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EE Journal Article: RISC-V Business

By March 6, 2019May 12th, 2021No Comments

Last week’s RISC-V Tech Symposium, held at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, began for the most grounded of purposes – the education of future processor designers – the RISC-V ISA is rapidly growing far beyond its origins and is bumping along the road to become a full-blown, commercial microprocessor ISA despite its open-source underpinnings. The underwriter of the worldwide series of RISC-V Tech Symposiums, SiFive, is one of the loudest cheerleaders for the RISC-V ISA’s trek towards commercial relevance and, perhaps, world dominance.
My July 19, 2018 EEJournal article titled “RISC-V Aims for World Domination” contains a long history of microprocessor ISAs. In this article, I quoted Dr. David Patterson, the professorial godfather of RISC-V, who said: “Why should there be open-source compilers but not open-source ISAs?” That article quoted Patterson as he discussed the idea that the open RISC-V ISA could be a cure to microprocessor ISAs’ hacking vulnerability. The quote came from a presentation Patterson made at the 2018 annual dinner meeting of the IEEE-CNSV (IEEE Consultants’ Network of Silicon Valley). Patterson concluded that presentation with a simple statement about RISC-V: “That’s my simple goal for RISC-V: world domination.”
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