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Semiconductor Engineering Article: RISC-V Inches Toward The Center

By October 1, 2018May 12th, 2021No Comments

RISC-V is pushing further into the mainstream, showing up across a wide swath of designs and garnering support from a long and still-growing list of chipmakers, tools vendors, universities and foundries. In most cases it is being used as a complementary processor than a replacement for something else, but that could change in the future.
What makes RISC-V particularly attractive to chipmakers is its open-source roots. Developed at UC Berkeley at the beginning of this decade, the RISC-V instruction-set architecture (ISA) is available under a Berkeley Software Distribution license, which allows widespread distribution of the design with minimal restriction. That works particularly well for startups developing prototypes, but it also works for highly specific applications such as a security co-processor because the source code can be tweaked. In addition, it plays well in markets such as China where where there is a national effort to reduce the trade deficit in semiconductors, as well as the cost of IP in those chips.
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