SiFive

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Krste Asanovic Co-Founder
SiFive
IndustrySemiconductor Design[1]
Founded2015; 6 years ago (2015)[1]
Founders
  • Krste Asanovic
  • Yunsup Lee
  • Andrew Waterman
Headquarters
Key people
Naveed Sherwani (Chief Executive Officer)
[1]
Websitewww.sifive.com

SiFive is a fabless semiconductor company and provider of commercial RISC-V processor IP and silicon solutions[buzzword] based on the RISC-V instruction set architecture (ISA).[2] SiFive's products include cores, SoCs, IPs, and development boards.[3]

SiFive is the first company to produce a chip that implements the RISC-V ISA.[citation needed]

History[edit]

SiFive was founded in 2015 by Krste Asanović, Yunsup Lee, and Andrew Waterman, three researchers from the University of California Berkeley.[2][3] On November 29, 2016, SiFive released the Freedom Everywhere 310 SoC and the HiFive development board,[3] making SiFive the first company to produce a chip that implements the RISC-V ISA, although universities have produced earlier RISC-V processors.[3][4]

In August 2017, SiFive hired Naveed Sherwani as CEO.[5] In October, SiFive did a limited release of its U54-MC, reportedly the world’s first RISC-V based 64-bit quad-core CPU to support fully featured operating systems like Linux.[6][7]

In June 2018, SiFive acquired Open-Silicon for an undisclosed amount and retained their design capabilities for specialized chips, also called application-specific integrated circuits, or ASICs.

In February 2018, SiFive released the HiFive Unleashed, a development board containing a 64-bit SoC with four U54 cores.[8][9]

In October 2020, SiFive released the HiFive Unmatched, a Mini-ITX development board with four U74-MC cores, one S7 core, 8GB DDR4 RAM, four USB 3.2 Gen1 ports, one PCI Express x16 slot, one PCIe Gen3 x4, one microSD card slot, and a Gigabit Ethernet.[10]

Growth[edit]

In April 2018, SiFive received $50.6 million Series C funding[11] including a major amount from Intel Capital.

In June 2019, SiFive received $65.4 million in a Series D funding round[12] led by existing investors Sutter Hill Ventures, Chengwei Capital, Spark Capital, Osage University Partners and Huami, alongside new investor Qualcomm Ventures. This brought the total investment in SiFive to $125 million.

On October 23, 2019 at the Linley Fall Processor Conference, SiFive announced the release of SiFive Shield, a platform security architecture. In December 2019, the company announced the SiFive Apex cores for mission-critical markets and SiFive Intelligence cores for vector processing workloads. Later that month, Samsung also announced it will be using SiFive RISC-V cores for SoCs, automotive, and 5G applications.[13]

In January 2020, SiFive hired Chris Lattner, an American software engineer best known as the main author of LLVM and related projects such as the Clang compiler and the Swift programming language. He joined SiFive as Senior Vice President of Platform Engineering after two years at Google.[14]

In August 2020, SiFive received $60 million in a Series E funding round[15] led by investors SK Hynix and Saudi Aramco. This brought the total investment in SiFive to $186 million.

Products[edit]

  • RISC-V Cores: SiFive Core Series – The SiFive Core Series are customizable using the SiFive Core Designer. SiFive Standard Cores are pre-configured design points in the Core Series.
  • SoC IP – The SoC IP solutions[buzzword] are customizable, or customers choose from Memory Interface IP, Connectivity IP, or System and Peripheral IP solutions.[buzzword]
  • Custom SoC – Starting with an SoC template, users can design custom SoC solutions[buzzword] to be optimized for power, performance, and area.
  • Boards and Software – SiFive also produces the FE310 microcontroller, HiFive1, HiFive Unleashed, and other development boards and software.

DesignShare Platform[edit]

DesignShare is an open source platform for building prototypes. SiFive partners with vendors to provide IP to customers designing custom chip prototypes without paying IP fees in advance. Once chip designs are ready for mass production, customers pay for the IP. DesignShare partners include Brite Semiconductor, Rambus, Chipus Microelectronics, and more.

In June 2019, SiFive announced its 101st design win.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "SiFive, Inc.: Private Company Information". Bloomberg. Retrieved 17 March 2017.
  2. ^ a b Shilov, Anton (2016-07-18). "SiFive Unveils Freedom Platforms for RISC-V-Based Semi-Custom Chips". AnandTech. Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  3. ^ a b c d Takahashi, Dean (2017-11-29). "SiFive launches open source RISC-V custom chip". VentureBeat. Retrieved 2017-03-17.
  4. ^ McLellan, Paul (2015-05-21). "RISC-V Available in Silicon". Cadence. Retrieved 2017-03-19.
  5. ^ "Custom processor maker SiFive appoints Intel veteran as CEO | VentureBeat". venturebeat.com. 2017-08-15. Retrieved 2017-10-12.
  6. ^ Verma, Adarsh (2017-10-09). "Linux Gets Its First Multi-Core, RISC-V Based Open Source Processor". Fossbytes. Retrieved 2017-10-12.
  7. ^ Farrell, Nick. "2018 will be the year of the RISC V Linux processors". Retrieved 2017-10-12.
  8. ^ "SiFive Introduces RISC-V Linux-Capable Multicore Processor". Hackaday. 2018-02-04. Retrieved 2018-02-05.
  9. ^ "SiFive Introduces HiFive Unleashed RISC-V Linux Development Board (Crowdfunding)". www.cnx-software.com. Retrieved 2018-02-05.
  10. ^ "SiFive Is Launching The Most Compelling RISC-V Development Board Yet - Phoronix". www.phoronix.com. Retrieved 2020-12-19.
  11. ^ "SiFive raises $50.6 million for licensable custom microprocessors". VentureBeat. 2018-04-02. Retrieved 2020-05-27.
  12. ^ www.bizjournals.com https://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2019/06/07/the-funded-9-bay-area-startups-raised-over-300m-at.html. Retrieved 2020-05-27. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  13. ^ Shilov, Anton. "Samsung to Use SiFive RISC-V Cores for SoCs, Automotive, 5G Applications". www.anandtech.com. Retrieved 2020-05-27.
  14. ^ Chan, Rosalie. "The star Apple engineer behind its Swift programming language just left Google and went to a new job at hot AI startup SiFive". Business Insider. Retrieved 2020-05-27.
  15. ^ Nellis, Stephen (2020-08-11). "Arm rival SiFive raises $60 million from SK Hynix, Aramco". Reuters. Retrieved 2020-09-16.

External links[edit]