The GeodeLink architecture is designed for information appliance systems ranging from thin clients, set-top boxes, and personal Internet access devices to home networking and residential gateways. It provides a system infrastructure that begins with a signal interface and layers diagnostics, power management, software, design verification, and floor planning. It features unified memory architecture (UMA), distributed switched fabric interconnect, and active hardware power management. UMA enables up to 2GBps memory bandwidth while using only one memory interface. The memory controller supports 32 and 64 bits at 133MHz SDRAM and 266MHz DDR-SDRAM. In addition, the architecture provides a standard software model by means of a virtual PCI system, which allows legacy PCI drivers to work on integrated intellectual property. The GeodeLink architecture samples in the third quarter of 2001. Production is scheduled for early 2002.
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.