Open ISA, free standard open hardware designs

I wish i could understand it all… Can somebody please explain all this a bit more? It sounds good, but i don’t get half of it.

I’ll give it a go… :slight_smile:

General

  • It’s getting harder to make processors faster
    • Adding extra RISC-V or ARM processors to computers to do certain tasks is a great way to add speed while keeping power efficiency.
  • ISA is a language for communicating with a processor

RISC-V’s ISA

  • As a newer ISA, it’s learnt from the mistakes of the past
  • Has six different instructions which is very few.
  • The instructions use less memory.
  • There’s extended instructions and space to write new instructions so it’s versatile.
  • It can hold quadruple-precision floating point numbers which is apparently great for working with huge datasets?
  • Capable of 128-bit addressing as well as 32-bit and 64-bit
    • Moving from 32 to 64, or 64 to 128 is slower because you have to process the instruction in two halves but you get the benefit of more addressable space.
    • 128-bit isn’t useful for home computers or most servers.
    • Large datacenters can need it because it allows them to go beyond 16 exabytes of space.

Licensing

  • Computers are faster if they’re designed with the ISA in mind
    • ARM requires license holders to use their hardware designs for this reason, the licenses are very expensive and only top tier licenses (like Apple’s) are free to use any hardware.
  • RISC-V is a free license so you can use it any way you want and your product can be cheaper because there’s no fees.

Ok. That’s better. Now i understand a lot more of what i’ve read in the article. Thank you for this!