Author Topic: RISC-V Development tools  (Read 1308 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline mikerj

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1354
  • Country: gb
RISC-V Development tools
« on: November 22, 2017, 02:27:22 AM »
Are there any commercial tools for the RISC-V architecture (i.e. where a licence includes full support), or is the Eclipse/GCC toolchain the only option at present?
 

Offline ataradov

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3699
  • Country: us
  • I informed you thusly
    • Personal site
Re: RISC-V Development tools
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2017, 04:21:14 AM »
There is not any real RISC V hardware. Who would invest into making a commercial system? The best you will probably see in coming years is the same GCC/Eclipse + commercial support.
Alex
 

Offline mikerj

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1354
  • Country: gb
Re: RISC-V Development tools
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2017, 04:53:58 AM »
Thanks, that's pretty much what I expected.  We want to get custom ASIC designed and ideally wanted a Cortex M4 core in it since we have plenty of experience and all the tools, but the licensing and royalty cost is a little eye watering but doable.  ASIC vendor suggested we consider using RISC-V, so just looking at the options.
 

Offline ataradov

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3699
  • Country: us
  • I informed you thusly
    • Personal site
Re: RISC-V Development tools
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2017, 04:57:13 AM »
I've been doing some experiments with RV lately, and the GCC seems to be stable enough. I don't use Eclipse, so I have no idea how that works.

SiFive also released the binary builds of the toolchain  recently, and this makes life much easier. For me this closes a significant gap between RAM and RV. Now we need to wait for real silicon.
Alex
 

Offline legacy

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2622
Re: RISC-V Development tools
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2017, 10:31:41 PM »
There is not any real RISC V hardware. Who would invest into making a commercial system? The best you will probably see in coming years is the same GCC/Eclipse + commercial support.

This is the problem I have with my softcore.
Nobody would invest into making a commercial system.

They have PIC-and-tons-of-MPUs and that's fine.
(FSK)
 

Online brucehoult

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 490
  • Country: ru
Re: RISC-V Development tools
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2017, 12:05:05 AM »
Are there any commercial tools for the RISC-V architecture (i.e. where a licence includes full support), or is the Eclipse/GCC toolchain the only option at present?

What kind of support do you want? gcc and eclipse are mature technology and unlikely to be very broken compared to hacked-up proprietary tools, so the main support needed seems to be beginner hand-holding. I don't use eclipse, but gcc, gdb, openocd work fine for me.

The SiFive forums are pretty helpful and they are investing money in the tools -- just a couple of people (Palmer, Drew, Megan a bit I think) at the moment, but I hear they're planning to increase that.

Liviu Ionescu is also working on tools, including read to go packaged eclipse setups.
 

Online brucehoult

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 490
  • Country: ru
Re: RISC-V Development tools
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2017, 12:08:38 AM »
Thanks, that's pretty much what I expected.  We want to get custom ASIC designed and ideally wanted a Cortex M4 core in it since we have plenty of experience and all the tools, but the licensing and royalty cost is a little eye watering but doable.  ASIC vendor suggested we consider using RISC-V, so just looking at the options.

Interesting. Who is the ASIC vendor?

Making custom ASICs with a RISC-V core in the Cortex M4 class is exactly the thing SiFive has already demonstrated they can do -- and want to do. Contact them if you haven't already.
 

Offline ali_asadzadeh

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 360
  • Country: ir
    • ASiD Designer
Re: RISC-V Development tools
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2017, 12:11:16 AM »
Quote
Thanks, that's pretty much what I expected.  We want to get custom ASIC designed and ideally wanted a Cortex M4 core in it since we have plenty of experience and all the tools, but the licensing and royalty cost is a little eye watering but doable.  ASIC vendor suggested we consider using RISC-V, so just looking at the options.
That's so cool, what sort of prices does ARM want for cortex M4?
You can order parts from www.ASiDesigner.com
we are a wire-based company
 

