Semiconductor companies look to drive RISC-V ecosystem and hardware development

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Bosch, Infineon Technologies, Nordic Semiconductor, NXP Semiconductors, and Qualcomm Technologies are to jointly invest in a company aimed at advancing the adoption of RISC-V globally by enabling next-generation hardware development.

Formed in Germany, the company aims to accelerate the commercialisation of future products based on the open-source RISC-V architecture. It will be a single source to enable compatible RISC-V based products, provide reference architectures, and help establish solutions widely used in the industry. Initial application focus will be automotive, but with an eventual expansion to include mobile and IoT.

“Bosch is convinced that initiatives promoting the RISC-V open specifications will bring the global mobility market a significant step further. The initiative now planned will greatly help to establish a reliable and efficient EU-based semiconductor ecosystem,” said Jens Fabrowsky, Executive Vice President at Bosch and responsible for the semiconductor business.

At its core, RISC-V encourages innovation by allowing any company to develop cutting-edge, customised hardware based on an open-source instruction set. Further adoption of the RISC-V technology is seen as helping to promote even more diversity in the electronics industry – reducing the barriers to entry for smaller and emergent companies and enabling increased scalability for established companies.

The new company will also look to call on industry associations, leaders, and governments, to join forces in support of this initiative which will help increase the resilience of the broader semiconductor ecosystem.

The company formation will be subject to regulatory approvals in various jurisdictions.

“We are excited to come together with other industry players to drive the expansion of the RISC-V ecosystem through development of next-generation hardware," said Ziad Asghar, Senior Vice President of Product Management, Qualcomm Technologies. "We have been investing in RISC-V for more than five years and we’ve integrated RISC-V micro-controllers into many of our commercial platforms. We believe RISC-V’s open-source instruction set will increase innovation and has the potential to transform the industry.”