Microsemi: Eclipse IDE supporting RISC-V Open Instruction Set architecture

Microsemi announced the release of its SoftConsole version 5.1, the world’s first available Windows-hosted Eclipse integrated development environment for designs utilizing RISC-V open instruction set architectures (ISAs) such as RV32I. SoftConsole, Microsemi’s free software development environment enabling rapid production of C and C++ programming language designs for its field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), will be showcased at the Design Automation Conference (DAC) in a presentation highlighting its open architecture, low power and development capabilities using RISC-V soft central processing unit cores.

SoftConsole v5.1, a GNU compiler collection, now supports both Windows and Linux for RISC-V designs and can be used for RV32I implementations including extensions to the baseline RV32I architecture such as M,A,F,D,G and C. Offering low power and an open architecture, it supports Microsemi’s PolarFire, RTG4, SmartFusion2 and IGLOO2 FPGA-based RISC-V soft CPUs as well as the HiFive1 Arduino kit from SiFive, a fabless semiconductor company that produces computer chips based on the RISC-V ISA. SoftConsole v5.1 is ideal for developing a wide variety of applications within the aerospace and defense, communications, data center and industrial markets.

RISC-V, an ISA which is now a standard open architecture under the governance of the RISC-V Foundation, offers numerous benefits, including enabling the open source community to test and improve cores at a faster pace than closed ISAs. As the RISC-V intellectual property core is not encrypted, it can be used to ensure trust and certifications not possible with closed architectures. Portability is another benefit of the technology. For example, designers can begin development with Microsemi’s RISC-V core in its FPGAs and then move to an ASIC royalty-free.

As a free software development environment supporting quick development of C and C++ executables for Microsemi’s FPGAs using RISC-V soft CPU cores, SoftConsole v5.1 provides a flexible and easy-to-use graphical interface for managing embedded software development projects. Customers can quickly develop and debug software programs and implement them in Microsemi FPGAs, with a fully integrated debugger offering easy access to memory contents, registers and single-step execution. SoftConsole also enables users to configure project settings and organize files, provides simultaneous access to multiple tool windows, and delivers the ability to quickly switch editing and debug views. In addition, Libero SoC, Microsemi’s comprehensive suite of FPGA design tools, includes the Firmware Catalog to export firmware for soft CPU FPGA designs which can be imported into SoftConsole.

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