Reply to post: WD State-machine replacement?

RISC-V Xmas gifts: SiFive emits vector-enabled cores, Western Digital teases new SweRVs, VxWorks hugs ISA, Samsung rolls it into 5G...

Norman Nescio

WD State-machine replacement?

Much as I like the ideas behind RISC-V, I'm not sure Western Digital's statement:

<quote>"...designed to replace sequential logic and state machines in controller system-on-chips."</quote>

fills me with enthusiasm. Replacing a state machine with a general purpose (Turing complete) cpu can have some nasty consequences. State machines can relatively easily be formally proven to behave correctly, whereas it is more difficult with general purpose cpus. Of course, using a firmware/general-purpose cpu combo means you can fix bugs, and provide new!, improved!, functionality, by loading an updated firmware*, whereas a state machine embodied in silico doesn't have that option. The general purpose cpu provides more flexibility for the manufacturer, which can be a good thing. Of course, in principle, if you as the purchaser of the storage device, are allowed access to modify the firmware yourself, that could be beneficial, but I suspect my sideline as an ice-skate vendor in Hell will become profitable way before then.

*The new!, improved! functionality can include behaviour not anticipated by the 'owner' of the storage device in question, such as ransomware, and information exfiltration.

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