Imagination Technologies is a company that’s probably best known for making PowerVR graphics processors, especially since selling off its MIPS processor division a few years ago. But now Imagination has announced plans to return to the CPU market.
This time the company plans to design chips based on RISC-V architecture.
RISC-V is an open instruction set architecture (ISA) that’s been growing in popularity in recent years with companies including SiFive and Allwinner releasing products based on the architecture.
While RISC-V isn’t as mature as x86 or ARM architecture yet (even the highest-performance RISC-V chips are, at best, competitive with mid-range ARM processors), it’s an attractive option due to its open and royalty-free status.
Imagination says its background in building heterogenous solutions could also help its RISC-V chips stand out: the company could provide designs for a system-on-a-chip that combines a RISC-V processor with Imagination graphics and AI processors.
The announcement of imaginations RISC-V plans comes as part of an update on the company’s progress update for the first half of 2021, and says that Imagination plans to return to the CPU market “this year,” suggesting we could see something by the end of the year.
via Tom’s Hardware