The SoC contains 32-bit SiFive E76 cores for artificial intelligence, microcontrollers, edge computing, and other relatively simplistic applications that don’t require full precision. It uses OpenFive’s D2D (die-to-die) interface for 2.5D packages, as well as the HBM3 memory subsystem which includes a controller and a PHY supporting data transfer rates of up to at 7.2 Gbps.
The first RISC-V 5nm SoC with HBM3 memory
This announcement represents a significant milestone for SiFive and OpenFive as the SoC is the first RISC-V-based device to be manufactured with a 5nm node. Meanwhile, the announcement also contains two interesting facts: the first is, of course, OpenFive’s implementation of an HBM3 solution and a rather bold data transfer speed expectation (double with the HBM2E
The current design will almost never be used “ as is ”, but parties interested in building a high performance 5nm RISC-V SoC for AI or YPC applications can take it as a base design to build their own. technology or with third-party technology. such as custom accelerators, high performance FP64 cores, etc.
Remember that RISC-V is associated with open standards, as well as free software. This implies that anyone who licenses this OpenFive SoC will have complete freedom to use it for what they want and run the programs as they see fit, as well as change the source code and redistribute and license their own copies. he wishes it.
Alternatively, the three key components of the SoC implemented using TSMC’s N5 node (the E76 core, the D2D interface and its physical implementation which includes the built-in PLL, programmable output drivers, and training state machines link, and of course the HBM3 memory with its controller, I / O and PHY) can be licensed separately, depending on what interests each customer.
TSMC’s N5 lithograph is getting better and better
The milestone that they have already managed to build the first SoC successfully means that the documentation for the chip has already been submitted to TSMC so that they can start with their manufacturing
This announcement is all the more important as the chip shortage is on the lips of everyone in this industry, as it could mean that TSMC again has a “vacuum” to accept new demands at its manufacturing node. 5nm. It is also potentially possible that OpenFive has reserved this capability in TSMC for a long time, but being as it is a chipmaker / designer who is obviously well behind major members such as AMD or NVIDIA, we consider that it is unlikely that they would have said reserve.
Does TSMC accept new requests? This is something we can’t know, but the point is, their 5nm manufacturing node is operating at full capacity, and it looks like they will continue to do so for quite some time.