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China Looks At RISC-V As A Viable Replacement For Proprietary CPU Architecture Amid Trade War Tensions

appuals.com, Aug. 06, 2019 – 

The United States Of America holds a very dominant position in the global tech trade. That's because US companies have primarily set the standards of the modern tech infrastructure, holding most of the IPs and licensing them to other companies. This has worked out well most of the time but on the rare occasion a country finds itself in a conflict with the US, its domestic tech companies will have a hard time carrying out business as usual. China, as we know, is in some sort of a trade war with the US and recently the White House blacklisted Huawei and many of its subsidiaries, which meant trade with US companies were restricted.

Apart from losing access to key Google Software for their android phones, they also lost access to the ARM architecture. Chip Designer ARM suspended business with Huawei to comply with US sanctions. Designing and producing software from scratch is an uphill task but doable for sure. The same can't be said for CPU architecture which has been developed and matured over decades with millions of lines of underlying code and several instruction sets. The sanctions were eventually lifted and Huawei dodged a potential disaster, but it was a rude awakening for China. According to a recent report, Chinese retail giant Alibaba is working on a new processor based on the RICS-V architecture.

Xuantie 910

The chip was presented this week at Alibaba's Cloud Summit. According to TheRegister.uk the chip will have 16 cores clocked at up to 2.5GHz, built on a 12nm process node. It will be based on the RV64GCV instruction set, so expect a 64-bit chip with a 12-degree pipeline, 16-bit-wide instructions, and instructions for multiplying and dividing integers.

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