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posted by martyb on Friday June 11, @06:02AM   Printer-friendly
from the if-you-can't-beat-'em,-buy-'em? dept.

Intel (INTC) Reportedly Offers Over $2 Billion To Acquire the Fabless Semiconductor SiFive as the Consolidation Trend in the Industry Is Nowhere Close to Slowing Down

[According] to Bloomberg, Intel has reportedly offered over $2 billion to acquire the fabless semiconductor SiFive, a provider of commercial RISC-V processor IP and silicon solutions based on the RISC-V instruction set architecture.

Should this deal become a reality, it would mark the climax of growing bonhomie between Intel and SiFive. For instance, back in 2018, Intel was one of the participants in the Series C funding round of SiFive. Thereafter, in March 2021, SiFive announced a collaboration with the Intel Foundry Business (IFB) to develop innovative new RISC-V computing platforms.

Of course, unlike legacy Instruction Set Architectures (ISAs), RISC-V's proponents believe that it addresses the skyrocketing cost of designing and manufacturing increasingly complex new chip architectures, given that that the ISA is layered, extensible, and flexible. It is hardly surprising, therefore, that some believe RISC-V to be the future.

Bear in mind that SiFive was last valued at $500 million, as per the data available at PitchBook. This means that Intel would be paying a premium of over 300 percent relative to SiFive's 2020 valuation.

Previously: SiFive HiFive Unleashed Not as Open as Previously Thought
Qualcomm Invests in RISC-V Startup SiFive
SiFive Announces a RISC-V Core With an Out-of-Order Microarchitecture
GlobalFoundries and SiFive Partner on High Bandwidth Memory (HBM2E)
SiFive to Debut a RISC-V PC for Developers in October
SiFive Announces HiFive Unmatched Mini-ITX Motherboard for RISC-V PCs


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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by venn on Friday June 11, @08:05AM (5 children)

    by venn (13224) on Friday June 11, @08:05AM (#1144200)

    Could this be a sign that x86 is nearing its end? Or is it an embrace, extend, and extinguish strategy.

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 11, @08:33AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 11, @08:33AM (#1144201)

      I'd much rather see Intel sunset than x86. The problems with x86 are fixable, as AMD demonstrated with their 64-bit extensions. The Intel company culture is not.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by FatPhil on Friday June 11, @11:27AM

      Intel bought into ARM ages ago, and killed (their bit of) that.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/StrongARM
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XScale

      I wouldn't expect this to be anything apart from an attempt to weaken Risc-V.
      --
      I know I'm God, because every time I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.
    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 11, @02:51PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 11, @02:51PM (#1144252)

      RISC V is not a real threat to x86 for many years, and by then it will be obsolete. Flexible architectures are where all the focus is.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 11, @06:48PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 11, @06:48PM (#1144342)

        the (sane) "consumer" should like intel. the stuff is backwards compatible.
        the producer prefers ARM, 'cause ARM license is easy to get and you can modify to their ..wallets ..err... hearts desire ... mostly so new software doesn't run on old hardware (why do you think you need a new "secure" smart phone every 3 years?)

        intel could not do that (w/ x86) 'cause elephant in room already and would have given much anti-trust ammo if they would have done like ARM.

        we can just hope (!) that this good part of intel (shit that runs on iCore runs on pentium etc etc) bleeds into the RISC V domain (sans the m$ dog-pooh-smell-on the-shoesole).
        we can hope, that is all ...

    • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 11, @06:40PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 11, @06:40PM (#1144337)

      It's more likely that Intel, being Jew-run, is finding out that designing and making chips is a lot more difficult than buying IP and suing others in the East District of Texas. You just wait, you'll see I was right.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 11, @05:11PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 11, @05:11PM (#1144299)

    I understand that Moore's Law has been used as a business plan, almost since it was stated -- you must increase device density (reduce transistor size) to stay competitive.

    However, it seems like some relatively simple chips are now so cheap that perhaps there is reasonable business to be had without pushing on the latest and greatest high density technology. I'm thinking of things like calculators, small ECUs in cars that run the windshield wipers or windows, or even the processor in a basic microwave oven.

    Are there fabs that are working to reduce the total delivered cost of this type of system on chip, without reducing line widths any further? Or does the cost of silicon so dominate the cost of the final product that going smaller still wins, even in this "commodity" part of the market?

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