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Seagate has built a pair of personalized RISC-V cores to be employed in foreseeable future products and solutions as following-technology storage controllers. The chips, which are not referred to by any codename or brand, occur in two flavors: A large-general performance core and an place-optimized main. The large functionality main has now been built “with RISC-V-enabled silicon,” while the scaled-down core “has been intended and is in the course of action of getting designed.”

The phrase “RISC-V-enabled silicon” is a tiny odd — we wouldn’t normally say “ARM-enabled silicon” or “x86 enabled silicon,” but because they look to go on to refer to tapeout and original foundry perform on the other chip, the most very likely clarification is that Seagate has is qualifying its higher-performance chip for potential shipping products, though the region-optimized core is a few techniques farther again in the approach.

“Having transported near to 1 billion cores in excess of the previous year, Seagate has made major abilities in method-on-a-chip design and style,” reported Cecil Macgregor, Vice President, ASIC Growth. “We now expanded the capability to insert custom-made RISC-V cores to our portfolio, which is important to upcoming products and solutions. We dwell in a time of unparalleled development of company data—and significantly of this facts is in motion. These cores will enable devices to share a frequent RISC-V ISA. Using open security architectures, they will enable extra secure motion of knowledge.”

The significant-performance core provides up to 3x the general performance “for serious-time, significant HDD workloads.” Seagate statements the chip will allow for enhanced high-quality-grain motion management as opposed to preceding solutions, since the new core employs additional superior servo algorithms.

The little, place-optimized core is supposed for track record and auxiliary jobs, and can functionality as a constrained protection processor, “targeting a compact-footprint implementation of security functions about functionality.”


Seagate is not kidding when it statements that it requirements far more advanced servo algorithms. In accordance to John Morris, Seagate’s Main Complex Officer, the 50TB capacities Seagate envisions for upcoming disks will need the examine-generate transducer to fly across the disk at 2.5 meters for each second, although also keeping its placement on the push precise within just 2.4nm. Conference these worries demanded a new core.

This variety of chip could also be employed for an SSD controller, but Seagate makes use of 3rd-occasion controllers for its branded SSDs (at minimum so significantly) and has not announced any type of equal energy for that side of its company. Correct performance figures for these new cores also have not been released.

Seagate is the most recent higher-profile purchaser to announce it has created a personalized RISC-V main. The open-common ISA was explicitly intended to charm to a huge selection of buyers and use cases. Alibaba, SiFive, and Western Electronic have all constructed proprietary cores all around the ISA. Wikipedia lists around two dozen jobs by a variety of firms. Most are concentrated on proprietary cores, but there are some open source components patterns for RISC-V as nicely.

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