Software/ platforms

SEALSQ RISC-V Chips to Get AI Boost to make viable and modern GPUs

RISC-V technology is revolutionizing the microchip industry, challenging established giants and paving the way for transformative changes. By the end of 2022, the industry had already embraced over 10 billion RISC-V cores, with thousands of engineers globally contributing to RISC-V projects.

Geneva, Switzerland – May 24, 2024 – SEALSQ Corp (“SEALSQ” or “Company”) (NASDAQ: LAES), a company that focuses on developing and selling Semiconductors, PKI and Post-Quantum technology hardware and software products, and a pioneer in high-performance RISC-V AI processors, today announces the breakthrough adoption and future potential of its RISC-V technology. Projected to secure nearly 25% of the global market share by 2030, SEALSQ’s RISC-V chips are driving a paradigm shift in the microchip industry, propelled by the burgeoning demand for AI and machine learning applications.

SEALSQ is recognized as a leading innovator in the development of high-performance RISC-V AI processors and secure microcontrollers. The Company’s commitment to leveraging open-source technology and adhering to the highest security standards positions it as a key player in the evolving microchip industry. SEALSQ’s mission is to deliver cutting-edge solutions that meet the demands of AI, machine learning, and quantum-resistant security.

“Since the adoption of a RISC-V architecture, our R&D has been able to add our 25- year experience of countermeasures against side channel or intrusive attacks and sensors for designing a new generation of Secure Element roadmap,” said Jean-Pierre Enguent, SEALSQ France R&D VP.

SEALSQ’s adoption of RISC-V, will materialize with a First engineering samples in late 2024 and a Certified Ready for production in Q3 2025.

Since its first introduction in 2010, RISC-V is experiencing rapid growth. According to research by Semico, the RISC-V market is expected to expand at an impressive CAGR of 73.6% per year through 2027, resulting in the production of approximately 25 billion AI chips and generating $291 billion in revenue. This exponential growth underscores the transformative impact of RISC-V technology.
RISC-V, an open-source instruction set architecture (ISA), is poised to challenge the dominance of powerful GPUs in the AI landscape. RISC-V’s open-source nature allows developers to tailor the architecture to specific AI workloads. This means creating specialized processors optimized for particular AI tasks, which can outperform the general-purpose nature of GPUs. Additionally, developers can add custom extensions to the RISC-V ISA, crafting domain-specific accelerators that handle AI computations more efficiently.

RISC-V reduces development costs since it eliminates the licensing fees associated with proprietary ISAs used by traditional GPUs. This cost-effectiveness is particularly beneficial for startups and smaller companies. Moreover, custom RISC-V chips can be designed with only the necessary features, avoiding the extra costs linked to unused functionalities found in generalized GPU architectures.

RISC-V processors can be optimized for energy efficiency, making them ideal for AI applications that require significant computational power while managing power consumption, such as edge AI and mobile applications. By designing RISC-V processors with specific AI accelerators, they can achieve higher performance-per-watt compared to general-purpose GPUs, making them suitable for energy-sensitive environments.

RISC-V’s modular approach supports scalable designs, ranging from small, low-power cores for edge devices to large, multi-core systems for data centers. This scalability allows for precise performance matching to various AI applications. Furthermore, RISC-V cores can be integrated into heterogeneous computing environments, working alongside other specialized processors to provide a balanced and efficient AI processing platform.

The open nature of RISC-V fosters a collaborative environment where innovation thrives. This can lead to the rapid development of new AI-specific features and enhancements, keeping pace with evolving AI technologies. The RISC-V ecosystem is expanding, with increasing support from hardware and software vendors, which can drive broader adoption and further innovation in AI processing capabilities.

The advancing software stack for RISC-V is improving, with growing support for AI development tools, libraries, and frameworks. This robust software ecosystem helps developers efficiently implement AI solutions on RISC-V processors, making it a viable competitor to traditional GPUs. RISC-V’s customization capabilities, cost and energy efficiency, scalability, and fostering of innovation position it as a strong contender against powerful GPUs in the AI domain. As the RISC-V ecosystem continues to grow and evolve, it could significantly impact the AI processing landscape.

SEALSQ has positioned itself at the forefront of this revolution with its high-performance RISC-V AI processors. These processors, currently undergoing testing by early partners, are designed to compete with powerful GPUs in AI recommendation systems. The open-standard instruction set architecture of RISC-V allows developers to customize and optimize CPUs for specific applications, fostering unprecedented innovation and collaboration.

SEALSQ has achieved a significant milestone with the development of a RISC-V post-quantum test chip. This chip aligns with the highest security standards, such as Common Criteria EAL5+ and NIST-FIPS, and is capable of running quantum-resistant cryptographic algorithms. The first commercial version of this new platform is set to start sampling in late 2024. It will comply with the widely-recognized TPM 2.0 standard, catering to diverse secure chip market segments, including IoT, automotive, healthcare, and smart energy applications.

Between 2024 and 2030, RISC-V-based chip shipments are expected to increase by 50% annually, peaking at 17 billion chips in 2030 alone. Industrial applications will dominate, accounting for 46% of sales, while the automotive sector is anticipated to experience the highest growth at 66% annually. The secure microcontroller (MCU) market is also set to grow to $2.2 billion by 2026, driven by demand from utilities, industrial IoT, smart cities, and buildings. Furthermore, the trusted platform module (TPM) market is projected to expand at a CAGR of 13% from 2023 to 2035, reaching $6 billion by 2035. The open-source nature of RISC-V, along with its scalability, energy efficiency, and customizable architecture, positions it as a versatile solution for a diverse range of applications. Its ability to foster collaboration and drive innovation, coupled with a design that’s both agile and future-proof, sets RISC-V to potentially redefine industry standards and market dynamics. For more information visit https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/the-next-revolution-in-the-microchip-industry

The secure microcontroller (MCU) market is expected to grow to US$2.2 billion by 2026, according to a new 2023 report from ABI Research. Demand for security, especially in general purpose microcontrollers, will ensure the secure MCU market continues to be a high priority for device OEMs. Strong market demand will stem from utilities and industrial IoT, and from smart cities and buildings, notably for MCUs with Trusted Execution Technologies that can securely run mission-critical and highly sensitive applications at the edge. In parallel, the global trusted platform module (TPM) market size is slated to expand at ~ 13% CAGR between 2023 and 2035. The market is poised to garner a revenue of $6 billion by the end of 2035, up from a revenue of ~$2 billion in the year 2022, due to the growing affordability of connected devices such as laptops, smartphones, and tablets, as well as the convenience they offer with regards to communication, entertainment, and work.

SEALSQ’s innovations are set to redefine industry standards and market dynamics. The RISC-V architecture’s scalability, energy efficiency, and customizable design make it a versatile solution for a wide range of applications. With thousands of engineers globally contributing to RISC-V projects, the architecture is poised to foster unparalleled collaboration and drive future-proof innovations.

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