San Mateo, Calif. , September 13, 2022 – SiFive, Inc. the founder and leader of RISC-V computing, today announced three products as part of the first phase of a long-term roadmap and portfolio designed to meet the specific needs of automotive manufacturers and their suppliers. SiFive Automotive™ E6-A, X280-A, and S7-A solutions address critical needs for current and future applications like infotainment, cockpit, connectivity, ADAS, and electrification, as the market transitions to zonal architectures and manufacturers require the energy efficiency, simplicity, security, and software flexibility that RISC-V offers. SiFive’s high-end applications and real-time processors offer industry-leading performance, with the lowest area and power consumption, and are being tailored to vehicle specific needs for safety, security, and performance. The company also highlighted a growing list of top-tier customers and leading ecosystem partners, and how they are collaborating to deliver comprehensive automotive solutions.
The transformation to the digital automobile has changed, accelerated, and increased the demands on computing requirements, the pace of innovation, and the flexibility required within the automotive supply ecosystem. This rapid evolution is driving the success of RISC-V in the automotive market, which is taking advantage of its flexible, modern architecture, fast growing ecosystem, and proven power and performance benefits to bring solutions that accelerate the pace of innovation in the vehicle space.
“SiFive is combining the best RISC-V benefits in the only end-to-end portfolio designed to meet automotive needs today and long into the future,” said Patrick Little, CEO and Chairman, SiFive. “We are seeing widespread interest in our new RISC-V automotive solutions and are working closely with several leading semiconductor companies and top-tier suppliers, who are turning to the flexibility of our highest performance cores in areas like safety-critical compute applications. Customers are now able to take advantage of our latest, most powerful cores to bring exciting innovations to consumers.”
“Renesas has been closely collaborating with SiFive to bring the strong benefits of RISC-V to many of our products,” said Takeshi Kataoka, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Automotive Solution Business Unit at Renesas. “RISC-V continues to gain momentum around the world, and we plan to leverage SiFive’s portfolio of automotive RISC-V products in our future automotive SoC solutions to meet the exacting demands of these global customers. Partnering with an innovation leader like SiFive is a logical step that allows us to fuel our growth and meet our customer’s evolving requirements.”
RISC-V: Meeting Automotive Requirements Today and Into the Future
RISC-V brings a host of benefits to the automotive industry. Using a single instruction set architecture (ISA) across all product offerings – from safety islands to real-time products to highest performance ADAS and central zone compute – increases code portability and can greatly reduce cost and time-to-market, while RISC-V vector extensions bring enhanced machine learning and DSP capabilities. The global RISC-V ecosystem is growing rapidly, particularly in the U.S. and China, and consists of more than three thousand members. This provides wide choice and ensures future support and innovation. Working without proprietary lock-in, companies can license from multiple vendors and have more flexibility to design their own IP where needed, while maintaining software and ecosystem compatibility.
“Semiconductors are rapidly becoming the most critical component to the next generation of vehicles. With chips set to be over 20% of the BoM for cars by the end of the decade, the development of power-efficient, highly performant chips will continue to be a key priority for automotive manufacturers seeking to develop the most innovative automobiles for the future,” said Daniel Newman, Principal Analyst for Futurum Research. “SiFive continues to play an important role in leading the evolution of chip designs based on RISC-V, which I expect will gain market momentum as auto manufacturers seek to level up their vehicles to meet the increased demands of consumers wanting the most forward thinking, safe, and secure technology in their cars.”
The company is also working with a growing list of ecosystem partners to build a comprehensive RISC-V automotive solution set. Check out the partner list here. Also see the list of partner quotes below.
The SiFive Automotive E6-A, S7-A, and X280-A Series of Processors
The SiFive Automotive processor family offers the highest level of flexibility from any CPU IP vendor, with options that enable both area and performance optimization for different integrity levels like ASIL B, ASIL D, or mixed criticalities with split-lock, in line with ISO26262.
· E6-A series for a variety of real-time, 32-bit applications, from system control to hardware security modules (HSMs) and safety islands, and as standalone in microcontrollers.
· S7-A is a 64-bit, high-performance real-time core perfectly suited to the needs of modern SoCs with performant safety islands, requiring both low latency interrupt support and the same 64b memory space visibility as the main application CPUs.
· X280-A builds on the successful performance and power efficiency of the X280 and is ideal for sensors, sensor fusion, and other vector or ML intensive workloads in automotive applications.
The SiFive Automotive family will also expand its portfolio in 2023 with a very high performance, out of order, application CPU with best-in-class performance and automotive capabilities.
SiFive’s automotive products are accompanied by relevant safety packages that include documentation to accelerate the integration of the Safety Element out of Context (SEooC) and, with it, our customers’ time-to-market. Independent assessments of ASIL claims will support SiFive’s safety claims.
Enabling solutions include proven SiFive WorldGuard security solutions. With tailored levels of integrity for functional safety, SiFive Automotive products are also compliant with relevant cybersecurity standards, such as WP.29, R155, and ISO21434.
Future Automobiles will be Powered by RISC-V
SiFive is creating a complete lineup of compute IP for MCUs, MPUs, and high-performance SoCs, as well as vector processing solutions tailored for automotive applications, with the first high-performance, out-of-order, Automotive family cores planned for late 2023.
