Restrictions could slow global chip innovation, RISC-V

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The chief executive of RISC-V International has warned that government restrictions on the open-source chip technology could slow down the development of new and better chips, holding back the global technology industry.

Calista Redmond’s comments come after a growing group of U.S. lawmakers called on the Biden administration to impose export control restrictions on RISC-V, citing national security concerns.

RISC-V is an open-source instruction set architecture (ISA) that can be used to design chips for a wide range of applications, from smartphones to artificial intelligence. Major U.S. firms such as Qualcomm and Google have embraced RISC-V, but so too have Chinese firms such as Huawei.

In a blog post, Redmond said that RISC-V is no different from other open technology standards such as Ethernet, and that restrictions on RISC-V would have the consequence of diminished access to the global marketplace of products, solutions, and talent.

Redmond also pointed out that RISC-V has drawn contributions in equal measure from North America, Europe, and Asia, and that the standards published by the foundation are not a full blueprint for a chip.

“The only difference is that the marketplace is allowed to use these standards without proprietary licenses from a controlling company,” Redmond wrote. “Having access to open standards allows companies to innovate faster and spend their time creating differentiated products, rather than trying to reinvent the wheel.”

The sources for this piece include an article in Reuters.

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