SiFive Announces RISC-V Products for GenAI and ML

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Santa Clara, Calif., Oct. 11, 2023 –- RISC-V computing company SiFive, Inc. today announced two products designed to address new requirements for high performance

The SiFive Performance P870 and SiFive Intelligence X390 offer a new level of low power, compute density, and vector compute capability, and when combined provide the necessary performance boost for increasingly data intensive compute. Together, the new products create a powerful mix of scalar and vector computing to meet the needs of today’s dataflow and computation intensive AI applications across consumer, automotive, and infrastructure markets.

The announcement took place at an in-person press and analyst event in Santa Clara today, where the company also provided an update on several of its product lines currently shipping in silicon to customers around the world. Company executives offered insight into SiFive’s product roadmap and discussed how the overall RISC-V ecosystem continues to expand rapidly as new applications call for the benefits of RISC-V-based high-performance compute solutions.

“SiFive is leading the industry into a new era of high-performance RISC-V innovation, and closing the gap with other instruction set architectures with our unparalleled portfolio, while recent silicon tape-outs are demonstrating the tremendous benefits of SiFive RISC-V solutions,” said Patrick Little, SiFive Chairman, President and CEO. “As the Arm IPO showed, there is a fast-growing demand for semiconductors across many sectors, particularly processors for consumer and infrastructure markets. The flexibility of SiFive’s RISC-V solutions allows companies to address the unique computing requirements of these segments and capitalize on the momentum around generative AI, where we have seen double-digit design wins, and for other cutting-edge applications.

Ideal for high performance consumer applications, or used in conjunction with a vector processor in the datacenter, the P870 core sets an impressive new RISC-V performance bar across instruction set architecture availability, throughput, parallelism, and memory bandwidth. Bringing a 50 percent peak single thread performance upgrade (specINT2k6) over the previous generation SiFive Performance processors, the P870 is a six-wide out-of-order core, that meets RVA 23 and offers a shared cluster cache enabling up to a 32-core cluster. High execution throughput comes with more instruction sets per cycle, more ALU, and more branch units. The P870 is fully compatible with Google’s platform requirements for Android on RISC-V. The P870 also offers additional proven SiFive features:
· x 128b VLEN RVV
· Vector crypto and hypervisor extensions
· Non-inclusive L3 cache
· Proven RISC-V WorldGuard security

Building on the highly popular SiFive Intelligence X280’s success in coupling AI/ML applications with hardware accelerators in mobile, infrastructure, and automotive applications, the new X390 brings a 4x improvement to vector computation with its single core configuration, doubled vector length, and dual vector ALUs. This allows quadruple the amount of sustained data bandwidth. With SiFive Vector Coprocessor Interface eXtension (VCIX) companies can easily add their own vector instructions and/or acceleration hardware, bringing unprecedented flexibility and allowing users to greatly increase performance with custom instructions. Features include:
· 1024-bit VLEN, 512-bit DLEN
· Single / Dual Vector ALU
· VCIX (2048-bit out, 1024-bit in)

Bringing the P870 high-performance general compute SoC together with a high performance NPU cluster, consisting of the X390 and customer AI hardware engines, offers product designers a highly flexible, low power, and programmable solution with superior compute density for complex workloads.

The company highlighted how interest in these combined SiFive solutions is high, with a number of customers achieving silicon success and in various stages of commercialization using high performance products.

SiFive continues to actively work across the ecosystem with partners who are ensuring the software, security, and flexibility benefits of the open standard ecosystem are in place for SiFive processors as companies move to commercialize their SiFive-powered products.