* Posts by 3arn0wl

258 publicly visible posts • joined 1 Oct 2013


Moving to Windows 11 is so easy! You just need to buy a PC that supports it!



Micro$oft ought to be fined to within an inch of its life for wantonly creating so much patently unnecessary e-waste.

Microsoft might have just pulled support for very old PCs in Windows 11 24H2


Linux's moment

^ That's it, really

SparkyLinux harbors a flamboyant array of desktops


Re: Diversity of design

Just my opinion but, I don't think it's choice that people are looking for. They want it to look, and behave in a particular way. The trouble is : what I (currently) consider to be the perfect, or near-perfect, thing, might not float the boat of others.


:) I'm a fan of Sparky : it runs well on very little resources.

It would be nice to see Lomiri on the list of GUI available.

Chip wars could lead to oversupply as China increases domestic capacity


Do I hear the sound of backfiring?

China is said to be 20% of the electronics marketplace. It's also the biggest producer of electronics. Of course this policy was going to have a detrimental affect on the West's electronics industry and economy. Factor in trade agreements between BRICS economies, and the picture worsens still.

China is now focusing on RISC-V too. That is also going to have a major impact on western processor-design companies down the line.

MIPS snags top SiFive brains to amp up RISC-V business


Re: World’s Most Popular CPU Architectures

It's impossible to know how many RISC-V processors have been deployed, since anyone with the necessary resources can produce the silicon : companies only have to be members of RISC-V International if they wish to advertise that they're using the ISA. I maintain that the estimated figures are conservative, based on the activity of the major RISC-V players. It's entirely possible that there have been unmarked, 'simple' microcontrollers in devices for as long as a decade now.

Hardware hacker: Walling off China from RISC-V ain't such a great idea, Mr President


Re: Another unpopular opinion...

:) We'll have to agree to differ on that one.


Re: Another unpopular opinion...

I think this is about protectionism, and about Arm, specifically.

RISC-V is forecasted to be an industry disruptor (with or without the USA's involvement). RISC-V International now has over 4,000 members, including all the big tech names.

So the question is : will the likes of Google and Qualcomm be scared off from accessing at least 1/5th of the world's tech marketplace by these politics? Or will they decamp to less Authoritarian economies?


Another unpopular opinion...

... but I'm going to express it anyway.

I view this as a political reaction to a perceived threat to "The American Way" : Open Source = Commie.

Capitalism shrowds its jewels in secrecy, protects them with patents, and keeps the knowledge limited within a defined heirarchy.

Google and Qualcomm to bring RISC-V to the wrist in next-gen wearable platform


Perhaps a swipe at the US lawmakers too...

... who, last week, seemed to be trying to restrict / demonise the use of RISC-V.

Qualcomm have said that they're going to be exploring RISC-V. And with Arm's lawsuit, they have good reason.

My guess is that they're working very hard to realise this tech as soon as possible. It's a sensible strategy to start with lower-resource processors, but it won't stop there.

Samsung to fab chips for RISC-V processor world's Tenstorrent


Hardly surprising really...

Samsung expressed their interest in RISC-V as far back as 2017, and started incorporating RISC-V cores into their tech in 2020.

I expect to see Samsung devices with RISC-V primary processors in the relatively near future.

Raspberry Pi 5 revealed, and it should satisfy your need for speed


Re: Lost the plot

They are on board : ThreadX is a Microsoft product.

To quote a respected tech journalist, "The whole damn computer is run by a proprietary sealed Microsoft binary."


Lost the plot

No open sourced RISC-V processor? Not interested.

And courting Micor$oft...??

Does he not know his customer base at all?

Post-IPO, Arm to push purpose-built almost-processors


Re: RISC-V behind but catching up

There's also the likelihood of haemorrhaging Western design companies like Qualcomm, Bradcom. NXP, Bosch et al...




I guess this is the market setting the value. It seems there's been some realisation about the threat of the China situation and of RISC-V... Which begs the question : do investors not do any homework before taking their gamble?


Re: RISC-V behind but catching up

The design of the T-Head C910 that Bruce Hoult mentioned has been published, and there are other designs which have been open sourced too.

RISC-V International has published standards for the instructions needed for various computing situations : RV64GC for example, is sufficient to run Linux.

As for software rebasimg, it appears to be happening at quite a pace.

