Free and open source silicon pioneer Cobham Gaisler has announced two new processor IP families, the SPARC-based LEON5 and the RISC-V-based NOEL-V, which enter the company’s family of space-qualified products.
“Cobham has a long-standing tradition of delivering open source solutions in order to expedite the development of next-generation computing devices for the space industry. For nearly 20 years, Cobham’s LEON processors, which are based on the SPARC ISA, have been used in RadHard and High Reliability microelectronics solutions in hundreds of spacecraft and terrestrial applications due to their rich feature set and dependability,” says Kevin Jackson, vice president and general manager, space and semiconductor solutions, Cobham. “Our new LEON5 achieves a major improvement in terms of compute performance, while simultaneously allowing a smooth upgrade path and software re-use for our existing LEON user base.”
The LEON5, though, is only half the story. Cobham has also announced NOEL-V, which marks its first Cobham Gaisler product to be built around at 64-bit implementation of the free and open RISC-V instruction set architecture rather than the company’s usual choice of 32-bit SPARC ISA. “Cobham is delighted to add our first in-house implementation of a RISC-V processor core to our existing processor portfolio,” says Sandi Habinc, general manager for Cobham Gaisler solutions. “The addition of a product line of RISC-V processors strengthens Cobham’s abilities to offer reliable processor solutions to customers also outside the space domain.”
Cobham has confirmed that both processor families will be integrated into the company’s open-source GRLIB VHDL IP core library, and that a partnership with Xilinx will see the new IP certified on the company’s space-ready FPGAs at launch on Christmas Day.