Fadu, a fabless semiconductor company specialising in the memory and storage markets, has announced the launch of the world’s first RISC-V based solid state drive (SSD) controller, the Annapurna, based on SiFive’s E51 multi-core IP.

Beating Western Digital, which announced its own plans to switch from proprietary instruction set architectures to the open RISC-V ISA late last year, to the punch, Fadu’s Annapurna is claimed to have market-leading specifications: at one third the power and one third the footprint of competing proprietary cores, the SiFive E51 RISC-V implementation in the Annapurna controller pushes 3.5GB/s and 800,000 input/output operations per second (IOPS) performance in the flagship Bravo enterprise-grade SSD at a 6-8W active power draw.

“Fadu is focused on building the most advanced memory and storage devices for our customers and addressing their ongoing needs,” explains Jihyo Lee, Fadu’s chief executive. “SiFive’s RISC-V Core IP was 1/3 the power and 1/3 the area of competing solutions, and gave Fadu the flexibility we needed in optimising our architecture to achieve these groundbreaking products.”

“The flexibility, 64-bit, embedded and multicore features of the E51 RISC-V Core IP is ideal for the storage market and we’re excited to be closely partnered with Fadu, who was able to quickly take advantage of RISC-V and deliver a true world-leading product,” adds Jack Kang, vice president of product at SiFive. “SiFive looks forward to working with FADU as they continue to build next-generation products for the SSD industry.”

More information on the Annapurna controller and Bravo SSD are available from the Fadu website.