This article is so confused and ill-informed it's almost funny
> On the one hand, it's all positive on the RISC-V front, with its open-source ethos [ ... ]
> On the other hand, the borderless nature of the emerging instruction set architecture – which is royalty-free to implement – could open another front in the chip arms race between the nations. Countries are turning to RISC-V to create homegrown processors and accelerators amid sanctions, shortages, and other barriers obstructing the free trade of semiconductor technology.
First of all, I did not know that there was a chips arms race between the nations. Which nations?
The author appears to believe that only the US, China and Russia design and make semiconductor chips, and that the rest of the world is completely left out of the chips party.
Is the author aware that countries such as the UK, Germany, France, etc, do have high definition TV's, microwaves, dishwashers, cars, smartphones, etc?
I've got news: there are many other countries that design and manufacture chips, besides the US, China and Russia. Does the author know, for example, that the UK, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Italy, Israel, Canada, Finland, Norway, Switzerland, all these countries are perfectly capable, and indeed do design and produce semiconductor chips?
Is the author aware that the major US chip manufacturers - Intel, AMD, IBM - have research centers in countries over the world?
> The US is threatening to cut off microchip supplies to Russia if the country invades Ukraine. But Russian companies that include Yadro and Elbrus are developing capable RISC-V cores as an alternative to x86 and Arm-based parts.
I don't know if this statement is intentionally half-true, or just ignorant. Yes, the US has threatened to cut off microchip supplies to Russia. What the author forgot to mention is that the US also depends on raw materials imported from Russia for its own production of microchips:
So does the EU, for that matter. Do the math.
> The Chinese Academy of Sciences, which is on the US Entity List of trade-restricted organizations, has developed 64-bit RISC-V cores while drawing on open-source blueprints made available by companies in America and Europe.
> The Chinese Academy of Sciences, which is on the US Entity List of trade-restricted organizations, has developed 64-bit RISC-V cores copied from open-source blueprints made available by companies in America and Europe.
So, on the one hand, the US and the EU are making these microchip blueprints available to anyone to use, for free, and with no royalties. But then, and at the same time, the US and EU are persecuting Poor Little China. Awesome logic there.
Do the Chinese companies that manufacture these RISC-V chips record a profit from their sales of said chips? Chips that are based on designs originating in the US and the EU?
> But questions remain on which RISC-V chip developers, and in what countries, will be able to access Intel’s factories to produce components.
Not China and not Russia. Do China or Russia share their fab plants with the US?
> RISC-V is appealing because engineers have the freedom to implement the specification, optimizing and extending their designs as they need, or use an off-the-shelf core, and the modular nature of the architecture's extension system to meet different workloads in computing.
Aha. But the US - BAD. We gave you the RISC-V ISA for free, we published silicon designs on GitHub, but hey, Intel isn't willing to share with China their fab production lines that are designated National Security, because these have military applications. And because we don't really want Chinese spies running around and copying PDF's more than they already do.
What's next? Should Intel also fab China's chips for free, so that they don't feel so persecuted and left out?
If you want to make chips, build your own fab plants.