Samsung opens RISC-V mode and uses it to build 5G baseband chips

It is reported that the chip will be used in Samsung’s flagship 5G smartphone due in 2020. The RISC-V core will also be used for AI image sensors, security management, AI calculation and control.

In fact, Samsung started researching this new technology three years ago. It was first used for the testing and verification of RF radio frequency communication chips. It is also one of the key technologies for the development of 5G communication. The next year, two RF radio frequency chips have been launched successively. They also use the RISC-V architecture for R&D. In addition to developing the first-generation RF chip, Samsung also integrates the functions of the multi-frequency and phased array antenna system when another communication chip is launched. In 2019, this RF chip will be updated. The 2nd generation product was launched and it has been able to be delivered to production.

Responsible for the research and development of this 5G chip technology is the Samsung System LSI semiconductor research department. All Samsung’s next-generation mobile, automotive and consumer device chips are developed by this department. -More details were also revealed at the V technical conference.

Xu Junhao pointed out that the new generation of 5G baseband chips will use this RISC-V architecture to design custom CPUs for the functions of phased array antennas and millimeter-wave radio frequency RF FR 2 chips to achieve dynamic adjustment of frequency offset and RF radio frequency correction. And other functions.

However, he also admitted that it is not easy to introduce the new architecture into his own products. When he first decided to adopt the RISC-V processor as a new generation computing architecture, he also encountered a big internal backlash, questioning it as open source and debugging. It is not easy, and the development of the software ecosystem is not mature enough. But he insisted on adopting it, and later used it to make the first 5G baseband chip system.

The reason why RISC-V is used to design chips, Xu Junhao pointed out that the key is that in order to meet the changing needs of the future high-speed 5G and AI era, an open and flexible CPU design capability is required. RISC-V is very suitable, even he Emphasized: “In order to support the growth of operations in the next 50 years, companies must have their own instruction set CPU R&D capabilities.”

In addition to 5G communication chips, Samsung has also begun to apply RISC-V to more products to improve processing efficiency and save power consumption. Especially for Edge AI products, he also took image sensors as an example. Now they are gradually replacing them with RISC-V processors and integrating them into SoC chips to optimize image processing and improve detection accuracy. It uses the RISC-V core provided by the hardware innovation SiFive to create its own smart camera image sensor, which can provide real-time face detection, recognition and faster autofocus.

Even in automotive applications, Samsung will later import customized RISC-V chips, including Exynos Auto audio-visual entertainment system, ADAS and other systems. Xu Junhao also considers using it to build a dedicated AI chip, information security and security management chip system.


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