StarFive Dubhe Launched as “World’s Highest Performance RISC-V Processor Core”

By Abhishek Jadhav

Freelance Tech Writer

December 09, 2021


StarFive Dubhe Launched as “World’s Highest Performance RISC-V Processor Core”

Chinese RISC-V chipmaker StarFive has released Dubhe, a 64-bit CPU IP they claim is the world’s highest-performance RISC-V processor core as it clocks at frequencies of up to 2 GHz. Dubhe targets 12 nm TSMC process technology and supports the vector and hypervisor extensions that were recently added to the RISC-V Foundation’s base instruction set architecture. 

StarFive’s Dubhe benchmarks include SPECint2006 scores of 8.9/GHz, a 6.6 DMIPS/MHz Dhrystone rating, and a CoreMark of 7.6/MHz. These results are in fact better than initial performance estimates from a RISC-V blog posted earlier this year that projected the CPU’s SPECint2006 as 31.2 at 3.5 GHz and Dhrystone is 5.6 DMIPS/MHz.

With the latest benchmark specifications, the processor IP can meet the demands for data-intensive application with faster and flexible product development maintaining work efficiency reducing the time to market. 

Behind the Scenes of StarFive's Dubhe RISC-V CPU IP

Specifically, the RV64GCBVH Dubhe core extensions are designed for bit manipulation, AI-focused vector processing, and virtualization. This makes the processor core suitable for applications that include machine learning and artificial intelligence. It marks a significant step for the design of high-end, mainstream RISC-V processors that support a wide range of applications.


The Dubhe core drives Fang Tianshu processors that StarFive adapted for superscalar and deep out-of-order execution. The chipmaker also obviously made in-depth optimzations to meet the described performance and frequency peaks. The company’s latest CPU IP has become the flagship of StarFive’s existing product lineup, and the manufacturer believes it is an important milestone in shifting RISC-V processor designs from IoT controllers to high-performance applications.

Fang Tianshu Series (Image Credit: StarFive)

The company has stated that it will remain committed to designing open standards-based RISC-V processor cores that meet the continuously changing needs of computing fields. StarFive previously hinted at the VisionFive V1, an SBC that leverages the StarFive JH7100 SoC based on SiFive’s U74 processor cores with support for Wi-Fi 4 and Bluetooth 4.2 wireless connectivity, which was officially announced at this week’s RISC-V Summit. It is believed that the VisionFive V1 will replace the BeagleV, as it comes right after the chipmaker cancelled production on the former and carries the same price point of $149.

Many RISC-V users have speculated that the VisionFive V1 SBC is being positioned to compete directly with the Raspberry Pi.

In my opinion, it all comes down to the online community support and widely available tools for product development.  

Abhishek Jadhav is an engineering student, freelance tech writer, RISC-V Ambassador, and leader of the Open Hardware Developer Community.

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