Earlier this month SiFive introduced the new Performance P870 RISC-V processor and Intelligence X390 neural processing unit. Like many of the company’s products, these are basically designs that other companies can license for their own RISC-V chips, but they might be some of the last pre-designed processor cores of this type from SiFive.
According to industry watcher Ian Cutress, SiFive recently laid off a large number of employees (update: 20% of its employees) and restructured the company.
According to Cutress, SiFive may be planning to stop offering pre-designed processor cores like the P870 and will instead shift its focus to custom designs for individual clients (which isn’t new – it’s something SiFive already offers, but now it could be the only thing the company does).
In other words, we may not see any new announcements of licensable technologies like the one SiFive made earlier this month. But that doesn’t mean the company is going out of business… it just means that a lot of its products will be developed in partnership with specific customers. (update: it seems like SiFive isn’t ruling out offering “standard products” as well as “custom” designs in the future. See the company’s statement below for more details).
Update: SiFive reached out with the following statement:
As we identify and focus on our greatest opportunities, SiFive is shifting to best meet our customers’ fast-changing requirements by undergoing a strategic refocusing of all our global teams.
Unfortunately, with this realignment, approximately 20% of employees across all different business groups and levels were impacted. The employees are receiving severance and outplacement assistance.
SiFive continues to be excited about the long-term opportunities for the company and for RISC-V. The growth of the company has never been stronger and the opportunities never better. We are well funded for years in the future and continue to work with the market leaders in every segment.
We remain focused on our four product groups, essential, intelligence, performance and automotive, and as we explained in a press event earlier this month, have a robust roadmap to meet the needs of these markets. We see tremendous new opportunities in AI and with Consumer products like wearables and mobile as Google brings Android to the RISC-V ecosystem.
We will continue to offer customization for specific customers, offering standard and custom products where it makes sense from a business standpoint.
Here’s a roundup of recent tech news from around the web.
RISC-V chip design company SiFive has reportedly laid off a number of employees, potentially shuttering its RISC-V core design & licensing business to focus on custom cores for individual customers. Update: Maybe. The layoffs are real. What it means remains to be seen.
Qualcomm unveiled it next-gen chips for smartphones and PCs today. But the company also made a few other announcements. For example, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Seamless is yet another attempt to bridge the gap between smartphones, tablets and PCs with cross-device experiences like using dragging & dropping files and using mice, keyboards, and earbuds with multiple devices.
Qualcomm S7 and S7 Pro Gen 1 sound platforms use on-device AI and “micro WiFi” to extend range beyond BT capabilities and bring 192 kHz lossless audio to wireless earbuds, headphones, and speakers.
Apple has scheduled a “Scary Fast” event for Oct 30, when the company is expected to launch new hardware, possibly including a new iMac, among other things.
Kodi 21 “Omega” Beta 1 released with the latest version of the open source, cross-platform media center software using FFmpeg 6.0 for media handling and a number of under the hood changes.