According to a Bloomberg report, Intel has sent an acquisition offer of more than $2 million to SiFive, a startup aimed at designing chips based on the open-source RISC-V ISA. The talks are still in the early stages so it’s hard to draw any concrete conclusions at this point. This isn’t the first takeover offer the company has received but it’s likely the first one from a firm as large as Intel.
SiFive may decide to decline the offer and choose to stay independent, or perhaps settle for investment instead. The company was valued at $500 million when it raised funds back in 2020, so Intel’s offer should seem quite tempting to the management.
SiFive is a direct competitor to Arm which is presently in the middle of being brought over from graphics giant NVIDIA. It’s unclear whether that particular takeover will go through as it’s facing a lot of pushback from British and Chinese regulatory authorities. Like Arm, SiFive licenses chip and process designs, with the primary difference being that it uses an open-source ecosystem.
SiFive is being seen as a potential beneficiary from NVIDIA’s Arm deal as customers are concerned that the company might keep the most advanced technology from its rivals to stay ahead in the server and data center markets.