In a significant move towards leveraging open-source technology, chip designer Qualcomm announced on Tuesday a partnership with Alphabet’s Google to develop wearable devices such as smartwatches utilizing chips based on RISC-V technology.
Qualcomm said it will continue to invest in Snapdragon Wear platforms as the leading smartwatch silicon provider for the Wear OS ecosystem.
RISC-V, pronounced as “risk five,” is an open-source technology that competes with costly proprietary technology from British chip designer Arm Holdings. This open-source architecture has the potential to serve as a vital component for a wide array of applications, ranging from smartphone chips to advanced processors for artificial intelligence.
Despite concerns expressed by lawmakers about potential misuse of open collaboration in advancing semiconductor technology, U.S. companies remain actively engaged in the development and advancement of RISC-V-based technology. Qualcomm’s collaboration with Google underscores this commitment to open-source solutions, Reuters news report said.
Qualcomm aims to globalize the commercialization of RISC-V-based wearables, extending their deployment not only in the United States but also across the international market. This strategic initiative is expected to enable products within the Android ecosystem to harness the advantages of custom processors, characterized by both low power consumption and high performance.
The partnership between Qualcomm and Google represents a significant step towards fostering innovation in the semiconductor industry, positioning RISC-V as a formidable competitor to established proprietary chip technologies. As the tech landscape continues to evolve, the collaboration holds promise for the proliferation of open-source solutions and their integration into wearable devices, thus enhancing the user experience and performance in the wearable technology sector.