Online brucehoult

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 490
  • Country: ru
Re: RISC-V Development tools
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2017, 12:26:34 AM »
Andes Technology is also doing quite a lot with RISC-V. They're contributing llvm support they've done internally (though as normal it needs cleaning up before it can be merged back to the main llvm project) and they just a few minutes ago put out a proposal (or the starting point for a proposal) for a RISC-V P "Packed SIMD" extension, which is pretty desperately needed to compete with ARM in a lot of areas.

https://groups.google.com/a/groups.riscv.org/d/msg/isa-dev/vYVi95gF2Mo/25SALFsxBQAJ
 

Offline mikerj

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1354
  • Country: gb
Re: RISC-V Development tools
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2017, 09:00:29 PM »
Are there any commercial tools for the RISC-V architecture (i.e. where a licence includes full support), or is the Eclipse/GCC toolchain the only option at present?

What kind of support do you want? gcc and eclipse are mature technology and unlikely to be very broken compared to hacked-up proprietary tools, so the main support needed seems to be beginner hand-holding. I don't use eclipse, but gcc, gdb, openocd work fine for me.

We currently have a number of seats of the Keil tools, and I have to say that support has been excellent on the occasions we have needed it e.g. installation issues, target support and even a couple of compiler bugs (a few years back though).

I have nothing against GCC given it's price, and have used it for many years on personal projects.  There isn't much love for Eclipse amongst the team I work with however.

The driver here is that timescales are quite tight, we need to be able to hit the ground running on the first iteration of silicon so we don't want to waste any of it trying to resolve any toolchain problems that may arise by ourselves.

Interesting. Who is the ASIC vendor?

Making custom ASICs with a RISC-V core in the Cortex M4 class is exactly the thing SiFive has already demonstrated they can do -- and want to do. Contact them if you haven't already.

I'd rather not say right now, but the cost of ARM licensing has been brought up by most of the smaller vendors we have contacted and RISC-V was suggested by two of them. 

That's so cool, what sort of prices does ARM want for cortex M4?

Not as cool as it sounds IMO; it's a huge amount of work with tight deadlines, and a considerable investment for a fairly low volume demand so the risk is high.  However we need large reductions in the size of our current discrete solution, and we are already down to 01005 passives and chipscale ICs wherever possible, so not much choice really.

We've not had an official quote yet, but my research suggests around $200k for licensing, no idea on royalties.  It's relatively low compared to the total cost of developing the entire thing, but needs to be traded off against possible risks and time of using an unknown (to us) architecture and unsupported tools.
 

Online coppice

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2849
  • Country: gb
Re: RISC-V Development tools
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2017, 12:17:01 AM »
We've not had an official quote yet, but my research suggests around $200k for licensing, no idea on royalties.  It's relatively low compared to the total cost of developing the entire thing, but needs to be traded off against possible risks and time of using an unknown (to us) architecture and unsupported tools.
None of the successful stable MCU families you see came together quickly or cheaply, even if they licenced a core (e.g. the M4) to drop in. This is especially true if there are tight requirements in, say, the low power direction. If you don't want to tread the same ground they did, it can be a huge time and cost saver to work with someone who has all the key pieces running smoothly on an economical process, and only needs to integrate your special sauce to make a new part.
 

Online brucehoult

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 490
  • Country: ru
Re: RISC-V Development tools
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2017, 01:12:10 AM »
I have nothing against GCC given it's price, and have used it for many years on personal projects.  There isn't much love for Eclipse amongst the team I work with however.

GCC was sometimes a bit dodgy 20 years ago, or even 15. I remember the company I was working for in 2002 sticking with GCC 2.95 for a long time because it actually worked reliably, whereas the 3.0.x releases were awful.

Now GCC is very reliable. The front end and optimiser are shared by everything, so that only leaves the RISC-V back end to cause problems. It's such a simple architecture that there isn't much chance of problems.

I'd say the biggest sticking point would be what kind of instructions you need. Plain old integer code, great, no problem. Single and double precision floating point are there too, though there isn't yet a commercially buyable core implementing them -- SiFive's U54 quad core processor due early 2018 will have DP FP.

