A top Chinese computer scientist said China is better positioned than Russia to cope with possible sanctions on chip design architecture from Western countries, adding that the country could develop a different ecosystem based on the RISC-V architecture and expand it among members of the Belt and Road Initiative.
Bao Yungang, a computing technology expert at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the secretary general of the China RISC-V Alliance, made the comments on the Chinese question-and-answer platform Zhihu in response to inquiries about whether China would face “supply disruptions” in the event of technological decoupling from the US.
Bao said China could fare much better than Russia under extreme scenarios involving sanctions and war because of its capabilities in central processing unit (CPU) research, sizeable talent base and large market.
Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team.
“In extreme cases, RISC-V related standard specifications can be bifurcated into RISC-X, and China is fully capable of advancing the evolution of the RISC-X standard independently and building an ecosystem together with Belt and Road countries,” Bao said.
Chinese Academy of Sciences expert Bao Yungang. Photo: Handout alt=Chinese Academy of Sciences expert Bao Yungang. Photo: Handout>
“China’s RISC-X products may not be able to enter the United States and other Western countries – just like Huawei products today, but this doesn’t affect the sales and application of these products in Belt and Road countries,” he added. “RISC-X can still be maintained as open source so that developing countries, with 6.6 billion people, can develop an [independent] ecosystem.”
Bao did not respond to requests for comment.
As US sanctions on China’s semiconductor industry have increased over the past couple years, the open source RISC-V chip architecture has been held up as a possible alternative to Intel’s proprietary x86 architecture and the architecture from UK-based Arm, which is used by nearly all mobile chip designers, including Qualcomm and Apple. Since the RISC-V source code is publicly available online, it is not subject to export controls and it has no licensing fees.
The reduced instruction set computer (RISC) principles were first developed at University of California, Berkeley by professor David Patterson in 1980 and were made open source in the technology’s fifth generation in 2015 as RISC-V. Standards are now maintained and published by the Switzerland-based non-profit organisation RISC-V International.
Of the organisation’s 20 “premier members”, half are Chinese, including Huawei Technologies Co – which is currently sanctioned by the US – and Alibaba Cloud, a subsidiary of Alibaba Group Holding, owner of the South China Morning Post.
At the same time, there are growing concerns in China that they may not be able to fully rely on open source technologies that originate in or are maintained by Western businesses, even though such code is not typically subject to sanctions.
While China has been trying to reduce reliance on foreign chip-making technologies, the country still lags behind its global peers in both chip design and manufacturing.
In particular, China’s weakness in electronic design automation (EDA) software could leave the country vulnerable to sanctions even amid greater RISC-V adoption, according to industrial professionals. The US maintains a considerable lead in EDA software, which is critical for chip design, and manufacturing technologies.
“You need other things to make a device – wafers, photoresist, gases, etc,” said Woz Ahmed, managing director of Chilli Ventures and former chief strategy officer at UK-based graphics processing giant Imagination Technologies. “That’s not all in place yet, or not in sufficient scale and quality within China’s domestic supply chain.”
Huawei’s chip design unit HiSilicon illustrates this challenge. It still has access to Arm’s V8 architecture, but it cannot find foundries willing to manufacture its Arm-based chips. US sanctions ban companies like Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), the world’s largest contract chip maker, and Shanghai-based Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC) from making such chips for Huawei with US-origin technologies.
This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2022 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.
Copyright (c) 2022. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.
China on Thursday said it commended Nepal's decision to reject a security partnership with the United States and would continue to support Kathmandu's "independent foreign policy". Foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said Nepal saw the State Partnership Programme (SPP) as a military and security initiative closely linked to the US Indo-Pacific strategy, which goes "against the national interests of Nepal and its long-held non-aligned, balanced foreign policy". Kathmandu on Monday said it woul
Russia’s fiddling with gas flows to Europe could create an economic spillover effect, warns Germany’s top economy minister.
ALONA MAZURENKO – THURSDAY, 23 JUNE 2022, 21:05 Serhii Haidai, head of the Luhansk Oblast Military Administration, said that Ukrainian defence forces in Sievierodonetsk might retreat to better-fortified positions.
The Brits were the first to industrialize, and since they were literally inventing industrialization as they went, the process took seven generations. The later the start, the more paved the road to industrialization, the faster and easier the journey. China, not beginning until after one Richard M. Nixon traveled to Beijing to visit one Mao Zedong, has done it in one.
Captured Briton Aiden Aslin told his execution will go ahead Russia nears ‘tactical’ victory in Severodonetsk as villages fall How President Zelensky became the latest celebrity accessory Dispatch: 'My daughter is in Paris. I have lived my life already' Listen to the latest episode of our daily Ukraine podcast
The man who reportedly harassed and attacked a Filipino family at a McDonald’s drive-thru in North Hollywood last month has been arrested and charged with hate crime enhancements. Nicholas Weber, 31, was arrested in Orange County at around 7:40 p.m. on June 16, Costa Mesa Police Department spokesperson Roxi Fyad said in a statement. Authorities reportedly received a call about a man “possibly passed out on the sidewalk” and later identified him as Weber.
