Huawei is trying to offer support for the HarmonyOS platform with developer cards, this time by preparing a RISC-V circuit board to give the platform a new direction.
Huawei, whose long-running silicon design adventure has been plunged into darkness by U.S. embargoes, has yet to give up. Although the name Kirin is now being removed from the market, its HiSilicon subsidiary is trying to shape its future with new moves.
As is known, ARM, MIPS-like architectures are mainly based on RISC architecture. RISC, which we can define as Reduced Command Set Processing, features simpler command sets. On the desktop processors side, we see Complex Command Set Processing or CISC.
The CISC architecture hosts a large number of commands, makes more addressing modes, has commands that act directly on memory, and therefore requires strong processors. RISC, on the other hand, hosts a small number of commands, performs a small number of addressing modes, does not have commands that act directly on memory, and therefore the resulting processors are also relatively weak.
To date, there has been no one like ARM who can use RISC architecture well, so he has not been a competitor. Developed by researchers at the University of Berkeley in 2010, open-source RISC-V architecture has become a formation and attracted the attention of tech giants.
Alibaba has developed RISC-V-based processors in recent years. SiFive is one of the people who work on RISC-V. Micro Magic has recently attracted attention with its autonomous chip design. Huawei also wants to have a say in this trend.
The RISC-V-based WLAN development card, called Hi3861, is designed for projects based on HarmonyOS. Hi3861, which we can call a simple Raspberry Pi, focuses mainly on IoT projects. The card can be synced via USB-C and includes general-purpose input units.
A motherboard with this card integrated has also been prepared. This card also offers a wide range of NFC, screen connection, battery connection. Again, this card will be available for many IoT-heavy projects. Of course, it would not be fair to say that Huawei will walk on the RISC-V, but the company has started to take its first steps.