Journal of Computer Science and Technology

   

RV16: An Ultra-Low-Cost Embedded RISC-V Processor Core

Yuan-Hu Cheng1(成元虎), Li-Bo Huang1,*(黄立波), Yi-Jun Cui1(崔益俊), Sheng Ma1(马胜), Yong-Wen Wang1(王永文), and Bing-Cai Sui1(隋兵才)   

  1. College of Computer Science and Technology, National University of Defense Technology, Changsha 410073, China
  • Contact: Li-Bo Huang E-mail:libohuang@nudt.edu.cn
  • About author:Li-Bo Huang received his B.S and Ph.D. degree in computer engineering from National University of Defense Technology, Changsha, in 2005 and 2010 respectively. He is an associated professor at College of Computer Science and Technology, National University of Defense Technology. His research interests include computer architecture, hardware/software co-design, VLSI design, on-chip communication.

Embedded and IoT devices have extremely strict requirements on the area and power consumption of the processor because of the limitation on its working environment. To reduce the overhead of the embedded processor as much as possible, this paper designs and implements a configurable 32-bit in-order RISC-V embedded processor core based on the 16-bit data path and units, named RV16. The evaluation results show that, compared with the traditional 32-bit RISC-V processor with similar features, RV16 consumes fewer hardware resources and power consumption. The maximum performance of RV16 running Dhrystone and CoreMark benchmarks is 0.92 DMIPS/MHz and 1.51 CoreMark/MHz, reaching 71% of traditional 32-bit processors. Moreover, a properly configured RV16 running program also consumes less energy than a traditional 32-bit processor.


中文摘要

1、研究背景
近年来,随着5G技术的发展,物联网产业迅速增长,已经广泛应用于智能家居、智慧城市等领域。由于物联网边缘节点工作环境的限制,其需要在有限的空间和能量供给下工作数年甚至数十年,这对作为现代信息设备核心的处理器的功耗和面积提出了巨大的挑战。因此,为了适应物联网的发展,必须提出更加有效的方法来降低处理器的面积和功耗。
2、目的
本文的研究目的是通过对现有处理器的微架构进行优化来降低嵌入式处理器的面积和功耗。
3、方法
本文基于RISC-V指令集提出了基于16位数据通路实现32位处理器的处理器设计技术,并针对部分RISC-V指令提出了性能优化方法。本文对该处理器进行了RTL实现,并进行了仿真、综合等实验来评估其与传统32位处理器在性能、面积和功耗等方面的差异。
4、结果
实验结果表明,相较于传统的32位处理器,RV16的面积和功耗下降超过30%,运行基准程序的性能则至少能达到传统处理器的71%。而且,在合理的配置下,RV16运行程序的能耗也低于传统32位处理器。
5、结论
基于16位数据通路实现的32位RISC-V处理器:RV16,以牺牲部分性能为代价,在面积和功耗方面相较于传统32位处理器具有明显的优势。运行基准测试程序的结果表明,基于具体的物联网应用选择合理的RV16配置,能够以更低的能耗完成相同的任务。因此,RV16适合用于资源受限的物联网边缘节点。


Key words: processor; RISC-V; architecture; Internet of Things; embedded;

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ISSN 1000-9000(Print)

         1860-4749(Online)
CN 11-2296/TP

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