Andes Technology launches secure entry-level RISC-V processor

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Andes Technology has announced details of the AndesCore D23, a 3-stage 32-bit RISC-V CPU core, to target embedded processing and IoT applications that require low power and high efficiency in a small footprint.

“The D23 is a new member of the Entry Series AndesCore with a small gate count and high performance-efficiency. In addition to RISC-V RV32GC extension including single/double precision FPU, it supports the recently ratified extensions such as bit manipulation (B) extension, scalar cryptography (K) extension, cache management operation (CMO) extension, code size reduction extension and the draft of packed SIMD/DSP extension,” said the company’s President and CTO, Dr. Charlie Su.

According to Su, the packed SIMD extension together with Andes NN SDK, which includes TensorFlow Lite and Andes AI optimiser, help customers to provide AI acceleration in a small package.

“It also deploys Core-Local Interrupt Controller (CLIC) which can service more than 1000 interrupts for fast interrupt response, interrupt prioritisation and pre-emption, and Andes V5 extensions that includes StackSafe for hardware stack protection, CoDense for code size compression on top of the C extension, and PowerBrake for power management,” added Su. “Other advanced functions like instruction and data caches, memory soft error protection and Andes Custom Extension will be available too.”

In addition, the D23 has been designed with a number of security features, such as enhanced and supervisor-mode Physical Memory Protection (ePMP/sPMP) to improve CPU core’s security level. The new scalar cryptography extension (K) provides instructions to accelerate AES encryption/decryption for network and data encryption and SHA256/512 instructions for digital signatures and certificates.

The D23 also supports AndeSentry, which is a security framework that enables open collaboration with the company’s security partners to provide solutions such as secure boot/debug and TEE.

According to Andes, the D23 is also suitable for the new Matter IoT standard because of its strong security features.

The D23 gives designers the ability and flexibility to meet the demands for DSP processing, security, power, area and performance and can be used in many applications such as smart home appliances, wearables, AIoT devices and special purpose MCUs.

The D23 with most of these features will be available for early customer evaluation at Q1 2023, and its full features for general customer evaluation at Q3.