Innovation in the software industry has benefited tremendously from open-source software and open APIs. Open-source software amplifies the capabilities of small teams by avoiding the need to recreate common components, and open standards allow multiple contributors to quickly create large ecosystems of interoperating components.
The recent rapid progress of the free and open RISC-V ecosystem has given new hope that the same pace of innovation might come to the hardware industry. Hardware innovation is sorely needed as underlying technology scaling has slowed to a crawl right when new application areas such as machine learning are creating insatiable compute demands.
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