Bay Area startup SiFive has announced the Freedom Everywhere 310 (FE310) system-on-chip — the industry’s first commercially-available SoC based on the free, open-source RISC-V architecture, along with the corresponding low-cost, Arduino-compatible HiFive1 development kit.
As part of this availability, SiFive also has contributed the register-transfer level (RTL) code for the FE310 core to the OSHW community. The FE310 is the first member of the Freedom Everywhere family of customizable SoCs designed for microcontroller, embedded, IoT and wearable applications.
SiFive is on a mission to encourage open-source development of both software support for RISC-V as well as other open hardware development. The RTL code also empowers chip designers with the ability to customize their own SoC on top of the base FE310. For system architects, developers or companies without chip design capabilities, SiFive’s “chips-as-a-service” offering can customize the FE310 to meet their unique needs.
In terms of specs, the FE310 is equipped with SiFive’s E31 CPU Coreplex, a 32-bit RV32IMAC core running at 320+MHz. Additional features include a 16KB L1 Instruction Cache, a 16KB Data SRAM scratchpad, hardware multiply/divide, debug module, one-time programmable non-volatile memory (OTP), flexible clock generation with on-chip oscillators and PLLs, and a wide variety of peripherals including UARTs, QSPI, PWMs and timers. Multiple power domains and a low-power standby mode ensure a variety of applications can benefit from the FE310, which was fabricated in TSMC 180nm.
The FE310-powered HiFive1 dev board boasts a CPU clock that’s 10 times faster than the Arduino 101 and offers 11 times more Dhrystones than the Cortex M0+-based Arduino Zero.
Interested? You can learn more about SiFive’s ambitious project and order a board for yourself on Crowd Supply! Code for the FE310 can be found on GitHub as well.