Reply to post: Good, I like RISC-V

Alibaba, Tencent enlisted to help sanction-weary China build RISC-V chips

martinusher Silver badge

Good, I like RISC-V

I've been using this type of RISC for decades in various guises. For the things I do its a better choice than ARM; ARM has marketing momentum and like the x86 one of the strongest arguments for using it is 'everyone else does' but like the choice of x86 this might be a good business reason but its is a poor engineering one. The only problem with RISC-V type architecture has been a relatively limited choice of parts which looks as if its going to be fixed thanks to the Chinese.

There have been some excellent RISC processors offered in the past but they've all failed due to the dominance of the x86 -- they were good but the money was Intel. ARM snuck in not because it was particularly good -- early versions of the part were performance dogs -- but because they used very small amounts of power and silicon, they were exactly what everyone needed when you were making some kind of ASIC that needed a small processor. ARM has grown and grown but as a user I've never had much luck using it to move a lot of data (it needs coprocessors for that) whereas something like a MIPS hauls. (One relatively weird RISC was the AMD 29K series; these got dropped 'for business reasons' but they also hauled; I suspect they got revived for AMD's graphics products.)

(For those who can't envisage like without the x86 remember that its microcoded -- I wouldn't be surprised to find a 860 or 960 type architecture under the hood but Intel keeps that really close to their chest.)

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