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RISC-V Targets Data Centers | ANN STEFFORA MUTSCHLER, Semiconductor Engineering

By April 22, 2021April 29th, 2021No Comments

RISC-V vendors are beginning to aim much higher in the compute hierarchy, targeting data centers and supercomputers rather than just simple embedded applications on the edge.

In the past, this would have been nearly impossible for a new instruction set architecture. But a growing focus on heterogeneous chip integration, combined with the reduced benefits of scaling and increasing demand for specialized accelerators, has opened the door wide to newcomers. There are an estimated 200 startups working on accelerators for AI/ML, and some of them are using RISC-V as a starting point.

What makes RISC-V particularly attractive is the ability to modify the source code. That has driven up its popularity in edge and embedded applications, but it also has sparked the interest of companies looking to use this open-source ISA for much higher-performance applications.

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