Intro to RISC-V in Hackspace Mag

OSH Park

My column in the latest Hackspace Magazine is an introduction to RISC-V and how it is enabling open source chip design:

Open-source chips:
Breaking free of chip design monopolies with RISC-V

When we think about what open source hardware means, we usually think about the board design being freely available. But what about the processor? Is there a way to make hardware that is truly open source? This month’s column is dedicated to an exciting — and surprisingly political — development in chip design.

When you write a program in the Arduino IDE, it is compiled into instructions for the microcontroller to execute. How does the compiler know what instructions the chip understands? This is defined by the Instruction Set Architecture. The ISA is a standard, a set of rules that define the tasks the processor can perform.

Chances are that both your laptop and the datacenter streaming your favorite…

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