On October 9th, the CEO of RISC-V International, Calista Redmond, voiced concerns regarding potential government restrictions on the open-source RISC-V technology. Redmond emphasized that such restrictions could significantly impede the development of advanced chips, thereby hindering progress in the global technology sector.
These concerns were sparked by recent reports indicating that a group of U.S. lawmakers has been urging the Biden administration to impose export control measures on RISC-V, overseen by the nonprofit foundation RISC-V International. RISC-V technology serves as a fundamental component for creating chips used in various applications, ranging from smartphones to artificial intelligence. Notably, major U.S. corporations like Qualcomm and Google, as well as Chinese firms such as Huawei Technologies Co, have embraced RISC-V. However, the involvement of Chinese companies has raised concerns among U.S. lawmakers, who argue that it poses a national security risk.
In response to these developments, Calista Redmond emphasized in a blog post that RISC-V should not be treated differently from other open technology standards like Ethernet, which facilitates communication between computers on the internet. Redmond highlighted that potential government actions imposing unprecedented restrictions on open standards could severely limit access to the global marketplace for products, solutions, and talent.
Redmond stressed that RISC-V, like other open standards, has received contributions from regions across the world, including North America, Europe, and Asia. It’s crucial to understand that the standards published by the foundation do not provide a comprehensive blueprint for creating a chip, nor do they offer any party more information about chip manufacturing than what is available from proprietary chip technology firms like Arm Holdings. The key distinction lies in the fact that the marketplace can utilize these standards without requiring proprietary licenses from a controlling company.
Having access to open standards, as Redmond pointed out, enables companies to innovate at a faster pace. This freedom allows companies to focus their efforts on creating unique and differentiated products, rather than expending valuable resources attempting to reinvent existing technologies. Redmond emphasized that open standards facilitate innovation and promote collaboration, leading to the development of cutting-edge products and solutions.
the CEO of RISC-V International, Calista Redmond, highlighted the importance of preserving open standards such as RISC-V. She underscored that these standards foster innovation, enable global collaboration, and ultimately drive progress in the technology industry. Restricting access to open technology, she argued, would not only impede innovation but also create a fragmented marketplace with incompatible solutions, hindering the growth of industries worldwide.