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Following U.S. Sanctions, China Decides Its Future Lies With RISC Chips


One key problem that remains unsolved for China is retaining access to the most advanced semiconductor manufacturing equipment and photolithography machines.

Currently, 11 Chinese semiconductor companies are working on RISC-V chips for use in personal computers, electric vehicles, energy management, and wireless communication equipment.

Credit: MF3d/Getty Images

China is finding it increasingly difficult to source and use the most advanced chips in the world due to US export sanctions, so it's adopting a different tact and investing heavily in an alternative, open source chip architecture.

As the South China Morning Post(Opens in a new window) reports, rather than relying on x86 and ARM processors for its future computing needs, Chinese semiconductor companies are focusing on the development of RISC-V semiconductors for use in the country.

RISC-V is the fifth-generation of the RISC open standard instruction set architecture. It requires no fees to use, and therefore has no reliance on licenses controlled by companies outside of China. In total, 11 Chinese semiconductor companies are working on RISC-V chips right now for use in personal computers, electric vehicles, energy management, and wireless communication next year.

A number of these new RISC chips are designed to compete directly with ARM processors including the Cortex-A76, Cortex M, and Cortex R. It also helps that there's strong support on the software side for RISC-V, including open source tools for development and Linux support. This will surely only continue to improve if China starts producing millions of RISC-V devices for use by its population and industries.

From PC Magazine
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