First generation of 32-bit RISC-V CPU core ahead of competition

05-12-2023 | Renesas | Semiconductors

Renesas Electronics Corporation has designed and tested a 32-bit CPU core based on the open-standard RISC-V ISA. The company is among the first in the industry to produce a CPU core independently for the 32-bit general-purpose RISC-V market, delivering an open and flexible platform for IoT, consumer electronics, healthcare, and industrial systems. The new RISC-V CPU core will complement its IP portfolio of 32-bit MCUs, including the proprietary RX Family and the RA Family based on the Arm Cortex-M architecture.

RISC-V is an open ISA quickly gaining popularity in the semiconductor industry due to its flexibility, scalability, power efficiency, and open ecosystem. While many MCU providers have recently created joint investment alliances to speed up the development of RISC-V products, the company has already developed a new RISC-V core. This versatile CPU can be a main application controller, a complementary secondary core in SoCs, on-chip subsystems, or deeply embedded ASSPs. This positions it as a leader in the emerging RISC-V market, following earlier introductions of its 32-bit voice-control and motor-control ASSP devices and the RZ/Five 64-bit general-purpose MPUs, which were built on CPU cores developed by Andes Technology Corp.

“Renesas takes pride in offering embedded processing solutions for the broadest range of customers and applications,” said Daryl Khoo, vice president of the IoT Platform Division at Renesas. “This new core extends our leadership in the RISC-V market and uniquely positions us to deliver more solutions that accommodate a diverse range of requirements.”

“We congratulate Renesas on achieving its recent milestone in 32-bit RISC-V MCU architecture development,” said Calista Redmond, CEO at RISC-V International. “This achievement exemplifies how RISC-V ecosystem partners, such as Renesas, are rapidly advancing RISC-V innovation. Our RISC-V community now spans 70 countries with more than 4,000 members, and we eagerly anticipate further innovations emerging from this dynamic, expanding market.”

The RISC-V CPU accomplishes an impressive 3.27 CoreMark/MHz performance, outperforming similar architectures on the market. It includes extensions to enhance performance while decreasing code size.

By Seb Springall