Can Open Source Processors Thrive?

I recently attended part of the RISC-V workshop at the Google campus. RISC-V is a fully open source CPU instruction set developed at UC Berkeley developed by Krste Asanovic, Andrew Waterman, and Yunsup Lee. An academic instruction set is all well and good, but the RISC-V spawned SiFive, which plans on building commercial processors using RISC-V. Can RISC-V and SiFive compete against ARM? More appropriately, can SiFive compete against smaller, agile proprietary players like Andes Technology, Synopsys, and Cortus? Unlike […]

The Language of Computing

While visiting my older daughter, Elizabeth, at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, I attended a talk given by Jon Lindsay, Assistant Professor of Digital Media and Global Affairs at U of Toronto. The seminar was ostensibly about cyber security, but Lindsay mentioned a few things that set me thinking. Consider the language we use when we talk about computers: files, procedures, programs, processes, directories, folders. These terms derive directly from large institutions; more specifically, large business and government institutions. In […]