RISC-V: Accelerating
Compute Requirements


Gartner's Report on RISC-V momentum in IoT and business environments


GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved.

Attributions for Gartner Research Documents:
Gartner, Market Trends: Custom ICs Based on RISC-V Will Enable Cost-Effective IoT Product
Differentiation, Amy Teng, 5 June 2020

Growing the RISC-V Ecosystem

RISC-V is an open ISA enabling a new era of processor innovation. To further accelerate open standard interfaces and RISC-V processing architectures, Western Digital has contributed hardware and software solutions to help grow the RISC-V ecosystem.

The RISC-V SweRV CoreTM Family

Western Digital has developed three RISC-V Cores, the SweRV Core EH1, EH2 and EL2.

Core Name
SweRV Core EH1
SweRV Core EH2
SweRV Core EL2

The Western Digital SweRV Core EH1 is a 32-bit, 2-way superscalar, 9 stage pipeline core. The SweRV Core EH2 was built off of the EH1, but adds dual threaded capability for additional performance. Lastly the SweRV Core EL2 is a smaller core with moderate performance. It was designed to replace state machines and other logic functions in SoCs.


The SweRV Cores will be used in a variety of Western Digital products in the near future. All three cores have been open sourced in CHIPS Alliance github. CHIPS Alliance is an organization that develops open source hardware and open source software design tools. It is a barrier free, collaborative environment which lowers the cost of RTL development. The SweRV Core EH1 is available at https://github.com/chipsalliance/Cores-SweRV

The EH2 is here, https://github.com/chipsalliance/Cores-SweRV-EH2
And the EL2 is here, https://github.com/chipsalliance/Cores-SweRV-EL2


RISC-V SweRV Core Family Overview


OmniXtend: Direct to Caches over Commodity Fabric

Eathernet Fabric Risc-V WesternDigital

Western Digital’s OmniXtend is an open cache coherence protocol utilizing the programmability of modern Ethernet switches to enable processors’ caches, memory controllers and accelerators to exchange coherence messages directly over an Ethernet-compatible fabric. It is a truly open solution for efficiently attaching persistent memory to processors and offers potential support of future advanced fabrics that connect compute, storage, memory and I/O components.

OmniXtend Implementation Risc-V WesternDigital

OmniXtend builds upon the TileLink coherence protocol, to scale beyond the processor chip. The programmability of OmniXtend dataplane allows future improvements to the protocol to be deployed immediately in the field, without requiring new system software or new ASICs. Further developments of OmniXtend will be done in the CHIPS Alliance organization. Further details can be found at https://github.com/chipsalliance/omnixtend.


Strategic Innovation: RISC-V at Western Digital

Open Source RISC-V Software

RISC-V needs a complete software ecosystem surrounding it in order to thrive. The components of the ecosystem are very diverse, spreading across all layers from low level firmware and boot loaders up to a fully functional operating system kernel and applications. Each of these components is important to ensure the success of RISC-V and the power of open source contributions accelerates the build out.

OmniXtend Implementation Risc-V WesternDigital

To help encourage innovation in the ecosystem, Western Digital has made numerous contributions to the Linux community. Further details are available at https://github.com/kvm-riscv.

Featured Downloads

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Innovating for a Data-Centric World


RISC-V Summit 2019: Unshackling Memory!

Jan 15, 2020

Western Digital 2019 RISC-V Summit keynote announcing new SweRV Cores and the OmniXtend reference design


RISC-V Summit 2019:
RISC-V and Chips Alliance Address new Compute Requirements

Jan 15, 2020

CHIPS Alliance keynote at the 2019 RISC-V Summit explaining the organization and the latest development efforts.


RISC-V Summit 2019: An Open and Coherent Memory Centric Architecture Enabled by RISC-V

Jan 15, 2020

Technical update on OmniXtend, a cache coherent Ethernet based memory fabric.


RISC-V Summit 2019: SweRV Cores Roadmap

Jan 15, 2020

Technical details on Western Digital’s new RISC-V SweRV Core EH2 and EL2.


RISC-V Summit 2019: Headline Sponsor Western Digital presents GCC Compiler Code Size Density

Jan 15, 2020

The latest GCC code density improvements for RISC-V.



RISC-V Summit 2019: Headline Sponsor Western Digital presents RISC V Hypervisor Support

Jan 15, 2020

Technical update on QEMU and hypervisor support for RISC-V.

RISC-V Foundation


RISC-V Events

Apr 4, 2019

The RISC-V Foundation regularly conducts events and workshops. Participate in an event near you.

OmniXtend Cache Coherent Fabric


OmniXtend, an Open Cache Coherent Memory Fabric

Jun 12, 2019

A high level overview on Western Digital’s OmniXtend. A direct to caches over commodity Ethernet fabric. With this open cache coherency bus, heterogeneous devices can now access main memory equally.

RISC-V based NAS


How to set up OmniXtend coherent memory fabric demo with RISC-V and Tofino

Jun 20, 2019

A detailed video explaining how to set up an OmniXtend demo. This demo uses two FPGA boards and a programmable Ethernet switch. It explains the programming of the FPGA boards and the P4 code needed to run on the switch.

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1. Based on Internal Testing