Examining Today's RISC-V Ecosystem

Sept. 6, 2023
The open-source RISC-V architecture offers new options for those who create microcontroller and microprocessor designs.

This video is part of the TechXchange: RISC-V: The Instruction-Set Alternative. Also, check out more of our TechXchange Talk videos.

The pressure on electronic systems design engineering is intense these days, as demands and expectations from the consumer base must be addressed by leveraging the latest and most optimized solutions. When it comes to creating an application-specific electronic device, especially at the chip level, the pressures of technology adoption and integration are further complicated by issues and bottlenecks within the chip-level development and manufacturing ecosystem.

Promising to address many of the issues caused by an ecosystem dominated by proprietary solutions, the open-source RISC-V architecture offers new options for those who develop microcontroller and microprocessor designs. Engineers now have the choice of basing their products on one of several proprietary processor architectures, or use the RISC-V open architecture with no royalty fees or charges per use.

Not only can the cost savings from eliminating the payment of royalty fees be substantial, but using an open-source architecture like RISC-V gives designers more freedom and choice in the cores and functionality they choose to implement.

We recently spoke to Jeffrey D. Hancock, Senior Product Manager at Siemens, about the RISC-V architecture and what it offers to designers. The company’s Nucleus RTOS can address the demands of today’s advanced embedded designs. Kernel-rich functionality and tooling features are suited for applications where a scalable footprint, connectivity, security, power management, and deterministic performance are essential.

The Nucleus ReadyStart platform integrates all of the components required to best address cost and time-to-market. It helps accelerate the development of a complete system with board support packages (BSPs) as well as Siemens Embedded Sourcery Tools, integrated UI development, and power-management services. 

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