Intel plans to spend more than $2 billion to acquire SiFive

ARM launched the ARMv9 architecture this year, and it can be foreseen that it will have a further impact on x86 processors in the near future. In recent years, in addition to ARM, there is another emerging force, that is, the RISC-V architecture. Relying on the characteristics of open source, scalability, and modularity, it has attracted the attention of many companies. For example, Western Digital now uses hundreds of millions of RISC-V architecture chips in its products every year.

Especially after Nvidia announced the acquisition of ARM, many companies worry that ARM will not be able to continue to maintain independence in the future, making more and more chip design manufacturers choose RISC-V architecture, which is currently developing rapidly.

RISC-V Switzerland

RISC-V foundation [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

SiFive is the world’s first chip design manufacturer based on RISC-V architecture, established in 2015. In 2020, SiFive received $61 million in Series E financing, led by SK Hynix, including Sutter Hill Ventures, Western Digital’s venture capital ARM, Qualcomm Ventures, Intel Capital, Osage University Partners, and Spark Capital participated in the investment, and a new investor, Prosperity7 Ventures, was valued at $500 million for SiFive at the time.

According to Bloomberg, Intel intends to spend more than $2 billion to acquire SiFive and has begun negotiations with SiFive. The source pointed out that the negotiations are still at an early stage and a final agreement may not be reached. In addition to Intel, several companies have also expressed interest in SiFive. In SiFive’s Series C financing in 2018, Intel began to participate in SiFive’s investment. In March of this year, SiFive announced the cooperation with Intel Foundry Business (IFB) to develop a new RISC-V computing platform.

In Intel’s IDM 2.0 strategy, its business and plans will be more flexible. Through this acquisition, it can increase its bargaining chips in future competition.