On Thursday October 8, the third Workshop on RISC-V Activities was hosted by edacentrum, due to the pandemic situation as an online workshop.

First of all I have to say that with more than 230 registrations the workshop was very well attended. On the other hand, this comes not as a real surprise, since RISC-V is getting a lot of attention lately. Calista Redmond, RISC-V International CEO reported a tremendous 62% growth to now more than 750 RISC-V members across 50 countries – wow! What is even more important, a lot of presenters on the workshop referred to RISC-V as being used in real commercial projects. So RISC-V is clearly paving the way to mainstream.

What became most obvious however is that the RISC-V success is very tightly coupled to the availability of an eco-system for architectural exploration, design and verification, and software development. On the workshop, I saw a lot of promising presentations of RISC-V partners already addressing the topics. There are still issues, but my feeling is that there is a basic awareness thereof and that the challenges are understood and tackled. So imagine a continuous tool flow, where you start with an architectural exploration and profiling of ISA configurations to serve your dedicated requirements, followed by a smooth path to virtual prototype for software development while in parallel already starting hardware design and verification, supported by equivalence checks and formal methods to ensure that the various representations of your design are functional consistent – how would you like that!

I think RISC-V has tremendous opportunities ahead to become a serious commercial design option with a relevant market share, however the availability, functionality and user-friendliness of the eco-system will be the crucial factor.

Having said that – another extremely important factor is RISC-V in education and research. We have to support the next generation of ingenious engineers and researchers with the best material and tools we can come up with. But I have no worries here – as long as Stefan Wallentowitz and all his colleagues in the joining universities and institutes continue their very passionate work, RISC-V will have a bright future ahead.

Peter Neumann, edacentrum

About edacentrum
The edacentrum is a RISC-V Training Partner and the network for electronics, design and applications in business and science. As an independent authority, the edacentrum designs research & development for a consistent design methodology along the entire value chain. In this role, the edacentrum is a recognized innovation accelerator for the microelectronics industry and its user industries.

The edacentrum initiates, coordinates and accompanies industry-led, publicly funded R&D projects in the field of EDA, both in the classical sense of “Electronic Design Automation” and in the sense of “Electronics, Design and Applications” and offers a comprehensive range of services such as project management for these R&D projects. Furthermore, it organizes the bundling of existing EDA competence at German research institutions within the framework of EDA cluster research projects and offers innovative technical solutions for exchange and cross-company cooperation.

The edacentrum bundles the interests of industry and science with regard to new challenges in the field of designing microelectronic components and systems as well as their applications. To this end, it coordinates industry-specific working groups, organizes its own specialist conferences and operates platforms for target group-specific services and public relations.