SAN FRANCISCO -- If you ever want to know who's at the hairy edge of
speed in processor world, ask gamers.
These wide-eyed, caffeinated techno-freaks are always on the hunt
for faster performance, more throughput, more sizzling graphics
engines. It's in their world where you can get a sense for what
design teams are doing right by them.
This year, the community at gamer-heavy Overclock.net, has
spoken, voting with their mice: 35,000 votes for nearly 40
categories during the two-week November voting period.
Who strikes their speed-freak fancy? Perhaps no surprise: AMD, Intel
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.