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SiFive accelerates computing chip design depending on staffing

File Photo: A woman visiting a semiconductor device display at the Appliance and Electronics World Expo (AWE) held in Shanghai, China on March 23, 2021. REUTERS / Aly Song

December 2, 2021

Stephen Nellis

(Reuters) – Chip tech company SiFive Inc said Thursday that it has speeded up computing core design by 40%, currently has 700 employees and plans to double its staff by next year. Told.

Silicon Valley start-ups aim to challenge Arm Ltd’s advantage in providing an important part of computing chip design used throughout the semiconductor industry.

Arm has licensed the technology to major companies such as Apple Inc and Qualcomm Inc, which Nvidia Corp has acquired with over $ 54 billion in transactions, but this transaction is opposed by companies such as Qualcomm. We are facing regulatory hurdles.

SiFive said the new P650 computing core design will be available to some customers early next year. At that point, it can take a year or more to find a way to a physical chip. SiFive argues that the P650 compute core needs to compete with Arm’s A77 compute core found in many smartphone chips released in 2019 and 2020.

An estimated 40% speedup from the previous design of SiFiv, called the P550, was achieved in just five months, but in the past Arm announced a new computing core about once a year. Patrick Little, CEO of SiFive, said he believes he can close the gap with much larger competitors in his company.

“We need to be at the top of Arm within the next few years, and that’s what our customers are driving us,” says Little.

According to Little, the company plans to double its workforce to 1,400 by next year. This year, SiFive made key hires such as Chris Lattner, a former software executive at Apple Inc and Tesla Inc, and Rohit Kumar, who helped design multi-generational custom processors for Apple’s iPhone and iPad.

(Report by Stephen Nellis of San Francisco, edited by Stephen Coates)



SiFive accelerates computing chip design depending on staffing

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