Microchip Unveils 64-Bit Multi-Core PIC64 Portfolio

The Linux-capable PIC64GX has five 64-bit RISC-V cores with CSI-2, HDMI, GigE, and PCIe Gen2 interfaces for high-performance edge computing.

On July 9th, 2024, Microchip Technology announced a new PIC64 portfolio, making them the first single provider of 8-, 16-, 32-, and 64-bit microcontrollers (MCUs) and microprocessors (MPUs). The PIC64 addresses the demands of compute-intensive applications like embedded vision in industrial, automotive, communications, IoT, aerospace, and defense markets. The PIC64GX is the first processor in the portfolio. It supports 64-bit Linux operating systems and contains five RISC-V cores.

"The addition of our 64-bit MPU portfolio allows us to offer low-, mid- and high-range compute processing solutions." — Ganesh Moorthy, CEO and President of Microchip Technology

The PIC64GX1000 is the first member of the PIC64 family. It boasts four U54 64-bit RISC-V CPU cores running up to 625 MHz with L1 and L2 caches. The MPU supports up to 32 GB of DDR4-1333 or LPDDR4-1333. Additionally, a fifth 64-bit E51 RISC-V CPU core acts as an integrated monitor processor.

Microchip says the PIC64GX MPU is the first RISC-V multi-core solution that supports Deterministic Symmetric Multiprocessing (AMP) Linux Applications. This capability enables a versatile mix of Linux-based high-performance and real-time systems.

The video subsystem has MIPI CSI-2 and HDMI 1.4 interfaces. Two MIPI CSI-2 lanes running at 1 Gbps provide connections to cameras and sensors. The HDMI interface outputs at 720p resolution. A video pipeline provides a hardware Debayer filter and automatic white balance.

The PIC64GX1000 contains typical microcontroller low-speed serial interfaces and high-speed interfaces like two Gigabit Ethernet ports and PCIe Gen 2. The PIC64GX family is pin-compatible with Microchip's PolarFire SoC FPGA devices, providing flexibility across a product's development lifecycle.

Microchip also announced a PIC64 High-Performance Spaceflight Computing (PIC64-HPSC) family that focuses on autonomous aerospace applications. These processors offer significantly higher computing capability than existing devices while providing the radiation hardening and fault tolerance expected in a space-grade microprocessor.

You can start with the new PIC64 processors using Microchip's PIC64GX Curiosity Evaluation Kit. Microchip says the kits are now available, and Octopart shows the CURIOSITY-PICGX1000-KIT-ES price as $150.

These kits and PIC64 processors have development support in Microchip's MPLAB® Extensions for VS Code. Multiple embedded Linux distributions and Buildroot are also supported. Alternatively, Microchip also supports Zephyr RTOS (Real-Time Operating System)

Microchip says the first customer availability for the PIC64GX1000 will be in July 2024. Visit Microchip's 64-bit MPU web page to learn more about the PIC64 processors.

James Lewis
Electronics enthusiast, Bald Engineer, and freelance content creator. AddOhms on YouTube. KN6FGY.
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