Eighteen months ago, I said: “The rise of RISC-V offers us a tremendous platform for innovation and collaboration: it has the potential to change the business model of the entire industry.” I stand by that and indeed am demonstrating my conviction by joining the ranks of a company that’s not only changing the industry business model, but is significantly innovating in RISC-V.
Having taken UltraSoC to its exit (sold to Siemens in June 2020), I was on the lookout for the next opportunity. It didn’t take research to know I wanted to be part of RISC-V. And Codasip has an incredibly strong team I know and respect – having worked with them, via our partnership at UltraSoC, or having known through previous roles in the industry. I jumped at the opportunity to work with a European company in such a strong market position.
Codasip is like other RISC-V IP vendors in that we have a portfolio of standard cores for those who want a standard product. But we have something unique: the custom capabilities of Codasip Studio that take the open-market opportunities of RISC-V to a new level. This radically simplifies the task of differentiation and offering our customers the ability to embed unique features. This creates a virtual bridge for those companies who want the ecosystem of a standard ISA, but also want the flexibility of a custom-designed processor.
The industry momentum and interest in RISC-V continues to grow, unabated… in fact, with even more impetus. Why is this? Well, as I’ve long since preached (I’m told I preach!) since its inception, RISC-V has represented a fundamental shift in the industry – a shift in processor architecture that is only just starting.
Arm has transformed the industry and still (rightly) has a significant following for its architecture. But no-one can deny there are questions over where the company is heading and concern over the implications and longer-term design choices. That is opening up the market to the benefit of SoC designers and the industry as a whole – and, of course, to the benefit of alternative solutions like Codasip.
This is a timely opportunity for RISC-V. And Codasip, with its Studio platform, finds itself at the sweet spot: offering customers all the benefits of the open-standard RISC-V ecosystem combined with the ability to customize and differentiate their designs. This is the best of both worlds – offering a unique value to a significant portion of the market.
Codasip’s proposition means it already has excellent customer traction – it was one of the first companies to commercialize RISC-V IP – but the fact it remains (mostly) a well-kept secret is, from my point of view, a marketing dream come true and a challenge I relish!