Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Wednesday, February 8, 2023

New RISC-V Certification to Help Those Seeking Entry-Level Roles or to Transition from Another Architecture 

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 30, 2022 — The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, and RISC-V International, the global open hardware standards organization, have announced the immediate availability of the new RISC-V Foundational Associate (RVFA) certification exam, which is designed to test foundational knowledge of the RISC-V instruction set architecture (ISA).

RISC-V is an open standard Instruction Set Architecture (ISA) enabling a new era of processor innovation through open collaboration. RISC-V adoption has accelerated in recent years, as evidenced by expanding industry alliances and investments by leading hardware manufacturers around the globe. These trends are expected to further progress as the requirements continue to evolve for new automotive, data center and IoT chipsets coming onto the market. To ensure vendors have the skills necessary to meet their goals and continue this growth, the talent pool must also grow.

“The increasing interest and adoption of RISC-V are driving global demand for talent, and employers value a RISC-V knowledge base,” said Calista Redmond, CEO of RISC-V International. “As RISC-V continues to proliferate everywhere, it is important that we collaborate with our members and partners such as the Linux Foundation to ensure we have programs in place to train talent around the world and meet the continuously increasing demand.”

The RVFA certification is ideal for those pursuing a career in roles such as embedded systems engineer, RTL design engineer, design verification engineer, software developer, or documentation engineer. Candidates should already have familiarity with git, high-level programming languages such as C, debuggers like GDB, and system architecture. They should also have programming or design experience, and it may be helpful to have completed computer science, software engineering, computer engineering, or electrical engineering coursework.

The multiple-choice exam takes 90 minutes to complete and tests areas including the RISC-V ISA; embedded hardware design including IoT, industrial, medical, and automotive applications; the ability to write, debug, optimize, and compile code in RISC-V assembly language; the ability to use toolchains including GCC and LLVM; and an understanding of RISC-V calling conventions.

“We have previously partnered with RISC-V International to build out a series of free online training courses to help individuals get started with this important technology, which have proven to be both popular and beneficial to the RISC-V community,” said Clyde Seepersad, SVP, and general manager of training & certification at The Linux Foundation. “Providing a verifiable certification exam will enable individuals to take the next step in pursuing a RISC-V career, by providing their knowledge and skills to potential employers who are seeking more talent in this rapidly growing field.”

The RVFA exam is available for immediate registration for $250. RISC-V International and Linux Foundation Training & Certification also offer the Introduction to RISC-V (LFD110x), Building a RISC-V CPU Core (LFD111x), and RISC-V Toolchain and Compiler Optimization Techniques (LFD113x) online courses, each of which can be audited at no cost through the edX online learning platform.

About RISC-V International

RISC-V is an open standard Instruction Set Architecture (ISA) enabling a new era of processor innovation through open collaboration. RISC-V International comprises more than 2,400 members building the first open, collaborative community of software and hardware innovators powering an open era of processor innovation. The RISC-V ISA delivers a new level of free, extensible software and modular hardware, paving the way for the next 50 years of open computing design freedom and innovation.

RISC-V International, a non-profit organization controlled by its members, directs the future development and drives the adoption of the RISC-V ISA. Members of RISC-V International have access to and participate in the development of the RISC-V ISA specifications and related ecosystem. To learn more about RISC-V, please visit:

Source: Linux Foundation

About the author: Tiffany Trader

With over a decade’s experience covering the HPC space, Tiffany Trader is one of the preeminent voices reporting on advanced scale computing today.

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