Ariane is a 6-stage RISC-V CPU
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Ariane is a 6-stage, single issue, in-order CPU which implements the 64-bit RISC-V instruction set. It fully implements I, M, A and C extensions as specified in Volume I: User-Level ISA V 2.3 as well as the draft privilege extension 1.10. It implements three privilege levels M, S, U to fully support a Unix-like operating system. Furthermore it is compliant to the draft external debug spec 0.13.

It has configurable size, separate TLBs, a hardware PTW and branch-prediction (branch target buffer and branch history table). The primary design goal was on reducing critical path length.

Getting Started

Go and get the RISC-V tools. Make sure that your RISCV environment variable points to your RISC-V installation (see the RISC-V tools and related projects for futher information).

Checkout the repository and initialize all submodules

$ git clone
$ git submodule update --init --recursive

The testbench relies on riscv-fesvr which can be found here. Follow the README there and make sure that your compiler and linker is aware of the library (e.g.: add it to your path if it is in a non-default directory).

Build the Verilator model of Ariane by using the Makefile:

$ make verilate

To build the verilator model with support for vcd files run

$ make verilate DEBUG=1

This will create a C++ model of the core including a SystemVerilog wrapper and link it against a C++ testbench (in the tb subfolder). The binary can be found in the work-ver and accepts a RISC-V ELF binary as an argument, e.g.:

$ work-ver/Variane_testharness rv64um-v-divuw

The Verilator testbench makes use of the riscv-fesvr. This means that you can use the riscv-tests repository as well as riscv-pk out-of-the-box. As a general rule of thumb the Verilator model will behave like Spike (exception for being orders of magnitudes slower).

Both, the Verilator model as well as the Questa simulation will produce trace logs. The Verilator trace is more basic but you can feed the log to spike-dasm to resolve instructions to mnemonics. Unfortunately value inspection is currently not possible for the Verilator trace file.

$ spike-dasm < trace_core_00_0.dasm > logfile.txt

Running User-Space Applications

It is possible to run user-space binaries on Ariane with riscv-pk (link).

$ mkdir build
$ cd build
$ ../configure --prefix=$RISCV --host=riscv64-unknown-elf
$ make
$ make install

Then to run a RISC-V ELF using the Verilator model do:

$ echo '
#include <stdio.h>

int main(int argc, char const *argv[]) {
    printf("Hello Ariane!\\n");
    return 0;
}' > hello.c
$ riscv64-unknown-elf-gcc hello.c -o hello.elf
$ make verilate
$ work-ver/Variane_testharness $RISCV/riscv64-unknown-elf/bin/pk hello.elf

If you want to use QuestaSim to run it you can use the following command:

$ make simc riscv-test-dir=$RISCV/riscv64-unknown-elf/bin riscv-test=pk target-options=hello.elf

Be patient! RTL simulation is way slower than Spike. If you think that you ran into problems you can inspect the trace files.

FPU Support

There is preliminary support for floating point extensions F and D. At the moment floating point support will only be available in QuestaSim as the FPU is written in VHDL. This is likely to change. The floating point extensions can be enabled by setting RVF and RVD to 1'b1 in the include/ file.

FPGA Emulation


Planned Improvements

Atomics are implemented for a single core environment. They will semantically fail in a multi-core setup.

Going Beyond

The core has been developed with a full licensed version of QuestaSim. If you happen to have this simulator available yourself here is how you could run the core with it.

To specify the test to run use (e.g.: you want to run rv64ui-p-sraw inside the tmp/risc-tests/build/isa folder:

$ make sim riscv-test=tmp/risc-tests/build/isa/rv64ui-p-sraw

If you call simc instead of sim it will run without the GUI. QuestaSim uses riscv-fesvr for communication as well.

CI Testsuites and Randomized Constrained Testing with Torture

We provide two CI configuration files for Travis CI and GitLab CI that run the RISCV assembly tests, the RISCV benchmarks and a randomized RISCV Torture test. The difference between the two is that Travis CI runs these tests only on Verilator, whereas GitLab CI runs the same tests on QuestaSim and Verilator.

If you would like to run the CI test suites locally on your machine, follow any of the two scripts ci/ and ci/ (depending on whether you have QuestaSim or not). In particular, you have to get the required packages for your system, the paths in ci/ to match your setup, and run the installation and build scripts prior to running any of the tests suites.

Once everything is set up and installed, you can run the tests suites as follows (using Verilator):

$ make verilate
$ make run-asm-tests-verilator
$ make run-benchmarks-verilator

In order to run randomized Torture tests, you first have to generate the randomized program prior to running the simulation:

$ ./ci/
$ make torture-gen
$ make torture-rtest-verilator

This runs the randomized program on Spike and on the RTL target, and checks whether the two signatures match. The random instruction mix can be configured in the ./tmp/riscv-torture/config/default.config file.

Ariane can dump a trace-log in Questa which can be easily diffed against Spike with commit log enabled. In include/ set:

localparam bit ENABLE_SPIKE_COMMIT_LOG = 1'b1;

This will dump a file called trace_core_*_*_commit.log.

This can be helpful for debugging long traces (e.g.: torture traces). To compile Spike with the commit log feature do:

$ apt-get install device-tree-compiler
$ mkdir build
$ cd build
$ ../configure --prefix=$RISCV --with-fesvr=$RISCV --enable-commitlog
$ make
$ [sudo] make install


Check out the contribution guide