SiFive U8-Series To Offer Much Greater RISC-V Performance

Written by Michael Larabel in RISC-V on 25 October 2019 at 03:12 PM EDT. 47 Comments
There is much greater performance potential out of RISC-V now with SiFive having announced the U8-Series.

From results on of SiFive's HiFive Unleashed development board the results hadn't been too impressive with the aging U54 SoC but the RISC-V focused firm has been working on ramping up the performance and have now introduced the U8-Series.

The initial U8-Series parts will be the SiFive U84 core with optimizations for power and area efficiency while the SiFive U87 will be catered for vector processing.

According to the company, "the SiFive U84 core offers a startling 3.1X higher performance than SiFive's popular U74 standard core. This is enabled by a 2.3X increase in IPC combined with a 1.4X increase in maximum frequency capability. Shown below, the SiFive U84 is 5.3X higher performance than the SiFive U54, isolated process. The SiFive U84 standard core in 7nm is 7.2X higher performance compared to a SiFive U54 standard core in 28nm."

The U84 will feature up to four cores, 2MB of L2 cache, and fabbed on a 7nm process and operating up to 2.6GHz. For those needing a really tiny RISC-V chip, the U8-Series can scale down to a single core with no L2 cache in as little as a 0.28mm2 footprint.

More details on the new series at Their new core designs are available for IP licensing. Hopefully we'll see SiFive come out with a higher performing development board and ideally at a lower price point in 2020 to help bolster the software ecosystem around SiFive's RISC-V processor designs.
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