Heater wrote: ↑
Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:37 pm
What's wrong with ARM? Cheap and effective.
If I happened to win the lotto and wanted to get my latest hare brained idea into silicon:
1) How much would it cost me to licence an ARM processor for my chip?
2) How long would those negotiations take?
3) What does that ARM design processor core offer that I cannot get from the free RISC V ISA spec.?
4) Or, heck, what does it offer that I cannot make with my own RISC V core design in Verilog, VHDL, etc?
Some hard factual information here would be useful.
Going to be a long haul for RISC V, might get there, but chip design and manufacture is very expensive.
Oddly it has never been cheaper to get chips made. In the not cutting edge process nodes of course.
Then, when you see the likes of Nvida and Western Digital using RISC V in their devices you start to think the days of ARM in embedded devices are coming to an end very soon. SoftBank has wasted it's money.
1. Depends on which core you want to licence and how many you are likely to sell. They are all fairly cheap, but get a decent negotiator.
2. Few months.
3. Years of development behind it, extensive debugger and OS support. Easy integration with the Mali graphics core plus all the other extra blocks ARM can supply. Instruction set that is well known so easier to find people experienced in it.
4. You can have something working inside 1 year, rather than the 5 it will take to develop from scratch.
The guy in charge of softbank is very very smart. He is not renowned for wasting his money.
If you are thinking of doing your own design in VHDL and having it fabbed, depending on the complexity of the device, I would give yourself, and your team of at least 3 people, because that is how many you will need to do it right, at least a year to get the design vaguely working, and at least $400k in fab costs.
Or you could just buy off the shelf.
Good luck to RISV V though, but it has a LONG way to go to catch up with ARM, despite a few people using it.
Principal Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.
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