The growing acceptance of RISC-V belies its humble beginnings. In 2010, a team of professors and students at Berkeley University invented the open-source architecture. RISC-V represents one of many instruction set architectures (ISAs) that allow programmers to write software to directly control computer hardware.
In 2015, growing interest in RISC-V led to the creation of the RISC-V Foundation as a non-profit to oversee the specifications and engage professionals from other organizations to help determine the future of the architecture.
Three of the creators of RISC-V at Berkeley additionally decided to create a for-profit company, SiFive. In 2017, SiFive appointed well-known chip designer and entrepreneurship Naveed Sherwani as its CEO.
The open-source flexibility of RISC-V has made it a favorite of computing companies and government initiatives like the one backed by the U.S. military’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). (Image Source: Berkeley Architecture Research)