eCIFS is a portable embedded software library that enables electronic devices to gain access to files stored on computers attached to a network. Devices running the eCIFS software will be able to read, write, and modify files that Windows-, Macintosh-, or Unix-based computers have specified as "shared." For example, multimedia thin-client devices can use eCIFS to access MP3s, digital pictures, and MPEG video stored on a home computer. Instead of relying on local storage, these devices use a network connection and eCIFS to remotely access the multimedia content. eCIFS does not require any server-side computer software to allow network file access. eCIFS is available now for $35,000.
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.