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Menta and Andes Announce Partnership Enabling Hardware Reconfiguring for ISA Extension

Daniel Nenni

Admin
Staff member
SOPHIA-ANTIPOLIS, FRANCE – December 7, 2020 – Menta S.A.S, a premier supplier of embedded FPGA (eFPGA) solutions, today announced a technology IP cooperation with Andes Technology, a founding premier member of RISC-V International and the leading supplier of 32/64bit RISC-V embedded CPU cores.

Andes is working with Menta to enable embedded programmable logic through eFPGA in its RISC-V AndesCore™ families. Menta and Andes share the same vision, providing customers with a joint solution that allows instruction set architecture (ISA) extension to be added or changed in the field.

Extending RISC-V ISA with custom instruction set extension, based on eFPGA co-extended core, is the key differentiator for the next processor unit’s generation. Designers will be able to add any instruction they need for the function that they want to accelerate, in the field. This is a powerful feature that does not break any software compatibility and leaves space for development and differentiation.

“It is an honour for Menta to work in close partnership with Andes Technology Corporation,” said Menta Chief Executive Officer Vincent Markus. “The innovative RISC-V ISA technology is open, compact, modular and extensible, making it a perfect fit for our eFPGA product line strategy.”

The eFPGA plays the role of a hardware co-extended core for the RISC-V CPU, unlocking the possibility to add or reconfigure ISA for the duration of the product’s life. Andes RISC-V processor families, already available in the SoC market as a mainstream computing engine, are now looking to enhance the product’s ACE (Andes Custom Extension™) feature by extending it with eFPGA hardware support.

ACE is a powerful framework to define new instructions on the Andes RISC-V processor cores. By writing ACE scripts for instruction semantics and concise Verilog for instruction execution register-transfer level (RTL), SoC designers can easily use Andes COPILOT (Custom-OPtimized Instruction deveLOpment Tools) to generate all required components automatically and extend the existing Andes processor package, including the processor RTL, compilation tools, debugger and cycle-accurate simulator, to support the new instructions to accelerate domain specific applications.

“By cooperating with Menta, we enable a brand new usage of Andes CPU cores to the market that embraces the characteristic of extensibility for the RISC-V ecosystem, especially in applications that require space for development and differentiation including AI and 5G,” said Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President of Andes Technology Dr. Charlie Su. “Customers can optimize and enrich their hardware with expected scale of cost by using Menta eFPGA solution to make reconfiguration of ACE custom instruction possible in post-silicon updates.”

The delivery of Menta pre-programmed eFPGA cores combined with the Andes RISC-V CPU cores will be provided with specialized user interface tools to program the eFPGA matrix and set up the RISC-V application programmable parameters, within a complete and optimized software solution.

About Andes Technology
Andes is a world class creator of innovative high-performance/low-power 32/64-bit processor cores and associated development environment that serves the rapidly growing global market for embedded system applications. As the founding premier member of RISC-V International, Andes is the first mainstream CPU vendor that has adopted the RISC-V as the base of its fifth-generation architecture, the AndeStar™ V5, and delivers highly configurable and performance-efficient CPU cores with full-featured integrated development environment and comprehensive software/hardware. Andes Technology's comprehensive RISC-V CPU families range from 25-series, advanced 27-series to high-performance superscalar 45-series. For more information, please visit http://www.andestech.com

About Menta
Menta is a privately held company based in Sophia-Antipolis, France. For ASIC and SoCs designers who need fast, right-the-first time design and fast time to volume, Menta is the proven eFPGA pioneer whose design-adaptive standard cells-based architecture and state-of-the-art tool set provides the highest degree of design customization, best-in-class testability and fastest time-to-volume for SoC design targeting any production node at any foundry. For more information, visit the company website at: www.menta-efpga.com.
 
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