22 September 2016

Open Source Silicon?

A random thought:

I think it would be interesting if there was an open-source chip, perhaps based upon RISC-V, maybe based upon cores from SiFive, which are as easy to wire together into a mesh network with little-to-no external glue logic, to make massively parallel computing a commodity. Think of it like an open source Transputer. The Transputer processors had 4 I/O buses which could each directly interface with other processors, peripherals or there was a switch.
Today, we should be able to do better. Imagine a processor module which has perhaps 64 interconnected cores per package and 8 I/O channels and perhaps a couple of gigs of DRAM.

Hobbyists will then be able to experiment with different computing topologies:
or even

What makes this interesting is that this has been a largely dormant area of computer science for more than 20 years and I think with the possibility of open silicon, there's a lot of exciting areas for research and hobby tinkering.

07 September 2016

Java Rock Stars

The rock stars of the Java world never stay on a project long enough, departing immediately when it starts to need cleanup. That way, they're getting the accolades for their achievements and of the people left behind, managers think "these guys are so much less productive than the rock star; we were lucky to have the rock star to get the project started."