USA’s SiFive Launches Products Aimed at Automobile Market


SiFive Inc., Silicon Valley startup, launched three new products aimed at the automobile market, which is emerging as one of the hottest areas of chip producers with the electric and self-driving cars expected to boost the number of the chips needed.

The newly launched chip designs are the E6-A series for digital control applications such as steering, S7-A for safety islands that act as a failsafe for the other critical applications, and X280-A to manage data from the image sensors, and doing machine learning work, including autonomous driving.

Patrick Little, chief executive officer of SiFive, said where the people will see them going is from these targeted computer chips that will be available over the coming 12 to 24 months. SiFive does not make the chips, but it also makes the blueprint for the chip producers to use.

SiFive also uses a RISC-V instruction set architecture (ISA), which is a base for building chips that defines what kind of software can run on the chips. ARM of Arm Ltd and x86 of Intel are the dominant ISAs used for general-purpose processors, and are proprietary.

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SiFive competes with ARM that is also targeting the automobile market. Patrick Little added that some of the strongest demand for the chip technology is coming from customers, who are looking to develop autonomous vehicles.


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