Chip giant Intel (opens in new tab) has reportedly offered $2 billion to acquire SiFive, a chip startup founded in 2015 by researchers out of UC Berkeley, that designs computing cores using the RISC-V (opens in new tab) platform, which is often touted as an open source (opens in new tab) architecture.
SiFive is reportedly weighing the offer from Intel, which already has an investment in the startup, shared Bloomberg citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter.
Earlier this year, Intel’s CEO Pat Gelsinger counted SiFive as one of the customers of the company’s new Intel Foundry Services (opens in new tab) division and announced that the two were working together to allow RISC-V chips to be fabbed within Intel's facilities.
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However Intel is reportedly not the only one courting SiFive, and the company has received several other takeover interests, as well as offers of investment, which the source adds could be the “preferable route" for SiFive.
The interest in SiFive may also be influenced by Nvidia’s ongoing acquisition of Arm (opens in new tab), which has yet not passed all its regulatory hurdles, mostly because of concerns (opens in new tab) about the future of Arm’s open licensing model.
Purchasing SiFive would bring a host of hardware and software intellectual property (IP) to Intel that the company can use to fulfill its newfound desire to service external customers through its IDM 2.0 strategy (opens in new tab), which will also see the company open its chip factories to outsiders.
Phoronix is of the opinion that SiFive's RISC-V IP is perhaps the “most compelling” one at the moment, especially in light of its recent developer-friendly efforts like HiFive Unmatched.
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VIa Phoronix (opens in new tab)