Published in IoT

SiFive hires Patrick Little as CEO

by on17 September 2020

Ex Qualcomm SVP and GM of Automotive

In this bombastic week for the industry, SiFive, a leader in Risc V architecture products, has announced that it has hired Patrick W. Little as President and CEO, effective immediately.

Mr. Little succeeds Dr. Naveed Sherwani, who has stepped down as President and CEO and will remain Chairman of the board of directors of SiFive as part of a growth plan to accelerate the adoption of SiFive technology for next-generation computing solutions.

Qualcomm automotive success to $7 billion in Automotive

I met Patrick at his Qualcomm role. Under his leadership, the company secured integrated automotive platforms drive leadership and growth across telematics, infotainment, and in-car connectivity, with an order pipeline of more than $7 billion. At the same time, Qualcomm secured infotainment and digital cockpit wins with 19 of the 25 global automaker brands, and needless to say, Qualcomm did it over the course of a few years, from the ground up. The company had great building blocks, and IP and Patrick’s team just had to shape it into a product fit for automotive.


The opportunity for SiFive is precisely the same. The IP and the technology are good with advantages in power, space, and performance over ARM comparable cores there. Nvidia taking over ARM just put some additional oil on the fire as many doubt the neutrality of ARM in the future.

Nvidia has created a perfect storm as Patrick just joined SiFive two days ago and already had to deal with major ARM customers starting to asking around about the alternatives. Embedded and edge computing, tailored down to workload, is the area that SiFive wants to pursue under Little. Co-development with major partners seems to be the common theme, confirmed Little in the short conversation.

SiFive describes itself as the leading provider of commercial RISC-V-based processor IP and domain-specific silicon solutions. The company recently announced the completion of a successful Series E investment round, which secured an additional $61M to continue the development of domain-specific architectures for high-growth markets such as high-performance computing, AI and deep learning, automotive, computational storage, and computer vision. This brings investment in the company to $190M to date.

“I am honored to lead the brilliant, hard-working team of innovators and engineers at SiFive who are responsible for creating some of the most impactful architectures in our industry”, said Patrick W. Little, President and CEO of SiFive. “The development of targeted, domain-specific computing solutions to deliver meaningfully higher levels of value and performance and outpace Moore’s Law today. Our industry-leading technology portfolio, combined with the talent and passion of this team, provides a unique platform for addressing the domain-specific design and compute challenges our customers are facing today.”

Little joins SiFive from Qualcomm where he led its successful expansion into the automotive industry as Senior Vice President and General Manager. Patrick has over 30 years of operating experience in executive roles in the technology and semiconductor industries, including CEO of eASIC Corp., Senior Vice President of CSR Technology, and Senior Vice President at Xilinx Inc. Patrick has served on the board of directors of numerous public and private technology companies throughout his career. Mr. Little holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from San Jose State University.

“The fast pace of SiFive’s growth and advanced portfolio is directly related to the strength and uniqueness of SiFive’s technology,” said Stefan Dyckerhoff, Managing Director of Sutter Hill Ventures. “The sharpening focus of the technology industry on using high-quality IP based on open-standards continues to create demand for technology that SiFive is uniquely positioned to provide. Industry support for RISC-V has never been stronger, as seen during recent industry events showcasing new, breakthrough designs based on RISC-V.”

“I am pleased and excited to help Patrick elevate SiFive to the next level of success”, said Dr. Naveed Sherwani, Chairman of SiFive’s board of directors. “Patricks’ proven expertise in execution and strategy will benefit SiFive tremendously as we continue to increase focus on enabling domain-specific architectures for markets such as high-performance computing, artificial intelligence, and computer vision.”

SiFive’s portfolio of processor Core IP is based on the free and open RISC-V instruction set architecture, and consists of four unique micro-architectures designed to enable different classes of performance, efficiency, and features for application and deeply embedded uses. Designed for scalability, SiFive Core IP can be tailored to workload requirements through the highly-configurable parameters of the architecture and focused using custom instructions.

SiFive recently announced a collaboration with the Barcelona Supercomputing Center to create a new API for popular compilers, further enabling applications to use the RISC-V Vector Extension currently under development for high-performance computing, artificial intelligence, and computer vision applications. SiFive continues to advance the development of the RISC-V ecosystem, enabling support for existing toolchains, operating systems, compilers, and developer environments to integrate RISC-V support into their workflows to simplify the adoption of RISC-V in new designs.

Last modified on 17 September 2020
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