SiFive, one of the major players in the RISC-V field, is laying off a substantial number of employees.
RISC-V is the open-source alternative to chips designed by Arm Holdings, with broad industry support and a growing number of devices powered by the chips. SiFive is one of the leading RISC-V companies, and was founded by some of RISC-V’s creators.
According to More Than Moore’s DR. Ian Cutress, it appears SiFive is laying off a substantial portion of its workforce, although reports vary as to the exact number:
So what is this news today? Through multiple sources, SiFive has instigated a large number of layoffs. Numbers vary, from 100 to 300+, but multiple sources confirm that most of the engineering team, especially the physical design engineers, sales, and product team. The management team have also been fired from what I’ve been told, leaving the founders and CEO Patrick Little at the helm. That’s a heck of a shake up.
It appears the bad news doesn’t stop there:
But that’s not all. The product portfolio is also being gutted. SiFive’s business always had two elements – predesigned cores you can pick up, most of which have already been silicon proved, and SiFive even announced two new cores literally only a week ago. The other half of the business is custom cores – where clients would approach the team with specific requirements and then SiFive would actually go and design it, to be installed into a full SoC. My contacts are telling me (although not to the same level of certainty as the layoffs) that the pre-designed core portfolio is no more. SiFive from now on it seems will only be working on custom cores.
When Dr. Cutress reached out to SiFive for confirmation, he received the following statement:
“As we adjust to the rapidly changing semiconductor end markets, SiFive is realigning across all of our teams and geographies to better take advantage of the opportunities ahead, reduce operational complexities and increase our ability to respond quickly to customer product requirements. Unfortunately, as a result some positions were eliminated last week. The employees are being offered severance and outplacement assistance. SiFive continues to be excited about the momentum and long-term outlook for our business and RISC-V.”
Only time will tell what is actually happening at SiFive, but hopefully the company’s future is secure, especially given its position as a driving force behind one of the most exciting semiconductor developments in years.