The majority of people in the tech community are well aware of the two main chip architectures: x86 and ARM. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses. Today, however, we’re continuing our conversation on RISC-V by introducing the way FreeBSD would work on RISC-V platforms. If you need to catch up, read our previous entry on this topic.
The software and hardware worlds are constantly evolving, so one can never get too comfortable. For decades now, much of the world has grown accustomed to the x86 architecture forming the basis of the personal computer, but the continued growth of the 64-bit ARM architecture presents a new challenge to this notion. Large-scale changes of this type are inevitable, so it is important for a project of the scale and scope of FreeBSD to be proactive about supporting the hardware platforms of the future, and letting go of the platforms of the past.
The RISC-V architecture is FreeBSD’s youngest supported platform, and despite its age it has a lot of momentum behind it. This article will introduce this history of the platform, and why this support is important for the FreeBSD project.