GreenWaves Technologies, which launched the GAP8 RISC-V low-power processor and GAPuino development board in February last year, has announced that it has raised €7 million in Series A funding – a clear demonstration of the startling growth in the free and open source silicon (FOSSi) market.

“This support from a distinguished group of corporate investors demonstrates the GAP processor family’s unique value proposition within this emerging market,” claims Loic Lietar, GreenWaves co-founder and chief executive, of the investment from Huami, Soitec, and other unnamed investors. “We have been one step ahead of the market in identifying and serving this segment that is now widely recognised by the industry.”

Based on the work of the Parallel Ultra Low Power (PULP) Platform project, GreenWaves’ GAP8 was first demonstrated on a field-programmable gate array (FPGA) in March 2017 before landing as finished silicon less than a year later. The design includes an eight-core RISC-V computational cluster, integrated convolutional neural network (CNN) accelerator, and the promise of completing tasks including always-on face detection in a power envelope measured in milliwatts.

“We are very pleased to be participating in GreenWaves’ Series A financing round,” says Wang Huang, Huami chief executive. “GreenWaves’ GAP8 and strong product roadmap has set the bar for delivering energy efficiency for high performance signal processing and machine learning inference algorithms on edge devices, including wearables. We see a wide range of use cases for GAP8 processor that will transform IoT computing. This investment will also strengthen our portfolio in the RISC-V ecosystem.”

In the year since its launch, GreenWaves has sold over 300 GAPuino GAP8-based development boards with what it claims are “multiple customer designs in progress.”