The ISA isn't the threat, though (although it's already proved itself to be more efficient in microcontroller tasks) : the threat is the largest producer of electronics turning from Arm to RISCV because of trade restrictions. As the article points out, China provides 24% of Arm's revenue... for now.

Softbank snaps up Vision Fund's stake in Arm ahead of IPO


RISC-V reality

I have read about a couple of attempts to build a RISC-V phone using an ESP32, but no, as yet there's been no commercial offering with RISC-V as the main processor.

There are a number of RISC-V SBCs available, the most performant of which - the Lichee Pi 4A - ships with Debian installed. There's also the Roma laptop, which uses the same SoC, and a RISC-V tablet. So I think it's fair to say that RISC-V is on the cusp of consumer electronics.


Re: Wishful thinking

At the Embedded World conference last year, Calista Redmond, CEO of RISC-V International, announced that the number of cores in the RISC-V market had exceeded 10 billion: https://pocketmags.com/linux-format-magazine/october-2022/articles/1196448/risc-v-hits-milestone

I can't give an accurate or comprehensive breakdown, but I"d suggest that that's a conservative estimate, since compnies don't need to disclose that they're using the ISA at all.

Famously, Nvidia said in 2017 that they had designed RISC-V microcontrollers:


Western Digital too:


Qualcomm were incorporating RISC-V controllers from 2019. At the end of last year, they announced that they had shipped 650million.


Samsung started using RISC-V in 2020, but I haven't seen any figures there.



Wishful thinking

The oft quoted $60+Billion figure is somewhat market inflated:

Nvidia agreed to buy Arm for what Softbank paid for it. The agreement was that it would be partially paid for in Nvidia shares.

When the market saw that Nvidia's play could be a monopoly purchase of what at the time seemed to be the ISA of the future - Tim Cook had just annointed it - then Nvidia's stock rocketed.

Has there been any added value to ARM since 2016?

What there has been, is the arrival of competition, in the form of RISC-V, which is now taking a slice of Arm’s microcontroller market, and threatens other sectors where Arm had hoped to have an unassailable advantage. Big customers of Arm products - Qualcomm, Broadcom and NXP, are now openly looking to advance more performant RISC-V designs.

Add to that Arm's determination to reframe its relationship with OEMs, in order to take a larger share of their profits, and the possibility that OEMs might start looking for solutions elsewhere.

So, Arm needs more revenue to do RnD. Undoubtedly there are companies willing and able to fund that. But will this flotation benefit Arm, or is it money going into Softbank's coffers?

Apple, Samsung, and Intel to invest in Arm IPO, and emerge with some control: report


Re: “Apple, Nvidia, and Samsung have all bet big on Arm… “

I'm not sure Qualcomm (or Broadcom or NXP) will be interested - https://www.theregister.com/2023/08/04/chip_companies_risc_v/

In fact, I'm quite surprised to see Samsung there.

Big chip players join forces to form another RISC-V venture


Broadcom too?

From my reading of it, it appears that Broadcom wishes to join the consortium too:

"AVGO has announced its intention to become a stakeholder in a company aimed at advancing the adoption of RISC-V globally."



Re: Bet

Well, simple / obvious or not, it would appear that an open standard "notional base" is hugely valuable in an industry that puts ppa above all else.


Re: Bet

RISC-V is already gaining ground in the microcontroller sector, simply because of its modularity : it beats ARM on PPA.

By the end of last year, Qualcomm alone had shipped 650 million RISC-V cores in their processors.


Safe bet

:) I'd say that wager is a dead certainty. And actually, development costs have to be covered.

But it seems to me that the "competition" will eventually come from published processors, whose development might have been funded in a numberof ways.


This is excellent news

I’d been waiting to see what Qualcomm were going to do. They expressed an interest in RISC-V in 2017, had RISC-V cores in their processors by 2019, and given the souring of the relationship with Arm, I’m surprised that they’re only just making this move now.

Soon the most popular 'real' desktop will be the Linux desktop


Re: They'll try

There was some thought, before Windows11, that Micro$oft would rebase its GUI on the Linux kernel. I understand that there is such a beast, but it isn't for general consumer use.

Linux Foundation and pals – including Intel – back software ecosystem around RISC-V


Re: This article is 4 years late.

FWIW I'm interested in what Qualcomm in particular is planning, in the light of its ongoing spat with Arm, but I'm interested in what Samsung is thinking about doing too.

