In a world where cars can drive themselves, portable speakers play your favorite music on command, and watches tell much more than the time, it’s clear why sophisticated silicon chips—and lots of them—are in demand. Yet, in this era of increasing scale and systemic complexities, this is a tall order to fill. Every application requires its own particular balance of power, performance, and area (PPA) and, increasingly, differentiation relies on various levels of SoC customization. In the face of engineering talent shortages and supply chain pressures, it’s no wonder why designers are seeking more flexibility in how they can create their unique SoCs.
Adoption by chip developers of the RISC-V architecture, with its openness, choices, and technical benefits, continues to grow. The SHD Group, in a forthcoming report, anticipates a 40% CAGR for SoCs with RISC-V processors between 2023 and 2030. What’s also helping to drive RISC-V’s popularity is the expanding and maturing ecosystem, which provides the software development tools, firmware, libraries, operating systems, and other resources that are essential for developing and programming an SoC.
With ARC-V IP, Synopsys is tapping into our 25+ years of experience implementing extensible processor hardware and software. There will be 32-bit and 64-bit versions of ARC-V processors, with high-performance, mid-range, and ultra-low-power families, along with functional safety versions. ARC-V processor extensions will be available for chip designers to extend, accelerate, and differentiate their processor cores, enabling them to increase performance, reduce power consumption, and reduce code size.
We are also leveraging more than a decade of expertise delivering IP optimized for automotive safety, designing our ARC-V processor IP from the outset to achieve the highest levels of functional safety. The ARC-V Functional Safety (FS) processors will help accelerate ISO 26262 automotive functional safety standard qualification, supporting ASIL B and ASIL D risk management levels while continuing to follow Synopsys’ certified ASIL D systematic development flow. ARC-V safety-enabled real-time and host processors will provide hardware virtualization functionality, enabling a hypervisor to manage CPU isolation required for mixed safety criticality and robust security. The ARC-V processors will also be compliant with practices defined by the ISO 21434 automotive cybersecurity standard.
The fact that our newest RISC-V processors are ideally suited for automotive SoCs is no accident. As modern vehicles have evolved into software-defined vehicles, the automotive industry demands capabilities such as fast, reliable processing and communications, small form factors, and low-power operation. The expanding RISC-V ecosystem will help ARC-V processor IP meet these requirements for automotive applications such as infotainment, in-vehicle communications, sensor control, and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). With the PPA and functional safety benefits our ARC-V processors provide, along with Synopsys’ expertise in security and safety, automotive design teams have a robust foundation upon which to develop smarter, more autonomous systems for tomorrow’s vehicles.