Redefining Open, Linux and RISC-V Push the Envelope Heading Into 2019

By Cynthia S. Artin, Contributing Writer  |  November 28, 2018

The Linux Foundation (News - Alert), a non-profit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, and the RISC-V Foundation, a non-profit corporation controlled by its members to drive the adoption and implementation of the free and open RISC-V instruction set architecture (ISA) –today announced they have agreed to work closely together to accelerate open source development and adoption of the RISC-V ISA.

The RISC-V Foundation will leverage the Linux Foundation’s tools infrastructure, services and training programs.

Since its inception in 2015, RISC-V has evolved its ecosystem to feature leading technology companies and emerging startups working together to enable a wide range of open-source and proprietary RISC-V hardware and software solutions.

Members are solving complex design challenges including security, performance, power, efficiency, flexibility and more.

In addition to neutral governance and best practices for open source development, The Linux Foundation will also provide an influx of resources for the RISC-V ecosystem, such as training programs, infrastructure tools, as well as community outreach, marketing and legal expertise.

The RISC-V ISA offers advantages over other, more closed architectures, including openness, simplicity, clean-slate design, modularity, extensibility and stability, intended to deliver a new era of architectural software and hardware freedom, and includes over 210 institutional, academic and individual members from around the world.

It has realized 100 percent year-over-year membership growth, which is part of the reason they are now working with The Linux Foundation to enable improved support for the development of new applications and architectures across all computing platforms.

“With the rapid international adoption of the RISC-V ISA, we need increased scale and resources to support the explosive growth of the RISC-V ecosystem. The Linux Foundation is an ideal partner given the open source nature of both organizations,” said Rick O’Connor, executive director of the non-profit RISC-V Foundation. “This joint collaboration with the Linux Foundation will enable the RISC-V Foundation to offer more robust support and educational tools for the active RISC-V community, and enable operating systems, hardware implementations and development tools to scale faster.”

“RISC-V has great early traction in a number of markets with applications for AI, machine learning, IoT, augmented reality, cloud, data centers, semiconductors, networking and more.  RISC-V is a technology that has the potential to greatly advance open hardware architecture,” said Jim Zemlin (News - Alert), executive director at the Linux Foundation. “We look forward to collaborating with the RISC-V Foundation to advance RISC-V ISA adoption and build a strong ecosystem globally.”

The Linux Foundation and the RISC-V communities are already collaborating on a pair of “Getting Started” guides for running the Zephyr, a small, scalable open source RTOS for connected, resource constrained devices, and Linux operating systems on RISC-V based platforms. The Zephyr and Linux guides will be unveiled at the RISC-V Summit on Dec. 3, 2018, in Santa Clara during training classes led by project contributors from Antmicro, Google, Microchip Technology (News - Alert), Western Digital and the Linux Foundation. For further details regarding the RISC-V Summit, please visit

Edited by Maurice Nagle