ProductsSiFive Core IPSiFive Core DesignerSoftwareBoardsSoC IPCustom SiliconDocumentationCustomer Support
September 19, 2019
Intensivate Engages SiFive’s RISC-V Expertise to Develop Leading Accelerator
Proven Expertise In Developing Custom Silicon Drives Datacenter Innovation
SAN MATEO, Calif. – September 19th, 2019 – SiFive, Inc., the leading provider of commercial RISC-V processor IP and silicon solutions, announced today that Intensivate, an innovative new provider of acceleration for clustered computing within datacenters and edge deployments, has begun its production ramp after successfully implementing SiFive Tilelink and cache technologies to provide a chip-scale coherent fabric as part of the new, high-performance Intensivate PCIe Card.
Intensivate’s accelerator card provides 12x more compute per dollar on platforms such as Hadoop, Kafka, Spark, NoSQL databases and other custom applications running on clusters. These performance increases will enable rapid, agile decision making while improving datacenter efficiency and lowering TCO.
“The era of the general-purpose processor for all workloads is fading,” said Peter Rutten, IDC's research director for its Infrastructure Systems, Platforms and Technologies Group. “Instead new processors and co-processors – or accelerators – have started to take over specific compute tasks for greater performance and efficiency. Our research shows that the worldwide accelerated server market, for example, will rapidly grow to $25.6B by 2022. If successful, the technology that Intensivate is developing could address a large class of applications that are currently not well served by existing accelerators, expanding the opportunities for server consolidation.”
Intensivate Cluster Compute Accelerator
The Intensivate accelerator card is designed to focus on compute performance improvements for the business operations software key to modern business. AI accelerators, GPUs, FPGAs, and Custom ASICs are focused on deep learning or narrow function accelerations. Intensivate is going outside this class of acceleration by addressing applications that run on clusters and imposing no specialized software requirements typically seen with accelerator technologies. Leveraging the robust RISC-V ISA tools, software, and industry ecosystem, Intensivate, in partnership with SiFive, has created a high performance, high-efficiency chip that consumes only 14W.
A high-speed 120Gbps chip-to-chip mesh network allows the twenty-one chips on the accelerator to support network-intensive scale-out applications. Each chip is combined with 32GB of quad-channel LP-DDR4 to feed data into the 16 Intensivate designed cores inside. Each combination of chip and memory is equivalent to a 1U server node, providing twenty-one server nodes on a single PCIe card.
The high-speed, compute-dense accelerator card offers superb ROI savings, with a 1000-Node Hadoop cluster able to be matched in performance by just 84-Nodes when equipped with Intensivate accelerator cards, delivering over $1M in CapEx and Power savings over a 3-year period.
Enabling New Solutions
“Enabling innovative new solutions to augment the performance capabilities of today’s datacenters is central to SiFive’s mission,” said Naveed Sherwani, president and CEO of SiFive. “SiFive is proud to support the rapid introduction of high-performance RISC-V based accelerators developed by Intensivate to reduce analysis cycle time while increasing ROI for Scale Out Accelerator equipped datacenters.”
“Our product development strategy is aimed at bringing a product up relatively quickly and cost effectively while tapping into the fast-growing ecosystem of RISC-V,” said Sam Sirisena, chief strategy officer and co-founder of Intensivate. “We intend to build our alliances using the RISC-V ecosystem while contributing towards it. This is a winning situation for everyone involved: our end users, channel partners and the open source community at large.”
First Silicon is scheduled for early 4Q20. PCIe accelerator cards for first customer shipment is early 2021.
SiFive is the leading provider of market-ready processor core IP, development tools and silicon solutions based on the free and open RISC-V instruction set architecture. Led by a team of seasoned silicon executives and the RISC-V inventors, SiFive helps SoC designers reduce time-to-market and realize cost savings with customized, open-architecture processor cores, and democratizes access to optimized silicon by enabling system designers in all market verticals to build customized RISC-V based semiconductors. With 15 offices worldwide, SiFive has backing from Sutter Hill Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures, Spark Capital, Osage University Partners, Chengwei, Huami, SK Hynix, Intel Capital, and Western Digital. For more information, www.sifive.com.
Intensivate is a developer of high performance, low power server acceleration products for applications running on clusters. Intensivate’s accelerator card provides a 12x boost in computational power with no added data center costs and no required software changes for the user. For more information please visit www.intensivate.com.
SHIFT Communications for SiFive
VP Business Development
Research Director, Infrastructure Systems, Platforms, and Technologies Group