[lowrisc-dev] lowRISC versus the rest of the RISCV world (rant?)

Reinoud Zandijk reinoud at NetBSD.org
Thu Jul 14 22:16:43 BST 2016


Dear folks,

with horror I've read the current discussion on DRAM/MMIO/devtree/etc
discussion. We're really missing the point of what lowRISC can be and in a
kind of sense, what RISCV can become.

The current discussion boils down to defining a new mode of transportation
complete with infrastructure but at the same time demanding it needs to have 4
wheels, run on petrol, has a customized Ford engine and needs 4 seats. If you
get my drift, thats not really designing a new mode of transportation but
defining yet another car. If its again just another car, why bother developing
it if the only thing it distinguishes from the competition is the fact that it
has a good service manual.

We are now in the unique position to be able to create a new software and
hardware ecosystem so why settle for the fluke of the day.  Now I can't speak
for the rest of the RISCV community and they might have good reasons to do it
their way, who am I to question that, but for lowRISC we ought to aim a LOT
higher.

(shameless plug here :)

Hence my proposal I posted earlier; it deals with virtualisation, device
discovery, extended debuging, hypervisor, security, strict memory isolation,
minions, software devices, etc. etc. Could very well be extended with NOMA
etc.

Less drastic solutions might be fine too, and lots of variants are possible
too so feel free to comment on it or try to shoot it down, but at least its an
effort to create something new and not follow the beaten track of say ARM.

With regards,
Reinoud




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