When RISC-V chip designer SiFive introduced its Performance P550 processor in June, the company said it was the highest-performance processor based on RISC-V architecture to date.

Now the company is previewing a new processor that SiFive says is 50% faster, allowing the new chip to outperform an ARM Cortex-A78 processor.

SiFive’s announcement is a bit light on details at the moment, the company hasn’t even given the new chip a name yet. But the company says more details will be revealed at the RISC-V Summit in December.

So far we know that SiFive’s next chip:

  • Supports up to 16 CPU cores
  • Runs at frequencies up to 3.5 GHz
  • Features 16MB of L3 cache, up to 2MB L2, and

SiFive says the new chips are 64-bit processors with quad-issue out of order processing, which can be scaled to support a wide range of devices including PCs, servers, or mobile and embedded devices.

High-performance versions would likely combine a cluster of chips together, offering up to 128 CPU cores.

via SiFive, The Register, and HardwareLuxx

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8 replies on “SiFive says its next RISC-V processor outperforms ARM Cortex-A78”

  1. 128 core? on one board or sub board similar spark?
    this sound like a parallela/epiphany but on normal core.
    if anybody can create a pipeline trought processors (or token ring similar intel) it will be transputers 😉

  2. It’s an exciting announcement. It would be a lot more exciting if Si-Five wasn’t famous for paper launches that don’t see products made around them for minimum 3 years, more like 5. Hopefully I still have some colour in some hair on my head when this makes a difference in the real world lol.

  3. When SiFive announced the U8 would be competitive against the A72 the comments on here were very sceptical.


    They won a lot of fans when they actually pulled it off and their contract with Intel probably didn’t hurt their pocketbooks. Now it looks like they are going in on high performance rather than making midrange co-processors. Honestly it feels inevitable this would happen but I didn’t think it’d happen a few months after the P550. These guys are making astonishing progress, this might be an actual gamechanger. RISC-V wasn’t supposed to get interesting till 2025 but i’ll take it.

    1. SiFive, founded in 2015 and still not shipping in volume. They should have taken the Intel money and cashed-out. Congrats on beating A78 on paper.

      1. Exactly.
        The skepticism of catching upto the Medium-ARM-core like the Cortex-A73 was in fact warranted. Let alone them (slightly) exceeding the Cortex-A75.

        It is much easier to surpass the Cortex-A78 on paper, than it is to do it in real-world, with the complexities of the hardware and the incatracies of the software. And let’s not forget the full picture, there’s still the GPU, NPU, DSP, Radio, etc etc.

        I would be very impressed if they merely matched the Cortex-A76 in performance, efficiency, area, and cost, but do it with actual shipping hardware (8nm TSMC) in the hands of trustworthy third-party developers and reviewers. Really doubt it would come in 2022 or earlier.

    2. Intel can come up with own version of RISC-V.. reminicing about StrongARM and XScale.

    3. Those commenters were wrong. They weren’t sceptical enough as the U8 seems to be cancelled. Is that what you meant by “they pulled it off”?

      The Unmatched board with U74 doesn’t get anywhere near the performance of an old Cortex-A53 despite claims that it outperforms the much faster Cortex-A55…

      So far we have not seen any silicon for the P550 and independent benchmarks verifying the claims. Why talk up the next generation when you don’t have a proven track record with actual silicon? It may well be 2025 before it ends up in actual devices you can buy.

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