I imagine that both companies are keeping a very close eye, both on RISC-V processors' performance, and the readiness of software.


Re: Intel feeling the pain? / Alternatively ...

Joining the RISC-V Foundation, donating US$1 billion, offering fabbing support and developing Horse Creek is an odd way to sabotage, wouldn't you agree?


This article is 4 years late.

Both Qualcomm and Samsung expressed their interest in RISC-V in 2017. Samsung had RISC-V cores in their tech by 2019, and Qualcomm by 2020.

Linux was running on RISC-V by 2019 (and *BSD before that). There's been strenuous efforts to rebase apps for RISC-V, and there's a surprising number already available, if you look at the Alpine repositories.

What's changed of course is the arrival of a number of RISC-V SBCs, at relatively low cost, that are capable enough to run Linux : we're watching the transition of RISC-V go from the developer's purview to the realm of the capable techie. It won't be long now until we see RISC-V in the hands of the average consumer, and it seems that the software community are both aware and excited by that.

Out of nowhere, India requires PC and server makers to get an import license


Call it a carbon tax

Just my opinion, but, things ought to be made locally. The idea of globalisation has served Western consumers and big business well, to the severe detriment, in many cases, of the producers.

UK government's semiconductor brain trust meets for the first time


Re: 2 in the ARM corner

Well, in a recent interview he gave, he was either woefully ignorant or being deliberately deceptive about the progress RISC-V has made, and the ability to order RISC-V chips at the specified time, which leads me to conclude that he's steadfastly in the ARM camp.

Thumb Down

2 in the ARM corner

... To ensure that RISC-V doesn't get a mention?

Latest version of Canonical's Wayland compositor arrives


Alan Griffiths has been very good with Mir.

Perhaps now that it's accepted into the Debian canon, it will receive more developers' attention.

I am still convinced by the advantages of convergence.

Debian 12.1 released with bug fixes aplenty and excitement still in short supply


Re: Does anybody really care about Unity/Lomiri?

I do.



Thanks for going to the trouble of checking Lomiri.

RHEL drama, ChromeOS and more ... Our vultures speak freely about the latest in Linux


"Do distros even matter in the era of cloud and microservices?"

They matter more than ever to people who have no desire for saas/ daas/ cloud.

Someone just blew over $190k on a 4GB first-gen iPhone


If I had that sort of money...

... I'd ask Shift to make me a 6" tablet using the 16GB Sipeed Lichee SoM, and then I'd get UBports to flash Lomiri on Debian onto it.

At least that would be funding some useful RnD too.

China's openKylin 1.0 arrives. Our verdict? Not a bad-looking, er, Ubuntu remix


Re: Ubuntu vs Microsoft vs openkylin

I'd be very interested to see the results of that experiment too.


Now comes the hard part...

Persuading the people to adopt it. The success of China2025 depends on that. No country, as yet, has had much success in weaning their citizens off proprietary software, but I wish China every success in doing so.

Two new Linux desktops – one with deep roots – come to Debian


:) Thank you @Liam. I am delighted to read of any progress with Lomiri.

FYI: Tor Browser is very much still a thing and getting updates


It's been my default browser for years

I wish I could persuade others to use it, so I could use Onion Share too.

NHS England spends £8M to extend Microsoft deals by a month


Re: Long Term Solution

Couldn't agree more.

India to send official whassup to WhatsApp after massive spamstorm


Re: I wonder if they got through to Bob from 'technical support'

The solution is indeed easy : don't use WhatsApp.


India bans open source messaging apps for security reasons. FOSS community says good luck


Re: What about whatsapp

Well the UK is trying to get Meta to water down their E2EE. Threats of WhatsApp pulling out of the UK. Imagine the public's reaction to that.

Should that eventuality arrive, surely it would push users onto other protocols such as Briar, Tox or Matrix... probably be a good thing.


Re: We do have rights

The UN needs to start defending its declaration (and the rights of humanity). If increasingly authoritarian governments won't hold to that which they have signed up to : then they should be held in contempt, and sanctioned accordingly.

Else the words are worse than meaningless : they're propaganda.


We do have rights

Article 12

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.



Interesting last paragraph about Briar. It has Bluetooth connectivity too, of course.

It's always been cat and mouse, ever since the advent of written communication. But however paranoid governments become, we have a right to privacy.