Samsung Unveils RISC-V CPU for Mach-1 AI Chip

Samsung Unveils RISC-V CPU for Mach-1 AI Chip

Rafaela Santos
2 min read

Samsung's Potential Integration of RISC-V CPU/AI Accelerator Signals Strategic Shift

Samsung might have revealed its development of a RISC-V CPU/AI accelerator during a recent ISC conference session. The mention occurred in a slide discussing the UXL Foundation, which boasts Samsung, Arm, Qualcomm, Intel, and Google Cloud as steering members. UXL focuses on enhancing AI accelerators that do not rely on Nvidia's GPUs, sparking speculation that Samsung could be incorporating RISC-V architecture into its upcoming Mach-1 AI accelerator chip set for release in early 2025. The Mach-1, designed as a 'lightweight' AI chip using low-power memory, aims to reduce costs compared to traditional AI semiconductors. Naver, South Korea's top online platform, has entered into a $750 million agreement with Samsung for the Mach-1 chips. RISC-V, renowned for its open-standard instruction set architecture, is gaining popularity due to its cost-effective licensing model. While details about Samsung's RISC-V CPU capabilities remain limited, it is speculated that the CPU could be used for specific tasks in Samsung’s memory-based chips, aligning with the Mach-1's functionality. This aligns well with a broader industry trend toward diversification and independence from proprietary technologies, with major tech companies and countries exploring RISC-V for their chip development.

Key Takeaways

  • Samsung may be developing a RISC-V CPU/AI accelerator, hinted at during an ISC conference session.
  • The RISC-V CPU could be integrated into Samsung's upcoming Mach-1 AI accelerator chip, slated for 2025.
  • Samsung is a steering member of the UXL Foundation, which focuses on enhancing non-Nvidia GPU AI accelerators.
  • RISC-V, an open-standard architecture, is gaining popularity due to its cost-effective, license-free processor design.
  • Samsung has previously referenced a RISC-V CPU/accelerator in a Linux Foundation webinar about the UXL Foundation.


Samsung's potential integration of RISC-V into its Mach-1 AI accelerator signals a strategic shift towards cost-effective, open-standard chip architecture, potentially disrupting the dominance of proprietary technologies like Nvidia's GPUs in the AI sector. The collaboration with Naver for Mach-1 chips underscores a growing market demand for efficient, affordable AI solutions. Long-term, Samsung's adoption of RISC-V might encourage other tech giants to explore similar architectures, fostering a more competitive and diverse semiconductor landscape. This development could also bolster South Korea's tech industry, positioning it as a leader in innovative, cost-effective AI technologies.

Did You Know?

  • RISC-V: An open standard instruction set architecture (ISA) based on established reduced instruction set computing (RISC) principles. Unlike proprietary ISAs, RISC-V allows for free and open use, enabling companies to design their own processor cores without licensing fees, making it an attractive option for diverse applications, from embedded systems to high-performance computing.
  • AI Accelerator: A specialized hardware component designed to accelerate artificial intelligence and machine learning workloads, typically neural network computations. AI accelerators enhance the performance and efficiency of AI applications by offloading these tasks from the main CPU, often using parallel processing techniques and optimized architectures to handle the intensive matrix and vector operations common in AI algorithms.
  • UXL Foundation: A consortium involving major tech companies like Samsung, Arm, Qualcomm, Intel, and Google Cloud, focusing on the development and enhancement of AI accelerators that do not rely on Nvidia's GPUs. The foundation aims to foster innovation in alternative AI hardware solutions, promoting diversity in AI chip architectures and potentially reducing dependency on a single technology provider.

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