Western Digital has announced a partnership with SiFive and PlatformIO Labs which will see the latter’s embedded development platform extended in order to provide a vendor-agnostic, end-to-end open environment with full RISC-V support.

Western Digital’s interest in embedded development in general and the open RISC-V instruction set architecture (ISA) specifically isn’t new: the company has long offered data processing products, and in December 2018 unveiled its in-house SweRV Core RISC-V implementation – released to the public under a permissive licence in January this year. Its partnership with SiFive and PlatformIO, though, goes still further in opening up the development ecosystem to all comers.

“By teaming up with PlatformIO, we are bringing the entirety of its multi-architecture embedded design environment, including debug and trace, to the open-source community. With deep libraries and automated support already built-in, this will allow programmers to easily transition among development platforms, including RISC-V,” explains Martin Fink, chief technology officer at Western Digital. “The expanded openness of PlatformIO, along with our recent enhancements to our SweRV Core and OmniXtend cache-coherent fabric, further lowers the barrier for RISC-V development and expands the potential for innovation that will enable us to realise the benefits of bringing compute power closer to data.”

“By teaming up with Western Digital and SiFive, we are able to further our vision to not only further expand the openness of the PlatformIO’s professional embedded development environment, but extend the PlatformIO ecosystem,” adds Ivan Kravets, chief executive officer at PlatformIO. “The ‘zero-configuration’ Platform Plus tools eliminate many of the most time-intensive aspects of software design and are enabling, better, less buggy code. By making these open-source, PlatformIO is now a fully free and open environment for next-generation design, from semiconductors to processor to software.”

“We are pleased to partner with Western Digital and PlatformIO to bring the PlatformIO’s tools to the open-source community,” concludes Yunsup Lee, chief technology officer at RISC-V pioneer SiFive. “The list of supported hardware and software solutions and automated capabilities offer the potential to reduce the time-to-market of innovative purpose-built software applications for IoT, AI, machine learning, analytics and more. As SiFive continues to drive innovation and provide leadership in the RISC-V space, an investment like this is key to enabling the marketplace for those who want to enjoy the benefits of the innovative solutions provided by RISC-V.”

More details on PlatformIO are available on the official website.