Open-Source Hardware Momentum Builds


Open-source hardware continues to gain ground, spearheaded by RISC-V — despite the fact that this processor technology is neither free nor simple to use. Nevertheless, the open-source hardware movement has established a solid foothold after multiple prior forays that yielded only limited success, even for processors. With demand for more customized hardware, and a growing field of startups... » read more

Open Source Hardware Risks


Open-source hardware is gaining attention on a variety of fronts, from chiplets and the underlying infrastructure to the ecosystems required to support open-source and hybrid open-source and proprietary designs. Open-source development is hardly a new topic. It has proven to be a successful strategy in the Linux world, but far less so on the hardware side. That is beginning to change, fueled... » read more

Will Open-Source Processors Cause A Verification Shift?


While the promised flexibility of open source could have advantages and possibilities for processors and SoCs, where does the industry stand on verification approaches and methodologies from here? Single-source ISAs of the past relied on general industry verification technologies and methodologies, but open-source ISA-based processor users and adopters will need to review the verification flows... » read more

Meltdown And Spectre, One Year Later


About this time last year, reports surfaced about security attacks on today’s most popular microprocessors (μPs). Researchers called them Meltdown, Spectre gaining widespread attention. Today, however, the industry and especially μP vendors have made some progress toward stemming these vulnerabilities. Here is my analysis as we enter into 2019. When it comes to these vulnerabilities, we ... » read more

Open-Source RISC-V Hardware And Security


Semiconductor Engineering sat down with Helena Handschuh, a Rambus fellow; Richard Newell, senior principal product architect at Microsemi, a Microchip Company; and Joseph Kiniry, principal scientist at Galois. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. (L-R) Joseph Kiniry, Helena Handschuh and Richard Newell. SE: Is open-source hardware more secure, or does it just open up vulnera... » read more