Catapult

The RISC-V CPU

Designed for heterogeneous compute

Meet Catapult

Catapult, a RISC-V CPU product line designed from the ground up for deployment in key applications and configurable for any use. Leveraging nearly three decades of experience in delivering complex solutions, Imagination’s new CPU series is backed by the strong and ever-expanding RISC-V ecosystem.

Catapult CPUs are designed for various market applications and also next-generation control, compute and heterogeneous compute needs.

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IMG RTXM-2200 chip

Introducing IMG RTXM-2200

IMG RTXM-2200 is the first commercial, licensable IP from the RISC-V-based Catapult family. Drawing on Imagination’s decades of experience in CPU, it is a real-time, highly-scalable, 32-bit embedded design. A design that’s ideal for markets such as cellular base stations and SoC helper cores.
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Catapult at a glance

Catapult CPUs are available in four distinct product groups: dynamic microcontrollers, real-time embedded CPUs, high-performance application CPUs and functionally safe automotive CPUs. All Catapult CPUs are based on the open RISC-V ISA and are configurable to application needs. The first family of Catapult CPUs (microcontrollers) are already shipping in high-performance Imagination automotive GPUs.

Built on RISC-V

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Design

Ground-up design based on RISC-V that can be configured for performance, efficiency, or balanced profiles, making them suitable for a wide range of markets.
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Patents

Protected by a rich portfolio of hundreds of fundamental CPU patents, giving you peace of mind when you ship.
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Heterogeneous

Part of the heterogeneous solution with market-leading Imagination GPU, AI and Ethernet cores.
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Support

Full hardware and software support for heterogeneous SoCs using Imagination IP cores.
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Functionally Safe

Accelerating automotive and industrial markets by providing functionally safe and secure CPUs.
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Expertise

Established and proven over nearly three decades of expertise to deliver very complex IP and heterogeneous solutions reinforced by a strong support function.

Supported and tested

Catapult CPUs are fully optimised and tested extensively before reaching the market. In addition, Catapult CPUs are designed to be compliant with the RISC-V ISA as it develops. Resulting in a solution that is fully supported by a broad and increasing ecosystem.

As part of Imagination’s heterogeneous compute solution, Catapult CPUs offer full hardware, software and debug support for SoCs using Imagination IP. This includes the market-leading Imagination GPU, AI and Ethernet cores. This allows SoC manufacturers to increase energy efficiency, free up system resources and improve the performance of their designs.

Highly configurable design

Catapult cores are engineered for markets ranging from 5G modems, storage, ADAS (including safety island) to autonomous vehicles, data-centre, high-performance computing. These are multi-threaded RISC-V cores which come in both 32-bit and 64-bit variants and have a plethora of configuration options. Catapult CPU solutions can be scaled up to eight coherent cores per cluster for enhanced SoC versatility with an option to add custom accelerators.

The automotive cores are systematically developed to ISO 26262 standards and provide a range of CPU solutions for different integrity levels.

The new CPUs are based on industry-proven security concepts. This design enables SoC manufacturers to attain the highest level of security and certification required by their target market.

Catapult SDK and Catapult Studio

Catapult CPUs are delivered with a fully-featured SDK. Which includes an LLVM-based compiler and C run-time libraries, optimized by our team of compiler engineers to get the best out of our hardware. In addition to industry-standard build and debug tools such as GCC, GDB and OpenOCD, the SDK also integrates Imagination’s IDE: Catapult Studio.

Based on Visual Studio Code, Catapult Studio has been enhanced to meet the needs of embedded developers on RISC-V. With a seamless launch and debug on remote targets, plus some unique data and system visualisation tools. It is available for Windows, Ubuntu, CentOS, and MacOS.

Catapult CPUs are also delivered with both fast and performance models. Which offer interactive debugging and are compatible with the gem5 simulator, unlocking simulation environments for enhanced power and energy-efficiency testing.

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Introducing Catapult CPUs

Webinar

This webinar will give you a sneak peek of what kind of CPUs Imagination is going to be offering in the coming years. It will also inform you on how we are going to enrich the broad and growing RISC-V market space.

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Frequently asked questions

A CPU (Central Processing Unit) is a piece of general-purpose hardware that can be triggered by software to enable the execution of a program on a computer or smart device.  The software program is divided into instructions that are stored in the computer’s memory. The CPU fetches these instructions and decodes them into a series of micro-operations that are then executed by the CPU hardware.

Each CPU’s architecture is unique, but they all have one or more cores that process the instruction cycle and a core complex that houses supporting control, power management, chip-to-chip communication, and memory units.

When a program runs, its instructions are loaded into memory, and the CPU pulls them one by one from memory. The core decodes each instruction, decides the operation to be done, executes the operation, and then stores or communicates the result to external memory.

This process is repeated until all the program’s instructions have been performed, at which point the program terminates. CPUs with more cores or more efficient instruction cycles can execute more instructions per second, improving performance.

CPUs and GPUs are both types of processors that perform calculations in a computer, but they are optimised for different types of tasks.

A CPU, or Central Processing Unit, is a general-purpose processor that is responsible for executing most of the instructions that make up a computer program. It is optimised for performing a wide range of tasks, including running operating systems, executing software applications, and performing basic arithmetic and logic operations. CPUs can have one or more cores that are used for sequential processing which is good for programs where the results of a previous instruction feed into subsequent instructions.

A GPU, or Graphics Processing Unit, is a specialised processor that is optimised for handling large numbers of independent calculations in parallel and simultaneously.  Their cores are well-suited for tasks such as rendering 3D graphics, video encoding, and machine learning.

In terms of performance, GPUs are generally faster than CPUs for tasks that require parallel processing, such as rendering 3D graphics or certain artificial intelligence programs. However, CPUs are generally better suited for tasks that require sequential processing, such as running software applications or performing basic arithmetic and logic operations.

CPUs are used in a wide range of products and applications, such as:

  • Desktop and laptop computers: Modern computers include a CPU, which is responsible for executing most of the instructions that make up a computer program.
  • Mobile devices: Modern smartphones and tablets include a CPU, which is responsible for executing the instructions required to run mobile applications and perform other tasks.
  • Gaming consoles: Gaming consoles, such as the Xbox and PlayStation, include specialised CPUs designed to deliver high-performance gaming experiences.
  • Home appliances: Many home appliances, such as smart TVs, refrigerators, and washing machines, include CPUs to power their functionality.
  • Automotive: Modern automobiles include CPUs to power infotainment systems, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), and other features. Also CPUs are key to the engine management, electronic vehicle management functionality.