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P550 Doubles Floating-Point Capability

July 5, 2021

Author: Aakash Jani

Having gained momentum by picking up new customers such as Renesas and Tenstorrent, SiFive released two new CPU cores: the P270 and P550. These offerings sit atop the product stack in performance, with both targeting Linux-based application processors. To better position its growing intellectual-property (IP) portfolio, the company overhauled its branding strategy by establishing three product bins: Essential, Intelligence, and Performance.

The P550 is SiFive’s follow-on to its previously unreleased U84, which failed to deliver the performance that target customers needed. The new P550 has many structural similarities to its predecessor; it’s an out-of-order three-wide core with a Linux-capable memory subsystem. Both the P550 and P270 are sampling to lead customers, and production RTL is scheduled to arrive in 3Q21. The first chips using these designs could enter production late next year.

The new products introduce the company’s Essential and Performance brands. The former encompasses the U-, S-, and E-series, while the Performance brand encapsulates the two new application cores. Its Intelligence family currently has one product and combines software support with large vector CPUs.

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