Achronix FPGAs add support for Bluespec’s Linux-capable RISC-V soft processors

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Achronix Semiconductor, a developer of FPGAs and embedded FPGA (eFPGA) IP, and Bluespec, a supplier of RISC-V tools and silicon IP, have announced a family of Linux-capable RISC-V soft processors that are available for the Achronix Speedster 7t FPGA family.

In what is said to be an industry first, Bluespec’s RISC-V processors integrate into the Achronix 2D network-on-chip (NoC) architecture, helping to simplify integration and enabling engineers to add scalable processing to their Achronix FPGA designs more easily. Bluespec’s RISC-V soft-core family adds software programmability to the Speedster7t FPGA.

The 2D NoC in the Speedster7t FPGAs makes it possible to integrate one or more RISC-V cores into the FPGA fabric. The 2D NoC allows multiple instances of the RISC-V core to be added and easily relocated to different areas of the FPGA fabric while still maintaining performance.

Developers have the flexibility to run C/C++ applications on bare metal or operating systems on hardware subsystems, with one to eight 64-bit processors individually configured with floating point instructions, custom instructions, and hardware accelerators.

Each processor’s accelerator ports enable memory management and software-driven configuration and control for high-bandwidth workload accelerators, speeding up the development and deployment of Speedster7t FPGA designs. Since developers can use proven and familiar technologies - including RISC-V, Linux, RTOS, and software multi-threading - this capability further accelerates the design process by minimising the learning curve.

“The Achronix Speedster7t FPGAs deliver powerful innovations such as the 2D NoC, allowing high-speed data transport and connectivity up to 20 Tbps of bandwidth. With the addition of Bluespec’s acceleration-ready RISC-V soft cores, these FPGAs can now become full-fledged programmable SoCs,” said Charlie Hauck, CEO at Bluespec. “Our portfolio is designed to help developers speed up deployment time, and we look forward to seeing how our solutions help accelerate the adoption of RISC-V across different applications.”

According to Nick Ilyadis, Vice President of Product Planning at Achronix, “Bluespec’s Linux-capable RISC-V soft processors, paired with our high-performance and high-density FPGAs, help our customers differentiate their products and get to market faster.”