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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Samsung joins RISC-V to challenge Arm’s stranglehold

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Logo of the RISC-V Software Ecosystem (RISE) project [SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS]
Logo of the RISC-V Software Ecosystem (RISE) project [SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS]

Samsung Electronics will join Intel, Nvidia and Google in developing an open-source semiconductor software system in an effort to reduce reliance on British chip designer Arm.

Under a project titled RISC-V Software Ecosystem (RISE), the tech giants will work together to create royalty-free, open-source licenses essential to developing semiconductor architecture.

The chipmaker said on Thursday that it is participating in the RISE project and has been designated a member of the project’s governing board.

Presently, many chipmakers and tech companies pay hefty fees for using Arm’s chip architecture and cores. Arm’s cores, which are the key processing units that go into making a microprocessor, can be found in a wide range of devices, from the most advanced smartphones to the most basic of appliances, and are utilized by Apple, Samsung Electronics, Qualcomm and countless smaller electronic companies.

RISC-V (pronounced risk-five) software has emerged as an alternative due to its openness and lack of royalties, with many tech firms looking to mitigate the sheer dominance of the single chip designer and reduce chipmaking costs.

“It’s an exciting time to be part of the RISC-V community, with the continued popularity of the platform as well as strong progress across a variety of new use cases,” said Amber Huffman, Chair of the RISE Project. “The RISE Project brings together leaders with a shared sense of urgency to accelerate the RISC-V software ecosystem readiness in collaboration with RISC-V International.”

Samsung Electronics echoed the expectation.

“We believe in the core mission of the RISE Project, in which we can apply the proven successful model of open-source innovation,” said Soohong Daniel Park, head of the Open Source Group at Samsung Electronics, and Board Representative at the Linux Foundation.

The Linux Foundation is a non-profit technology consortium that supports open-source systems like RISC-V.

“Samsung Electronics would like to contribute and collaborate with members of the RISE Project to enable a new disruptive world powered by a sustainable RISC-V software ecosystem,” he said.

BY PARK EUN-JEE [park.eunjee@joongang.co.kr]