AMD Job Posting Hints at Embedded RISC-V CPUs

Nvidia GPU
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AMD's Radeon Technology Group (RTG) is hiring a RISC-V CPU/GPU designer for its existing team of architects developing embedded RISC-V CPUs. A new job posting indicates that the development of RISC-V-based solutions is well underway at AMD, whereas the fact that Radeon Technologies Group is hiring specialists could give a hint about the applications RTG is working on. 

The job description provides some general details about AMD's expectations from its RISC-V micro-architect/RTL designer. The company is looking for a specialist with experience in high-performance GPUs; RISC-V RV64 CPUs; and CPUs with out-of-order execution, speculative execution, and branch predictors.  

According to the job posting, AMD has a team working on embedded RISC-V CPUs at AMD's Radeon Technologies Group in Orlando, Florida. The new candidate is expected to know and improve "existing and emerging graphics/compute paradigms and new APIs employing RISC-V processors." Also, they will have to analyze CPU workloads and make recommendations for improvements as well as understand bottlenecks and other challenges where an embedded CPU will improve performance. 

Evidently, AMD's Radeon Technologies Group does not develop its own CPUs, so we are probably not going to see AMD-branded RISC-V CPUs (or licensable RISC-V embedded CPU cores/designs) from RTG. Modern GPUs could use embedded CPUs for a variety of tasks, including managing certain onboard functions for a GPU, or could even be expanded for more exotic purposes, like running an operating system or processing general-purpose tasks such as fetching data from storage devices. RISC-V designs could also be used for other purposes, like security by providing a hardware-based root of trust. 

At this point, we don't know exactly what kind of RISC-V CPU cores AMD's Radeon Technologies Group is developing, but we do know that Nvidia uses RISC-V microcontrollers on its own GPUs to manage certain on-board functions.

The RISC-V open-source architecture is exceptionally well suited for emerging applications, so it's possible that AMD is working on something new. Meanwhile, since we are dealing with a 64-bit RISC-V architecture, we can be fairly sure that this is not a simplistic microcontroller.

Anton Shilov
Freelance News Writer

Anton Shilov is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Over the past couple of decades, he has covered everything from CPUs and GPUs to supercomputers and from modern process technologies and latest fab tools to high-tech industry trends.