SiFive arrives in Cambridge to hire 100 for ascendant RISC-V computing

SiFive, the California-based founder and leader of RISC-V computing, has opened its new UK Research & Development (R&D) Center at WeWork on Station Road – and is looking for 100 new employees.

Computing is evolving rapidly and chip architecture is being democratized
Computing is evolving rapidly and chip architecture is being democratized

The development will reconfigure the way chip design is implemented in everything from smartphones to data centers — and with an astonishing $365.5 million raised so far, SiFive’s model could pose an existential threat to Arm, which responded vigorously to the challenge.

SiFive was founded by the inventors of RISC-V, who started developing RISC-V instruction set architecture (ISA) in 2010. RISC-V computing uses an open standard ISA based on established RISC (Reduced Instructions Set Computing) principles.

SiFive was subsequently founded in San Mateo in 2015 and currently employs 484 people. The core design product allows users to build their own processor configuration, freeing companies from the predefined core architecture that other chip designers prefer.

SiFive “transforms the future of computing by bringing the limitless potential of RISC-V to the highest performing and most data-intensive applications in the world”. The architecture is involved in every segment, including chip design, AI, machine learning, automotive, data center, mobile and consumer.

In March, the company announced a $175 million Series F financing round, bringing its six-round financing to $365.5 million.

The launch in Cambridge We work facility on Station Road serves a challenging purpose at a time when talent is the ultimate scarcity in global science and technology. SiFive is seeking 100 new roles in Cambridge, including CPU design, architecture, verification, software development, sales and customer experience (CX).

SiFive at We Work Cambridge are, from left, Julian Bailey, senior staff engineer;  Andy Frame, senior director, product;  Trefor Southwell, senior director of engineering, hardware;  and Enrique Sedano, staff engineer.  Photo: Keith Heppell
SiFive at We Work Cambridge are, from left, Julian Bailey, senior staff engineer; Andy Frame, senior director, product; Trefor Southwell, senior director of engineering, hardware; and Enrique Sedano, staff engineer. Photo: Keith Heppell

“The market demand for SiFive’s industry-leading RISC-V cores is unprecedented and presents an incredible opportunity for both seasoned and up-and-coming talent to join us in delivering innovative solutions to clients representing an elite roster of leading global technology brands,” said Patrick Little, CEO and chairman, SiFive.

“As part of our global expansion, we are proud to open our UK R&D center in Cambridge to access significant local engineering talent, especially CPU experts. We provide an opportunity to partner with true industry pioneers to develop critical technology that fundamentally changes the way the computer industry does business.

“With long-term plans to grow talent and teams in Cambridge and the UK, we are looking for employees who want to make an impact by working on some of SiFive’s best performing products. It’s a great opportunity to join us at an early stage in our growth in the UK and beyond.”

Investment Secretary Lord Grimstone said: “This investment is a fantastic opportunity to join SiFive’s growing team in the UK and work with the co-creators of RISC-V, and is a great compliment to the UK and its future. †

dr Nik JohnsonMayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, said: “Our workforce has some of the brightest minds in technology and our region is a dynamic, exciting place to do business. I’m delighted to see more world-class technology companies – such as SiFive – being attracted to Cambridge.

“Once again our dedicated Growth works Inbound investment service has played an important role in helping another globally competitive technology company choose our region as a place to invest.”

A Arm spokesman told the Cambridge Independent“With a massive computational footprint, represented by more than 225 billion Arm-based chips shipped, Arm is committed to defining the future of computing and empowering our ecosystem to innovate on the Arm architecture.”


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