RISC-V: SiFive’s P870


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Chips and cheese breaks down the SiFive presentation at Hotchips.

Now, SiFive’s P870 looks a lot like ARM’s Cortex X series in terms of reordering capacity, core width, and execution units. It might not be a match for ARM’s best, since the load/store queues look a bit small and vector execution throughput is a bit weak. But from looking at P870, SiFive’s ambitions are clear. They want a chunk of ARM’s pie.

SiFive’s biggest challenge is going to be the software ecosystem. RISC-V’s vector extensions are still in their infancy. Not a lot of people are going to be familiar with RISC-V. Compilers will have to be tuned to ensure instruction fusion cases happen as often as possible. ARM has had a rough time getting their footing in the software world, and RISC-V will have to go through the same arduous process.


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Great to see that there is progress on the RISC-V front! I wonder how SiFive is positioning these chips? They are not competitive for HPC, but could make a decent cloud server processor (for web services and such) if priced accordingly.
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