The Cool RoadRunner III is a compact single-board computer with up to 512MB SDRAM and either the ultra low-voltage Intel Celeron (running at 400 to 650MHz) or low-voltage Intel Pentium III (running 800 to 900MHz). It has a VIA TwisterT chipset with Savage4 graphics accelerator from S3 and a TV-out connector for S-Video and Composite for NTSC and PAL signals. The board has standard PC functions, such as COM1/2, LPT with EPP/EPC, 2xUSB, FDD, PS/2 Mouse, and keyboard, and it supports display resolutions up to 1600x1200 at 16.7 million colors. Mass memory may be connected via UDMA-100 EIDE-compatible interface and a CompactFlash socket is included. All standard operating systems are supported; General Software's Embedded BIOS 2000 is included. The module can be extended through the ISA or PCI bus using standard PC/104-Plus extension boards.
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.