“We are making a significant long-term investment into the future of automotive, and we are continuing to assemble a world-class team of automotive CPU design experts who are collaborating with industry leaders to drive the digital vehicle forward,” continued Little.
From technologists like Monia Chiavacci who is a globally recognized pioneer in Functional Safety (FuSA) applied to systems-on-a-chip, a critical auto safety innovation, to Chairman and CEO, Patrick Little, who helped build the successful automotive business at Qualcomm, SiFive has put in place the team and tools to advance the digital automobile with RISC-V.
“One of the things that brought me to a leader like SiFive was the incredible potential of RISC-V, enabled by SiFive’s innovations, to develop solutions for some of the automotive industry’s greatest challenges while ensuring flexibility and faster time to market for both suppliers and manufacturers,” said Monia Chiavacci, SiFive Senior Principal Architect. “In addition to delivering our powerful processors, we are equally focused on ensuring the highest levels of functional safety without compromising performance and innovation.”
With several lead customers already, the SiFive Automotive E6 products will ship in Q4 of this year and the S7A and X280A are expected to be available shortly after.
Learn more about SiFive’s Automotive Family of Products here.
In addition to the announcement of our own new RISC-V automotive product portfolio, SiFive is pleased to have the support of a wide base of ecosystem partners who are collaborating closely with us as we work to create the industry’s most comprehensive automotive solutions offering.
Ashling Ashling’s toolchain and RISC-V have grown to be synonymous as the embedded market continues to move from general purpose chips to fully/semi-custom multi-core solutions. Ashling’s RiscFree™ toolchain offers full customization package that allows development of a comprehensive, multi-core, heterogeneous, SDK tool suite tailored and optimized for any RISC-V based IP or device. Since the early days of RISC-V, Ashling’s comprehensive debug and trace solutions have supported SiFive Essential™ processors, with strong customer adoption, and we have plans to support SiFive’s RISC-V processor roadmap.
“For more than thirty years, Ashling’s toolchain and its various trace development solutions, including Ashling’s VITRA trace debug product, have been used by leading automotive companies. We are happy to extend our collaboration with SiFive to join in their automotive initiative by adding support for new SiFive Automotive processor portfolio, including work already underway for the SiFive Automotive™ E6-A. We are confident our Ashling toolchain and trace solution will offer significant added value to customers adopting SiFive Automotive processors,” said Hugh O’Keeffe, CEO of Ashling.
Cadence “Cadence looks forward to collaborating with SiFive on an automotive reference flow that utilizes our industry-leading digital, custom and verification solutions to enable mutual customers to design and deliver their SoCs quickly with optimal power, performance and area,” said KT Moore, vice president, Corporate Marketing, Cadence
Canonical “Canonical is thrilled to collaborate with SiFive in co-creating automotive solutions. With the advent of autonomous and connected cars, open-source software has become essential in fueling innovation in the automotive industry,” said Gordan Markus, silicon alliances partner manager, Canonical. “With the growing need to manage hardware and software complexity, Canonical and SiFive are perfectly positioned to allow our partners to bring efficient and performant automotive solutions to market at an accelerated pace. Furthermore, Ubuntu provides our partners with development simplicity, while ensuring enterprise-grade support and security.”
Elektrobit “Elektrobit is a leading provider of software solutions and services for the automotive industry with years of deep expertise in developing safety-critical applications to the highest standards,” said Mike Robertson, vice president, global product management and strategy, Elektrobit. “We see RISC-V building momentum in processor IP. As the automotive market continues to grow and evolve, Elektrobit is excited about the opportunities to develop applications based on SiFive’s extensive roadmap of RISC-V Automotive processors.”
Green Hills “As a global leader in embedded software with the broadest portfolio of ASIL D certified software solutions for 32-bit MCU to 64-bit MPUs, Green Hills is excited to be supporting SiFive’s impressive range of automotive-focused RISC-V CPU IP,” said Dan Mender, Vice President, Business Development, Green Hills Software. “To complement this remarkable new SiFive Automotive portfolio, Green Hills brings its unique ability to deliver MCU-to-MPU production-proven FuSa-certified tools, C/C++ compilers and RTOSes, along with decades of safety program expertise.”
IAR Systems “SiFive is a leading provider in the RISC-V ecosystem and has a long-standing relationship with IAR Systems. We are equally both excited and committed to supporting their increased focus on the Automotive-vertical,” said Anders Holmberg, CTO at IAR Systems. “The combination of innovative Automotive Functional Safety IP from SiFive and the certified development tools from IAR Systems is a perfect match. Building on IAR Systems’ 20+ years of experience supporting Functional Safety use cases, and the tens of thousands of developers using our products, there is now a true better-together offering to accelerate innovation in automobiles.”
iSystem AG “We are working with SiFive and other ecosystem partners on early support of RISC-V cores as we see them as an important contender in the future automotive market,” said Erol Simsek, CEO of iSYSTEM AG. “Our tools are designed to verify stringent safety requirements for automotive electronics, and a close cooperation with SiFive ensures that the very first device will offer all the necessary debug and real-time trace capabilities. Early adopters looking to evaluate RISC-V architecture can already use iSYSTEM tools to do so on existing SiFive devices or pre-silicon FPGA platforms.”
