Startup plans 4k RISC-V cores on 7nm chip

November 29, 2017 // By Peter Clarke
Esperanto Technologies Inc. (Mountain View, Calif.), a 2014 startup founded by chip industry veteran Dave Ditzel, has made its first public statements about its technology.

The company has said it now wants to create energy efficient computing chips for artificial intelligence and machine learning using the RISC-V instruction set.

During his presentation at the 7th RISC-V workshop held in Milpitas, California, entitled 'Industrial strength high-performance RISC-V processors for energy-efficient computing', Ditzel said his company would be producing a supercomputer-on-a-chip made in 7nm CMOS process technology.

This chip would include two types of processor: the performance-oriented ET-Maxion 64-bit RISC-V core and the energy efficiency oriented ET-Minion 64-bit RISC-V core each with a vector floating-point unit. The advanced manufacturing process will allow 16 ET-Maxions to sit alongside 4096 ET-Minions.

Ditzel, a chip industry veteran well-known as a chip designer at Intel and Sun Microsystems and as founder of code-morphing startup Transmeta, also said the company would pursue both a product and an IP licensing business model. As well as selling its AI supercomputer chip, the company will license its ET-Maxion and ET-Minion cores to help proliferate the RISC-V architecture, Ditzel said.

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