Computing and communication are undergoing radical changes and advancements thanks to the deployment and increasing pervasiveness of technologies like 5G, machine learning and the Internet of Things. This new era of computing, while more robust and powerful, must meet organizational requirements for ever lower power, thermally constrained design environments, while addressing critical security and reliability requirements.
Traditional system-on-chip (SoC) field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), which blend reconfigurable hardware with Linux-capable processing on a single chip provide ideal devices for customization, yet consumer too much power, lack proven levels of reliability and security, or use inflexible and expensive processing architectures.
To help companies fully employ new computing technologies without sacrifice, Microchip Technology Inc. via its Microsemi Corporation subsidiary has announced an architecture for a new class of SoC FPGAs that combine the industry’s lowest power mid-range PolarFire FPGA family with a complete microprocessor subsystem based on the open, royalty-free RISC-V instruction set architecture.
The PolarFire SoC architecture features a flexible 2 MB L2 memory subsystem that can be configured as a cache, scratchpad or direct access memory. This allows designers to implement deterministic real-time embedded applications simultaneously with a rich operating system for a variety of thermal and space constrained applications in collaborative, networked IoT systems.
“The PolarFire SoC architecture is a compelling combination of low power, security and reliability in a configurable device that brings real-time to Linux,” says Bruce Weyer, vice president of the Programmable Solutions business unit at Microchip. “Coupled with our robust Mi-V RISC-V ecosystem and Microchip’s extensive portfolio of system solutions, the PolarFire SoC architecture gives customers an excellent platform to meet computing’s next great challenges.”
Adds SiFive CEO Naveed Sherwami, “As a fully customizable, programmable RISC-V platform, the PolarFire SoC architecture gives designers the freedom to create innovative Linux-based SoCs in novel and interesting ways tailored for their distinct, domain-specific requirements.By leveraging SiFive’s market-leading U54-MC CPU core complex, PolarFire SoC will enable designers to overcome the universal challenge of building real-time systems with predictable behaviors.”