3.2. Rocket Core

Rocket is a 5-stage in-order scalar processor core generator, originally developed at UC Berkeley and SiFive, and now maintained by Chips Alliance. The Rocket core is used as a component within the Rocket Chip SoC generator. A Rocket core combined with L1 caches (data and instruction caches) form a Rocket tile. The Rocket tile is the replicable component of the Rocket Chip SoC generator.

The Rocket core supports the open-source RV64GC RISC-V instruction set and is written in the Chisel hardware construction language. It has an MMU that supports page-based virtual memory, a non-blocking data cache, and a front-end with branch prediction. Branch prediction is configurable and provided by a branch target buffer (BTB), branch history table (BHT), and a return address stack (RAS). For floating-point, Rocket makes use of Berkeley’s Chisel implementations of floating-point units. Rocket also supports the RISC-V machine, supervisor, and user privilege levels. A number of parameters are exposed, including the optional support of some ISA extensions (M, A, F, D), the number of floating-point pipeline stages, and the cache and TLB sizes.

For more information, please refer to the GitHub repository, technical report or to this Chisel Community Conference video.