SiFive unveils plan for Linux PCs with RISC-V processors

venturebeat.com
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SiFive today announced it is creating a platform for Linux-based personal computers based on RISC-V processors.
Assuming customers adopt the processors and use them in PCs, the move might be part of a plan to create Linux-based PCs that use royalty-free processors. This could be seen as a challenge to computers based on designs from Intel, Advanced Micro Devices, Apple, or Arm, but giants of the industry don't have to cower just yet.

The San Mateo, California-based company unveiled HiFive Unmatched, a development design for a Linux-based PC that uses its RISC-V processors. At the moment, these development PCs are early alternatives, most likely targeted at hobbyists and engineers who may snap them up when they become available in the fourth quarter for $665.

SiFive CTO Yunsup Lee spoke about the new development at the online Linley Fall Processor Conference being held today. Lee explained that the company's HiFive Unmatched development boards allow RISC-V developers to create the software they need for their platforms. SiFive designs processors that can be customized for products ranging from the low end to the high end of the computing spectrum. These processors are based on RISC-V, a free and open architecture created by university researchers a decade ago.

The announcement is sure to cause some speculation. While it's still early days, it's not inconceivable that RISC-V processors could someday be alternatives to Intel-based PCs and PC processors. The RISC-V organization is run by an industrywide body of supporters that includes SiFive. In fact, RISC-V's founders are all working for SiFive in some fashion.

SiFive raised $61 million in August from investors that included chip…
Dean Takahashi
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