Bluespec's New MCUX RISC-V Processor Allows Developers to Implement Custom Instructions and Add Accelerators to FPGAs and ASICs

By Tiera Oliver

Associate Editor

Embedded Computing Design

June 28, 2023


Bluespec's New MCUX RISC-V Processor Allows Developers to Implement Custom Instructions and Add Accelerators to FPGAs and ASICs

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.-- Bluespec Inc. announced its new MCUX RISC-V processor designed to enable flexibility for implementing custom instructions tailored to application requirements, as well as the ability to add accelerators to FPGAs and ASICs.

Ideal for machine vision, video decoding, audio decoding, and radar signaling applications, and edge use cases such as industrial automation, defense, and IoT, the MCUX RISC-V processor helps developers speed up critical and/or common operations, reduce memory access, and improve efficiency.

“The small footprint of our MCUX RISC-V processor directly translates to cost savings for our customers. Developers can add advanced hardware extensions to accelerate specific workloads to run even more efficiently while keeping resources very low,” said Charlie Hauck, CEO at Bluespec. “Another major advantage of our MCUX processor is that there are no licensing restrictions so developers can work with any FPGA vendor.”

Suitable for ultra-low resource utilization on FPGAs, the MCUX is an extension of Bluespec’s MCU RISC-V processor family and is fully portable across all major FPGA architectures and ASIC technologies. The MCUX embedded processor is also designed for applications requiring a small processor for configuration and control of custom modules, IO devices, sensors, actuators, and accelerators, as well as software programmable replacements for fixed-hardware finite state machines.

Bluespec’s MCUX is capable of operating at a high frequency, enabling integration into designs without crossing clock domains. Designs that do not require a high frequency operation benefit from extra timing slack, without an impact on timing closure. 

Bluespec also performs implementation and optimization on its processors, as well as performing standard and proprietary verification. In addition to the MCUX and MCU processor families, Bluespec offers the RV32IMAC BMR family designed for applications that run on bare-metal or real-time operating systems, the RV32IMAC SCL family for single-core Linux application requirements, and the RV32GC SCL which adds floating-point support to the single-core Linux family.

For more information, visit: for a new application note that walks through implementing and executing custom instructions on the MCUX.

Tiera Oliver, Associate Editor for Embedded Computing Design, is responsible for web content edits, product news, and constructing stories. She also assists with newsletter updates as well as contributing and editing content for ECD podcasts and the ECD YouTube channel. Before working at ECD, Tiera graduated from Northern Arizona University where she received her B.S. in journalism and political science and worked as a news reporter for the university’s student led newspaper, The Lumberjack.

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