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Soccer, Chips, RISC-V and Brazil

By February 27, 2024No Comments

Brazil Joins RISC-V International as Premier Member

In the realm of global sports, soccer stands unparalleled, symbolizing not just a game but a tapestry of cultures, teamwork, and collective aspirations. Similarly, technological advancements are the product of collaborative efforts, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. This analogy aptly describes Brazil’s latest achievement in the tech arena: becoming a Premier Member of RISC-V International.

Brazil has a longstanding history of fostering research and development in the semiconductor sector, albeit without much global recognition. The journey began in 1971 at the University of Sao Paulo, marking the development of the first chip in Latin America.

Since then, Brazil has consistently invested in the semiconductor field, primarily supporting local research and education. In 2008, the government launched CEITEC, a state-owned semiconductor organization. However, its ambition extends beyond self-sufficiency. Given the industry’s complexity and cost, operating in isolation is impractical, even for countries with significant investment capabilities.

To address this, Brazil has embarked on investing in industrial, research, and development projects and creating local intellectual property. These efforts aim to satisfy the nation’s substantial internal demand and offer production alternatives and solutions to other countries.

Brazil’s economic and industrial policies now support semiconductor manufacturing, design, and packaging investments. These policies include fiscal incentives, market access, and financing opportunities, contingent on investing in domestic research and development. In recent years, this initiative has attracted national and international companies, yielding approximately $2.5 billion in investments, capital goods, production infrastructure, and R&D. Over 61 Research and Technology Organizations have been established or expanded to support industry projects, producing a cadre of specialized professionals. While currently focused on the domestic market, there is a plan to broaden these efforts to enhance international partnerships within the semiconductor supply chain.

Recently, Brazil introduced a new industrial policy targeting digital transformation across industries and technological enrichment in various economic sectors. Through the “More Production Plan“, Brazil will invest around 60 billion dollars in neo-industrialization efforts until 2026, with semiconductor technologies being a key area of focus. This initiative includes non-refundable grants and subsidized financing for new industrial projects.

Moreover, Brazil is revitalizing its workforce training programs, aiming to qualify over 4,000 new engineers in the coming years. A concrete example is the recently launched CI Innovator Program, which aims to form integrated circuit designers. This is in response to domestic semiconductor needs and to attract additional companies to the country. Brazil is also exploring new technological avenues such as Silicon Carbide, Integrated Photonics, Advanced Packaging, rare earth mining, and open-standard instruction set architectures like RISC-V. These efforts are intended to support local companies in developing new products for various sectors, including Telecom, Consumer Electronics, Energy, Automotive, Agriculture, and Medical Devices.

The parallels between soccer and Brazil’s approach to technology are evident. In soccer, the goal is to score by moving the ball past the opposition’s defenses, requiring strategy, skill, and teamwork. Similarly, in the technological realm, the goal is to advance innovation and achieve technological sovereignty, navigating through the challenges of proprietary constraints and fostering a community of open collaboration and shared success.

Joining RISC-V International as a Premier Member underscores Brazil’s commitment to open-standard technology and innovation, reflecting its cultural values of teamwork, unity, and collective effort.

RISC-V’s adoption is already widespread in Brazil, with numerous public and private universities incorporating it into their computer architecture curricula. The initiative to create a national microcontroller, u32BR, is based on RISC-V. Additionally, Brazil is actively working on in-house designs of RISC-V-based chips, like those under development by the University of Sao Paulo.

Private Research and Development Institutions like Eldorado Institute and Wernher von Braun Advanced Research Center have embraced RISC-V for strategic projects, and partnerships with Spain and Portugal are also centered around RISC-V.

Academics from several universities are making significant contributions to the field of computer architecture education, focusing on RISC-V. This includes authoring a new textbook designed for computer architecture courses, translating the The RISC-V Reader: An Open Architecture Atlas into Portuguese, and writing an introductory book on assembly programming using RISC-V.

Brazil is experiencing a significant momentum in the RISC-V ecosystem and is keen on fostering collaborations. It is enhancing its tax incentives and regulatory framework to improve operational agility, reduce bureaucracy, and ensure tariff exemptions align with international practices for supply, manufacturing, and service companies setting up in the country.

As a soccer team celebrates its victories, the advancements and achievements through RISC-V will be a shared success, not just for Brazil but for the global community. For more information about Brazil’s association to RISC-V International and its semiconductor policies, reach out to

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