Getting a RISC-V embedded toolchain in place

By TDF Editor |  No Comments  |  Posted: February 15, 2021
Topics/Categories: Blog - Embedded, - Next Generation Design, Standards  |  Tags: , ,  | Organizations: ,

The RISC-V processor IP platform has generated a lot of interest over the last two years, but there is still plenty of demand for a primer on where it came from and how companies can use it. A technical paper from Siemens Digital Industries Software seeks to answer that need for embedded software developers.

The paper provides a brief and concise history of RISC-V’s evolution, a description of the architecture and its benefits, and guidance on using open-source tools and commercial software development kits.

The paper’s release coincides with Siemens’ recent release of GCC- and LLVM-based sample commercial-grade RISC-V SDKs targeting the SiFive HiFive Unleashed reference board. Configuration of the toolchain and the support variants for the release are discussed in more detail (and illustrated in brief below).

Figure 1. Toolchain configuration for the Siemens sample RISC-V SDKs (Siemens)

Figure 1. Toolchain configuration for the Siemens sample RISC-V SDKs (Siemens)

Figure 2. RISC-V ISA variants supported by the Siemens sample RISC-V SDKs (Siemens)

Figure 2. RISC-V ISA variants supported by the Siemens sample RISC-V SDKs (Siemens)

The paper considers the releases in terms of the three criteria it argues must form part of any pre-development process evaluation: Commericialization, customization and support.

“As RISC-V enters the mainstream of embedded commercial products, a customer-ready software development
ecosystem will be essential for marketplace success,” it says. “Toolchain commercialization, customization and support are essential ingredients for deploying commercial-grade open-source based toolchains in SDKs supporting
RISC-V-based product development and post-release software updates.”

Ensuring the success of your RISC-V product with a commercial-grade software development ecosystem‘ is available for download here.

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