New P650 the “Fastest Licensable RISC-V Processor IP Core,” SiFive Says

By Brandon Lewis


Embedded Computing Design

December 07, 2021


SiFive, Inc. has announced the Performance P650 processor, a coherent multicore processor that scales to 16 cores and is what the company calls the “fastest licensable RISC-V processor IP core.” The new modular 64-bit CPU core uses a 13-stage out-of-order core pipeline and advanced branch prediction to deliver a 40% performance improvement per clock cycle over its predecessor, the P550.

SiFive is projecting a 11.x SPECInt/GHz score for the P650, which would outperform the Arm Cortex-A77 CPU.

Other enhancements in the Performance P650 include:

  • Expanded, four-wide instruction-issue width with three execution units
  • Increased maximum clock frequency for 50% speedup over SiFive’s previous fastest processor
  • Support for the new RISC-V Hypervisor Extension for Virtualization

On the memory front, the P650 includes a shared 1 MB+ of L3 cache per core, up to 128 Kb L1 cache, and as many as four 256-bit memory ports,

Dr. Yunsup Lee, co-founder and CTO of SiFive says the SiFive Performance P650 processor IP represents “the next step towards our long-term vision of bringing RISC-V processors to all performance-hungry applications.” These include data center, automotive, and other high-end sockets that would benefit from clustered P650s connected by the IP’s coherent NoC interfaces.

The Performance P650 Architecture Preview will be available to lead customers in Q1 2022 and generally by mid-year.

More information can be found at or in select sessions from the 2021 RISC-V Summit.

Brandon is responsible for guiding content strategy, editorial direction, and community engagement across the Embedded Computing Design ecosystem. A 10-year veteran of the electronics media industry, he enjoys covering topics ranging from development kits to cybersecurity and tech business models. Brandon received a BA in English Literature from Arizona State University, where he graduated cum laude. He can be reached at [email protected].

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