Thales Group, best known for its work in aerospace, defence, transportation, and security, has announced it has joined the RISC-V Foundation, declaring its commitment to “free, open-source hardware architectures based on RISC-V processors.”

Founded in 2000 as the next stage from 1968-founded Thomson-CSF, which in turn was an evolution of Compagnie Française Thomson-Houston (CFTH) founded in 1893, Thales’ primary work is in high-security markets. That security focus, the company has announced, is now being brought to bear on the RISC-V open instruction set architecture (ISA) – with the company positioning itself to “play a major role in a new era of microprocessor design.”

“The success of open source hinges on community engagement, and Thales is a dedicated member of the community,” claims Thales’ chief technology officer Marko Erman. “Joining the RISC-V Foundation underscores the Group’s commitment to a coordinated approach by industry and academia to the design of secure, dependable microprocessors.”

The company’s primary goal, it says, is to enhance the security and dependability of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, embedded systems, and machine learning implementations, and it is looking to work with existing companies in the field to establish security best-practices for hardware development. The company’s announcement further praises the work done in the field by RISC-V, saying it has “made significant inroads in recent years in the effort to protect microprocessors from cyber threats” and that the company plans to work with open source communities to design processors compatible with the needs of future critical systems.

“By adopting an open approach to both hardware and software,” the company’s announcement concludes, “Thales and the RISC-V community are opening up new opportunities for the design of mission-critical systems in all sectors, including aerospace, space, automotive, rail transport, security and defence.”