RISC V in the future?
#1
I think it would be really interesting to do some work with RISC V, would be awesome to run open source software on open source hardware, is there in potential for this in the near future?
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#2
(07-25-2019, 11:20 AM)phoenix Wrote: I think it would be really interesting to do some work with RISC V, would be awesome to run open source software on open source hardware, is there in potential for this in the near future?

There is always the potential - as for how soon in the future ... thats a different story.
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#3
Maybe sooner than later:

https://www.scmp.com/tech/innovation/art...hina-looks
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#4
(07-25-2019, 10:40 PM)RMJ250 Wrote: Maybe sooner than later:

https://www.scmp.com/tech/innovation/art...hina-looks

This is a Linux capable risc-v SBC, an expansion board can be purchased to make it a PC:

https://www.sifive.com/boards/hifive-unleashed

It's a bit expensive, but currently available.
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#5
(07-25-2019, 11:20 AM)phoenix Wrote: I think it would be really interesting to do some work with RISC V, would be awesome to run open source software on open source hardware, is there in potential for this in the near future?

From what I understand only the ISA is open.

RISC-V manufacturers can bundle the CPU with proprietary GPUs and other devices which require binary blob drivers. The bootup process can be also made to require binary blob firmware to boot. In the end, the situation may look for the end-user exactly like it looks nowadays with ARM.

I would be pleased if you proof me wrong.
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#6
I never understood this hype about RISC-V. Okay, some people are all about "open" everything, I don't get what benefits it gives nor is it achieveable at all, realisticaly, but OK, for some - it's a goal per se. But, there is MIPS - already "open", one of the oldest RISC architectures, what's wrong with it, why aren't you hyping about it? not using, not demanding making SBCs with it? that RISC-V looks just a clone of MIPS, but MIPS is there for more than 30 years. Meaning more support, more knowledge, more experience etc. SPARC - yet another pioneer RISC arhcitecture. Also open. Take it and produce whatever you want. POWER, I mean POWER! no, it's all not interesting to the hordes of people flooding every SBC related forum with this almost yet non-existent RISC-V thing. Looks like someone is making promotion using free (?) volunteers to spread around and make this silly babbling about "advantages" of this "teh most openest HW".

The other thing I see similar pattern for is Rust. Big Grin Why you not uses Rust is teh coolestest opensourecestest language evah? let's make a flashmob to demand Pine produce RISC-V SBC, with linux rewritten in Rust, with a cluster of floppy drives as the main storage, made into ZFS RAID. encrypted!!11 Big Grin

Come on, let those dudes inventing the wheel again, at RISC-V, yet release something (more than overpriced arduino like microcontroller board), for anybody to consider its usage. It should yet exist. then it should realy prove its advantage over existing solutions. So much, that people will take the burden of developing/porting for this architecture. So far it smells annoying advertizement, made by clueless people for which the only advantage and need is that magic word "open-source". what you would do with that open-sourceness of the CPU?
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#7
(08-18-2019, 05:08 PM)z4v4l Wrote: I never understood this hype about RISC-V.
The other thing I see similar pattern for is Rust. Big Grin 

What are you talking about ?
Here a fan of ZFS/rust/RISC-V .... but also fan of ext4/C/ARM

It s like chocolate and beer. You may only like chocolate, or only beer or both or nothing, but they dont have the same purpose

If you love python, will you want to rewrite the linux kernel in python ? Maybe not because of the python interpreter, right ?
Programming language are tools, and if you want to write a program, you will try to choose the best tool that can help you achieve your goal, right ?
Linux kernel is already here ... doesnt make sens to rewrite it. (and C is perfect for OS writing) 
But if you want to write a new tool from scratch where security is important, then why not considering rust ??

MIPS ISA wasn't open until recently. According to wikipedia, I quote "In December 2018, Wave Computing, the new owner[12] of the MIPS architecture (see MIPS Technologies), announced that MIPS ISA will be open-sourced in a program dubbed the MIPS Open initiative. "
Open and royal free ISA means cheaper processor, which is already a very good point. (the same way as linux is cheaper than windows).
But I dont think we will benefit now from this openness:
pretty sure that the first company which will build RISC-V processor wont make open hardware. 
But it's a first step towards openness 
Note: SPARC was not designed for low embedded devices. It requires more energy than ARM. There is no reason on wanting that in your mobile phone.
I think it's the same for POWER architecture. 
But if you are a happy windows user, then you dont mind about open hardware/open source. Then I would agree: RISC-V wont be better for you.

