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RISC-V International and Intel team up to accelerate RISC-V adoption: Introducing Intel Pathfinder for RISC-V | Intel Corporation

A brief background

Founded in 2015 with only 29 members, the RISC-V Foundation, a nonprofit organization, was chartered to standardize and promote the free and open RISC-V instruction set architecture (ISA), along with its hardware and software ecosystem. Now called RISC-V International, it’s become a truly global organization with more than 2000 members in more than 70 countries.

The release of RISC-V to the open community in 2015 – for both standardization and ongoing improvement through open collaboration – marked the first time the hardware community embraced open-source standards and collaboration at this level. RISC-V combines a modular technical approach with an open license business model, meaning that anyone, anywhere can leverage the IP contributed and produced by RISC-V International.

Since then, RISC-V has broken down barriers in the semiconductor industry, bringing together different companies, industries, and geographies for open collaboration. The RISC-V ISA can be implemented through either open or proprietary architectures, offering silicon designers a cleanly designed assembly language associated with an existing software ecosystem.

According to Calista Redmond, CEO RISC-V International, “Ensuring long term access to, and development of, the RISC-V Instruction Set Architecture is a strategic choice. RISC-V International is wholly committed to design freedom, choice, and flexibility, and supports open architecture extensions to the RISC-V ISA.” 

RISC-V International’s intellectual property is developed and contributed collectively by members and governed by the terms of open-source licenses. Once IP is provided globally in this way, it is permanently open and remains available for all.

Global success of any architecture is driven by the shared collective interest of a community. Open source and global standards have a long history of success because they have a license framework that ensures anyone, anywhere can have ongoing access to them.


Intel facilitates the adoption of RISC-V

In a short period of time, Intel has introduced several exciting RISC-V focused initiatives. In October 2021, Intel launched the Intel® Nios® V processor, the next generation of soft processor for Intel® FPGAs based on the open-source RISC-V Instruction Set Architecture. Then, in January 2022 at CES, Intel announced the next-generation Mobileye* EyeQ Ultra automotive platform powered by RISC-V processors. Keeping with the torrid pace, in February 2022 Intel Foundry Services (IFS) announced several partnerships and investments supporting the RISC-V architecture.


Introducing Intel Pathfinder for RISC-V

We are proud to announce Intel® Pathfinder for RISC-V*, a new integrated developer environment. SOC architects, software developers, and product research teams will now have access to a wide range of RISC-V cores, a growing set of surrounding IPs, multiple operating systems, and leading toolchains — all unified under a common IDE and set of FPGA platforms.

“With Intel Pathfinder, users will be able to test drive pre-silicon concepts on Intel FPGAs or virtual simulators. There should be tremendous value for pre-silicon architects, software developers and product managers looking to prove out use cases upfront in the product development lifecycle”, said Vijay Krishnan, General Manager, RISC-V Ventures, Intel Corporation. 

Available to anyone. Free download for Intel Pathfinder for RISC-V comes in Starter and Professional Editions. 

More information at


RISC-V International and Intel

Both organizations are aligned by a shared vision to accelerate RISC-V adoption through an open-source and standards-based approach.

“We are excited to see the introduction of Intel® Pathfinder for RISC-V,” Redmond added. “Intel Pathfinder is designed to promote a secure ecosystem for development, accelerate industry adoption, and reduce design friction while really showcasing what RISC-V can do.”

According to Krishnan, “We work closely with RISC-V International to define and drive common standards.” We are also co-dependent on the marketing side in terms of getting the word out on the exciting new capabilities we are bringing to market.” Krishnan added “Ultimately, Intel Pathfinder is consistent with our broader vision to create technology that reduces barriers to the adoption of open architectures.”

Intel Pathfinder for RISC-V is brought to you by the Incubation and Disruptive Innovation (IDI) Group at Intel 

* Intel, the Intel logo, and other Intel marks are trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries. Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others. No product or component can be absolutely secure.

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