Microsemi Corporation, a leading provider of semiconductor solutions differentiated by power, security, reliability and performance, has announced Antmicro, an international research and development company known for its work with emerging technologies in embedded and cyber-physical systems, has joined Microsemi’s Mi-V RISC-V ecosystem. As the maker of the open source Renode framework for multi-node simulation, Antmicro has implemented support for Microsemi’s Mi-V, RISC-V-based soft central processing units (CPUs) and the solution’s integration with Microsemi’s SoftConsole software development environment, enabling a vastly improved, test-driven software development methodology for all Mi-V users.
As part of their collaboration within the Mi-V ecosystem, Antmicro and Microsemi developed and tested software for Mi-V RISC-V processor subsystems. These were specially designed for Microsemi’s lowest power, cost-optimised mid-range PolarFire field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs),which are binary compatible to hardware, even before hardware is available. In addition to expanding Microsemi’s Mi-V ecosystem, as well as the adoption of its PolarFire FPGAs, the collaboration improves the development experience and quality of Mi-V-based systems.
“Antmicro and its innovative Renode platform are excellent additions to Microsemi’s Mi-V ecosystem and help us enhance our RISC-V design offerings for customers,” said Venki Narayanan, senior director of system architecture and embedded solutions at Microsemi. “The Renode system brings rapid development and debug capabilities to our customers developing soft processors on our award-winning PolarFire FPGA. We look forward to further collaborations with the team at Antmicro, as well as the continued expansion of our ecosystem’s overall portfolio of solutions.”
Customers can design and debug a complete processor subsystem within Antmicro’s virtual Renode environment on their desktop without actually needing target hardware. The resultant output is binary compatible to the processor running in the PolarFire FPGA. Antmicro’s Renode technology makes it ideal for a variety of RISC-V-based applications within the aerospace and defence, security, communications, industrial, medical and internet of things (IoT) markets, including secure communications, flight controls, machine vision, image processing, wireless communications, building automation and factory automation.
“Renode has been designed to revolutionise the way we develop sophisticated embedded systems,” said Michael Gielda, business development manager at Antmicro. “A business-friendly open source project coming from a software-driven embedded design house, Renode is the perfect match for both the Mi-V ecosystem, and the RISC-V technology in general. We are proud to be bringing advanced development tools for Microsemi’s Mi-V to the wider developer community.”
As part of Microsemi’s Mi-V RISC-V ecosystem, Antmicro’s Renode platform offers multiple connected virtual devices (multi-node) setups within the same simulated environment, bypassing the limitations associated with single device solutions like those from competitors. Using C#, a high productivity programming platform, and advanced abstraction layers, the solution boasts ease-of-development for customers without the hassle of C programming. In addition, it offers full visibility of the simulated platform enabling better insight and increased security, and is open source to allow for unlimited integrations, modifications and additions, as well as easy bundling and distribution to customers—particularly those leveraging Microsemi’s SoftConsole.
Additional features include:
- Business-friendly MIT license (also known as the X11 licence or MIT X licence) with commercial support provided by Antmicro
- Teamwork supporting features, such as state saving and event recording
- Automatic testing frameworks and continuous integration
- Extensive application program interfaces (APIs), allowing easy integration with external tools
- Rapid prototyping of complex setups, including multi-node use case, enabling multi-node debugging
- Software-agnostic, run binary-compatible firmware like those on hardware, but with additional features
- Easy model development with high-level programming environment
- Well-structured API, plugins and extensions model for easy integration
- Runtime reconfiguration and layers structure, ensuring sensitive information is isolated
- Continuous integration and improved development workflows
- Ease of implementation of test cases, allowing for greater test coverage