SiFive, a semiconductor design company, has reduced its workforce by 20%, impacting around 130 employees, reported Reuters.

Based in Santa Clara, California, US, the startup is engaged in designing chips that are based on RISC-V, an open-source chip architecture.

SiFive competes with the likes of ARM, which also builds the foundational designs upon which chips are built, but not the chips themselves.

“As we identify and focus on our greatest opportunities, SiFive is shifting to best meet our customers’ fast-changing requirements by undergoing a strategic refocusing of all our global teams,” SiFive was quoted as saying in a statement.

According to SiFive representative David Miller, the company has not altered its long-term goals.

SiFive will continue to manufacture chips for use in low-power, consumer electronics, automotive, and artificial intelligence (AI) applications.

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Miller stated that all divisions inside the company, including the executives, were affected by the layoffs.

The product lines of SiFive remain operational.

Beyond the readily available standard blueprints, the chip designer is reducing the amount of work it puts into providing consumers with customised designs.

In March 2022, SiFive was valued at more than $2.5bn flowing its $175m Series F funding round.

SiFive counts AMD, Coatue, Ibex Investors, Intel, Osage University Partners, Prosperity7 ventures, Qualcomm Ventures, Samsung Ventures, SK Hynix, Spark Capital, Sutter Hill Ventures and Western Digital Capital, as its backers.

The layoffs at SiFive come amid calls to impose restrictions on US companies from working on RISC-V, which is often used in China.

Lawmakers in the US have claimed that China has been advancing its military and semiconductor industries by leveraging its open partnership with US companies.

Last week, Qualcomm announced a partnership with Google to develop wearable technology powered by RISC-V chips.