Experts say that the industry is in the midst of a new industrial revolution. If they're right, then supply chain professionals should brace themselves for substantial changes in their jobs.
A raft of new technologies is leading to a renaissance in manufacturing. The advent of cloud computing, ubiquitous connectivity, mobile devices, big-data, and 3D printing, as well as the explosion of embedded sensors and microcontrollers, enable the creation of smarter, leaner, and more nimble factories.
Manufacturing is undergoing a change that is every bit as significant as the introduction of interchangeable parts or the production line, maybe even more so. The future is not going to be about stretched-out global supply chains connected to a web of distant giant factories. It's about small, nimble manufacturing operations using highly sophisticated new tools and new materials.
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.