In the semiconductor industry’s relentless push for continued innovation, choice is becoming an essential ingredient in the recipe for silicon success. Having a choice—in operating systems, compilers, debuggers, and other tools—is driving increased adoption of the open-source RISC-V instruction set architecture (ISA). The open ISA provides designers the freedom to develop their own custom processors using open-source or commercial resources as a starting point.
Unlike proprietary processor architectures, the RISC-V architecture lets design teams customize their processor based on the needs of their target end applications. By selecting the available features they want to use for their design, designers can optimize for power, performance, and/or area (PPA) for their key applications.
With its openness and technical benefits, RISC-V has grown increasingly popular in recent years. RISC-V CPU semiconductor IP royalties are projected to reach $230M by 2028, representing a CAGR of 26.7%, according to Semico Research. RISC-V International, the global nonprofit that manages the standard, reports increasing adoption, activity, and momentum across a variety of industries.
There are various implementations of RISC-V in the form of royalty-free, open-source cores upon which any entity can develop their own solutions and services. Also available in the market are an array of commercial IP products. Read on to learn why RISC-V is becoming increasingly important for applications ranging from automotive to 5G mobile, AI, and data centers.