BRISC-V: An Open-Source Architecture Design Space Exploration Toolbox

by   Sahan Bandara, et al.

In this work, we introduce a platform for register-transfer level (RTL) architecture design space exploration. The platform is an open-source, parameterized, synthesizable set of RTL modules for designing RISC-V based single and multi-core architecture systems. The platform is designed with a high degree of modularity. It provides highly-parameterized, composable RTL modules for fast and accurate exploration of different RISC-V based core complexities, multi-level caching and memory organizations, system topologies, router architectures, and routing schemes. The platform can be used for both RTL simulation and FPGA based emulation. The hardware modules are implemented in synthesizable Verilog using no vendor-specific blocks. The platform includes a RISC-V compiler toolchain to assist in developing software for the cores, a web-based system configuration graphical user interface (GUI) and a web-based RISC-V assembly simulator. The platform supports a myriad of RISC-V architectures, ranging from a simple single cycle processor to a multi-core SoC with a complex memory hierarchy and a network-on-chip. The modules are designed to support incremental additions and modifications. The interfaces between components are particularly designed to allow parts of the processor such as whole cache modules, cores or individual pipeline stages, to be modified or replaced without impacting the rest of the system. The platform allows researchers to quickly instantiate complete working RISC-V multi-core systems with synthesizable RTL and make targeted modifications to fit their needs. The complete platform (including Verilog source code) can be downloaded at


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