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News Huawei's Arm-y: Vendor Investing Millions in Server Chip Ecosystem


without new IP from Arm, Huawei could fall behind the competition or have to design new chips from scratch, either based on the Armv8 architecture, which it had also licensed prior to the trade war, or switch to another instruction set architecture, such as RISC-V or MIPS (although there’s no guarantee that the U.S. government wouldn’t interfere with Huawei’s licensing of those ISAs either).
Even if you design a fully-custom ARM core, you still have to pay a license fee to ARM (presumably to license patented techniques required to implemented the ISA). The same seems to be true of MIPS, though I find it a bit odd that Russia has apparently been working on indigenous MIPS-based CPUs if they have to license the ISA from a (currently) US-based company.

RISC-V is a different kettle of fish, I think. One of its main attractions is that it's an open, royalty-free ISA. So, I think China should be able to implement RISC-V CPUs, no matter what the US does.

That said, I'm a bit surprised to see them doubling down on ARM, but I guess it's still the most pragmatic alternative to x86. 5 years from now, I expect they'll be on RISC-V or some other ISA they control.