RISC-V doesn't yet have SIMD instructions specified i.e. a competitor to NEON. If you need that soon then you're out of luck. RISC-V also doesn't have anything like count-leading-zeroes or population count or bit reverse or bitfield extract or insert standardized. There is a working group doing that right now. If you need some of those and are making a custom ASIC anyway then they're pretty easy to implement.
 

Online andersm

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 826
  • Country: fi
Re: RISC-V Development tools
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2017, 01:15:46 AM »
gcc and eclipse are mature technology and unlikely to be very broken compared to hacked-up proprietary tools
On the other hand, the RISC-V port is quite new, and there seems to still be a decent amount of bug fixing activity going on.

Online brucehoult

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 490
  • Country: ru
Re: RISC-V Development tools
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2017, 01:38:18 AM »
gcc and eclipse are mature technology and unlikely to be very broken compared to hacked-up proprietary tools
On the other hand, the RISC-V port is quite new, and there seems to still be a decent amount of bug fixing activity going on.

Enhancements and optimisations, definitely. I'm not aware of too many bugs. It builds a linux kernel just fine, and I've personally built and used (in emulation) a small linux distro (riscv-poky) based on the Yocto distribution for embedded systems. Fedora built their complete desktop distribution, and say they are ready to do an official release as soon as the riscv changes to the Linux kernel and glibc are officially upstreamed and released (will be in Linux 4.15 in Jan for sure, and glibc should be in Jan or Feb too).

It's new for sure, and there is always a possibility of something showing up, but the rate of progress is good and there are a lot of people contributing to it.
 

Offline mikerj

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1354
  • Country: gb
Re: RISC-V Development tools
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2017, 10:14:02 AM »

I'd say the biggest sticking point would be what kind of instructions you need. Plain old integer code, great, no problem. Single and double precision floating point are there too, though there isn't yet a commercially buyable core implementing them -- SiFive's U54 quad core processor due early 2018 will have DP FP.

The reason we wanted the M4 core over M3 was for the FPU, so this would need to be part of the RISC-V implementation as well.  I'm told the IP is available for that.
 

Online brucehoult

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 490
  • Country: ru
Re: RISC-V Development tools
« Reply #15 on: November 28, 2017, 11:24:48 AM »

I'd say the biggest sticking point would be what kind of instructions you need. Plain old integer code, great, no problem. Single and double precision floating point are there too, though there isn't yet a commercially buyable core implementing them -- SiFive's U54 quad core processor due early 2018 will have DP FP.

The reason we wanted the M4 core over M3 was for the FPU, so this would need to be part of the RISC-V implementation as well.  I'm told the IP is available for that.

SiFive's U54 supports single and double precision FP. In the ISA "RV64GC" is shorthand for "RV64IMAFDC" with F and D being FP.

https://www.sifive.com/products/risc-v-core-ip/u54-mc/

They don't seem to be offering FP support in the off-the-shelf configuration page for the 32 bit E31 core designed for embedded systems.

https://www.sifive.com/products/risc-v-core-ip/e31/

If you ask them about it I'm sure they could add the FPU to one for you. It might be the case though that once you have an FP (especially a double precision one) you hardly notice the extra chip area for 64 bit integer registers and ALU instead of 32 bit.
 

Online brucehoult

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 490
  • Country: ru
Re: RISC-V Development tools
« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2017, 09:08:43 AM »
 

Online coppice

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2849
  • Country: gb
Re: RISC-V Development tools
« Reply #17 on: November 29, 2017, 09:20:05 AM »
Western Digital announced that:

1) they ship over one billion processors a year, and
2) over the next several years they are switching them all to RISC-V
Are you sure they are shipping this quantity? The slide you reference seems to imply that after several years of transition they will be shipping a billion cores.
 

