SiFive and Ceva Partner To Build Mainstream Edge AI Processors

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SiFive, one of the best known providers of RISC-V processor IP, has partnered with Ceva, a leading provider of embedded chip solutions, to create embedded AI processors for the mainstream market using the RISC-V instruction set architecture (ISA). 

The partnership will include integrating RISC-V CPUs, Ceva’s digital signaling processor (DSP) cores, AI processor and software. The system-on-a-chips (SoCs) that will result from this partnership are targeting an array of applications that will make use of the chip for imaging, computer vision, speech recognition, and analyzing sensor data. The companies said they plan to target the smart home, automotive, robotics, security and surveillance, augmented reality, industrial and IoT markets.

SiFive and Ceva said they believe that domain-specific SoCs capable of handling machine learning on-device, also called “edge processors,” are set to become mainstream as more devices start to include “intelligent” features that require machine learning accelerators for efficient computation. 

The Edge AI SoCs created by these companies will support Ceva’s award-winning CDNN Deep Neural Network machine learning software compiler that creates fully-optimized runtime software for the CEVA-XM vision processors, CEVA-BX audio DSPs and NeuPro AI processors. Ceva will also supply developers with a full range of tools they can use to build machine learning applications for the new processors.

Through its DesignShare IP program, SiFive offers a streamlined process for companies that seek to partner with leading vendors to provide pre-integrated premium silicon IP in order to bring new SoCs to market. According to SiFive, the program reduces the complexities contract negotiation and licensing agreements to enable faster time to market through simpler prototyping and no upfront payment. 

SiFive’s DesignShare program, which currently includes integration support for the CEVA-BX Audio DSPs, CEVA-XM Vision DSPs and NeuPro AI processors, is now available.

Lucian Armasu
Lucian Armasu is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers software news and the issues surrounding privacy and security.