Think Silicon Unveils NEOX|V, Its First RISC-V-Based 3D-Capable GPU Family

Based on a 64-bit RISC-V implementation, Think Silicon's GPU includes direct C/C++ support plus OpenGL ES and Vulkan via GLOVE middleware.

The NEOX GPU includes 3D acceleration and GPGPU capabilities. (📷: Think Silicon)

Low-power graphics specialist Think Silicon has announced it will be demonstrating its first 3D-capable graphics processor built on the free and open RISC-V instruction set architecture (ISA), NEOX|V, at the RISC-V Summit in California this month.

Building on the company's earlier NEMA family, NEOX|V is designed to apply to workloads as varied as 2D and 3D computer graphics through to vision processing, machine learning, and general-purpose compute — and all at a very low power draw, thanks in no small part to being configurable between four and 64 cores. Those cores themselves are based no the 64-bit RISC-V64GC instruction set architecture, which is made available under a permissive free and open licence, and in NEOX|V's initial configurations can offer between 12.8 and 409.6 gigaFLOPS of compute at an 800MHz clock speed.

"Building a GPGPU on RISC-V instruction set architecture is another significant milestone in the young history of Think Silicon," claims the company's senior vice president for sales and marketing Ulli Mueller. "With the announcement of NEOX|V, we’re delivering the essential low-power GPU technologies to enable companies to create efficient and nimble solutions for a wide variety of markets."

"The elegance and simplicity of the RISC-V ISA used in NEOX|V will enable a new class of SoCs," adds chief technology officer Iakovos Stamoulis, "which are smaller, consume less energy and are easier and more open to program."

It's the latter feature Think Silicon is looking to promote: The company is aiming for the development of systems which use RISC-V in both the CPU and GPU, allowing for what it hopes will be "new programming paradigms [capable of] dynamically balancing computation load between these processing elements."

The company is also boasting of a ready software ecosystem, offering support in the LLVM and GCC C/C++ compilers and compatibility with OpenGL ES and Vulkan graphics APIs - through, admittedly, a middleware platform dubbed GLOVE. Operating system supported at launch, the company has confirmed, include Linux, RTOS, and Wear OS.

NEOX|V builds on the company's earlier NEMA GPU design. (📷 Think Silicon)

Think Silicon is to demonstrate the GPU at Booth #423 of the RISC-V Summit from December 10th to 12th; commercial availability has not yet been disclosed.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire:
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