China’s Alibaba has released a development platform to help engineers build high-performance Systems-on-Chip (SoC) silicon based on the RISC-V open architecture, which it claims also includes an optimized software stack to facilitate product deployment. speed up.
Alibaba Wujian 600 platform (click to enlarge)
Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing subsidiary of the online bazaar, said it has made the Wujian 600 chip development platform available for licensing, aimed at creating edge SoCs using the RISC-V instruction set architecture, which is freely available. is under open source licenses for chip designers to implement.
The company said the platform aims to help engineers by lowering development costs and shortening the design cycle for custom chips, making the mass production of high-performance RISC-V SoCs a reality.
According to Alibaba, the Wujian 600 platform was created by another subsidiary of the Alibaba Group, the wholly-owned semiconductor company T-Head, and has already used the platform for the development and prototyping of its own high-performance SoC, with the catchy name TH1520.
T-Head VP Jianyi Meng said the company hopes to share its RISC-V development capacity with others by making the Wujian 600 platform available.
“Customers can use the platform to develop their high-performance SoCs in a fast and efficient manner. By making the platform accessible to global developers, we hope to contribute to the RISC-V community, enabling more custom, RISC-V based SoCs are being made possible for a variety of applications,” he said.
Listed as a 2.5GHz chip with a quad-core XuanTie C910 CPU, a neural processing unit, DDR memory controllers, and a wide variety of standard I/O interfaces, the TH1520 has been “already used in Alibaba’s ecosystem” , said Alibaba. Company.
The XuanTie C910 RISC-V processor itself is available as an open source design from T-Head and can be found on GitHub.
Alibaba states that it is possible to run desktop applications such as the FireFox browser and LibreOffice on silicon produced using the Wujian 600 platform, thanks to OpenAnolis, a Linux-based operating system launched by Alibaba in 2020.
Alibaba’s Wujian 600 platform is, of course, endorsed by RISC-V International, the organization that oversees the open source chip architecture.
“The Wujian 600 development platform enables powerful edge SoCs with improved frequency and more storage for robust edge AI computing. The developer ecosystem supporting Xuantie on Linux and Android further strengthens the RISC-V software ecosystem,” said Calista Redmond, CEO of RISC-V International. .
However, some of the details that Alibaba has failed to disclose include which platform Wujian 600 itself runs on, where interested developers can get it, and whether it’s available as open source or under a paid license. We have asked the company and will update with its response. ®