Samsung showcased its first custom CPU core earlier this year with the Exynos 8890 processor and if a new report is to be believed, the company is doubling down on its CPU development efforts. It’s claimed that Samsung’s Device Solution division is now working on its own CPU core for 32-bit microcontrollers, basically, the chips that are likely going to power Internet of Things and wearable devices.
The report further adds that the custom CPU core will be based on the RISC-V instruction set architecture which is open source instead of ARM-based architectures like ARMv6-M or ARMv8-M. If Samsung does decide to do this it won’t have to pay any licensing fees to ARM which would signal a major shift in strategy for Samsung that usually licenses the entire ARM Cortex CPU design from the company.
There have been rumors that Samsung is working on its microcontroller CPU since earlier this year but nothing concrete has materialized as yet. It’s expected that the custom CPU core might make an appearance in its very first commercial product at some point in 2017.
Samsung is reportedly shooting for a transistor count of around 10,000 to 20,000. If it has fewer than 20,000 transistors, the custom CPU core will have power similar to the ARM Cortex-M0, this power core has been designed to bring 32-bit performance to devices that previously relied on 8-bit AVR components.
Samsung hasn’t said anything about its plans to develop a custom CPU based on RISC-V so take this with a grain of salt until there’s more information to go on.