ZFS is quite handy on big server. But not needed for laptop, and bad for embedded devices
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#8
no, it's like beer, that only exist as an advertizement and promises and the brand beer, that exists for a century.

you say you are a fan of RISC-V. what its advantages over MIPS/ARM/SPARC/POWER are? is there something else except that illusional "freedom", which is a plain and exploitive marketing balderdash?

I don't know about SPARC, but POWER is well suited for mobile/embedded world. Freeascale, now NXP make mobile processors with this architecture. they are used in a broad range of things, from routers to secret military appliances. I doubt SPARC as an ISA inherently isn't scalable to fit the low power range.

the point is, it's a bit sad and annoying, that on one side you see how MIPS/SPARC are fading away because there is no much interest - the current owner of MIPS doesn't seem to grasp what to do with it and to set it up to compete with ARM, so everything is left is to license ancient IPs for home routers/switches. Oracle silently discards its hardware business acquired fron Sun, so the only real producer of SPARC CPUs is Fujitsu. and the same time this clueless hype about RISC-V that brings nothing new, nothing distinguishing, still people already are "fans" of it. why? Imagination released a full featured SBC mith a MIPS CPU - Mips Creator CI20, I have it. in 2015, it has dual core CPU at 1.2 GHz, 1 GB of RAM, pretty nice SBC. and the price was ok. somehow, there was no hype and the board got forgotten. I ask myself - what that RISC-V has, that MIPS or ARM don't, that will guarantee it to stay on the scene? after the hype based on nothing practical nor reasonable has evaporated, what is left?
Itanium is officially discontinued, POWER, SPARC and MIPS are in a deep niche. the two architectures dominate - x86 and ARM, and that will stay for a long time. I think RISC-V won't harm ARM's position at all. the pointless excitement will fade away eventually and that's all. making noisy promises on being more free than others is not enough for success.
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#9
Again:
- SPARC is not designed for embedded devices.
- ARM is not free. Lots of people dont mind about freedom, and it's ok. But I do. (Note that most people dont mind about Linux either. It's also ok, but if we were all thinking the same way, we would never had Linux or xxxBSD in this current state)
- MIPS ISA wasn't open source until December 2018. Maybe we wouldn't talk about RISC-V hype if MIPS ISA was open sourced earlier
- I dont know about POWER. Maybe it didn't get the attention it deserved.
As you said I'm fan about RISC-V, but in fact I am more fan about open hardware. If we can have it with ARM, POWER or MIPS, then it'ok for me. I will be happy.
Maybe you are right, maybe RISC-V is over-hyped. But maybe it will succeed because of this over-hype ? Maybe it will fail ?
I don't know, but I'm pretty sure that one day we will get open hardware with open CPU.
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#10
you said you are a fan (see your above post).
so, apart from its uber-freedom, you don't know about any advantages of it over existing, well developed and established CPU architectures?
SPARC is an ISA, there is nothing in it, making it unsuitable for low power usages. as of POWER, I told you about Freescale/NXP devices. I am on tablet now, it's inconvenient, otherwise I'd post some links to devices (routers) powered by QoriQ CPUs.
there is no 1 SoC fully open source. not a one. reset boot ROM code, GPUs, Wifi/BT chips, baseband processors running its entire OS inside, firmwares inside SD cards, eMMC modules, SSDs, HDDs etc. and there will never be. but it's so easy to make gullible fans believe in some freedom, just repeat often the "we are free" mantra and it's done. no matter, the resulting SoC will have dozens of non-free "blobs". finally, for what the reasons end users might want that a CPU would be open sourced? what would they do with those hardware design files? they won't be even able to check them out. even if you are a C programmer, that doesn't mean that you will be able to check some 75000 lines of code of a project. it will take many months of learning it, before you start to get what's inside. and here we are talking about hardware design files, that only a bunch of people could understand. why end users would need them? for me it's moronic openness, a much better one is when a vendor releases a good documetation on its product, so that people wishing to provide their software for it, could do that. it's much more imporant. secrets, that need to be kept secretive, will be kept that way, because no sane owner of them would sacrifice their profitability to some illusional religion of everything needed to be open sourced.
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