300. A VC-backed startup closely associated with the RISC-V project announced the first system-on-chip implementations of the open source RISC-V processor platform.

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IOT-DEV.netJul 11, 2016

SiFive Comes with World First U500 and U300 Open Source RISC-V SoCs

SiFive will publish specifications for an SoC based high-performance Unix-capable cache-coherent 64-bit multiprocessor U500 and one using a microcontroller core E300 both based on work of the RISC-V Foundation. The U500 platform is the first member of SiFive's Freedom Unleashed family of customizable RISC-VSoCs. Freedom Un-leashed family reduces NRE and time-to-market for customized SoCs in diverse markets such as machine learning, storage and networking.

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Journal Dunet (French Publication)Jul 11, 2016

L'Américain SiFive se lance dans la conception de puces open source

Un groupe de chercheurs de l'Université de Californie lançait en avril dernier une fondation visant à porter un projet d'architecture de processeur open source (le projet RISC-V). Ces chercheurs passent maintenant à la vitesse supérieure : ils lancent une entreprise, baptisée SiFive, visant à commercialiser leur technologie. SiFive doit développer des puces reposant sur l'architecture open source RISC-V.

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Linux MagazineJul 11, 2016

SiFive Launches a Line of Open Source Chips

A San Francisco-based company known as SiFive is trying to bring the open source development model to the chip industry. The company has announced its first Freedom family of system-on-a-chip (SoC) products, including the Freedom U500 and Freedom E300 platforms. SiFive is a fabless semiconductor company, similar to AMD. The company doesn’t fabricate the chip but outsources it to manufacturers.

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Product Design and DevelopmentJul 11, 2016

Startup Releases Open Source System-on-Chip

Fabless semiconductor company SiFive has announced a new system on a chip platform that takes the SoC platform into the realm of open-source. The RISC-V instruction set architecture was originally developed by SiFive’s founders at the University of California, Berkeley, and has now been packaged into the Freedom U500 and Freedom E300 platforms.

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RambusJul 11, 2016

SiFive Eyes Silicon Reset With RISC-V

A San Francisco-based startup known as SiFive has announced plans to develop and sell chips based on open-source RISC-V architecture. According to Don Clark of the Wall Street Journal, the tech includes a set of instructions that define the functions of a microprocessor, which can serve as a starting point for designing a chip.

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Wall Street JournalJul 10, 2016

Backers of Open Source Chips Launch Startup

A group of university researchers recently attracted attention by applying principles of open-source software to computer chips. Now they’re turning the concept into a company. A San Francisco-based startup called SiFive on Monday is announcing plans to develop and sell chips based on a technology called RISC-V. The tech includes a set of instructions that define the functions of a microprocessor, which can serve as a starting point for designing a chip.

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ForbesJul 10, 2016

This New Chip Startup Wants To Bring Open Source To A Stagnant Industry

Open source has taken off in the software world. RISC-V maybe has the opportunity to bring open source to the rigid chip industry. Born out of university research, RISC-V is a chip architecture that lets developers freely change and customize chip designs without having to pay for expensive licenses or royalty fees.

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SemiWikiJul 10, 2016

RISC-V opens for business with SiFive Freedom

When we talk about open source, free usually comes in the context of “freedom”, not as in “free beer”, and open IP often serves as a base layer of value add for commercialization. The creators of the RISC-V instruction set, now working at startup SiFive, have released specifications for their aptly-named Freedom processor IP cores looking for "enablement of great ideas".

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eWEEKJul 10, 2016

Startup SiFive Aims for Open-Source Chips

The open-source RISC-V chip architecture was created to help developers more easily and cheaply customize processors that run their devices, and last year an industry consortium was formed around the technology. Now the inventors of RISC-V want to see if they can build a business based on the architecture.

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EE TimesJul 10, 2016

Startup Debuts Open Source SoCs

A startup aims to help a broader set of engineers roll their own silicon using its customizable open-source systems-on-chips. SiFive will publish specifications for an SoC based on an embedded Linux processor core and one using a microcontroller core both based on work of the RISC-V Foundation.

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SemiAccurateJul 10, 2016

SiFive Opens Up Silicon Access With Freedom E300 and U500

SiFive is unveiling two open source RISC-V based platforms today called the Freedom U500 and E300 Series. SemiAccurate thinks what SiFive is doing has a good chance of changing how the silicon market works.

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The Next PlatformJul 10, 2016

Startup Takes a Risk on RISC-V Custom Silicon

As we are carefully watching here, there is a perfect storm brewing in the semiconductor space, both for manufacturers and system designers.

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SemiEngineeringJun 29, 2016

Will Open-Source Work For Chips?

Open source is getting a second look by the semiconductor industry, driven by the high cost of design at complex nodes along with fragmentation in end markets, which increasingly means that one size or approach no longer fits all.

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Cadence BlogsJun 16, 2016

RISC-V—Instruction Sets Want to Be Free

I had never heard of RISC-V (pronounced five, not vee) until earlier this year when there was a presentation about it at EDPS in Monterey. I immediately texted the daughter of a friend of mine who is a CS major at Berkeley where it originated and she gave me a bit more background.

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SemiEngineeringJun 6, 2016

Alternative To X86, Arm Architectures?

Software developed by professors and graduate students from the University of California at Berkeley? That will never fly in the semiconductor industry, right?

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Next PlatformMay 15, 2016

Can Open Source Hardware Crack Semiconductor Industry Economics?

The running joke is that when a headline begs a question, the answer is, quite simply, “No.” However, when the question is multi-layered, wrought with dependencies that stretch across an entire supply chain, user bases, and device range, and across companies in the throes of their own economic and production uncertainties, a much more nuanced answer is required.

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Linley GroupMar 31, 2016

RISC-V Offers Simple, Modular ISA

RISC-V is a new general-purpose instruction-set archi-tecture (ISA) that’s BSD licensed, extensible, and royalty free. It’s clean and modular with a 32-, 64-, or 128-bit inte-ger base and various optional extensions (e.g., floating point). RISC-V is easier to implement than some alterna-tives—minimal RISC-V cores are roughly half the size of equivalent ARM cores—and the ISA has already gathered some support from the semiconductor industry.

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Next PlatformMar 7, 2016

RISC-V Inching Closer to Reality at Scale

Back in the early 1990s, the common view was that there was little money to be made in the business of open source. As the wave of Linux distributions rolled forth, however, that was quickly disproven, setting the decades-long chain of companies that have secured their footing, funding, and futures on the back of open software.

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Global Semiconductor AllianceMar 2, 2016

Charting a New Course for Semiconductors

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EE TimesJan 6, 2016

Free Core, Some Assembly Required

REDWOOD SHORES, Calif. – It’s early days for RISC-V -- an open specification seen as a Linux of microprocessors. On its long to-do list, engineers still need...

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EE TimesAug 6, 2014

RISC-V: An Open Standard for SoCs

Just as Linux has become the standard OS for most computing devices, Berkeley researchers envision RISC-V becoming the standard ISA for all computing...

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