In the summer of 2019, the Alibaba Grup announced the first RISC-V processor made 100% by them and named Xuantie 910.

Alibaba RISC-V processor
Alibaba RISC-V processor

The Xuantie 910 processor is made on a 12 nm process technology whit 16 cores at 2,5 GHz.

The Xuantie 910 processor is said to be the most powerful RISC-V processor ever made. It has up to 40% more compute power then the other CPUs on RISC-V tech.

Xuantie 910 processor
XT910

Alibaba’s RISC-V processor design – the Xuantie 910, or XT 910 for short – is the first set of blueprints of its kind from the tech goliath’s R&D division. The unit, dubbed T-head or Pingtouge, which means honey badger in Chinese, wants to draw up chips to power or accelerate the usual trendy stuff: machine learning, self-driving cars, edge servers, 5G networks, and the Internet of Things. The XT 910’s architecture is good for producing micrcontrollers, general-purpose processors, and system-on-chips, we’re told.

There’s no sign of that source code yet online, though it is expected to land on GitHub at some point. The component, it is reported, will also go on sale as a commercial thing – seemingly a set of design files for system-on-chip makers to license. We imagine central aspects of the Xuantie 910, such as its CPU cores, may be open sourced, while the rest of the blueprints to complete the processor remain closed source, forcing you to pay Alibaba for the full thing. For evaluation purposes, at least, you should be able to experiment with the design on a suitable FPGA, if and when any source code is made public. It may also go on sale as a physical finalized processor from Alibaba. Nothing concrete has been announced.

The aforementioned RV64GCV designation means the Xuantie 910 implements the base 64-bit RISC-V ISA (RV64G), supports compact 16-bit-wide instructions (C) as well as the usual 32-bit-wide instructions, and supports still-in-development vector math operations (V). Interestingly enough, though, it is also said to include 50 non-official instructions for assisting and accelerating various tasks, from memory management and CPU core wrangling to storage access. While RISC-V has strong support for instruction set extensions, 50 seems a bit much: that’s more than the base 32-bit integer-only instruction set. It’s almost as if the Xuantie 910 is a custom processor architecture that happens to be RV64GCV compatible.

A physical slot-in CPU might be available, or it might be part of an add-in accelerator card or a system-on-chip. As for who might want to buy it, Jianyi Meng, senior director at Alibaba Group, has plenty of generic buzzwords to get you excited over.

Jianyi Meng sed :

“The breakthrough is more than a mere performance enhancement of RISC-V processors. It means more IoT areas that require high-performance computing such as 5G, AI, networking, gateway, self-driving automobile, and edge server can now be powered by this latest RISC-V processor, which was previously used for simple embedded devices like smart-home appliances.”

There an no confirmation on when we can get the TX910, but we hope that in 2020 will be able to test one.

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Alen S.

Alen S. a web administrator and entrepreneur that love the technology.

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