RISC-V now also with Maxim Integrated


More and more well-known chip manufacturers are using the open instruction set architecture RISC-V, at least as a supplement to the dominant ARM technology. The US company Maxim Integrated has announced the economical MAX78000 microcontroller for rechargeable or battery-operated IoT devices with AI functions. It essentially contains an ARM Cortex-M4 with floating point unit, a 32-bit RISC-V core (RV32), which is even more economical according to Maxim, and a convolutional neural network (CNN) accelerator. The latter consists of 64 CNN cores in four groups of 16 each.

Of the Maxim Integrated MAX78000 is suitable for evaluating camera images or other sensor signals with AI algorithms. Maxim also sells a suitable evaluation kit to developers.

Evaluation Kit with Maxim Integrated MAX78000

Evaluation Kit with Maxim Integrated MAX78000

(Image: Maxim Integrated)

Apart from the RISC-V pioneer SiFive, Chinese manufacturers in particular have been selling RISC-V microcontrollers, including GigaDevice and Espressif.

But the large Japanese chip manufacturer Renesas also wants to bring Application-Specific Standard Products (ASSP) with RISC-V cores (from Andes Technology) onto the market from 2021. NXP has launched the RV32M1-VEGA for a developer board. Infineon and Bosch are involved in the Scale4Edge and Safe4I projects. Western Digital, Nvidia and Samsung are also working on RISC-V technology.

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