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Intel Reportedly Interested In Acquiring RISC-V Firm SiFive

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  • Intel Reportedly Interested In Acquiring RISC-V Firm SiFive

    Phoronix: Intel Reportedly Interested In Acquiring RISC-V Firm SiFive

    Back in March during the announcement of Intel Foundry Services it was mentioned that SiFive and Intel were working together to allow RISC-V chips to be fabbed within Intel's facilities. Additionally, Intel Capital previously invested in SiFive during prior funding rounds. Now it turns out Intel is reportedly positioning to potentially acquire SiFive...

    https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pa...sted-In-SiFive

  • #2
    I called this, and the great thing about the RISC-V ecosystem is that if Intel manages to squander this, it won't jeopardize the ecosystem in any way: Yunseob et. al. can just take a gap year and start a new company.

    Furthermore if they go all in on high performance RISC-V chips, everybody wins even if they don't want those chips.
    Last edited by microcode; 10 June 2021, 06:04 PM.

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    • #3
      Can't wait for RISCtanium. "With up to 20x faster EOL, it's one of our shortest lived products lines to date"

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      • #4
        Please concentrate on your manufacturing process.

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        • #5
          1. Intel screw up competitivity.
          2. Intel screw up themselves.
          3. New competitivity emerges and creates better tech and mindset to free the world from Intel.
          4. Intel screw up new competitivity.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by bachchain View Post
            Can't wait for RISCtanium. "With up to 20x faster EOL, it's one of our shortest lived products lines to date"
            Really ? While I hate what Intel is doing (marketing lies, poor performance, x86), one thing I can't blame them is software support. From microcode updates to maintaining critical parts of Linux and also maintaining Tianocore (yes I know it's trash but their support is commendable).

            Meanwhile ARM SOCs get thrown away by the manufacturer after 2 years of poor firmware support.

            Sadly the pessimist in me thinks RISC-V is only going to amplify the problem since smaller players will be making SOCs. Maybe the answer is POWER10, but unless it can drop price I doubt I will be spending 2000$+ for my next build .
            Last edited by kvuj; 10 June 2021, 09:22 PM.

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            • #7
              Hot take: the world would be a better place if companies simply could not buy other companies. It should be seen as an anti-trust violation.

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              • #8
                Since x86 is RISC at heart I wonder if there is something in the SiFive patent portfolio that Intel realized could be their ace in the hole.

                Or is Intel going RISC while NVIDIA goes ARM? If they were gonna jump the x86 ship it would make sense to go back to their RISC roots versus going to something different.

                kvuj That two year planned obsolescence is the worst part about ARM/Android. Not all ARM is like that, but when it is Android is almost always the OS the ARM device came with.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by skeevy420 View Post
                  Since x86 is RISC at heart I wonder if there is something in the SiFive patent portfolio that Intel realized could be their ace in the hole.

                  Or is Intel going RISC while NVIDIA goes ARM? If they were gonna jump the x86 ship it would make sense to go back to their RISC roots versus going to something different.

                  kvuj That two year planned obsolescence is the worst part about ARM/Android. Not all ARM is like that, but when it is Android is almost always the OS the ARM device came with.
                  "RISC roots"? You're joking right? Intel is the very embodiment of CISC.

                  "Intel going RISC while NVIDIA goes ARM" -> the clue is in the name "Advanced RISC Machines".

                  Maybe it's opposite day.

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                  • #10
                    [QUOTE=skeevy420;n1261135]Since x86 is RISC at heart I wonder if there is something in the SiFive patent portfolio that Intel realized could be their ace in the hole.

                    Or is Intel going RISC while NVIDIA goes ARM? If they were gonna jump the x86 ship it would make sense to go back to their RISC roots versus going to something different.

                    I don't think it's patent portfolio issues here, at least not directly. Intel's got enough patents that were it a concern they could throw some cross licensing agreement or another at SiFive. nVidia though, I think is the key. nVidia is probably Intel's biggest competitor at this point for the long run; no one else has a lineup that goes from embedded to desktop to datacenter. Right now, Intel licenses ARM IP for products like their FPGAs. By buying SiFive, they're immediately getting an embedded stack they can put in FPGAs, controller chips, etc, without having to pay anything to an ever increasing rival. I don't think it's going back to their roots, because there's still a ton of money left in x86, but at the same time, having a tiny product they can stick in a lot of places is useful.

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