RISC-V Foundation, a US-based chip foundation group, is moving its roots to Switzerland to diminish the fear of potential US trade curbs. The four-year-old foundation, which comprises more than 325 members including Intel, Qualcomm, and Huawei, has observed concerns from its foreign members over “possible geopolitical disruption”.
Chief Executive Calista Redmond stated that many of the foreign members would be “more comfortable” if the incorporation was not in the U.S. even though the non-profit organization (NGO) has not faced any restrictions during its operation in the country. The board of directors has unanimously voted for the decision, while the members who prompted the decision have not yet been disclosed.
Talking about the foundation, it sets standards for the core chip architecture and develops open-source technology with Pentagon’s support. The decision to move to Switzerland will lower the interference of the US administration, as it’s keeping a close eye on the Chinese technology companies involved in the NGO. Therefore, seeking a neutral country would serve the purpose.
Huawei Supports the move.
The United States Commerce Department had alleged Huawei working with the Chinese Government and spying on the American citizens, stating them as a national threat. This has increased the concerns of the US lawmakers over working with Chinese companies.
“We support RISC-V Foundation identifying Switzerland as a neutral venue for open source development. Making open source as open as possible is important for the industry,” Huawei spokesperson told Reuters.
Over the moving decision, some Republican US lawmakers are concerned that the country would lose its influence over RISC-V chip architecture, which holds a crucial part in the structuring of the modern industry.
RISC-V pronounced as “Risk-five” was started at UC Berkeley in 2010. It became public after it started receiving funds from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and made its work available to other companies.