Early access programme for RISC-V enabled low-power SoC FPGA family

12-12-2019 | Microchip Technology | Semiconductors

The trend towards compute-intensive gateways and edge devices is pushing the integration of traditional deterministic control applications with further embedded processing abilities demanded for smart and secure connected systems. In response, Microchip is opening the Early Access Programme for the PolarFire SoC FPGA. The platform provides the world’s first hardened real-time, Linux-capable, RISC-V-based microprocessor subsystem on the mid-range PolarFire FPGA family, delivering class-leading low power consumption, thermal efficiency and defence grade security to embedded systems.


Qualified EAP customers can begin creating now with Microchip’s Libero SoC 12.3 FPGA design suite and SoftConsole 6.2 IDE for the embedded developer. Customers can also debug their embedded applications now utilising Renode, a virtual model of the microprocessor subsystem.


“Delivering the industry’s first RISC-V-based SoC FPGA along with our Mi-V ecosystem, Microchip and its Mi-V partners are driving innovation in the embedded space, giving designers the ability to develop a whole new class of power-efficient applications,” said Bruce Weyer, vice president of the Field Programmable Gate Array business unit at Microchip. “This in turn will allow our clients to add unprecedented capabilities at the edge of the network for communications, defence, medical and industrial automation.”


PolarFire SoC provides power efficiency that is claimed to be up to 50% lower power than competitive devices in the industry. This gives many customer benefits incorporating decreased bill of materials by eradicating the requirement for fans and heat sinks. It is the first SoC FPGA with a deterministic, coherent RISC-V CPU cluster and a deterministic L2 memory subsystem facilitating Linux plus real-time applications.


“For developers endeavouring to incorporate technologies like AI while also meeting the challenges of building real-time systems whose behaviours can be predicted, VxWorks support for PolarFire SoC is critical for advancing the industry,” said Michel Genard, vice president of Product Management at Wind River. “Given the deterministic, safety-critical nature of PolarFire target applications and support for RISC-V, we anticipate Microchip’s new SoC FPGA will generate a great deal of interest amongst our vast customer base.”


“Low power is a key design consideration for the vast majority of Nucleus RTOS users, making PolarFire SoC an obvious embedded computing platform for Mentor to support,” said Scot Morrison, general manager, Embedded Platform Solutions business unit, Mentor, a Siemens business. “By porting Nucleus to PolarFire SoC, we are helping enable developers to take Nucleus into a broader set of deterministic applications that require scalability and exceptional reliability.”

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