Seagate says it has, after several years of effort, designed two custom RISC-V processor cores for what seems a range of functions including computational storage.
The disk drive maker told us one of the homegrown CPUs is focused on high performance, and the other is optimized for area, ie: it’s less powerful though smaller and thus uses takes up less silicon on a die. Both cores are said to include RISC-V’s security features, and are drive-agnostic, which means that they can be used with SSDs as well as hard disk drives.
Given that Seagate, which typically uses the Arm architecture for its chips, said it shipped about a billion CPU cores last year in its storage products, this development may signal a coming surge in RISC-V processor shipments. Western Digital and others are, for what it’s worth, using RISC-V cores for disk and solid-state drive controllers.