As AMD returns to center stage, Apple switches from Intel to its own ARM chips, and ARM, in fact, is in being bought by Nvidia, a new architecture is in full swing: RISC V. Already in the spotlight last year at the suspension of the ARM license to Huawei, RISC V is now taking another step: the American chip designer SiFive, which develops chips based on this open architecture, announces the upcoming launch of a version dedicated to the PC world.
In short: a chip powerful enough to run a computer running GNU / Linux. The novelty here is the power level of this chip called “Freedom U740”, which exceeds anything that has been designed so far with this ISA (instruction sets) introduced in 2010 by the University of Berkeley. Very young and for the time being mainly focused on research, ISA RISC V has only been industrialized by very few companies and each time for replace low power ARM chips – like Western Digital’s “home” memory controllers for some of these hard disks.
But with the intellectual property uncertainties surrounding ARM linked to the Trump administration in 2019 (the threat to ban ARM from selling a license to Huawei on parts under US patents) and the buyout by Nvidia in 2020 (ARM will he remain “neutral” ?), everything speeds up. In full change, the semiconductor world will now benefit from a new competing architecture of x86 and ARM with the rise of RISC V.
In addition to “Freedom U740” SiFive will also present another processor, even more powerful and optimized for “high performance computing, artificial intelligence and artificial vision uses”. Two chips that are expected to be announced in October and could mark a turning point for the industry.