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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 Mojibake Tengu on Friday May 20 2022, @03:34PM (1 child)

    by Mojibake Tengu (8598) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 20 2022, @03:34PM (#1246598) Journal

    In media I observed several tape-outs and user manuals available for some development boards. Though it's hard to obtain anything outside India.

    India is big. And generally behind China in all electronics. The platform itself is mandatory government standard. Education, academy, small businesses, industry, military, everyone needs and will need many of these. Fabrication is still limited, growing. Any local production stays in India and will stay there for years, for sure.

    I would not even buy any single board of that smuggled out just now, because I understand that would deprive some Indian child of important educative experience for lifetime. In compare to that, Chinese RISC-V dev kits are already a commodity.

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  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday May 21 2022, @03:17AM

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday May 21 2022, @03:17AM (#1246768) Journal

    I would not even buy any single board of that smuggled out just now, because I understand that would deprive some Indian child of important educative experience for lifetime. In compare to that, Chinese RISC-V dev kits are already a commodity.

    If as you say, every board bought is taken from someone else, then they're a dead end. For most mass produced goods if you buy more, they make more. Electronics should scale well to higher production. If it can't answer higher demand with higher supply, then there's probably something wrong with the product or the producer.

    Perhaps the producers' business models are milking some government subsidy rather than producing products? If the subsidy doesn't increase with volume, and the product loses money without the subsidy, then they have no reason to make more.