Architecture like Arm and x86 are well established, and initiatives like RISC-V opens source ISA have potential, but market acceptance and commercial success are not guaranteed.
But RISC-V just got a big boost, as SiFive announced it raised $50.6 million in a Series C round from existing and new investors, as well as strategic partners such as Huami, SK Telecom and Western Digital.
Even more importantly, Sifive and Western Digital signed a multi-year license for the Freedom Platform, with Western Digital pledging to produce 1 billion RISC-V cores.
The announcement does not explicitly mention which Freedom platform, but Western Digital statement makes it quite clear they’ll use one of the more powerful (and Linux capable) core:
RISC-V delivers a platform for innovation unshackled from the proprietary interface of the past. This freedom allows us to bring compute closer to data to optimize special purpose compute capabilities targeted at Big Data and Fast Data applications. The next generation of applications like Machine Learning, AI, and Analytics require this ability to focus on a specific task. Western Digital is focused on the next generation of innovation to enable this new class of applications to deliver the possibilities of data
That should mean Freedom U540, or a new unannounced RISC-V core.