Frontgrade Offers RISC-V Support for Microchip Technology’s PolarFire® FPGA Devices

ARLINGTON, Va. — Cobham Advanced Electronic Solutions (CAES), a leading provider of mission critical electronic solutions, announced at the RISC-V Summit that two new processor models from its design center, Cobham Gaisler, are now available for Microchip’s PolarFire FPGA devices.

The LEON5 SPARC V8 32-bit processor is a continuation of the LEON line of processor models primarily used within space applications. The availability of LEON5FT for Microchip’s FPGAs provides a high-performance soft processor core that implements the same fault-tolerance approach as previous generations of LEON processors. A second processor model, the NOEL-V, is released in a 32-bit version as part of the new processor product line that implements the open RISC-V instruction set architecture, specifically targeting FPGAs.

“Recently, the LEON5 32-bit processor model has been adapted for high-end, space-grade FPGAs, and several new NOEL-V configurations now allow 32- and 64-bit implementations targeted for FPGA,” said Sandi Habinc, General Manager of the Cobham Gaisler Design Center. “Both LEON5 and NOEL-V are high-performance superscalar processors that offer a significant performance increase over our previous processor generations. This provides a RISC-V solution for both the high-end applications and the more resource constrained implementations that were previously only served by LEON3FT.”

CAES has made FPGA configuration files freely available for the Microchip’s PolarFire FPGA Splash Kit allowing users to evaluate LEON5 and NOEL-V on PolarFire FPGAs. The PolarFire Splash Kit is suggested for evaluation and development of applications targeting the radiation-tolerant PolarFire FPGAs.

“The availability of these new processor cores from Cobham Gaisler will enable our mutual customers to achieve fault-tolerant computing in harsh environments using our latest generation of FPGAs, the PolarFire and RT PolarFire FPGA families,” said Ken O’Neill Associate Director, Space and Aviation Marketing, in Microchip’s FPGA business unit. “Particularly encouraging is the introduction of the NOEL-V processor core, which brings the benefits of the RISC-V open instruction set architecture in a fault-tolerant form intended for the harsh radiation environments of space and aviation applications”.

Throughout 2021, CAES will introduce additional examples and data on targeting both the LEON5FT and NOEL-V to Microchip’s FPGAs, such as the RTG4 that is extensively used in space applications. For more information about the Cobham Gaisler processor products, please visit

About Cobham Advanced Electronic Solutions

Cobham Advanced Electronic Solutions is the largest provider of analog and radiation hardened technology for the United States aerospace and defense industry. With a broad portfolio of off-the-shelf and customized RF, microwave and high reliability microelectronic products and subsystems, CAES offers a complete range of solutions for the entire signal chain from aperture to digital conversion.