RISC-V is the latest entry in a resurgence of innovation in 32-bit cores. But this time it’s a different engineering environment. Recent core innovations and competition focused on the established general-purpose microcontroller market, with generic peripherals focused on rugged automotive applications. However, today’s embedded landscape is focused on Internet of Things (IoT) endpoints targeting sophisticated industrial edge computing systems. Instead of just generic timers and serial interfaces, the latest RISC-V microcontrollers also support sophisticated peripherals including, artificial intelligence (AI) inference engines and machine learning (ML) capabilities.
However, RISC-V has additional advantages that go beyond the evolving market and technical demands. Before we get into those, let’s take a quick look at where we’ve come from.