Apple appears to be looking to employ new team members with experience in RISC-V, an open-source architecture. The move could mean that Apple is looking to at least create an option to its use of ARM.
ARM is the architecture that is behind Apple’s chips today, including its new M1 Apple silicon.
But Apple has to pay a fee to ARM by way of a license that allows it to use the architecture when designing its own chips. Switching to RISC-V would mean that no fee would be required.
The new job posting was first spotted by Tom’s Hardware, with the outlet suggesting the move to RISC-V could simply be a case of saving money.
Every Arm core requires Apple to pay a licensing fee to Arm, and since the number of cores for things like SSD controllers and smartwatches will only increase, so will Apple’s payments to Arm. As such, replacing at least some Arm cores with RISC-V cores could save Apple millions of dollars in royalty payments every year…
It’s important to note that a job posting does not a switch to RISC-V, make. Much the same as patents don’t mean products, this doesn’t necessarily mean that Apple is looking to ditch ARM any time soon. It is without doubt one potential reason, however.
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