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Microsemi (the names "Actel" and "ProASIC" might be better-known) and Lattice are also mentioned as sponsors in the article itself. These are FPGA vendors, which suggests that they might be interested in shipping RISC-V soft cores in their design tools or possibly even shipping chips with RISC-V hard cores (similar to the Xilinx Zynq and Altera SoC families).

Notably, Lattice manufactures the only FPGA for which a full open source design flow currently exists (albeit unsupported by Lattice themselves) [1], and has its own set of open source soft processor cores [2] [3].

[1] http://www.clifford.at/icestorm/

[2] http://www.latticesemi.com/en/Products/DesignSoftwareAndIP/I...

[3] http://www.latticesemi.com/en/Products/DesignSoftwareAndIP/I...




I think the main reason the fpga companies aren't offering a low-cost , hard core mcu+fpga chip is that they are afraid about competing against the mcu companies.They can certainly reach the prices (Lattice claims a 50 cents fpga).And it's very affordable to license from ARM.

So i don't see this sector changing with an open-source core.


As sanddancer said, there are already high end parts from both of the top FPGA companies that include hard MCUs. Xilinx has been doing this for a really long time going back to embedded PPC. They wouldn't be competing against MCU companies, they are already competing against other programmable logic companies with the same features. The difficult part is the engineering and marketing in a way that doesn't cut into the profit margin of those low cost FPGAs. And RISCV provides a zero to low cost path to working netlists and toolchains. MCU+FPGA hybrids are absolutely the future in programmable logic it is only a matter of time before _all_ shipping fpgas have built in hard programmable control logic.


>> MCU+FPGA hybrids are absolutely the future

If so , it will probably come from china - they're building all the parts, are hungry(even at the state level) to achieve dominance , and don't care much about legacies, and have the market (probably backed by government) to support such strategy.


Altera, and Xilinx both offer FPGAs that have ARM cores in them for when the need arises. However, the FPGA market has entrenched itself fairly well into the DSP realm, and as such, worrying about an mpu at all just means chip area that would likely go to waste anyways.

Lattice on the other hand, is a more general purpose chip maker, so they may not want to bite the hand that feeds them. They've got a lot of products other than FPGAs, so keeping those lines working is probably more strategic than anything else.


MicroSemi offers FPGA+ARM in their SmartFusion chips. About RISC-V: consider asking them.




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