Imagination unveils embedded RISC-V CPU

29th June 2022
Mick Elliott

The IMG RTXM-2200, Imagination Technologies first real-time embedded RISC-V CPU, was introduced at embedded world 2022.

It is a highly scalable, feature-rich, 32-bit embedded solution with a flexible design for a wide range of high-volume devices. IMG RTXM-2200 is one of the first commercial cores in Imagination’s Catapult CPU family, previously announced in December 2021.

Accelerating the expansion of its RISC-V offering, Imagination’s IMG RTXM-2200 can be integrated into complex SoCs for a range of applications including networking solutions, packet management, storage controllers, and sensor management for AI cameras and smart metering.

Together with its GPU and AI accelerator IP, Imagination says these new CPU cores offer customers access to innovative heterogeneous solutions.

This real-time embedded core features up to 128KB of tightly coupled memories (both instruction and data) for deterministic response and Level 1 cache sizes of up to 128KB for robust performance.

The new CPU offers a range of floating-point formats including single-precision and bfloat16.

The latter enables manufacturers to deploy AI applications through this core without the need for an additional chip. This reduces silicon area, for a cost-effective and optimised design in AI cameras and smart metering applications.

Chris Porthouse, Chief Product Officer, Imagination, says: “We are excited to announce IMG RTXM-2200, our first real-time RISC-V CPU, which underpins our continued commitment to driving growth for the RISC-V ecosystem. Imagination now has a unique and broad portfolio of compute IP, including GPU, AI accelerators, and now CPU, designed for this innovative architecture.”

Calista Redmond, CEO, RISC-V International, says: “RISC-V International is excited to witness Imagination maintaining its momentum by launching its first licensable 32-bit embedded real-time processor, since the announcement of its entry into the RISC-V CPU IP market. This underlines the expansion of the RISC-V architecture as developers take advantage of this flexible technology to address multiple market requirements. We are pleased to see Imagination’s commitment to drive ecosystem growth with the delivery of its SDK and the support of open-source operating systems.”

Steve Leibson, Principal Analyst, TIRIAS Research, says: “It’s great to see an established IP provider such as Imagination jumping onto and giving even more momentum to the RISC-V bandwagon. With an initial emphasis on real-time embedded applications, the configurable IMG RTXM-2200 CPU, the company’s first commercial RISC-V core in the previously announced Catapult family, should appeal to SoC design teams working in IoT and other embedded markets.”

The new CPU is supported by the rapidly expanding open-standard RISC-V ecosystem, which continues to shake up the embedded CPU industry through the democratisation of compute, unlocking innovative and open technological development for companies at all levels.  

Imagination real-time embedded cores come with a fully capable software SDK and tools package at launch. They work out of the box across multiple platforms to help develop and support the RISC-V ecosystem.  

Shreyas Derashri, VP of Compute, Imagination, says: “For more than 20 years Imagination has been creating market-leading GPU, AI accelerator, and CPU IP. This puts us in a unique position where we can offer our customers a robust and competitive choice when it comes to next-generation SoC development. The IMG RTXM-2200 RISC-V CPU brings together years of IP design experience and comprehensive software support to enable instant and easy access for developers, further enhancing our heterogeneous offering.”

The Catapult Studio Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is a modern, cutting-edge IDE based on Visual Studio code providing a familiar environment that is better to use for up-to-date developers and designers.

The IDE runs on Windows, Ubuntu, CentOS, and macOS. It offers full Linux support (including reference bootloaders, kernel, and filesystem), and it is compatible with gem5 software, unlocking simulation environments for enhanced power and energy-efficiency testing.

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