The SiFive Performance 650 is a processor based on the RISC-V architecture that supposes an important step forward compared to its predecessor, the SiFive Performance 550, a chip that we already had the opportunity to talk about in this article and that, as we told you, was the most powerful of its class.
Not long ago it was officially unveiled, and today we have been able to confirm that the SiFive Performance 650 is now generally available. The SiFive Performance P650 will serve as the spearhead for RISC-V architecture to break into new markets, including high performance computing, data centers, edge computing, smart cars, mobile devices and others.
It is clear that the bet that SiFive has made with the Performance 650 has been very ambitious. According to Dr. Yunsup Lee, Co-Founder and CTO of SiFive:
“SiFive’s mission is to answer the call from the semiconductor industry for more IP processor options. SiFive is uniquely focused on offering innovative processor technology based on the RISC-V architecture. Since the announcement of the Performance series, based on RISC-V cores earlier this year, SiFive has continued to push the limits of what was previously possible with RISC-V. The SiFive Performance P650 processor represents our relentless commitment to performance, to deliver significant performance and enhancements in record time. This announcement is the next step towards our long-term vision of lbring RISC-V processors to all high-performance applications«.
The SiFive Performance P650 processor maintains the same foundation as the SiFive Performance P550, which means that it adopts an efficient design at the pipeline level, but introduces significant improvements in the width of instructions to offer, in theory, up to 40% more CPI (instructions per clock cycle). Thanks to other improvements that have been introduced at the architecture level, this new chip is capable of offering, in theory, a total improvement of the CPI of 50%, compared to the SiFive Performance P550 model.
This chip can scale optimally in numerous configurations with very different numbers of cores, although we know that it peaks at all 16 cores. There is no doubt that we are facing the most advanced and powerful RISC-V chip that exists, and also before a very interesting solution that confirms the potential that such architecture has. Seen what is seen, it is not weird that Intel was interested in buying SiFive.