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Design for differentiation: architecture licenses for custom compute in RISC‑V

black and white chip design to illustrate a blog on RISC architectures

I was discussing with a colleague about the concept of architecture license in RISC-V. I realized that, in the open-source world, it can be a little tricky to grasp. In a traditional processor IP model, there is a clear distinction between an off-the-shelf IP license that gives some level of configuration but no customization, and […]

Closing the Gap in SoC Open Standards with RISC-V

Closing gap in open standards with RISC-V

The semiconductor industry has changed hugely in the last 3 or 4 decades. Around 1980 some larger semiconductor companies were strongly vertically integrated, not only designed and manufactured their products, but even made their own processing equipment and in-house EDA tools. Today almost every semiconductor company uses 3rd party equipment for IC manufacturing and designs […]

What does RISC-V stand for?

risc-v logo and open source processors

Many SoC designers are already familiar with the benefits of RISC-V, the open and extensible computer architecture. But what does the name stand for?

Customizing an Existing RISC-V Processor

a hand drawing a graph that illustrates customization with RISC-V

In the previous post we considered how you could create an optimized ISA for a domain-specific processor core by profiling software and experimenting with adding/removing instructions. Using the open RISC-V ISA can be a great starting point for a processor that combines application-specific capabilities and access to portable software.

Does ISA ownership matter? A Tale of Three ISAs

Codasip homepage custom compute

An instruction set architecture (ISA) is crucial to the development of processors and their software ecosystems. Does ISA ownership matter? Let’s consider three proprietary ISAs and their history to find out.

Open Source vs Commercial RISC-V Licensing Models

a pink pig to illustrate risc-v licensing models

Everybody is familiar with commercial licensing from traditional processor IP vendors. In discussing RISC-V, there is widespread confusion of terminology with RISC-V often being described as “open source”, often understood as “free”. But what is reality?

More than Moore with Domain-Specific Processors

Codasip homepage custom compute

The Moore’s law has had remarkably long validity of almost half a century. Today, however, it is ceasing to apply, opening new pressing questions such as: How to make up for the fact that chip size cannot be effectively reduced any more? What is the new way to improve performance? Roddy’s blogpost digs into one of the most promising answers: Core customization. Read on!