Lauterbach “It has always been a priority for Lauterbach to work closely with innovation leaders like SiFive to provide our customers with proven tools as soon as they are needed,” said Markus Herdin, head of marketing at Lauterbach. “We see the automotive industry as one of the big growth areas for RISC-V and are here to help with debug and trace solutions that meet the specific needs of this industry. We believe that with SiFive’s E6-A series, RISC-V will gain further momentum in automotive applications, which we will be delighted to support with our tools.”
Resiltech “Resiltech, aware of the importance of the role of RISC-V products and its ecosystems for the next generation automotive applications, is fully committed to confirm long-term support to SiFive to enable compliance of its automotive IP with the highest automotive safety requirements.” – Dr. Rosaria Esposito, CEO, Resiltech s.r.l.
SEGGER “SEGGER has been supporting RISC-V since 2017, and we support the complete range of RV32 and RV64 cores from SiFive,” said Rolf Segger, founder of SEGGER. “The SEGGER Software Platform – including the Embedded Studio IDE, the J-Link debug probes, as well as our embOS RTOS and associated middleware – provides a comprehensive one-stop solution for complete product development with microcontrollers based on the RISC-V architecture. We are excited to be part of SiFive’s Automotive initiative, and we are looking forward to supporting the E6-A product series in the near future.”
Siemens “Siemens Digital Industries Software has a long history of offering leading embedded software solutions for the automotive industry and is excited to extend our existing partnership with SiFive to enable even greater innovation in future automotive products,” said Jeff Hancock, Sr. Product Manager, Siemens Digital Industries Software.
Solid Sands Over the past few years, we have seen accelerated adoption of RISC-V worldwide. What surprises us is the speed of this also happening in the safety-critical automotive market, which is known to be conservative. Which implies that SiFive, with its RISC-V solution, solves a problem that is hard to crack. We are happy to assist SiFive customers with compiler and library automotive qualifications and see no inherent roadblocks to prevent open hardware and software from being used in safety-critical applications. – Marcel Beemster, CTO – Solid Sands
Synopsys “In the era of software-defined vehicles, Synopsys is helping to drive safety, security, reliability, and quality in the automotive digital value chain,” said Kiran Vittal, senior director of marketing in the Silicon Realization Group at Synopsys. “By collaborating with SiFive, we are enabling mutual customers to leverage our EDA design and verification solutions to achieve the optimal performance, power, area, and prototyping efficiency, while accelerating automotive-compliance for their RISC-V designs.”
SYSGO “SYSGO is proud to be a leading partner of SiFive with support for SiFive’s portfolio of RISC-V processors,” said Franz Walkembach, VP Marketing & Alliances at SYSGO. “With our certifiable hard real-time PikeOS operating system and hypervisor software combined with extensive technology expertise in functional safety, we will further support SiFive’s RISC-V solutions in markets such as Automotive, Space, Railway and Avionics.”
TASKING “As a trusted supplier to the automotive industry, TASKING is pleased to support the market introduction of SiFive Automotive processors. The TASKING® VX-toolset for RISC-V is a complete solution for code development for RISC-V based automotive ECUs. The VX-toolset for RISC-V produces fast and compact code and is being certified according to ISO 26262 functional safety and ISO/SAE 21434 cybersecurity standards,” said Gerard Vink, RISC-V Product Line Responsible, Tasking.
VIRTUAL OPEN SYSTEMS “At Virtual Open Systems (VOSyS) we are excited to port our ISO26260 certifiable mixed criticality virtualization solution VOSySmonitoRV to the SiFive automotive product family. The work at VOSyS side is well started, and we have proven Linux OS with FreeRTOS co-execution; this activity continues, and we are proceeding with MISRA and functional coverage. The plan is to complete ASIL certification based on the S7-A processor series in 2023,” said Daniel Raho, CEO
WITTENSTEIN “As RISC-V becomes more popular, WITTENSTEIN high integrity systems’ partnership with SiFive allows us to support customers with the most cutting-edge processors, said Stephen Ridley, Engineering Manager at WHIS. “We are excited to see the ever-expanding automotive portfolio of SiFive and look expectantly to what is to come. SiFive have made it possible to develop new hardware faster than ever before, a must in the evolving automotive market. SiFive’s automotive offerings are a great fit with SAFERTOS, our safety critical RTOS. Together they make a compelling package for automotive. WHIS and SiFive look forward to a continuation of our close collaboration in the future.
About SiFive As the pioneers who introduced RISC-V to the world, SiFive is transforming the future of compute by bringing the limitless potential of RISC-V to the highest performance and most data-intensive applications in the world. SiFive’s unrivaled compute platforms have enabled leading technology companies around the world to innovate, optimize and deliver the most advanced solutions of tomorrow across every market segment of chip design, including artificial intelligence, machine learning, automotive, data center, mobile, and consumer. With SiFive, the future of RISC-V has no limits. For more information, please visit SiFive.com.