Microchip has opened an early access programme for its RISC-V-enabled PolarFire SoC family of field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), providing what the company claims is “the world’s first hardened real-time Linux-capable RISC-V-based microprocessor subsystem” to a low-power FPGA range.

“Delivering the industry’s first RISC-V based SoC FPGA along with our Mi-V ecosystem, Microchip and its Mi-V partners are driving innovation in the embedded space, giving designers the ability to develop a whole new class of power-efficient applications,” claims Bruce Weyer, vice president of the Field Programmable Gate Array business unit at Microchip. “This in turn will allow our clients to add unprecedented capabilities at the edge of the network for communications, defence, medical, and industrial automation.”

The company claims that the PolarFire SoC family draws around 50 percent less power than equivalent competing devices, and will be the first to market with a “deterministic, coherent RISC-V CPU cluster and a deterministic L2 memory subsystem enabling Linux plus real-time applications.”

The early access programme is available to “qualified customers” now on application, Microchip has confirmed, using the Libero SoC 12.3 FPGA design suite and SoftConsole 6.2 integrated development environment for design and the popular Renode framework for debug. The company has also confirmed support in its Mi-V ecosystem from companies including WindRiver, Mentor Graphics, WolfSSL, ExpressLogic, Veridify, Hex Five, and FreeRTOS.

Anyone interested in participating in the programme is asked to apply via email.