June 27th, 2019 – By: Brian Bailey
Calling an open-source processor free isn’t quite accurate.
Open source processors are rapidly gaining mindshare, fuelled in part by early successes of RISC-V, but that interest frequently is accompanied by misinformation based on wishful thinking and a lack of understanding about what exactly open source entails.
Nearly every recent conference has some mention of RISC-V in particular, and open source processors in general, whether that includes keynote speeches, technical sessions, and panels. What’s less obvious is that open ISAs are not a new phenomenon, and neither are free, open processor implementations.