Offline hamster_nz

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1267
  • Country: nz
Re: RISC-V Development tools
« Reply #18 on: November 29, 2017, 12:02:07 PM »
Some interesting developments at the 7th RISC-V Workshop Milpitas, CA, today.

Western Digital announced that:

1) they ship over one billion processors a year, and
2) over the next several years they are switching them all to RISC-V


Wow - looks like metaphorical shot across the bows for ARM...
 

Online brucehoult

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 490
  • Country: ru
Re: RISC-V Development tools
« Reply #19 on: November 29, 2017, 12:50:19 PM »
Western Digital announced that:

1) they ship over one billion processors a year, and
2) over the next several years they are switching them all to RISC-V
Are you sure they are shipping this quantity? The slide you reference seems to imply that after several years of transition they will be shipping a billion cores.

They definitely said >1b today, several billion a year by the time the transition is complete.
 

Online voltsandjolts

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 401
  • Country: gb
Re: RISC-V Development tools
« Reply #20 on: November 29, 2017, 11:58:28 PM »
Yup.

https://www.wdc.com/about-wd/newsroom/press-room/2017-11-28-western-digital-to-accelerate-the-future-of-next-generation-computing-architectures-for-big-data-and-fast-data-environments.html

Quote
RISC-V is an open and scalable compute architecture that will enable the diversity of Big Data and Fast Data applications and workloads proliferating in core cloud data centers and in remote and mobile systems at the edge. Western Digital’s leadership role in the RISC-V initiative is significant in that it aims to accelerate the advancement of the technology and the surrounding ecosystem by transitioning its own consumption of processors – over one billion cores per year – to RISC-V.

Quote
Western Digital is engaged in active partnerships and investments in RISC-V ecosystem partners. The company recently completed a strategic investment in Esperanto Technologies, a developer of high-performance, energy-efficient computing solutions based on the open RISC-V architecture. Esperanto, which is headquartered in Mountain View, Calif., includes a seasoned team of experienced processor and software engineers with the goal of making RISC-V the architecture of choice for compute-intensive applications, such as machine learning.

“The open source movement has demonstrated to the world that innovation is maximized with a large community working toward a common goal,” said Fink. “For that reason, we are providing all of our RISC-V logic work to the community. We also encourage open collaboration among all industry participants, including our customers and partners, to help amplify and accelerate our efforts. Together we can drive data-focused innovation and ensure that RISC-V becomes the next Linux success story.”

 

Offline mac.6

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 72
  • Country: fr
Re: RISC-V Development tools
« Reply #21 on: December 01, 2017, 07:12:46 PM »
Western Digital announced that:

1) they ship over one billion processors a year, and
2) over the next several years they are switching them all to RISC-V
Are you sure they are shipping this quantity? The slide you reference seems to imply that after several years of transition they will be shipping a billion cores.

They definitely said >1b today, several billion a year by the time the transition is complete.

western digital to contribute one billion core

Well I am not native english speaker but I understant they are moving to risc-v for their custom processors, not they have completely transitioned to risc-v.
Remember that final specs are quite young considering that you need one or two test chips to master/iron out a new architecture.
They are not alone, but other may stay quiet for now.
 

Offline Scrts

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 506
  • Country: lt
Re: RISC-V Development tools
« Reply #22 on: December 02, 2017, 06:26:51 AM »
Do they also count multiple cores in one chip? 100M chips with 10 cores is 1B cores.
 

Offline ataradov

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3699
  • Country: us
  • I informed you thusly
    • Personal site
Re: RISC-V Development tools
« Reply #23 on: December 02, 2017, 06:28:46 AM »
Do they also count multiple cores in one chip? 100M chips with 10 cores is 1B cores.
I would assume so.

I also don't understand why this metric matters at all. Who cares how many chips are sold. The important questions are: do they work? Do they serve a purpose? Are they at least breaking even on investments?
Alex
 

Offline legacy

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2622
Re: RISC-V Development tools
« Reply #24 on: December 04, 2017, 11:19:06 PM »
 :popcorn:
 


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf