Context: Indian startups that utilize RISC-V, an open-source instruction set architecture (ISA), have immense potential for creating innovative products, devices, and AI solutions in collaboration with global companies.

About RISC-V

  • RISC-V is an open standard Instruction Set Architecture (ISA) based on established RISC principles. Each computer hardware will support a particular ISA.
  • Unlike most other ISA designs, RISC-V is provided under open-source licenses that do not require fees to use. RISC-V can be extended or customised for a variety of hardware or application requirements.
  • ARM and x-86 are two such instruction set architectures- one of which is licensed and the other is sold, where the industry consolidated in the earlier decades. However, RISC-V has emerged as a strong alternative to them in the last decade, having no licensing encumbrances, enabling its adoption by one and all in the semiconductor industry, at different complexity levels for various design purposes. India has developed two series of microprocessors:
    • SHAKTI series of microprocessors by IIT Madras.
    • VEGA microprocessors by C-DAC.

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