Imperas Delivers First RISC-V Simulator for New Vector and Bit Manipulation Specifications to Lead Customers

Imperas leading simulation technology updated to include the latest ratified RISC-V specifications and new Vector and Bit Manipulation standard extensions. Used for RISC-V software development, compliance, and DV test developments

OXFORD, England — (BUSINESS WIRE) — June 6, 2019Imperas Software Ltd., the leader in virtual platforms and high-performance software simulation, today announced the delivery of its updated simulator for the RISC-V Vector and Bit Manipulation Extensions to lead customers. In addition, the ratified RISC-V Specification is now available in the free RISC-V Open Virtual Platform Simulator (riscvOVPsim™) as a reference Instruction Set Simulator (ISS) for software developers, implementers, and early adopters.

Imperas has supported many early stage implementations, customers and RISC-V Foundation working group projects based on the previous draft specifications of RISC-V and users can now use the same tools and environment to seamlessly continue with the officially ratified specifications. As a feature of Imperas’ simulation technology, all previous specification versions remain available as configuration options to allow software migration and implementation testing across all releases of the RISC-V specifications. The RISC-V ISA (Instruction Set Architecture) specification defines the boundary between software and hardware and forms the basis for all developments with RISC-V. Extensions allow a common set of features to be configured around the base architecture and enable ecosystem development.

“Vector extension and Bit Manipulation will further expand the applications of RISC-V based SoC and are in the Andes RISC-V CPU core roadmap. We are glad to see Imperas take the lead to support them in riscvOVPsim™ virtual platforms, which have migrated from use purely within software teams to be used by SoC hardware design teams for system level verification,” said Charlie Hong-Men Su, Andes Technology Corp. CTO and Executive Vice President. “Imperas and Andes have developed a close working partnership founded around supporting our mutual customers most complex design challenges with the latest RISC-V specifications and extensions.”

“The Vectors and Bit Manipulation working groups of the RISC-V Foundation are bringing members together to help define the next series of extensions for RISC-V,” said Chris Jones, Codasip GmbH. Vice President of Marketing. “Partnerships also help build ecosystems and the latest models from Imperas will help the early adoption of these extensions.”

“The vector extensions are a differentiating RISC-V feature, designed to address the demanding applications such as machine learning and linear algebra for next generation SoCs,” said Alexander Redkin, CEO of Syntacore. “Early availability of high-quality simulators is pivotal for the adoption of this extension.”

“RISC-V extensions for Vectors and Bit Manipulation are focused around the combined hardware and software solutions for optimum design efficiency,” said Dr. Luca Benini, Chair of digital circuits and systems at ETH Zurich and University of Bologna, and one of the originators of the PULP project, which develops and supports open-source RISC-V cores with this extension: “Flexibility of software allows designs to be tuned and adapted which can be best explored with the reference models from Imperas for Vectors and Bit Manipulation.”

“The Bit Manipulation extensions give developers greater granularity on data processing within the framework of the RISC-V architecture without the need for a dedicated co-processor,” said Clifford Wolf, Symbiotic EDA CTO and Vice-Chair of the RISC-V Foundation Bit Manipulation Extension working group. “Software porting and development is critical to the adoption of a new architecture and the first delivery of models by Imperas now gives the industry the ideal reference starting point for RISC-V Bit Manipulation extensions.”

"Compliance with the RISC-V ISA specifications is the essential foundation for a complete ecosystem of compatible hardware and software products,” said Allen Baum of Esperanto Technologies, Inc., who chairs the RISC-V Foundation's Technical Committee task group for compliance. “By supporting the latest ratified specifications and the work of the Vector and Bit Manipulation task groups, Imperas has been invaluable to the early development of compliance tests for these new ISA extensions.”

“SoC verification represents one of the largest costs and schedule risk factors for a complex design,” said Shubhodeep Roy Choudhury, Valtrix Director & Co-founder. “Having used Imperas virtual platforms on customer projects in conjunction with our STING test generator we see an immediate advantage in easily modelling all the different customer configurations using OVPsim models which include the RISC-V reference of the ratified spec.”

“The ratification of the base RISC-V specification by the board and members of the RISC-V Foundation marks an important milestone in the history of RISC-V and will form the foundation of the ecosystem that is developing around RISC-V,” said Simon Davidmann, president and CEO of Imperas Software Ltd. “Software developers, implementors and early adopters of RISC-V Vectors and Bit Manipulation extensions can all test and verify against a reference simulation based on Imperas leading technology with confidence in the latest specifications.”

riscvOVPsim is free and available for download on GitHub as part of the latest RISC-V compliance test suite and framework, available on GitHub at and as part of the Bit Manipulation reference at . riscvOVPsim includes a free to use license from Imperas, which supports commercial as well as academic use. The open source model is licensed under the Apache 2.0 license.

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