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RISC-V enabled SoM provides defence-grade security

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By Ally Winning


The module provides a combination of security, low power consumption and thermal efficiency.

The module is based around Microchip’s PolarFire SoC FPGA. It uses the FPGA to provide a deterministic, coherent 64-bit RISC-V CPU cluster and a deterministic L2 memory subsystem. That combination allows the implementation of secure Linux and real-time applications.

“PolarBerry opens up an exciting array of new design possibilities by enabling embedded computing engineers to easily harness the disruptive potential of RISC-V,” said Krishnakumar Ramamoorthi, Mi-V Ecosystem Manager at Microchip Technology’s FPGA business unit. “It facilitates new design choices and creates additional options by underpinning the ability to better innovate secure, power-efficient designs through open collaboration.”

PolarBerry’s compute engine uses half the power of competing FPGAs, provides 250k logic elements (LEs) and four high-speed, low-power transceivers from 250Mbps to 12.7Gbps. The PolarFire SoC FPGA’s power consumption is a maximum of 12W.

The PolarBerry SoM provides strong SoC/FPGA design security through features that include anti-cloning protection, device-level anti-tamper features, bitstream protection, key management, FPGA hardware access control, secure boot and physical memory protection (PMP) as well as supply chain assurance. The module has a 40 pin Raspberry Pi (RPI) interface for standalone operation and rapid application development by providing up to 26 GPIOs, 20 of which can be assigned to SPI, UART, CAN or other interfaces. All RPI signals are 3.3V logic.

Onboard PolarBerry SoM peripherals include 4GB of 32-bit wide DDR4 memory, 128MB SPI Serial NOR FLASH, programmable clocks for flexible FPGA clocking and high-speed transceivers. Connectivity and expandability is provided by an RJ45 Ethernet socket with 100/1000Base-T interface, two CAN 2.0 physical layers, a JTAG interface for programming and 4GB of eMMC non-volatile storage. Power to the module can be applied through the PRI interface or carrier board.

The PolarBerry SoM measures just 55mm by 85mm and has an operational temperature range of 0°C and +70°C. It can also be installed on Sundance’s PCIe SoM carrier to provide access to an FMC and additional interfaces.

“With the ability to more easily access the potential of the RISC-V ecosystem, the launch of PolarBerry readily brings an open standard, defence-grade security approach to embedded systems development as a pertinent alternative to ARM,” says Flemming Christensen, Managing Director of Sundance (UK) and conclude “RICS-V has a global market presence that is growing rapidly. It is royalty-free so it can be used at minimal cost and extensible and you can add features to the instruction set as needed as well as tune it, for example, for lower power or higher throughput.”

PolarBerry is part of Microchip Technology’s “Get Launched!” campaign.

More information

https://www.crowdsupply.com/microchip/get-launched

https://www.sundance.com

https://www.sundancedsp.com

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