What is RISC-V?(electronics manufacturing expo news)

23 Jul 2019

Today, we introduce RISC-V, which is called "open source chip" by the semiconductor industry.

Speaking of chips, since ZTE was embargoed by the US electronics manufacturing expo embargo, China’s attention to chips has been raised to an unprecedented height. It seems that overnight, everyone knows the importance of the chip, and realizes the serious consequences of the "core".

Under the combined effect of internal and external factors, China has focused on strengthening investment in the chip field, and more and more enterprises have begun to attach importance to investment in chip research and development.

And RISC-V, at this critical electronics manufacturing expo node, will likely play a very crucial role.

What exactly is RISC-V?

RISC-V, generally read as: risk five. V, is the Roman numeral 5.

Many people mentioned RISC-V, it will be said to be an open source chip. Actually this statement is wrong. To be precise, RISC-V is an open source instruction set architecture based on the "Reduced Instruction Set (RISC)" principle.

The instruction set, for the CPU, is a collection of electronics manufacturing expo program instructions between the software and the underlying hardware. The instruction set is stored inside the CPU, directs the CPU to perform operations, and helps the CPU run more efficiently.

CPU chip (central processing unit) inside PC

The desktop computers or servers we use today are mainly CPUs from Intel and AMD. The instruction set used by this type of CPU belongs to the "CISC Complex Instruction Set". CISC is the Complex Instruction Set Computer.

There is a wide variety of instruction sets supported by a CPU.

The CPUs of the early computers were based on the CISC architecture.

At that time, the compiler's technology was not very skillful. The program was written directly in machine code or combined language. In order to reduce the design time of the program, the program code of single instruction and complex operation was gradually developed. The designer simply writes down the simple instructions and hands them over to the CPU for execution.

However, it was later discovered that only about 20% of the instructions in the entire instruction set are often used, accounting for about 80% of the entire program; the remaining 80% of the instructions only account for 20% of the entire program. (Typical two-eighth principle)

Thus, Professor David Patterson of the University of electronics manufacturing expo California at Berkeley in 1979 put forward the idea of ​​RISC, arguing that hardware should concentrate on accelerating commonly used instructions, and more complex instructions using common instructions to combine.

RISC is the Reduced Instruction Set Computer, a reduced instruction set computer.

Simply put, CISC has a high processing power and is suitable for desktop computers and servers. But high performance also brings high power consumption problems.

RISC is a portable electronic product or IoT product for mobile phones, tablets, digital cameras, etc. by streamlining CISC instruction types, formats, and simplified addressing modes to achieve efficient power-saving effects.

In the 1980s, ARM began to make its own chips based on the electronics manufacturing expo RISC architecture, and finally rose step by step, defeating Intel and becoming the king of mobile chips. Today, most mobile phone terminals and IoT device chips, including Kirin and Qualcomm, are based on ARM architecture.

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