Intel is best known for its x86 processors, but last year the company announced it was teaming up with RISC-V chip designed SiFive to release a “Horse Creek” development board powered by a SiFive processor.

Now the two companies have provided more details, including the official name and release time frame: the HiFive Pro P550 development platform will be available in the summer of 2023.

Basically, the HiFive Pro P550 is a motherboard with an Intel Horse Creek system-on-a-chip at its heart. Among other things, that chip’s features include:

  • Intel 4 manufacturing process
  • 4 x SiFive Performance P550 64-bit CPU cores @ 2+ GHz
  • Private L2 memory (128KB per core)
  • Shared L3 memory (2MB total)
  • 13-stage, triple-issue, out-of-order pipeline

The board also features 16GB of onboard DDR5-5600 memory, two PCIe Gen 5 slots and M.2 2280 and M.2 2232 connectors for storage, wireless cards, or other components. Other features include 10 GbE networking support, an on-board GPU, six USB 3.0 ports, 2 USB 2.0 ports.

The HiFive Pro P550 is a microATX-sized board that measures 244 x 244mm, which means it should fit a variety of existing cases.

Intel and SiFive say the HiFive Pro P550 will be the “highest performance RISC-V development board” available when it launches this summer. It’s clearly aimed at developers looking to create software for RISC-V systems at this point rather than mainstream users, and there’s no word on how much it will cost yet.

You can find more details at SiFive and Intel’s websites. Or check out a recording of a recent presentation about the board delivered at the RISC-V summit. You can also register to receive updates about the project as more information is released.

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7 replies on “SiFive HiFive Pro P550 dev board coming this summer with Intel “Horse Creek” RISC-V chip”

  1. Another overpriced SoC-based motherboard? Why doesn’t Intel just license their LGA socket for use in existing boards. Oh yeah, because they are a monopoly trying to control the narrative on Risc-V and just binding their time for when to snuff out the competition without legal repercussion.

  2. So this will use Intel 4 before 13th gen, Raptor Lake I believe they are calling it? Hilarious. I guess it is better than Samsung, who made a huge dog and pony show last year of beating TSMC to 3nm … but only used it to manufacture a tiny number cryptomining chips for China. They stated that it was only going to be used for “internal products” this year, yet the only viable contenders for it that is going to be made in high volumes, the Exynos 2300 and the Exynos 1380, are going to be 4nm and 5nm respectively. (Significant because when Samsung was trying to be “first” on 7nm and 5nm, they used their midrange chips the 980 and the 1080.) So the process that they announced in 2022 won’t actually see any large scale use for end user products until 2024.

    Yes, Intel has problems, but not Samsung problems. Which may get worse if Intel decides to emulate Apple and use their tiles concept to integrate the RAM into the CPU. As RAM is Samsung’s biggest semiconductor product left, that would really take a bite out of Samsung. Even if they get to manufacture the RAM tiles themselves in the short term, when Intel gets their 20A and 18A processes up in a couple of years they will start manufacturing their own. And when that happens AMD and the mobile companies are going to come up with designs to integrate their RAM into the CPU also.

    1. I was initially shocked, then excited last year, by the news that Intel had joined RISC-V international, and was courting designers with money and promises to facilitate their work to fruition. But the other contributors are correct here : Intel are doing it for the fabbing side of their business. There are reports that Intel are about to announce “an entirely new microarchetecture”:

  3. Intel needs to buy another company like Altera if they want to get volume for their fabs. SiFive products will be a net loss for Intel. How many business customers does SiFive have now… like none.

    1. You got the relationship in reverse: Intel is licensing SiFive’s cores to build these boards. They’re doing this since they want UEFI firmwares to kickstart the linux kernel instead of how linux usually boots on ARM since that leaves them with a measure of control over everything done on the platform and at least a chance to make their peripheral IP available to mobile builders. That is, the expected users of the board is distro packager and firmware developers who need real hardware with real debugging support to build EFI drivers and linux drivers.

    2. The fact that Qualcomm, MediaTek and Nvidia are all responding to pressure from the Biden administration to use Intel Foundry Services and accordingly have signed contracts for small volumes on legacy nodes and large volumes on their 20A and 18A nodes when they come available in 2024 and 2025 (they don’t have much interest in Intel 7 or Intel 4 and I don’t blame them as those are actually 10nm and 7nm when it comes to efficiency) means nothing to you, eh? Or do facts count less than bluster for the modern Instagram and YouTube crowd?

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