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The Rapid Rise of RISC‑V

Jack Kang, SVP, Business Development, Customer Experience, and Corporate Marketing at SiFive

SiFive is aiming high with bold new technology for performance-driven applications
SiFive transformed in 2021 and grew from leading RISC-V for embedded products into performance-demanding markets, creating real choice in the semiconductor processor IP market. Now, the SiFive portfolio features three distinct, market-focused product families, based on market requirements ranging from high-performance applications, machine learning and artificial intelligence processing, to embedded real-time deterministic and small application processors. Our RISC-V IP portfolio is designed around our focus to deliver processor IP for these demanding markets, combining the unlimited potential of RISC-V with the experience and talent of our team.

This rapid progress was made possible by our partners and customers who believe and invest in RISC-V and the freedom it represents for technology. RISC-V has no limits, and all of us at SiFive are thankful and grateful for all our partner’s support in creating new products for the untapped potential of new and fast growing markets. In 2021, we reached significant milestones for our company with over 300 design wins at more than 100 companies, including 8 of the top 10 semiconductor companies; and we launched our new SiFive Intelligence™, SiFive Performance™, and SiFive Essential™ product brands with class-leading products in each family.

A Breakout Year
In 2021 we launched several new products. Most recently, we expanded the SiFive Essential family with the introduction of the SiFive Essential 6-Series processors, designed for mid-range applications; we also introduced the SiFive Performance P650, our fastest RISC-V processor, which will be available to lead customers in Q1 2022. Earlier this year we launched the SiFive Intelligence X280 for AI/ML markets, featuring SiFive Intelligence Extensions that build upon the RISC-V Vector extension to provide a platform for AI & ML with enhanced data types and support for TensorFlow Lite. The SiFive Intelligence X280 is a great inference processor and may be combined with existing hardened AI IP to enhance programmability and scalability by offering scalar and vector capabilities. The SiFive Performance P550 and SiFive Performance P270 processors for performance driven markets were also introduced in 2021, with up to 8-core coherent clusters and multiple clusters in an SoC, with heterogeneous mix+match options to allow for the right mix of processing capabilities.

The RISC-V ecosystem has moved forward significantly in 2021 with important specifications ratified that unlock and enable hardware and software development in key markets. Working alongside the RISC-V community has been a pleasure for the many SiFive employees who contribute to the technical groups that develop RISC-V specifications as we all work together to build the technology and tools needed for virtualization, advanced interrupts, vector processing, and more.

Building IP based on these new specifications is a key goal for SiFive, enabling our customers to quickly adopt the ratified standards. In 2021, SiFive offered three releases using our relentless innovation methodology to deliver new features in a software-like manner across our portfolio. SiFive increased efficiency and performance across our RISC-V processors, and introduced new features for cluster scalability, security, advanced power monitoring and control, and virtualization.

Raising The Bar in 2022
In 2022, we’ll continue to deliver high performance processor IP that will enable the creation of new computing platforms. From the metaverse to autonomous vehicles, natural language processing, recommendation systems, client computing devices and more, there is massive demand for RISC-V. We’re making the most of this demand by continuing to deliver high-performance processor IP packed full of performance and accompanied by the features our customers and partners require. If you didn’t catch them already, you can see some great pointers on what we’re doing in these talks from the 2021 RISC-V Summit:

If you’d like to be part of the rapid rise of RISC-V, SiFive is looking for talented individuals in many areas. You’ll work alongside the inventors of RISC-V and leaders in the semiconductor industry as we design, develop, and deploy RISC-V technology for a variety of computing challenges. Please look at our careers page here for more information and take the next step to be part of the unlimited future of RISC-V!

Keep up with SiFive news and announcements on social media: FacebookInstagramLinkedInTwitter, and YouTube.

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