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posted by janrinok on Friday May 20 2022, @09:56AM   Printer-friendly
from the dont-put-some-of-your-eggs-in-too-many-baskets dept.

Tech war: China bets on open-source RISC-V for chip design to minimise potential damage from 'being cut off' by US sanctions

A growing number of Chinese chip design firms have adopted open-source RISC-V in their chip designs as an alternative to Intel's proprietary X86 and Arm's architecture, in a bid to minimise potential damage from US sanctions and to save on licensing fees.

[....] "[This] gives Chinese companies access to a global open standard instruction set architecture (ISA) ecosystem," said Stewart Randall, head of electronics and embedded software at consultancy Intralink. "So Chinese companies can have access to, and create, their own cores or chips based on it."

However, some industry experts said China's adoption of open-source RISC-V architecture would not shield them from all US sanction risks, as America still holds the trump card when it comes to electronic design automation (EDA) tools, the key software needed for chip design, as well as chip manufacturing technologies.

If you really want to create your own cores from scratch, without licensing anyone else's IP, is it truly possible to do so with RISC-V?

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Tech war: China bets on open-source RISC-V for chip design to minimise potential damage from 'being cut off' by US sanctions

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  • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Friday May 20 2022, @12:02PM (3 children)

    by Thexalon (636) on Friday May 20 2022, @12:02PM (#1246545)

    China and the US went from being straight-up enemies for most of the Cold War to being frenemies since the 1990's. Exports to the US market, which really opened up during the Clinton administration in a big way, has been the engine of economic growth for China, and also why they've pegged their currency to the US dollar. While at the same time being the US's most difficult political enemy on the world stage.

    The risks to the US involved in messing with China are far greater than messing with Russia: The main thing Russia can do short of launching their nukes is cut off oil and gas exports to Europe, which is exactly what Putin is starting to do but the Europeans are sorting it out at least for the short term, but can't really do too much of that because the Russian economy depends on those exports to be able to buy any imports from other countries so it's not something he's likely to quit cold turkey. Whereas China could crash the US dollar and really screw up a large percentage of American businesses very quickly if they wanted to, in addition to whatever they pulled militarily against US allies like South Korea, Taiwan, and the Philippines.

    The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
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  • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Friday May 20 2022, @03:24PM (1 child)

    by DeathMonkey (1380) on Friday May 20 2022, @03:24PM (#1246596) Journal

    Also, the US is a net exporter of gas now. The US oil & Gas industry is making a killing right now trying to supply that shortfall. That could be good, bad, whatever.....but cutting off O&G exports to Europe is a money making opportunity for the US.

    • (Score: 2) by ncc74656 on Monday May 23 2022, @09:01PM

      by ncc74656 (4917) on Monday May 23 2022, @09:01PM (#1247321) Homepage

      the US was a net exporter of gas

      FTFY. We were until fairly recently, but then the senile sundowning shithead stole an election and put an end to that. If we were still a net exporter of petroleum products, we wouldn't be paying $5+ per gallon at the pump.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 20 2022, @05:46PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 20 2022, @05:46PM (#1246637)

    Not that simple, things have been changing. China has been moving away from the dollar, trimming holdings and reducing exposure. Even if they could crash the dollar (to some extent) that would actually be good for US exporters, because suddenly US exports would be hugely more competitive on the world market. The real damage would be collateral, hurting other economies that rely on dollar-denominated stuff.