Alona Mazurenko – Thursday, 23 June 2022, 23:05 Russian invaders made known that they intended to carry out artillery barrage targeting Kharkiv and Odesa. They have disclosed the anticipated shelling of the First Children's City Hospital in Kharkiv, which they blamed on Ukrainian defenders.
The FBI raided churches in Georgia and Texas on Thursday, all affiliated with House of Prayer Christian Churches of America.
“Look for gun deaths and injuries to escalate once California is required to drop its concealed weapons permit requirement,” writes The Tribune Editorial Board. | OPINION
GettyThe anti-American atmosphere in Russia is off the charts and now, the Americans who had the misfortune of ending up in Russian captivity are being used as pawns in the Kremlin’s cruel game. Basketball star Brittney Griner, detained in Russia on alleged drug charges, as well as two U.S. veterans captured by Russian troops in Ukraine last week—Alexander Drueke and Andy Huynh—are being portrayed by the Kremlin-controlled state media as bargaining chips in Russia’s crusade against the West.As G
China has issued new regulation on the live-streaming industry that lists 31 banned behaviours, raising the bar for influencers to talk about certain topics, in the government's latest effort to regulate the booming digital economy. The 18-point guideline, published by the National Radio and Television Administration and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism on Wednesday, requires influencers to have relevant qualifications to discuss some topics, such as law, finance, medicine and education, alth
A newly created chip start-up owned by the Shenzhen government has recruited a Japanese semiconductor industry heavyweight in the latest sign of China's ambition to take a bigger share of the global DRAM market dominated by US and South Korean players. Shenzhen SwaySure Technology, incorporated in March 2022 as part of the southern Chinese city's plan to become a semiconductor hub, last week named 74-year-old Yukio Sakamoto, former chief executive of Japanese DRAM maker Elpida Memory and more re
A prosecutor has asked a federal judge to sentence Jerry Harris, a former star of the Netflix documentary series “Cheer,” to 15 years in prison for coercing teenage boys to send him obscene photos and videos of themselves and soliciting sex from minors at cheerleading competitions. Attorneys for Harris are seeking a sentence of six years. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelly Guzman wrote in a sentencing memo late Wednesday that Harris used “his status as a competitive cheerleader, his social media persona, and eventually his celebrity and money, to persuade and entice his young victims to engage in sexually explicit conduct for him or with him.”
A playground bench is colorfully decorated at the new Sandy Hook Elementary School, which replaced the one torn down after a gunman killed 20 first graders and six educators in 2012. AP Photo/Mark LennihanAfter the recent shooting in Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, which claimed the lives of 19 children and two teachers, some local residents want the school demolished. Texas state Sen. Roland Gutierrez said that President Joe Biden has offered to help the school district secure a federa
SEOUL (Reuters) -North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ordered a strengthening of the country's defence capabilities as he wrapped up a key meeting with top military officials, state media said on Friday, raising concerns about its possible addition of tactical nuclear weapons. The meeting has been closely watched due to growing speculation that Pyongyang could conduct its first nuclear test in five years, which U.S. and South Korean officials have said could take place at "any time" now. Kim presided over the three-day Enlarged Meeting of the 8th Central Military Commission where top officials "approved an important issue of providing a military guarantee for further strengthening the country's war deterrent," official KCNA media said.
Alexander Y. Lebedev looks like a prime target for sanctions meant to prompt Russia’s elites to turn against the Kremlin. He is a onetime billionaire and a former KGB agent with deep connections both in Russia’s ruling class and in the West; his son owns British newspapers and is a member of the House of Lords. But Lebedev has a message for anyone expecting him to now try to bring down President Vladimir Putin: “It’s not going to work.” In that matter, he insists, he is powerless. “What, am I su
The FBI raided churches in Georgia and Texas on Thursday, all affiliated with House of Prayer Christian Churches of America.
NASA wants its moon dust and cockroaches back. The space agency has asked Boston-based RR Auction to halt the sale of moon dust collected during the 1969 Apollo 11 mission that had subsequently been fed to cockroaches during an experiment to determine if the lunar rock contained any sort of pathogen that posed a threat to terrestrial life. The material, a NASA lawyer said in a letter to the auctioneer, still belongs to the federal government.
The billionaire launched the online pharmacy, Cost Plus Drugs, to provide generic medications at affordable prices
While ATI Inc. is moving its corporate headquarters from Pittsburgh to Dallas, the company says that none of its employees will be packing thier bags.

source