GAP8 builds on Open Source components from the Parallel Ultra Low Power (PULP) project at ETH Zurich, Switzerland and the University of Bologna, Italy. PULP itself uses processor cores that implement the Open Source RISC-V instruction set architecture (ISA).
GreenWaves is a key contributor to the PULP project and has staff on two committees of the RISC V foundation.
Why is this important to our customers?
One way GreenWaves has achieved ultra-low power consumption for embedded analysis with GAP8 is by adding special operations to the processor cores that optimize power consumption for GAP8’s target application space. This could have been achieved by developing a complete custom specialized instruction set but this would have forced our customers to use a proprietary (and probably very immature) toolchain.
By using RISC-V, an Open Source ISA with wide industry support, GreenWaves can innovate by adding these special instructions while remaining compatible with the core RISC-V ISA. This means that our customers can use the expanding set of tools for RISC-V while at the same time benefiting from our extra optimized instructions, used where necessary in their code, to help achieve ultra-high energy efficiency.
PULP provide GAP8 with a solid heritage based on several generations of experimental work, a vibrant community and full open source tool chain and runtime/OS to support software development for devices speeding time to market for our partners and customers.