“The market is exciting right now. It [RISC-V] can help us all focus and make sure we do better,” O’Driscoll said.
O’Driscoll continued to highlight Arm’s strengths in intellectual property, licensing, customer relationships and the software ecosystem, suggesting that RISC-V is not mature in these areas. He noted that while RISC-V has been around since 2010, the free and open instruction set architecture (ISA) has only recently become commercially available.
Still, the RISC-V space has garnered considerable attention and hundreds of millions of dollars in funding over the past few years thanks to multiple high-profile contracts. NASA also thinks the architecture is very good, and plans to use Microchip-designed processors and SiFive RISC-V CPU cores in its next-generation high-performance aerospace computers.
While RISC-V may gain traction in some markets, Arm doesn’t appear to be concerned that the upstart ISA will erode its new foothold in the data center. Arm’s designs now power servers and accelerators in all major public clouds.
Chris Bergey, senior vice president and general manager of Arm’s infrastructure business, said: “Now and for the foreseeable future, we do not see RISC-V as a serious competitor for us in the data center space. We Really respect the community, but I think if you look at these solutions on offer, they’re pretty unique”.