Libre RISC-V SoC... Towards OpenHW OpenFabs
grarpamp at gmail.com
Sun Jun 2 14:12:36 PDT 2019
#OpenFabs, #OpenHW, #OpenBiz
Delivering openly audited auditable trust 24x365 where
all may inspect... will be *immensely* profitable to the
first mover in this space.
High security software is irrelevant if the hardware is fundamentally
compromised, for example with the Intel spying backdoor co-processor
known as the Management Engine. The Libre RISCV SoC was begun as a way
for users to regain trust and ownership of the hardware that they
This processor will be the first of its kind, as the first commercial
SoC designed to give users the hardware and software source code of
the 3D GPU, Video Decoder, main processor, boot process and the OS.
Shockingly, in the year 2019, whilst there are dozens of SoCs with
full source code that are missing either a VPU or a GPU (such as the
TI OMAP Series and Xilinx ZYNQ7000s), there does not exist a single
commercial embedded SoC which has full source code for the bootloader,
CPU, VPU and GPU. The iMX6 for example has etnaviv support for its GPU
however the VPU is proprietary, and all of Rockchip and Allwinner's
offerings use either MALI or PowerVR yet their VPUs have full source
(reverse engineered in the case of Allwinner).
This processor, which will be quad core dual issue 800mhz RV64GC and
capable of running full GNU/Linux SMP OSes, with 720p video playback
and embedded level 25fps 3D performance in around 2.5 watts at 28nm,
is designed to address that imbalance. Links and details on the Libre
RISC-V SoC wiki.
The real question is: why is this project the only one of its kind,
and why has no well funded existing Fabless Semiconductor Company
tried something like this before? The benefits to businesses of having
full source code are already well-known.
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