SiFive, the renowned RISC-V chip design company, has introduced two new processors: the Performance P870 and the Intelligence X390.
The SiFive Performance P870 is the flagship processor model, surpassing the previous P650 from 2021 and the P670 from 2022 with a staggering 50% increase in peak performance. It also supports clustering of up to 32 cores and is officially compatible with Ubuntu and Automotive Grade Linux. Furthermore, it meets Google’s criteria for running Android on RISC-V, making it ideal for greenfield solutions requiring high-performance capabilities and Linux/Android compatibility, such as data center servers. Cadence, a chip manufacturer, has already announced its intention to utilize the P870 in its products.
On the other hand, the SiFive Intelligence X390 belongs to the edge processing group and is an upgrade from the previous Intelligence X280. It enhances vector processing performance by a factor of 4 and supports vector instruction set expansion through the SiFive Vector Coprocessor Interface eXtension (VCIX). This allows SiFive’s greenfield customers to utilize the X390 alongside their own specialized accelerators.
Both the P870 and X390 can be used together, with the P870 serving as the primary scalar processor for general tasks and the X390 acting as an NPU for AI processing tasks, collaborating with each customer’s specific custom chip.
SiFive’s main competitor in the greenfield market is Arm, who shares a similar business model of selling IP. As the popularity of the RISC-V architecture continues to rise, SiFive, as a leader in this field, naturally garners the most attention from the same pool of customers as Arm. (Krste Asanović, the founder of SiFive, was one of the researchers at Berkeley who initially developed RISC-V.)
In conclusion, SiFive’s introduction of the Performance P870 and Intelligence X390 processors showcases their commitment to pushing the boundaries of performance and innovation in the RISC-V ecosystem. With their impressive capabilities and compatibility, SiFive solidifies its position as a key player in this rapidly evolving market.
TLDR: SiFive, the leading RISC-V chip design company, unveils the Performance P870 and Intelligence X390 processors. The P870 offers a 50% increase in peak performance and supports up to 32-core clustering, while the X390 enhances vector processing by fourfold. Both processors can be used together for maximum efficiency. SiFive’s main competitor is Arm, but as RISC-V gains popularity, SiFive remains a top choice for customers.