Baidu Follows Alibaba, Focuses On RISC-V Chips To Bypass US Embargo
On Thursday, Shanghai-based RISC-V chip technology company StarFive said it had received a strategic investment from Chinese search firm Baidu Inc (NASDAQ: BIDU) for an undisclosed amount.
StarFive has raised 1 billion yuan ($146.46 million) in financing to date, calling that a record for the domestic RISC-V sector, Reuters reports.
The investment reflects a growing trend among Chinese tech giants to pour resources into RISC-V, an open-source technology that some analysts say is less susceptible to U.S. sanctions.
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StarFive CEO Xu Tao stated that StarFive would work with Baidu to implement RISC-V products in data centers.
Experts say the technology and ecosystem around RISC-V are less advanced than that of Softbank Group Corp (OTC: SFTBF) (OTC: SFTBY) Arm Ltd and Intel Corp (NASDAQ: INTC), which dominate ISA usage for mobile devices, personal computers, and server chips.
In March, Alibaba Group Holding Limited's (NYSE: BABA) chip unit T-Head and Alipay, the payment service under Alibaba's financial affiliate Ant Group shared plans to launch computing chips for secure payments based on RISC-V.
In 2019, Washington imposed an export embargo on China's Huawei Technologies Co Ltd.
In late 2022, the U.S. launched similar export restrictions on Chinese chip fabs and research labs, triggering enthusiasm for RISC-V in China.
As of November, Alibaba offered to power 20% of its operations with its homebrew CPUs by 2025.
Price Action: BIDU shares traded higher by 3.44% at $153.76 on the last check Thursday.
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