Intel joins RISC-V International as a premium member, and I'm pondering about the implications

Lately I’ve been diving down the rabbit hole that is the world of RISC-V.

Today, I read this article on EETimes where it says:

Earlier this week, Intel announced it would join RISC-V International as a premier member. Intel Foundry Services (IFS) will embrace designs built on multiple ISAs in order to compete with foundry giants Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and Samsung. Intel claims to be the only foundry offering IP optimized for x86, Arm and RISC-V.

And further down the article:

Intel’s embrace of RISC-V means developing an ecosystem of its own. To that end, Intel is partnering with key RISC-V players, including CPU designer SiFive, AI accelerator chip company Esperanto, embedded CPU designer Andes Technology and data center CPU designer Ventana Microsystems. The partners will work with Intel to optimize their designs for Intel’s process technologies.

In an ideal world this would be a real boost for the production of consumer-grade RISC-V CPUs. However, the cynic in me ponders if Intel chiefly wants to maximize profits on x86 architecture for as long as possible and possibly to the extent that it would somehow hamper or derail RISC-V development (thinking embrace, extend, extinguish).

I’m curious what y’alls take on this is? :slight_smile:

I think they just want to sell fab capacity to them.

I dont think they’re on to some MS style EEE, at least not yet. If they sell shit tier chips to the designers, they lose face in that by looking weak and afraid. They could be just playing it safe, just in case Apple and their M1/M2 style architecture becomes the future and they might need something that isnt x86 and ARM to fall back on. Besides, the real future is Quantum compute and I dont think ARM or RISC-V has a response for those yet.


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