SiFive, Inc. announced three products as part of the first phase of a long-term roadmap and portfolio designed to meet the specific needs of automotive manufacturers and their suppliers. SiFive Automotive E6-A, X280-A, and S7-A solutions address critical needs for current and future applications like infotainment, cockpit, connectivity, ADAS, and electrification, as the market transitions to zonal architectures and manufacturers require energy efficiency, simplicity, security, and software flexibility that RISC-V offers. SiFive’s high-end applications and real-time processors offer industry-leading performance, with the lowest area and power consumption, and are being tailored to vehicle-specific needs for safety, security, and performance. The company also highlighted a growing list of top-tier customers and leading ecosystem partners, and how they collaborate to deliver comprehensive automotive solutions.
The transformation to the digital automobile has changed, accelerated, and increased the demands on computing requirements, the pace of innovation, and the flexibility required within the automotive supply ecosystem. This rapid evolution is driving the success of RISC-V in the automotive market, which is taking advantage of its flexible, modern architecture, fast-growing ecosystem, and proven power and performance benefits to bring solutions that accelerate the pace of innovation in the vehicle space.
RISC-V brings a host of benefits to the automotive industry. Using a single instruction set architecture (ISA) across all product offerings – from safety islands to real-time products to highest performance ADAS and central zone compute – increases code portability and can significantly reduce cost and time-to-market, while RISC-V vector extensions bring enhanced machine learning and DSP capabilities. The global RISC-V ecosystem is growing rapidly, particularly in the U.S. and China, and consists of more than three thousand members. This provides wide choice and ensures future support and innovation. Working without proprietary lock-in, companies can license from multiple vendors and have more flexibility to design their own IP where needed, while maintaining software and ecosystem compatibility.
The company is also working with a growing list of ecosystem partners to build a comprehensive RISC-V automotive solution set.
The SiFive Automotive processor family offers the highest level of flexibility from any CPU IP vendor, with options that enable both area and performance optimization for different integrity levels like ASIL B, ASIL D, or mixed criticalities with split-lock, in line with ISO26262. E6-A series for a variety of real-time, 32-bit applications, from system control to hardware security modules (HSMs) and safety islands, and as standalone microcontrollers. S7-A is a 64-bit, high-performance real-time core perfectly suited to the needs of modern SoCs with performant safety islands, requiring both low latency interrupt support and the same 64b memory space visibility as the main application CPUs. X280-A builds on the successful performance and power efficiency of the X280 and is ideal for sensors, sensor fusion, and other vector or ML-intensive workloads in automotive applications.
The SiFive Automotive family will also expand its portfolio in 2023 with very high performance, out-of-order, application CPU with best-in-class performance and automotive capabilities.
SiFive’s automotive products are accompanied by relevant safety packages that include documentation to accelerate the integration of the Safety Element out of Context (SEooC) and, with it, our customers’ time-to-market. Independent assessments of ASIL claims will support SiFive’s safety claims. Enabling solutions include proven SiFive WorldGuard security solutions. With tailored levels of integrity for functional safety, SiFive Automotive products are also compliant with relevant cybersecurity standards, such as WP.29, R155, and ISO21434.
SiFive is creating a complete lineup of computing IP for MCUs, MPUs, and high-performance SoCs, as well as vector processing solutions tailored for automotive applications, with the first high-performance, out-of-order, Automotive family cores planned for late 2023.
From technologists like Monia Chiavacci who is a globally recognized pioneer in Functional Safety (FuSA) applied to systems-on-a-chip, a critical auto safety innovation, to Chairman and CEO, Patrick Little, who helped build the successful automotive business at Qualcomm, SiFive has put in place the team and tools to advance the digital automobile with RISC-V.
With several lead customers already, the SiFive Automotive E6 products will ship in Q4 of this year and the S7A and X280A are expected to be available shortly after.