RISC-V is having itself a moment. What began as an effort to produce an open-source ISA for low-end microcontrollers and other simple kinds of chips is becoming a genuine ecosystem. RISC-V CPUs still can’t challenge the likes of a Cortex-A76 or x86 CPU, but they’re creeping up the performance charts. Two recent developments could give the project a further boost: First, MIPS (formerly Wave Computing) has announced it will begin developing its own RISC-V CPUs. Second, China’s new Loongson CPU, based on the MIPS64 architecture, may be looking for a new ISA.

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