While most of the smartphone and wearables that are available in the market today are based on Intel’s x86 and Arm’s instruction sets, a new instruction set in now in the picture; the open-source RISC-V. SiFive which is the cup design company behind RISC-V has now received financial support from smartphone chipset manufacturer, Qualcomm.
Reports from The Information says that SiFive has $65.4 million in its latest funding round and a part of that investment came from Qualcomm. The company joins others like Intel and Samsung as investors in the startup company. This can further help in the creation of chip designs on the open-source RISC-V instruction set.
SiFive’s instruction set, RISC-V is free and scalable with devices ranging from microcontrollers to large scale commuters suited for compatibility. SiFive has more than 100 chip design wins and new designs are believed to be created by the company at least once every three months. This is far ahead of other designers like ARM who create about a whole year to create one design as well.
SiFive has promised that it will be able to deliver sample chips with the requested design in a matter of weeks. Although these chip designs have already been implemented in microcontrollers, networking, and IoT, the only consumer products the company has been involved in is Huami wearables, a sub-brand of Xiaomi.
It is quite obvious though that wearables to don’t require as much power as smartphones, the fact that the company got financial backing from Qualcomm only suggests that SiFive has a great future for its open source RISC-V introduction set. The RISC-V Foundation currently has 236 members on board which includes tech companies like TSMC, Google, Western Digital, NVIDIA, Alibaba and their most recent member, Qualcomm.