Rich Quinnell, veteran semiconductor industry reporter, has written an EE Times article with the headline, RISC-V on the Verge of Broad Adoption.
This is one in a series of RISC-V articles EE Times has posted within the last several months. Each piece lauds the promises RISC-V holds to become a dominant factor in the industry. EE Times calls this series a RISC-V Special Project with several technology and business perspectives being explored.
As has been heralded in the industry for quite some time, the big drawing attraction to the RISC-V instruction set architecture (ISA) is simply the fact it is open source. Simply put, anyone can design a processor to implement this ISA without paying a licensing fee, as Quinnell puts it. It is just the opposite to Arm’s licensing business.
But there’s also another big reason RISC-V is gaining popularity, Quinnell points out. “The second reason RISC-V has caught the industry’s interest is that the ISA has been designed to be both stable for long-term viability, yet customizable to adapt to a wide range of applications.”
Plus, support for RISC-V is worldwide, he reports. In China, for instance, RISC-V momentum is growing and in India, startup InCore is working on RISC-V processors and AI accelerators. Further, according to reports from EE Times India, RISC-V is being adopted as the national ISA for India to help free the country’s design industry from dependence on the Intel x86 and ARM ISAs, Quinnell writes.
As far as this EE Times series, Quinnell says, “the significance of RISC-V and breadth of activity it is stimulating is more than a single article can cover, which is why Aspencore has launched this Special Project on RISC-V.
Other articles provide a deeper look into many aspects of this technology, from the status of tools and software to an examination of its hardware design flexibility. In addition, the Project looks at the industry impact of RISC-V from several viewpoints, including its potential impact of companies like ARM and the impact of its open-source aspect on purchasing and supply.
Quinnell closes out his article stating that RISC-V is a bold experiment in changing the nature of processor design and is on the cusp of major adoption by the industry. Whether it lives up to its promise or stalls in the market is impossible to predict for now. But either way, it bears watching.