Efficiency and its complement of inefficiency are hot topics both in the general media and in the nitty-gritty of engineering design. No need to go over the reasons for that here: if you're reading this, you know about the consequences of inefficiency with respect to power use, run time, immediate cost, thermal load, packaging, and more.
Statistics calling out power use and therefore room for improvement are tossed around like paper clips; I've seen statements such as "60% of the power in the US is consumed by electric motors," "50% is used in transportation," and "25% is used for home heating and cooling."
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.