RISC-V Foundation, a US-based non-profit foundation overseeing chipmaking technology developed with Pentagon support plans to relocate to Switzerland on concerns about repercussions from the ongoing trade war between the US and China that could result in trade sanctions.
“From around the world, we’ve heard that if the incorporation was not in the US, we would be a lot more comfortable,” said the foundation CEO Calista Redmond in an interview with Reuters issued on Nov. 25. She also said the foundation’s global collaboration has faced no restrictions so far but members are “concerned about possible geopolitical disruption.”
The decision to move to neutral ground was approved unanimously by the foundation’s board of directors, the CEO added.
The ongoing trade war between Washington and Beijing has prompted many entities in the US to fear sanctions for dealing with China or Chinese companies, according to industry watchers.
Created in 2015, the RISC-V Foundation sets standards for the core chip architecture and controls who can use the RISC-V trademark on products. It does not own or control the technology, and wants to ensure that universities, governments and companies outside the US can help develop its open-source technology, Redmond told Reuters.
More than 300 companies or other entities pay to be members, including Qualcomm and NXP Semiconductors. From China, Alibaba Group Holding and Huawei Technologies are also members.
RISC-V chip architecture can be used to make microprocessors for almost every type of electronic device. The technology came from labs at the University of California, Berkeley, and was later funded by the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
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