Intel expresses interest in chip designer SiFive - Mobile World Live

Intel expresses interest in chip designer SiFive

11 JUN 2021

Intel reportedly approached chip design start-up SiFive regarding an investment or acquisition, moves which could boost the US company’s open-source credentials and ambitions around the automotive sector.

Bloomberg reported Intel pitched a $2 billion takeover bid to SiFive, adding the start-up had also drawn interest from several other suitors. However, the news agency noted the new business could be more interested in an investment deal than full sale.

SiFive licences its architectures to chip manufacturers and previously stated it works with six of the world’s top-ten semiconductor producers. Bloomberg reported backers include SK Hynix and Qualcomm’s VC arm, with a funding round in 2020 adding $61 million to its coffers.

The news outlet explained SiFive is working on open-standard RISC-V architectures, with interest in the company reportedly sparked by a $40 billion takeover move by Nvidia for rival chip designer Arm in 2020.

In addition to bringing access to open-source architectures, a successful move for SiFive could boost Intel’s ambitions to compete in the automotive sector, which is another area of focus for the start-up.

Its CEO Patrick Little previously led Qualcomm’s automotive industry initiatives, and under his leadership SiFive recently announced a deal with Renesas covering the sector.

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Martha DeGrasse

Freelance tech journalist Martha DeGrasse (@mardegrasse) is delighted to be contributing to Mobile World Live. Martha has written for a number of telecom and wireless publications, and was a writer, editor and video producer at RCR Wireless News for almost...

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