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RISC-V based XiangShan processor poses another threat to Intel

Intel is facing an onslaught from all angles with the development of fast Arm based chips and new competition from the Chinese developed XiangShan processor.

www.redsharknews.com, Jul. 13, 2021 – 

Later this year, Intel is to release the Alder Lake incarnation of its Core CPU series. Concerns about the general availability of electronics aside, it would be easy to see this as a reaction to things like the Arm DynamIQ, with its combination of high-performance and low-power-consumption cores, and of course Apple's somewhat similar M1 design. In the meantime, designers in China have announced the XiangShan CPU design based on the RISC-V CPU instruction set architecture, which was itself made open source by UC Berkeley in 2010.

Given all this new work from Arm, Intel and the Institute of Computing Technology in China, it'd be easy for designers of more traditional CPUs to feel a little nervous. To date, Intel and competing organisations making compatible chips have relied on the fact that the vast majority of the world's best software, for Windows, Apple Macs and Linux, has been written to run on (at least) Intel's instruction set. Changing that requires a lot of expensive, time-consuming primary software engineering and that is a massive source of inertia. The fact that people are willing to make the huge effort to overcome that inertia implies that there's something very attractive about non-Intel CPUs.

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