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UltraSoC Blog Post: RISC-V Day Tokyo

By October 31, 2018May 12th, 2021No Comments

CEO Rupert Baines reports from Japan following his presentation at RISC-V Day Tokyo
Japan’s technological innovation can never be called into question. But in terms of changes in big business, it has often been thought of as a country where things change slowly…sometimes too slowly. Japanese corporate decision making has traditionally relied on consensus-building – using ringi-sho, and nemawashi (laying the foundations). These inclusive decision-making processes ensure that when changes happen, and decisions are made, everyone believes in them and gets behind them. From a non-Japanese perspective, this style of traditional participative decision making is often said to have stifled creativity and slowed the potential pace of innovation.
In China for example, the country’s rapid adoption of new innovations, the readiness to build new businesses and entire industries around nascent technologies is very different to Japan’s consultative and inclusive decision making culture.
Last week, I wonder if I witnessed signs that Japanese business attitudes are changing along with its perspective on innovation in deep technologies.
I was speaking at the RISC-V Day event in Tokyo, held at the prestigious Keio University. I expected to hear lots of interest and optimism about RISC-V, but I was not anticipating real engagement and real action. But, I was pleasantly surprised. There were clear signs of RISC-V getting tangible acceptance in Japan: 240 people at the workshop, from over 100 companies. The acceptance of RISC-V as an open architecture seems surprisingly fast – the culture seems to be changing in Japan. There’s still some sensible hesitancy in jumping the gun: most of the Japanese companies active in RISC-V at the workshop are evaluating designs – few are ready to make public announcements – for now at least.
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