Open source RISC-V ISA brings a new wrinkle to the processor market

Open source RISC-V ISA brings a new wrinkle to the processor market
by Tom Simon on 10-25-2017 at 12:00 pm

By now most people are quite comfortable with the idea of using an open source operating system for many computing tasks. It speaks volumes that Unix, and Linux in particular, is used in the vast majority of engineering, financial, data base, machine learning, data center, telecommunications and many other applications. It was… Read More


There is more than C to worry about

There is more than C to worry about
by Don Dingee on 10-17-2016 at 4:00 pm

We periodically see that “software ate the world” line – I’m pretty sure I’ve used it a couple times myself. The fact is, software doesn’t run itself; never has, never will. Somewhere there has to be an underlying computer. First it was on beads, then in gears, then in tubes.… Read More


SiFive execs share ideas on their RISC-V strategy

SiFive execs share ideas on their RISC-V strategy
by Don Dingee on 10-03-2016 at 4:00 pm

Since its formation just last year, SiFive has been riding the RISC-V rocket from purely academic interest to first commercialization. In an exclusive discussion, I talked with CEO Stefan Dyckerhoff and VP of Product and Business Development Jack Kang about their progress so far and what may be coming next.


Previously, I covered… Read More


RISC-V opens for business with SiFive Freedom

RISC-V opens for business with SiFive Freedom
by Don Dingee on 07-11-2016 at 4:00 pm

When we talk about open source, free usually comes in the context of “freedom”, not as in “free beer”, and open IP often serves as a base layer of value add for commercialization. The creators of the RISC-V instruction set, now working at startup SiFive, have released specifications for their aptly-named Freedom processor IP cores… Read More


21 months lining up OPNFV-on-ARM for telecom

21 months lining up OPNFV-on-ARM for telecom
by Don Dingee on 07-01-2016 at 4:00 pm

Telecom infrastructure is one area where X86 architecture hasn’t dominated historically. Infrastructure gear is spread across MIPS, Power, and SPARC architectures, with some X86, and a relative newcomer: ARM, already claiming 15% share. That’s a stunning figure considering only a bit less than 5 years ago… Read More


Enterprise design management engineered for SoCs

Enterprise design management engineered for SoCs
by Don Dingee on 04-22-2016 at 4:00 pm

In my initial look at ClioSoft’s design management system created from the ground up for the semiconductor industry, I made the opening case for managing and reusing IP across an ASIC design organization. Let’s for a moment say we agree on the need for an enterprise software package to do design management… Read More


Fit-for-purpose IoT ASICs are about more than cost

Fit-for-purpose IoT ASICs are about more than cost
by Don Dingee on 04-06-2016 at 4:00 pm

We’ve been saying for a while that it looks like there is a resurgence in design starts for ASICs targeting the IoT. A recent webinar featuring speakers from ARM and Open Silicon (and moderated by Daniel Nenni) affirms this trend, and provides some insight on how these designs may differ from typical microcontrollers.

One of my first… Read More


Managing and reusing IP in a build-borrow-buy era

Managing and reusing IP in a build-borrow-buy era
by Don Dingee on 04-01-2016 at 4:00 pm

Make-versus-buy inadequately describes what we do now in electronic systems design. We are on a continuum of design IP acquisition and use decisions, often with a portfolio of active projects and future projects depending on the outcome. Properly managing IP means adopting a build-borrow-buy mindset and tools capable of handling… Read More


OCF shows there may be hope for IoT consortia yet

OCF shows there may be hope for IoT consortia yet
by Don Dingee on 03-02-2016 at 4:00 pm

The recent launch of the Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF) was met first with a wave of “oh good, another IoT consortium”, then “phew, it’s just a rebrand of the OIC”, followed by a bit of confusion over why a few AllSeen Alliance players and some other names jumped in. Is it just a marketing ploy, or is there more to this?… Read More


Chips on the road to deep learning

Chips on the road to deep learning
by Don Dingee on 01-20-2016 at 7:00 am

CES has been morphing into an automotive show for several years now. Chipmakers were pitching control solutions, infotainment solutions, then connectivity solutions. Phone makers pitched device integration. Automotive electronics suppliers pitched MEMS sensors and cameras. Now, with a lot of pieces in place, the story … Read More