SiFive enhances X280 processor IP

1 min read

SiFive Inc., the founder and leader of RISC-V computing, has released the latest version of its SiFive Intelligence X280 processor.

Significant new features include scalability up to a 16-core cache-coherent complex, WorldGuard trusted protection, and a new interface allowing for integration between the X280 vector unit and customer-designed external AI accelerators or other coprocessors, called VCIX (Vector Coprocessor Interface eXtension).

Collectively, these enhanced features deliver a combination of improved scalability, security, and interoperability to the SiFive X280, the most widely adopted implementation of the RISC-V Vector extension. According to SiFive, this latest version of the X280 is a powerful solution for those looking for alternatives to legacy SIMD-style architectures.

Publicly available since April 2021, the SiFive Intelligence X280 has been adopted by customers looking to use its combination of performance, power efficiency, and an intuitive programming model.

The X280 is said to have seen a number of design wins in the past six months, in a wide variety of data-driven applications, including AI inference, image processing, datacentre acceleration, and automotive use cases.

“The market feedback has been incredible. The product maps extremely well to the needs of the modern workload and vector processing and was introduced at the exact right moment to accelerate RISC-V’s already considerable momentum,” said Chris Jones, VP Product at SiFive. “The X280 enhancements are a direct result of listening and collaborating with customers and are already designed into multiple sockets around the world. Additionally, the software ecosystem around the RISC-V vector extension is growing exponentially which ensures broad support for customers and is driving the inevitable, wide industry adoption of RISC-V.”

The X280 SiFive Intelligence X280 is a multi-core and multi-cluster capable RISC-V processor with full support of the RISC-V vector extension standard and SiFive Intelligence Extensions and is optimised for AI/ML compute at the edge.

The X280 is intended for applications requiring high-throughput, single-thread performance while under power constraints (e.g., AR, VR, sensor hubs, IVI systems, IP cameras, digital cameras, and gaming devices). Several unique and important new SiFive features include:

Multi-cluster: SiFive has built upon our industry-first multi-cluster RISC-V solution in the X280, which offers up to 4 clusters of 4-core complexes and scaling to multi-TOP performance.

VCIX (Vector Coprocessor Interface eXtension): The vector coprocessor accelerator interface allows for seamless integration with customer AI architectures including a wide and growing number of 3rd party accelerators.

WorldGuard Ready: SiFive’s implementation of the open standard WorldGuard security solution brings a trusted execution environment to high core count platforms to protect your AI/ML algorithm against malicious attacks and offers an alternative to legacy security solutions.