Chip designer SiFive has unveiled two new processor cores featuring RISC-V architecture, including the new SiFive Performance P270 and SiFive Performance P550 processor. The company says the latter is the  highest-performance RISC-V processor to date. It’s also the first RISC-V processor core that Intel plans to incorporate into an upcoming chip.

Intel says it will use SiFive Performance P550 processor cores in its 7nm “Horse Creek” processor platform. It’s unclear at this point whether that means Horse Creek will just use SiFive’s RISC-V CPU cores or if they’ll be part of a multi-core solution that pairs RISC-V cores with Intel’s x86 processor cores (or something else altogether). But it’s still an interesting move, given the recent rumors that Intel was interested in acquiring SiFive.

According to SiFive, the Performance P550 processor core builds on company’s SiFive U84 microarchitecture and features a “thirteen-stage, triple-issue, out-of-order pipeline.” SiFive says chips can pack up to four P550 CPU cores into the same amount of space as a single ARM Cortex-A75 CPU core, while offering better performance-per-area.

With a SPECInt 2006 socre of 8.65/GHz, SiFive says it’s the highest-performance RISC-V processor core so far.

The Performance P270 is less powerful, with a score of 4.6/GHz, but it’s also a smaller, and likely less expensive chip that features features an 8-stage, dual-issue, in-order architecture.

via AnandTech and Tom’s Hardware

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  1. It surprises me that Intel would license cores from SiFive (and even look to purchase SiFive outright) rather than design their own core using the open source RISC-V instruction set. I guess props to SiFive for building some compelling CPU cores!

  2. What’s needed is a Android SiFive TV box, with either a good Imagination, or Intel GPU.

    Stir the competition up.

  3. Looks like Intel got what they wanted without having to buy SiFive. They will be the exclusive foundry for the next 2 products. Let’s hope Intel gets some meaningful volume with this deal.

    1. My mistake… they are not the exclusive foundry… they are just one in a list of others (TSMC and Samsung also being on the list). Does SiFive get NRE from these deals? I thought that they don’t charge license fees.

      1. RISC-V, the instruction set and enough information on how to make a CPU that will execute it, are royalty free from the RISC-V Foundation. However, it doesn’t come with an obligation to disclose whatever information you add to that information if you use RISC-V in your CPUs. SiFive designs CPUs, AFAIK they’re not a foundry, they don’t control the copyright on RISC-V, and I don’t think they make all of their implementations of RISC-V available for everyone.
        SiFive’s cores are probably going to be used for things outside of running the operating system.