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Achronix and Bluespec Launch Linux-Ready RISC-V Processors for Speedster7t FPGAs

Mar 26, 2024 — by Giorgio Mendoza 196 views

Achronix Semiconductor Corporation, in partnership with Bluespec, Inc., has unveiled a new line of Linux-compatible RISC-V soft processors tailored for the Achronix Speedster7t FPGA series. This integration uniquely combines Bluespec’s RISC-V processors with Achronix’s 2D Network-on-Chip (NoC) architecture, enhancing FPGA design scalability and integration capabilities.

Built on TSMC’s 7nm FinFET process, the Speedster7t FPGAs are optimized for high-bandwidth applications, integrating an advanced 2D NoC, machine learning processors for AI/ML workloads, and offering high-speed interfaces like GDDR6, 400G Ethernet, and PCIe Gen5. These elements come together to provide ASIC-level performance while maintaining FPGA flexibility.

These new RISC-V soft processors present diverse architectural options, RV32I or RV64I, and an up to five-stage CPU pipeline, operating at peak frequencies of 225 MHz, achieving 1.72 CoreMarks/MHz They support a range of instruction extensions, such as multiplication, atomic operations, compressed instructions, and both single and double-precision floating-point calculations.


Speedster7t FPGA System Architecture Diagram
(click image to enlarge)

Notable for their versatility, the processors can be customized with various accelerators, supporting user, supervisor, and machine privilege levels. They are compatible with the full RISC-V stack, including BareMetal, RTOS, and Linux. Key connectivity features include DDR, UART, optional debug ports, and GPIO, along with versatile peripheral extensions and a robust interrupt controller system comprising both PLIC and CLINT.

Technology Specifications Table
(click image to enlarge)

The processors, as part of Achronix’s high-speed FPGA-based development environment, are scalable and come with complete source code, offering customization through user-defined coprocessors and Bluespec-supported software-managed accelerators. These processors leverage Achronix technology like the 2D NoC and VectorPath Accelerator Card to facilitate rapid development.

Achronix Speedster7t FPGA
(click image to enlarge)

Charlie Hauck, CEO of Bluespec, highlights the enhancement of Achronix Speedster7t FPGAs with these RISC-V soft cores, noting their ability to function as powerful programmable SoCs, thanks to the 2D NoC’s bandwidth capabilities of up to 20 Tbps.

Further Information

The product announcement didn’t disclose pricing information. For further details, refer to the product page.

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