Interview with RISC-V International CEO Calista Redmond about the nonprofit that oversees open-source processor technology, industry adoption, and more (Dylan Martin/The Register)

You may not know much about RISC-V—the open-source processor design started by UC Berkeley in 2011. But if you follow the tech world, you’re probably aware of its big influence on the chip industry, especially given that many major semiconductor companies have adopted it as the basis of their microprocessors. In this exclusive interview with Calista Redmond, the founder, and CEO of RISC-V, she shares how the nonprofit organization behind the open-source project works, why it is so important to the semiconductor industry’s future, and why all chip manufacturers must consider adopting the open-source standard. She talks about the organization’s goals, the importance of community involvement, and how the chip industry can benefit from the open-source project.

What is RISC-V?

“RISC-V International (RVI) is a nonprofit organization focused on advancing the adoption of the RISC-V Instruction Set Architecture, which is a completely free and open source instruction set architecture that allows anyone to freely implement it in hardware or software. As an international consortium, we strive to advance the RISC-V architecture so that it may become the most widely used architecture for designing general purpose microprocessors and related peripherals. By doing this, it provides significant economic advantages to many different types of users, ranging from academia, small companies, and startups, to large companies, governmental entities, and semiconductor companies.”

How was Interview with RISC-V International CEO Calista Redmond about the nonprofit?

This week I talked with RISC-V International’s Executive Director, Calista Redmond, about the nonprofit that oversees RISC-V. Calista joined the organization in 2015 after being with the US Department of Defense for 20 years. She’s an expert in open source and standards and has a long history of working on these topics. As the Executive Director of RISC-V, she runs the organization, manages its staff and programs, and helps with communications. Calista is based in Silicon Valley and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Linux Foundation. Her expertise includes everything from industry adoption to standards, open source, and open standards.

Who is RISC-V International CEO Calista Redmond?

Calista Redmond is the founder and CEO of RISC-V International, an organization dedicated to promoting open-source, high-performance, and security-oriented computer architectures. The company’s mission is to “bring the benefits of open source to the world of computing.”

 What is the future of the RISC-V?

The future of the RISC-V is bright. RISC-V is already powering the industry. According to Wikipedia, IBM, Qualcomm, MediaTek, Samsung, Huawei, Arm, Cavium, and others have all pledged their support for the open architecture instruction set. RISC-V is already used to power some of the most successful products today. The platform has been used to power various processors, ranging from low-power IoT devices to server-class solutions. It’s exciting to see the open-source community faces the challenge of developing a new chip architecture that can compete with the existing competition. The future of RISC-V looks bright.


The RISC-V Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating an open-source, freely available processor architecture for use in diverse applications. Their mission is to enable the rapid development of open-source software and hardware free from patents, copyrights, and royalties while ensuring that all contributions are accepted. In an interview with me, the CEO of RISC-V, Calista Redmond, discusses the importance of open-source innovation, the role of the Foundation, and the benefits of creating an open-source technology stack.


1. How did RISC-V get started?

The project was created in 2011 by UC Berkeley professors Dr. David Patterson and Dr. Michael Webb at UC Berkeley.

2. Why do we need a new processor architecture?

We need a new processor architecture because the existing processor architectures are too expensive to build, and they are too slow to run many applications.

3. How will RISC-V change the world?

RISC-V will change the world by making technology more accessible to everyone.

4. How does the RISC-V Foundation make money?

The RISC-V Foundation makes money through licensing fees and donations from corporations, universities, and individuals.

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