As the title says, just curious what these sanctions may do to StarFive. Thanks, hope to have a board by December!
Well, its an open source ISA under the control of no government, with the silicon being developed and manufactured out of the USA, so it would have zero impact. Now, could it eventually impact importation of said silicon into the USA? Perhaps, but i wont hold my breath to be honest.
IIUC the silicon manufacturing sanctions affect processes with 14nm or less feature size, whereas the JH7110 is 28nm, so this part should be okay.
The U74 is a SiFive IP so that does seem to be from the US, however I haven’t been able to find the sanction terms related to just IP cores. If I were to guess, StarFive has already designed the chip so taking away the IP now wouldn’t make any sense, and banning exports to the US would only seem to serve to make US companies’ lives harder, so that’s pretty unlikely.
TSMC have had a 28 nm HKMG (high-k Metal Gate - higher capacitance, lower leakage current) process for 11 years and SMIC have had a 28 nm process for 9 years. For reference the BCM2711 used in Raspberry Pi 4 B hardware is also made using a 28 nm process, which was selected by the raspberry pi foundation because it is the current “value node” (lowest cost per transistor). It would be strange for sanctions to target technology that has been in use for nearly a decade.