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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: 4, Interesting) by maxwell demon on Friday May 20 2022, @12:15PM (2 children)

    by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 20 2022, @12:15PM (#1246550) Journal

    as America still holds the trump card when it comes to electronic design automation (EDA) tools, the key software needed for chip design

    Software can be reverse-engineered. Or simply used without license. Yes, US companies would complain, but why would China care if the US complains about chips that are both manufactured and sold inside China?

    IP is worthless without some way to enforce it.

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  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 20 2022, @12:35PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 20 2022, @12:35PM (#1246553)

    Trump card

    Had Mr Trump won a second term and nvidia acquired ARM, China had serious concerns.

    Neither of those things happened but they saw what the USA did to shut Huawei and ZTE out of international markets due to sanctions.

  • (Score: 2) by jimtheowl on Friday May 20 2022, @05:45PM

    by jimtheowl (5929) on Friday May 20 2022, @05:45PM (#1246636)
    ".. are both manufactured and sold inside China"

    Amongst other things they are obviously considering revenue from exports.