In a groundbreaking move that marks a significant advancement in the field of programmable system-on-chips (SoCs), Achronix Semiconductor Corporation has teamed up with Bluespec, Inc. to integrate Linux-capable RISC-V soft processors into its Speedster®7t family of field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). This collaboration underlines the growing momentum behind RISC-V architecture, showcasing its potential to revolutionize various sectors through enhanced scalability and flexibility in processing capabilities.

Achronix, headquartered in Santa Clara, California, is renowned for its high-performance FPGAs and embedded FPGA (eFPGA) IP solutions that are tailor-made for addressing the demanding needs of high-performance, compute-intensive, and real-time processing applications. On the other hand, Bluespec, Inc., based in Framingham, Massachusetts, brings to the table its deep expertise in RISC-V tools and silicon IP, driving innovation and cost optimization through RISC-V’s open-standard architecture.

The partnership aims to seamlessly marry Bluespec’s family of RISC-V soft processors with Achronix’s Speedster7t FPGAs through the state-of-the-art 2D network-on-chip (NoC) architecture. This integration not only simplifies the system development process but also propels design productivity and accelerates time-to-market for developers. The 2D NoC facilitates easy embedding of single or multiple RISC-V cores into the FPGA fabric, enhancing flexibility and maintainability across different design configurations.

What sets this initiative apart is the introduction of scalable processing units that are capable of running a full-fledged operating system like Linux. Designers can configure the processors with one to eight 64-bit cores, complete with floating-point instructions, custom instructions, and hardware accelerators. This level of configurability and the support for high-level operating systems and programming languages promise a familiar environment for developers, substantially reducing the learning curve and development timescales.

The processors integrated into the Speedster7t FPGAs feature accelerator ports that facilitate memory management alongside software-driven configuration and control. This aspect is particularly crucial for high-bandwidth workload accelerators, further speeding up the deployment of FPGA designs across various applications. By harnessing proven technologies such as RISC-V, Linux, RTOS, and software multi-threading, the Achronix-Bluespec synergy aims to accelerate the broad adoption of RISC-V across diverse domains, from artificial intelligence and machine learning to networking and data centers.

This collaboration underscores the vision of both Achronix and Bluespec to foster innovation through advanced technology partnerships. Nick Ilyadis, Vice President of Product Planning at Achronix, highlighted Bluespec’s rich legacy in RISC-V innovation as a cornerstone for this partnership, emphasizing the joint goal of enabling customers to differentiate their products and expedite market entry.

This partnership resonates with the increasing demand for flexible, powerful, and easily programmable SoC solutions within the semiconductor industry. As the global tech landscape continues to evolve at an unprecedented rate, the introduction of Linux-capable RISC-V soft processors in Achronix’s Speedster7t FPGAs stands as a testament to the relentless pursuit of technological excellence driving both companies.

For developers and organizations looking to leverage this potent combination of high-performance FPGAs and scalable RISC-V processing, information and assistance are readily available through Achronix and Bluespec’s dedicated channels. This initiative not only opens up new vistas in FPGA design and application but also paves the way for a new era of computing, powered by the synergy between leading-edge hardware and open-standard software architectures.