Building Your Own RISC-V CPU With SiFive | Level One Techs

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at


A shame not more people are interested in this topic. SOC’s on open source architecture is likely to be the biggest game changer. While your video said we aren’t going to see PCs or Laptops with these chips I tend to disagree. Apple is marketing the Ipad pro as a Laptop replacement. These are based on their own custom ARM SOC (Bionic chip- stupid name). We know google is working on Fuschia and Samsung on developing it’s One UI product that will compete with Apple in the mobile computing area. It therefore makes sense that they invest in custom silicon to maximize efficiency.

Can someone explain this video to me? I’m confused by Wendell’s final point? Was he pretty much saying that everything is moving to an application specific processor (FPGA), and the RISC-V CPU can be used as an easy to use FPGA?

Was pretty confused about the importance of the RISC-V processor, aside from it being open-source.

risc-v is going to be used in a lot of “commodity” custom designs in the future because it’ll be easier and more accessible. Because it’s open source, it should be easier for people to integrate. The hope is that what’s in the state of openness will elevate because these systems are complicated, and a lot of folks spend a lot of time re-inventing the wheel on new products.

FPGAs are too costly to include in mainstream products and difficult to manufacture cheaply at scale.

Look at x86 innovation: x86 hasn’t gotten better… more instructions have been added. So it is like you start with x86 then put more and more custom silicon around it for custom functions.

RiscV is exactly that… a simple, open core. But one that’s old and robust and has been taught for years in university. But it can be surrounded by whatever special functions you need, in hardware, EZ. For high-medium and even low-production run products.

So someone that has only 10,000 customers world-wide could reasonably do innovative custom silicon borrowing functionality from whatever partners they need.


1000% agree, having greater end to end process control in hardware and software will lead to more efficient and cost effective devices. Having predetermined dependencies is easier and more cost effective than attempting to cover a multitude of variables. Weather it be AI or a toaster.

So… this + FreeBSD + a good chunk of software development and we might have a new game console for the kids? …hmmm


Awww cool I might actually make sobething

Why can I make the memory address bus bigger than the…

Hey guys wanna by my risc v pentium M?

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:grinning: :sunglasses:

I’m sooo excited!
… had to save this video for the weekend to be able to properly enjoy it. Thank you @Wendell! I hope this was the mother of all teasers. I would love to have some really in depth videos on RISC-V and anything interesting you come up with.

Any update on the tutorial?