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Intel ended discussions the deal with chip design startup SiFive for potential acquisition which competes with Arm, but SiFive is leaving the door open for future talks with Intel and other companies as it looks to eventually go public. SiFive provides processor designs using the open-source RISC-V architecture as an alternative.

The competition intensifies with the rival Nvidia hopes to close its $40 billion acquisition of British chip designer Arm. Purchasing SiFive would have given Intel a library of intellectual property it could use both in its chips and offer to license to future customers, as it works to build a business by opening up its chip factories to outsiders.

Intel seeks to regain technology leadership through its IDM 2.0 strategy and as rival Nvidia hopes to close its US$40 billion acquisition of British chip designer Arm, the latter of which has sparked concerns about the future of Arm’s open-licensing model.

The fact is the future of Arm have helped raise the profile of SiFive, which provides processor designs using the open-source RISC-V architecture as an alternative.

Intel has previously invested in SiFive, whose other investors include chipmakers Western Digital, Qualcomm and SK Hynix. The semiconductor giant has also courted interest from SiFive for the new Intel Foundry Services business, which offers to manufacture chips based on x86, Arm and RISC-V architectures that are designed by other companies.

Intel has even adopted RISC-V technology into its own roadmap to a small degree. This includes a new RISC-V development platform from Intel that uses processor core designs from SiFive and a new generation of RISC-V-based Nios soft processors for Intel FPGAs.

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