Microchip’s PolarFire SoC Discovery Kit: Affordable Access to RISC-V and FPGA for Embedded Engineers

Microchip’s PolarFire SoC Discovery Kit: Affordable Access to RISC-V and FPGA for Embedded Engineers

Microchip Technology (Nasdaq: MCHP) introduced the PolarFire® SoC Discovery Kit in response to the growing embedded industry demand for open-source RISC-V-based processor architectures. This development kit addresses the demand for easily accessible, feature-rich embedded processing and compute acceleration solutions. The kit enables engineers of different experience levels to innovate quickly and effectively. It comes with a quad-core, RISC-V application-class processor, a high-performance FPGA fabric, and extensive peripheral support. Moreover, through Microchip’s Academic Program, universities can access the Discovery Kit at a reduced price, facilitating practical learning and aligning academic endeavors with industry trends. The PolarFire SoC Discovery Kit is being offered by Microchip Technology, a pioneer in smart, connected, and secure embedded control solutions, in response to the growing need in the embedded sector for open-source RISC-V-based processor designs. This page gives a thorough description of the Discovery Kit, emphasizing its functions, uses, and how Microchip’s Academic Program promotes engineering innovation and education. 

Features and Specifications: 

The PolarFire SoC Discovery Kit serves as a versatile platform for embedded system development, boasting the following key features and specifications: 

  • Quad-core, 64-bit RISC-V CPU cluster for robust processing capabilities. 
  • Support for Linux® and real-time applications, facilitating diverse development needs. 
  • Integration of 95K low-power, high-performance FPGA logic elements, enabling flexible compute acceleration and customization. 
  • Extensive set of peripherals, ensuring compatibility with a wide range of applications. 
  • Large L2 memory subsystem configurable for performance or deterministic operation, supporting asymmetric multi-processing (AMP) mode. 
  • Compatibility with Microchip’s Mi-V ecosystem, enhancing development flexibility and ecosystem integration. 
  • mikroBUS™ expansion header for Click boards™ and a 40-pin Raspberry Pi® connector, enabling easy interfacing with additional hardware components. 
  • MIPI® video connector for multimedia applications, expanding the kit’s versatility. 
  • Embedded FP5 programmer for FPGA fabric programming, debugging, and firmware applications development, streamlining the development workflow. 

Applications of the PolarFire Soc Discovery Kit: 

For a wide range of uses, such as embedded system prototyping, AI/ML acceleration, real-time control systems, multimedia processing, and academic research, the PolarFire SoC Discovery Kit offers a flexible platform. Its FPGA fabric, support for Linux® and real-time operating systems, and quad-core RISC-V CPU cluster enable developers to quickly prototype and test complex algorithms and interfaces. The Discovery Kit provides the performance and flexibility needed for a wide range of embedded applications, including multimedia processing and image analytics, real-time control system design for industrial automation, and the implementation of custom hardware accelerators for AI inference. Furthermore, the incorporation of embedded systems design and development into educational projects and academic research initiatives allows researchers and students to investigate state-of-the-art technologies and acquire hands-on experience. 

Overall Impact created: 

Microchip’s dedication to promoting engineering education is demonstrated by its Academic Program, which grants universities a discounted price for the PolarFire SoC Discovery Kit. This program encourages creativity and equips students for the difficulties of the contemporary workforce in addition to giving them firsthand experience with cutting edge technology. Universities can guarantee that their students have the abilities and knowledge required to propel technological innovation in the future by integrating the Discovery Kit into their curricula. 

With the PolarFire SoC Discovery Kit, embedded system development has advanced significantly and engineers and students alike now have a comprehensive and easily accessible platform for innovation. With its robust FPGA fabric, RISC-V-based processor, and wide range of peripheral support, the kit makes it possible to quickly prototype, test, and implement embedded solutions in a variety of fields. Additionally, the Discovery Kit advances engineering education through Microchip’s Academic Program, enabling the following generation of creative thinkers and problem solvers.