SoC FPGA Dev Kit Based on RISC-V Instruction Set Architecture

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  • Microchip Technology has introduced RISC-V based System on Chip (SoC) Field-Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) development kit
  • Helps facilitate designers implement RISC-V-based SOC FPGA across a range of applications

Increasing adoption of free and open RISC-V Instruction Set Architecture (ISA) has led to a need for an affordable, standardised development platform that embeds RISC-V technology and leverages the diverse RISC-V ecosystem.

To meet this requirement, Microchip Technology is now offering a RISC-V based System on Chip (SoC) Field-Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) development kit for PolarFire SoC FPGA. This dev kit (termed as Icicle Development Kit) brings together numerous Mi-V partners to accelerate customer design deployment and commercial adoption across a variety of industries. PolarFire SoC FPGAs are ideally suited for smart embedded imaging, IoT, industrial automation, defence, automotive and communication applications.

The Icicle Kit is centred around:

⦁ 250K Logic Element (LE) PolarFire SoC device and includes a PCIe® connector
⦁ mikroBUS™ socket,
⦁ Dual RJ45 connector
⦁ Micro-USB connector
⦁ CAN bus connector
⦁ Raspberry Pi® header,
⦁ JTAG port
⦁ SD Card interfaces

Ease of designing

Designers who want to deploy a programmable RISC-V-based SOC FPGA can start development and evaluate the broad network of RISC-V ecosystem products such as Real-Time Operating Systems (RTOS), debuggers, compilers, System On Modules (SOMs) and security solutions. The Mi-V RISC-V Partner Ecosystem is a comprehensive suite of tools and design resources developed by Microchip and numerous third parties to fully support RISC-V designs.

Microchip’s Icicle Kit for PolarFire SoC and Mi-V ecosystem enables PolarFire SoC FPGAs with:

⦁ RISC-V processor complex from SiFive and embedded trace macro from UltraSoC
⦁ Development tools from Adacore, Green Hills Software, Mentor Graphics and Wind River
⦁ Commercial RTOS solutions such as Nucleus and VxWorks that complement Microchip’s Linux® and bare-metal solutions
⦁ Middleware solutions from DornerWorks, Hex Five, Veridify Security and wolfSSL
⦁ SOM and design services from organizations such as Antmicro, ARIES Embedded, Digital Core Technologies, Emdalo Technologies, Sundance DSP, and Trenz Electronic

Complete development

These allow developers a full-featured platform for development. The board is supported by Microchip’s fully designed, validated and tested power management and clocking devices, an Ethernet PHY (VSC8662XIC), USB controller (USB3340-EZK-TR) and current sensors (PAC1934T-I/JQ).

PolarFire SoC FPGAs deliver up to 50 per cent lower total power than competing devices. By using SoC FPGAs, developers also have greater opportunities for customisation and differentiation through the devices’ inherent upgradability and ability to integrate functions on a single chip. The PolarFire SoC FPGA family is available in a variety of packages and sizes to match the performance and power tradeoffs for the application, enabling customers to implement their solutions in package sizes as small as 11 × 11 mm.

“We are removing barriers to entry through a low-cost evaluation platform that will give embedded engineers, software designers and hardware developers a vehicle to implement designs that leverage the benefits of the open RISC-V ISA combined with Microchip’s best-in-class form factors, thermals and low-power characteristics of PolarFire SoC FPGAs,” said Bruce Weyer, vice president of the Field-Programmable Gate Array business unit at Microchip

“Microchip’s Icicle kit, with an embedded PolarFire SoC, will accelerate advances in the RISC-V software ecosystem and be a boon to applications that need a low-power mid-range SoC FPGA,” said David Patterson, vice-chair of the RISC-V International board of directors and 2017 Turing Award winner.

Microchip’s Icicle Kit for PolarFire SoC FPGAs (MPFS-ICICLE-KIT-ES) is now available. PolarFire FPGAs are currently in production with early samples of the SoC FPGA available from Microchip sales representative or authorised worldwide distributor.


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