I don’t talk about CPUs much anymore…
But that doesn’t mean I’m not still interested. It’s more that not much that I’ve found interesting has happened in the last few years. Sure everything is getting faster, but at least in the PC space, the slow incremental march forward has no practical impact on my usage because a five year old CPU is way more compute than I need anymore. I don’t mean that as a slam, it’s actually a triumph in platform maturity. But lately, one of the developing platforms has really started shaking things up, and I’m really interested to see what happens as it matures.
If you’ve also been following the space, you’ve probably already guessed that I’m talking about RISC-V. There’s a lot to be celebrated here, but I think the fact that it’s open source and free of the crazy that has been chasing ARM the last couple years, while also being able to scale from embedded power envelops all the way into the data center. I’ve been struggling with how to best articulate many of the reasons why I think it’s so interesting, so I haven’t said anything. But this morning I ran across the article below which does an excellent job of laying a lot of that out. Enjoy.
History doesn’t demand repeating, but it sure looks like it compels it if there are good reasons. It is hard to argue with the philosophy and community of open source, and that is why many of us (including we here at The Next Platform) think there is a kind of inevitability to open source chippery. And hence we are keeping a sharp eye on the RISC-V effort to create an open source chip architecture that spans from the tiniest embedded devices up to massive systems and supercomputers.