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Microchip looks to leverage RISC-V ISA

With the news that Arm is likely to be bought by Nvidia, there is undoubtedly going to be growing interest in the adoption of the free and open RISC-V Instruction Set Architecture (ISA).

With the need for an affordable, standardised development platform that embeds RISC-V technology and leverages its diverse ecosystem, Microchip has announced that it is now offering the first RISC-V based System on Chip (SoC) Field-Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) development kit for the PolarFire SoC FPGA.

Microchip’s Icicle Development Kit for PolarFire (SoC) FPGAs brings together numerous Mi-V partners to accelerate customer design deployment and commercial adoption across a number of industries.

Designers who want to deploy a programmable RISC-V-based SOC FPGA will be able to start development and evaluate the broad network of RISC-V ecosystem products such as Real-Time Operating Systems (RTOS), debuggers, compilers, System On Modules (SOMs) and security solutions. The Mi-V RISC-V Partner Ecosystem is continuing to expand, and Microchip and numerous third parties have developed a comprehensive suite of tools and design resources to fully support RISC-V designs.

“Microchip is enabling a transformation in processor design as the market embraces RISC-V software and silicon,” said Bruce Weyer, vice president of the Field-Programmable Gate Array business unit at Microchip. “We are removing barriers to entry through a low-cost evaluation platform that will give embedded engineers, software designers and hardware developers a vehicle to implement designs that leverage the benefits of the open RISC-V ISA combined with Microchip’s best-in-class form factors, thermals and low-power characteristics of PolarFire SoC FPGAs.”

“Microchip’s Icicle Kit, with an embedded PolarFire SoC, will accelerate advances in the RISC-V software ecosystem and will be a boon to applications that need a low-power mid-range SoC FPGA,” said David Patterson, vice-chair of the RISC-V International board of directors.

The Icicle Kit is centred around a 250K Logic Element (LE) PolarFire SoC device and includes a PCIe connector, mikroBUS socket, dual RJ45 connector, Micro-USB connector, CAN bus connector, Raspberry Pi header, JTAG port and SD Card interfaces, which allow developers a full-featured platform for development.

The board is supported by Microchip’s fully designed, validated and tested power management and clocking devices, an Ethernet PHY (VSC8662XIC), USB controller (USB3340-EZK-TR) and current sensors (PAC1934T-I/JQ).

Author
Neil Tyler

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