SiFive claims best-in-class performance for P650 processor

RISC-V designs for high performance applications in data centres, automotive, computing and mobile applications will benefit from the P650 RISC-V IP core, says SiFive.

The IP will be available to lead partners in Q1 2022. 

The introduction is in response to the industry’s call for more processor IP choices, says SiFive’s co-founder and CTO, Dr. Yunsup Lee. “The SiFive Performance P650 processor IP . . . . delivering significant performance improvements in record time. . . is the next step towards our long-term vision of bringing RISC-V processors to all performance-hungry applications,” he said. 

The SiFive Performance P650 processor builds upon the SiFive Performance P550 processor, therefore maintaining an efficient core pipeline while expanding the processor instruction-issue width to deliver a 40 per cent performance increase per clock cycle. Additional architecture enhancements improve maximum clock frequency, achieving an overall 50 per cent performance gain compared to SiFive’s previous fastest processor. 

With a projected score of 11+ SPECInt/GHz, the SiFive Performance P650 brings RISC-V into a new category of high-end computing applications, says SiFive. It is scalable to 16 cores using a coherent multi-core complex, and includes platform-level memory management and interrupt control units. It also supports the new RISC-V hypervisor extension for virtualisation. 

Steve Leibson, Principal Analyst at TIRIAS Research, commented: “The company’s announced plans for 16-core, coherent processor complexes based on this IP will deliver considerable computing performance and requires the commitment of significant development resources, which are simply out of reach for many other companies playing in the RISC-V processor IP arena.”

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

SiFive says it is transforming the future of compute by bringing the limitless potential of RISC-V to the highest performance and most data-intensive applications in the world. SiFive’s compute platforms have enabled leading technology companies around the world to innovate, optimise and deliver advanced solutions across every market segment of chip design, including artificial intelligence, machine learning, automotive, data center, mobile, and consumer.

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