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Semiconductor Engineering Article: Fundamental Shifts In 2018

By December 20, 2018May 12th, 2021No Comments

What surprised the industry in 2018? While business has been strong, markets are changing, product categories are shifting and clouds are forming on the horizon.
The IP industry itself is being shaken up by the introduction of the RISC-V open source instruction-set architecture (ISA). “I tend to underestimate how big momentum is,” says Krste Asanovic, professor at UC Berkeley and chief architect for SiFive. “Even though I am enthusiastic and believe that it is doing really well, it always seems to exceed expectations—and that continues to be true. The degree of interest and upswell is amazing.”
The RISC-V ecosystem is still behind rival ISAs when it comes to commercial offerings, but the gap is shrinking. “Processor ecosystems did prove very important, perhaps even a bit more prominent, than I had thought,” says Frank Schirrmeister, senior group director, product management and marketing for Cadence. “Qualcomm has now disclosed that it will be shipping RISC-V in a high-volume product in 2019. With others like Western Digital and NVIDIA already on the RISC-V train, joined by several commercial IP providers, the area of processor ecosystems has been interesting to watch. Alliances are developing fast, and friends on one day may be foes the next.”
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