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Presented by: "V. Alex Brennen, Kurt Keville"
Alex is a free software developer that has been writing GPL licensed software for more than 25 years. Most of his development work was in academic environments. However, he also developed cryptography software as part of the Cypherpunks movement in the 1990's and has extensive experience in computer security. Alex has been a systems administrator at MIT for over 15 years working with MIT Libraries and groups including CSAIL and W3C. Alex also helped start ProtonMail, serving as one of its first ten employees and its first infrastructure administrator and security officer. He developed an interest in libre hardware while working on autonomous robotic drone hardware at CSAIL.
The RISC-V architecture and ecosystem have undergone tremendous growth recently. We will take a look at the current state of RISC-V and its current deployment footprint. We'll discuss where RISC-V may be headed and the role it may play in completely open and free datacenter servers, tablets, and cellphones. We will review the emergence of the ARM architecture and how in may be an important stepping stone to a free computing platform. We'll discuss the differences between the ARM licensing model and the X86_64 architecture licensing model as well as the role of ARM processors in cell phones and cloud datacenters (such as AWS). Finally, we'll take a brief look at some options for starting RISC-V free and open hardware development for both experienced FPGA programmers and newbies. We'll explain options including physical RISC-V processors, FPGAs, and software emulation.