Bluespec, Inc, recently co-hosted the captivating Boston RISC-V Technical Symposium, an event offering a unique educational opportunity for individuals from the Boston area to explore the rapidly expanding RISC-V movement.

Bluespec’s CTO, Rishiyur Nikhil, kicked off the conference with the RISC-V History and State of the Union, which detailed the origins of RISC-V, its increased utilization, and its expanding community. As the RISC-V Foundation ISA Formal Spec Task Group Chair, Nikhil spoke about the fundamental features of RISC-V that have allowed its exponential growth, such as the stable, simple, and community-driven design. Because it is open source, RISC-V continues to advance through the contributions of its community members. In his presentation, Nikhil emphasized how the RISC-V Foundation encourages all forms of involvement from those who are interested in collaborating.

The conference continued with presentations and tutorials from members of the RISC-V Foundation including Krste Asanovic, Chairman of the Foundation. In the afternoon, Nikhil gave a keynote presentation on RISC-V verification and design using Bluespec’s own tools. He demonstrated how individuals who are building with a RISC-V core can accelerate their design by using Bluespec’s RISC-V Factory product.

In an audience of over 100 people, many of the attendees were new to the growing RISC-V community. The symposium provided great exposure for those individuals to learn how their companies can implement RISC-V and how they themselves can become involved.

“We’re here to learn more about the ecosystem and what’s out there. It’s really new territory for us,” said one attendee from the Boston startup Light Matter. “One differentiator of RISC-V is that you can do your own custom extensions to the ISA. That’s really attractive because we will need to integrate tightly with our hardware design,” he added.

RISC-V’s growing credibility has made it a major player and an increasingly popular choice for companies choosing a core. While the longevity of all open-source technology is difficult to predict at first, the success of this technical symposium reinforces how RISC-V is here to stay.

“We could not imagine five or six years ago that RISC-V would have the level of interest and activity that it has today. There are have been other attempts at open architectures but RISC-V has taken off because it was designed by people with very deep experience, ” said Nikhil.

During 2019, the RISC-V Foundation will be hosting more one-day events and sponsored webinars worldwide. For individuals looking to get even more involved,  RISC-V meetups and member-held events are always ongoing throughout the Boston area. Bluespec looks forward to being a part of many of these upcoming events and playing a major role in the continually growing RISC-V community.

The following is Rishiyur Nikhil’s keynote presentation on RISC-V verification and design using Bluespec’s tools.