RISC-V Summit US 2023 did not disappoint. With more than 1,000 attendees over 3 days, our team was full on. After announcing our 700 family and the first ever commercial implementation of CHERI a couple of weeks before the event, we were prepared for what was, we believe, the best RISC-V event we’ve ever attended. From keynotes to tech talks, 101 sessions, demos, and activities at our booth, there is no doubt. RISC-V is inevitable, RISC-V is everywhere, but most importantly, RISC-V is here. We highlighted 3 themes that make RISC-V a reality: customization, automation, and security.
Customization is the way to go
Customization is our thing at Codasip, and it is fantastic to see such a growing interest in customization capabilities. On Tuesday morning the keynote by Meta highlighted the potential of RISC-V, insisting on how the standard considered custom extensions from its inception. The degrees of optimization provided vary from one RISC-V IP vendor to another – it was good to see Codasip mentioned as the company providing most design freedom to our customers thanks to our unique CodAL + Codasip Studio technology – and this is an important factor to understand. Our very own Mike Eftimakis recently wrote a blog on this specific topic. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to processor optimization. From configuration to full customization, Mike explained the different benefits and use cases and how to combine all three of them to achieve specific PPA goals.
And it is not just the degrees of optimization. It is also how you optimize your hardware to your software workloads. This takes us to the second major thing of the conference: automation.
No customization without automation
Back in May 2023, I wrote a blog after attending the Siemens User 2 User conference in Munich where the key theme was: shifting left for success. Well, I will tell you: this still stands very strong and has never been more appropriate than today. At RISC-V Summit US this week, we heard this from larger companies to smaller research groups: no customization without automation. Our CTO Zdenek Prikryl jumped on stage at the demo theater and walked the audience through examples of processor design automation using Codasip Studio and CodAL. RISC-V is definitely a great enabler of heterogeneous compute (or… Custom Compute) and automation with a unified toolchain is here to make the whole process very efficient across an infinite range of applications.
And that is the other beauty of RISC-V. The modularity of the RISC-V standard makes it possible for technology innovators to customize in many segments. This was obvious in the exhibition hall; RISC-V is scalable, and customization makes it the perfect match for unique needs in a wide range of industries. But there is one thing that must never be neglected. Security. This one feature that everyone expects. At Codasip we definitely take security very seriously and continuously develop our technology and partnerships to provide our customers with the secure solutions that they expect.
Don’t forget security
Do you also feel that when someone starts a sentence with ‘security’, our mind stops listening? There is something with security. It’s tricky. It can be damaging. Everyone agrees it’s needed, yet we don’t feel it’s there. Especially when it comes to cyberattacks. After attending our CEO Ron Black’s keynote at the summit, I believe the audience in the room has a different view on it. Is it because we have launched the first-ever commercial implementation of CHERI? Possibly. Is it because he managed to make everyone laugh with a security joke on our demo? Probably. Is it because he explained the industry problem we are facing and how RISC-V is best placed to address it? Definitely.
Our security architect Carl Shaw and the team spent 2 days demoing our CHERI implementation on our 700 family and explaining how we’ve taken CHERI from academia to industry. The number of questions, the depth of the discussions, and the increasing interest in the technology we saw are extremely promising. It is not cherry blossom season now – but why wait? CHERI is in full bloom and now is the time to act!