Enabling Scalable Processing with Achronix FPGAs and Bluespec's RISC-V Soft Processors

Authored By:
Alexandra Saavedra
Demand Generation Manager

Posted On: Mar 27, 2024

Achronix Semiconductor and Bluespec, Inc. have unveiled a highly scalable suite of Linux-capable RISC-V soft processors specifically designed for the Achronix Speedster®7t FPGA family.

The RISC-V partnership between Achronix and Bluespec marks a new stride in scalable programmable SoC design, leveraging the 2D network-on-chip (NoC) architecture of Achronix Speedster7t FPGAs to seamlessly integrate Bluespec RISC-V processors. The result is a highly scalable, customizable compute system that promises to elevate FPGA designs to unprecedented levels of flexibility and efficiency.

Bluespec’s Linux-capable RISC-V Soft Processors for Achronix FPGAs

Seamless RISC-V Processor Integration and Unmatched FPGA Scalability

At the heart of this collaboration is the integration of the Bluespec accelerator-ready RISC-V processors with the Achronix innovative 2D NoC architecture, providing a straightforward path for engineers to incorporate scalable processing into their FPGA designs. This synergy simplifies system integration, boosts designer productivity, and slashes time-to-market thanks to the 2D NoC's ability to support multiple instances of the RISC-V core across the FPGA fabric without sacrificing performance.

The soft-core family introduced by Bluespec adds software programmability to Speedster7t FPGA designs and enables the easy relocation and integration of one or more RISC-V cores within the fabric. This versatility ensures that developers can run various applications, from C/C++ programs on bare metal to sophisticated operating systems on hardware subsystems, accommodating configurations from one to eight 64-bit processors.

A Leap in SoC Development and Deployment Efficiency

By incorporating Bluespec RISC-V soft processors, Speedster7t FPGAs are transformed into fully programmable SoCs with up to 20 Tbps of bandwidth. This integration empowers developers with the tools to expedite the deployment of their designs, significantly mitigating the learning curve associated with adopting new technologies.

Adding user-defined coprocessors and software-managed accelerators, supported via Bluespec’s acceleration tools, delivers a tailored approach to workload acceleration. With a complete hardware/software stack that includes GCC, GDB, and OpenOCD support, developers are equipped with a robust development environment right out of the box.

A RISC-V Solution Targeting High-impact Applications

The Achronix and Bluespec collaboration will impact various applications, from AI/ML acceleration to data center workloads, networking, and high-performance computing. This partnership's flexibility and scalability enable efficient processing of complex models and algorithms, enhance cloud computing performance, and facilitate advanced networking functionalities and robust communication systems.

Realize the Full Potential of Programmable SoCs

The Achronix and Bluespec joint effort have culminated in a powerful solution that accelerates the adoption of RISC-V across numerous applications thanks to its innovative integration and scalability. As developers and engineers look to push the boundaries of what is possible with FPGA designs, the Achronix Speedster7t FPGAs equipped with Bluespec RISC-V soft processors offer a promising and efficient pathway toward realizing the full potential of programmable SoCs.

Learn more about Bluespec’s RISC-V soft processors for Achronix FPGAs in the full press release. To get started, contact us here.

This partnership highlights the two companies' commitment to innovation and sets a new standard for FPGA design and application.