Microsemi Corporation announced the launch of the HiFive Unleashed Expansion Board, its latest collaboration with SiFive, the first fabless provider of customized, open-source-enabled semiconductors. Leveraging the two companies’ strategic relationship as part of Microsemi’s Mi-V RISC-V ecosystem, the new expansion board broadens the capabilities of SiFive’s HiFive Unleashed RISC-V development board, further enabling software and firmware engineers to write Linux-based applications targeting a 1GhZ+ RISC-V 64 bit central processing unit (CPU).
Microsemi’s HiFive Unleashed Expansion Board allows developers to implement custom peripherals in the award-winning PolarFire® field programmable gate array (FPGA). Plugged into HiFive Unleashed developers can implement a full-fledged RISC-V personal computer (PC) by enabling standard PCI® Express (PCIe) devices, USB and secure digital cards to connect to SiFive’s Freedom U540 RISC-V processor.
The HiFive Unleashed Expansion Board and HiFive Unleashed allow designers to develop complete Linux applications on a modern RISC-V CPU running at 1 GHz+. This makes the devices ideally suited for a variety of embedded applications within the communications, industrial, defense, medical and avionics markets, including control plane solutions, imaging/video processing, machine learning, control processing, time-sensitive networking, encryption and root of trust, secure wireless communications and aircraft networking.
“Microsemi has long been a strategic collaborator for SiFive, and its HiFive Unleashed Expansion Board will enable the RISC-V Community to continue to advance the cause of open source hardware,” said Yunsup Lee, co-founder and chief technology officer, SiFive. “With its HiFive Unleashed Expansion Board, Microsemi is enabling the next wave of RISC-V innovation. We look forward to our continued collaboration, and can’t wait to see what products come to market-based on our technologies.”
The HiFive Unleashed Expansion Board offers numerous additional features, including a PCIe root complex, serial advanced technology attachment (SATA) port, M.2 SSD port, two USB ports, HDMI, double data rate fourth-generation (DDR4) memory expansion, an embedded multi-media controller (eMMC) managed NAND Flash and secure digital card slot.
“The RISC-V Foundation applauds the work Microsemi and SiFive have done in collaboration to deliver a comprehensive Linux software development platform for RISC-V,” said Rick O’Connor, executive director of the non-profit RISC-V Foundation. “Numerous commercial and open source developers are adopting RISC-V for Linux-based designs. Particularly in the embedded market, where a growing majority of today’s designs run Linux, this Microsemi/SiFive RISC-V solution offers a compelling development environment.”
The HiFive Unleashed Expansion Board and HiFive Unleashed development board are available for purchase from Crowd Supply. For more information, visit https://www.crowdsupply.com/microsemi/hifive-unleashed-expansion-board. RISC-V is a free and open ISA enabling a new era of processor innovation through open standard collaboration. As the ISA is frozen, software which is written will always run on the RISC-V core, and since the RISC-V IP core is not encrypted, it can be used to ensure trust and certifications not possible with closed architectures. To learn more about RISC-V visit: www.risc-v.org.