RISC-V Summit 2022
RISC-V Summit was the last tech conference I attended, back in December, 2019, just before the pandemic rocked our world (and which the reason why I haven’t attended any conferences since). Back then it was a great conference, and one that I would readily recommend. I’m assuming that this one will be just as good, even though it’s now a Linux Foundation event.
In case you’ve been hiding under a rock, RISC-V is a reduced instruction set computer specification, or chip technology, for building everything from microcontrollers to GPUs and CPUs, which was developed at UC Berkeley about 13 years ago, and then released to the public under an open source license. Shortly after that, a group of the original developers created a San Mateo-based startup, SiFive, to design silicon based on the architecture, and helped form the RISC-V Foundation (now called RISC-V International), the latter for the purpose of building an open source hardware community around the specification.
Since then, what once looked like an airplane that might not fly, has turned into a starship without boundaries. In the few years that RISC-V has been around, it can already be found in about every data center on the planet — probably not as CPUs driving servers, but as accelerators, microcontrollers, and the like. You can expect RISC-V-based computers and servers in the near future. Some hyperscalers like Alibaba are reportedly already running production workloads on servers with RISC-V CPUs.
This would definitely be the year to be attending the conference, if open source hardware interests you at all. During the last year, Intel has jumped on the RISC-V bandwagon and has pledged to pour $1 billion into the RISC-V ecosphere, which many are comparing to IBM’s billion dollar investment in Linux back in 2001, which lead our favorite Unix-like operating system to quickly dominate data centers worldwide.
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