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RISC-V Adoption Picks up Pace

Sep 3, 2021 | Author : William Li


IP design around the chipset architecture, security and cutting-edge performance improvements matching the advancements in manufacturing process and material science have been the key to semiconductor supply chain. Intel has been dominating the CPU architecture for the computing market with its x86 instruction set but integrated mostly into its own chips. However, Arm with its “pure play” licensing of its cutting-edge chipset architecture revolutionized the smartphone market, which became the fastest growing and high-scale personal computing segment in the world.

However, the semiconductor industry over the recent years has seen significant shifts, from consolidation to power acquisition moves, which has exacerbated the geopolitical tensions between key economies with semiconductors becoming the key component of the “technology cold war”. Sanctions on Huawei, NVIDIA looking to acquire Arm and China’s domestic semiconductor ambitions have warranted the need to find alternative semiconductor IP providers and reshape the global semiconductor supply chain.

RISC-V ISA is probably the candidate in the spotlight leveraging an open-source architecture. But the key question is how RISC-V is aligned in terms of capabilities, potential opportunities, and adoption rates. 

In this report, we will deep-dive into the global semiconductor IP landscape and find how the introduction of RISC-V ISA can compete with tech giants such as Intel and Qualcomm, and pure play providers such as Arm and Synopsys.

Table of Contents:

  • Executive Summary
  • RISC-V Becomes Attractive Amidst Geopolitical Tensions & Industry Consolidation
    • US-China trade tensions
    • NVIDIA’s plan to acquire Arm
  • Semiconductor IP Growth Beckons with IoT, Connected Auto & HPC era
    • A $8.6-billion market with 11% CAGR by 2025 
    • Leaders occupy largest share; new entrants emerging
    • Arm dominating Global Semiconductor IP market since 2010s
    • Tier II Vendors Focus More on Specific Applications, Niche Markets
  • RISC-V Gaining Significant Momentum
    • RISC-V ISA was born to be Open Source
    • Comparison between x86, Arm and RISC-V
    • Advantages RISC-V Offers  
    • Challenges RISC-V faces now and later     
    • Growing variety of RISC-V ecosystem & solutions
    • China has lion’s share in RISC-V International’s premier members 
    • Even Intel, the x86 giant, shows strong interest in RISC-V
    • RISC-V adoption outlook across different applications
    • Unstoppable rise of RISC-V
  • Key Takeaways

Number of Pages: 16
Published Date: September 2021


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