Intel Mulling To Acquire Chip Firm SiFive: Report

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SiFive is challenging the rise of Intel’s rival, Arm Ltd, which could be a significant motivator for the chip giant to go ahead with the acquisition

Intel Corp is mulling an offer to acquire open-source tech-based fabless chip firm SiFive Inc, as per recent reports. 

Intel, along with Qualcomm Inc, is already an investor in SiFive, which raised $61 million in a funding round led by Korea’s SK Hynix.

As per Reuters, SiFive is challenging the rise of Intel’s rival, Arm Ltd, which could be a significant motivator for the chip giant to go ahead with the acquisition. 

California-based SiFive employs several of the creators of RISC-V, an open-source chip technology that is challenging Nvidia-owned Arm. While the underlying architecture for those cores is open-source, the specific core designs themselves can be sold.

Both Arm and SiFive sell intellectual property such as chip designs to others who ultimately produce the chips, as per the report.

Bloomberg has also reiterated Intel’s interest, citing a source saying that the chipmaker is considering a $2 billion offer. 

Reuters added that following SiFive’s acquisition, Intel could gain access to a library of intellectual property it could use both in its own chips and that it could offer to license to future customers as it works to build a business by opening up its chip factories to outsiders. 

Intel has already said it plans to license out computing cores based on its own proprietary x86 architecture to customers as part of its contract manufacturing business.

Intel would also gain a software boost. SiFive is also working on making it easier to program different kinds of computing chips and last year hired Chris Lattner, a prominent Silicon Valley computer scientist.

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